American / Martini Lounge Restaurant
American / Brew Pub Restaurant
Japanese / Sushi Restaurant
Burgers / American Restaurant
Latin American Restaurant
Located 72 miles south of San Francisco along the Monterrey coast, Santa Cruz is an idyllic beach town known for its beaches, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and for being just a little bit strange. Santa Cruz has numerous high quality beaches and is known as one of the best surfing spots worldwide, even if the water is quite chilly. Located along a beautiful sandy beach is the Beach Boardwalk, one of California's only beachside amusement parks. Featuring an old-school 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster, plenty of newer amusement park rides, an arcade, a mini-golf course, bumper cars, laser tag, and old-fashioned carnival games, the Boardwalk has a unique, 1950's charm to it that keeps customers coming back time and time again. Go downtown and you'll see why Santa Cruz has its own “Keep Santa Cruz weird” campaign. From local celebrity The Umbrella Man to the odd quirks you'll find scattered all around town, Santa Cruz sure differentiates itself from other Bay Area cities. Also featuring a world-class university, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz has something for everyone.
Santa Cruz Restaurants
Like many Bay Area cities, Santa Cruz has exquisite dining including an exceptional array of seafoods. Santa Cruz restaurants are renowned for their small-town feel and dazzling array of fresh seafood available year round. Head down the wharf and barking sea lions will welcome you to an array of the freshest clam chowder available anywhere, a hallmark of Santa Cruz restaurants. Go downtown and you'll find an assortment of local favorites, from pizza made from hand-tossed dough to pastas hand-rolled with delicate care, to delicatessens with the finest meats around. Santa Cruz restaurants are a part of town that often gets looked over by tourists by mistake; Santa Cruz restaurants offer a vast selection of quality restaurants that are just as or more enjoyable than anything else the Bay Area has to offer.
American Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Soif Wine Bar & Merchants – A wine bar, a restaurant, and a wine retail shop all rolled into one fine establishment, the Soif Wine Bar gives customers the opportunity to explore and experiment with wines in a sophisticated and warm setting. The stated goal of Soif Wine Bar is to help you enjoy your evening with a glass of wine and exceptional food and for you to enjoy the wine so much that you'll want to buy some to take home with you. For a fantastic wine tasting experience, along with one of the better Santa Cruz restaurants, give Soif Wine Bar a try tonight.
Red Restaurant & Bar – A perfect place to lounge in front of the fireplace and share some great food and cocktails with friends. Offering small, large, and shared plates made primarily with organic ingredients and drawing inspiration from American and Mediterranean cuisine, Red is sure to wow your taste buds. Open for dinner and late night, Red is an experience that cannot be passed up.
Gabriella Cafe – Named “the town's most romantic spot” by Sunset Magazine, Gabriella Cafe offers its patrons a serene, enthralling dining experience. Gabriella Cafe contains fine art throughout the establishment and offers up some of the best food and drink in the area. For an experience that you soon won't forget, Gabriella Cafe should not be overlooked.
Italian Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Cafe Mare – With renowned Italian chefs Giampierro Iuliano and Cyrille Gatel creating food with a mastery exceeded by none, a full bar featuring beers on tap, a lengthy wine selection, and an assortment of specialty drinks, and newly installed HDTV's to enjoy the biggest sporting events, Cafe Mare one of the Santa Cruz restaurants to be reckoned with. Cafe Mare's atmosphere can be described as a casual, friendly environment where you can enjoy some of Italy's best food and some of California or Europe's best wine. Get all this served to you by a friendly and attentive international staff and you have a restaurant to die for; you have Cafe Mare.
Kianti's Pizza & Pasta Bar – Featuring vibrant colors, a welcoming atmosphere, a contemporary look, and some great tasting pizzas and pastas, Kianti's is one of the premier dining establishments in Santa Cruz. Kianti's has won “Best Of” in Santa Cruz every year since its inception in 2004 for numerous accomplishments. For a good time and a great slice of Italian food heaven, Kianti's is your ideal spot.
Lillian's Italian Kitchen – Lillian's is a premier Italian dining experience compacted into a small, homey restaurant. They serve the most heavenly pesto sauce imaginable along with other exquisite pasta sauces and their specialty “Sunday Gravy.” Lillian's is your perfect destination for a romantic, enjoyable, and utterly delicious evening of Italian dining in Santa Cruz.
Mexican Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Cafe Campesino – Cafe Campesino is one of the best Mexican Santa Cruz restaurants and it shows with the popularity it has attained locally over the years. At Cafe Campesino, everything is made from the freshest ingredients possible and are prepared by chefs who care about the quality of food and the experience of the customer. Truly a gem of Santa Cruz dining.
Restaurante Los Pinos – Your burrito destination in Santa Cruz is Restaurante Los Pinos. They serve up massive, mouth-watering burritos of various varieties and styles that will make you want to keep eating well after your stomach has been filled with savory goodness. While their burritos are legendary, they also serve up some great tacos, tortas, enchiladas and all your favortite traditional Mexican dishes.
Casa Rosita's – Fast, delicious and inexpensive Mexican food is what awaits you at Casa Rosita's, a local favorite. Their portions are generous, the chips and salsa are always fresh , and they serve up some creative and delicious specialties whipped up by their dedicated chefs. If you are in a bind time-wise and you need great food fast, Casa Rosita's is the place for you.
Japanese Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Mobo Sushi – Among the many definitions derived from the Japanese word 'mobo' is a “humble dedication to preparing and serving the freshest food in the most pleasing manner.” Mobo Sushi has dedicated themselves to this philosophy and it comes through in their decadent and delicious sushi offerings. At Mobo Sushi you will find service, ambience, and fresh sushi to turn your dining experience at one of the best Santa Cruz restaurants into one you will not soon forget.
Shogun Japanese Restaurant – Shogun serves some of the best nigiri in all of the Bay Area. It's chefs have been seasoned over the years with constant practice of creating the most fresh and delicious raw fish creations you will ever taste. A must visit for any traditional sushi enthusiast.
Pink Godzilla – Pink Godzilla is a favorite among UCSC students and its not hard to see why: with great food, attentive service, and a pink Godzilla mascot running around, what isn't to like about Pink Godzilla? Serving everything from Japanese dining that you can put your mind to, while incorporating a local flair, is what Pink Godzilla does brilliantly. For both a great meal and a great experience, look no further than Pink Godzilla.
Chinese Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Chinese Village Restaurant – Serving some of the best Chinese food since 1976, Chinese Village has grown into a local favorite among Santa Cruz restaurants. Chinese Village features great, authentic Chinese food for low prices and features a friendly, knowledgeable staff waiting to serve your every need. There may be no better deal for Chinese dining in Santa Cruz than the one you'll find at Chinese Village.
Little Shanghai – Located deep in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz is Little Shanghai, a local's favorite. Little Shanghai serves a plethora of Chinese dishes including specials such as Gan Bien String Beans, Tang Tzu Ribs and Sa Cha Chow Mein. For a venture into the delicious and adventurous world of unique Chinese cuisine, give Little Shanghai a try tonight.
Peach Garden – With traditional and unique favorites alike, Peach Garden is one of the finer dining establishments in Santa Cruz. With a great selection of Chinese soups, main courses to share, and a variety of fried rices, Peach Garden has something for everyone in your party. Come by and try what everyone is talking about: Peach Garden.
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