Santa Cruz Restaurants

Santa Cruz RestaurantsLooking for the best Santa Cruz Restaurants?
Below you will find restaurant reviews and roundups of some of the best restaurants by category, like our popular Best Pizza in Santa Cruz, and 10 Must-Try Sandwiches posts.
Santa Cruz, and the surrounding areas, have plenty of unique dining experiences. You won't find us covering many chain restaurants here. Luckily the local flavor in Santa Cruz far surpasses anything the chains can offer.
Downtown Santa Cruz is home to many of the top restaurants in the area, but you'll also find great seafood on the wharf, charming restaurants in the Capitola Village, and many great restaurants throughout Santa Cruz County.

The Bagelry: Serving up Santa Cruz Style Bagels

The Bagelry Santa CruzSome of the best restaurants are the ones who make something you could make at home — burgers, tacos, etc. — only they do it so, so much better.

File The Bagelry, a Santa Cruz treasure of a breakfast and lunch spot, under that heading.

What is there to say about the Bagelry, which has locations on Seabright Ave, downtown on Cedar St., and in Soquel, that hasn’t already been said by nearly everyone who’s tasted one of their creations?  It’s simple food: bagels, a selection of cream cheeses, eggs, hummus, lox, and other toppings.  But the loyalty many Santa Cruzans feel toward this spot is anything but ordinary.

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Gobble Up Santa Cruz Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week Santa Cruz 2013From cool downtown dinner-and-drinks spots like 515 Kitchen and Cocktails and Soif Wine Bar to beachside hangouts like Crow’s Nest and Johnny’s Harborside, eating in Santa Cruz is a treat year-round.

But there exists a kind of lull for SC restaurants in between the tourist season of summer and the holiday rush of November through January.  Similarly, life tends to slow down for Santa Cruz residents as the sky grows grayer, school is back in session, and vacations can only be found in scrapbooks.

In 2009, the folks at Santa Cruz Weekly found a solution to both those problems: Santa Cruz Restaurant Week (SCRW).

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El Palomar: Three Great Restaurants Under One Roof

El PalomarSometimes you want Mexican cuisine in a semi-formal setting. Sometimes you want a more relaxed, patio atmosphere. And sometimes you just want a delicious burrito or taco and a beer, cheap.

If you’re on Pacific Avenue and are in search of any of these three options, El Palomar is a solid, colorful choice.

Originally the ornate Hotel Palomar in the 1920s, the downstairs lobby area and bar (originally called The Circle Bar) was converted to a restaurant decades ago, becoming the multi-pronged dining experience it is today in the 1980s.  The upper stories are currently being used as apartments for low-income renters.
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