Santa Cruz Travel Guide

USA  #3 in Best Day Trips from San Francisco
Credit

Courtesy of StephanHoerold/Getty Images

What to Eat in Santa Cruz

The cuisine in Santa Cruz is as varied as the county's geography. Just as there are oceans, forests and mountains, Santa Cruz boasts wineries, breweries and whisky bars, and restaurants serving cuisine that ranges from Mexican to Mediterranean. To get your caffeine fix, head to Verve Coffee Roasters, a highly acclaimed coffee bar and roaster with other locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tokyo. Linda's Seabreeze Cafe is good spot for breakfast – try the cinnamon rolls – but remember to bring cash, as it does not accept cards. 

La Posta is a neighborhood Italian eatery with delicious pizza, and Laili serves up Mediterranean-Afghan cuisine. For beer, try the New Bohemia or "NuBo," a brewery opened by University of California, Santa Cruz alums. Or, for a more comprehensive overview of the Santa Cruz brewery scene, hop on board a Brew Cruz bus for a guided tour of the county's best breweries and bars. When you're ready to satisfy your sweet tooth, try the local ice cream. The Penny Ice Creamery, which makes its ice cream in small batches from scratch, is a favorite among visitors and residents. If you want a side of stunning coastal views with your dark chocolate sorbet cone, head to the creamery's Pleasure Point location.  

Find the Best Restaurants in Santa Cruz

  • #1
    Marianne's Ice Cream
    #1 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 578 reviewsTripAdvisor (578)
    $ | American
    1020 Ocean St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-2817
    Read More »
  • #2
    Linda's Seabreeze Cafe
    #2 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 382 reviewsTripAdvisor (382)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    542 Seabright Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-3421
    Read More »
  • #3
    Lillian's Italian Kitchen
    #3 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 211 reviewsTripAdvisor (211)
    $ - $$ | Italian
    1148 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2106
    Read More »
  • #4
    Laili Restaurant
    #4 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 524 reviewsTripAdvisor (524)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Persian, Afghani
    101B Cooper St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4526
    Read More »
  • #5
    The Buttery
    #5 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 627 reviewsTripAdvisor (627)
    $ - $$ | French, American
    702 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2313
    Read More »
  • #6
    Walnut Avenue Cafe
    #6 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 358 reviewsTripAdvisor (358)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    106 Walnut Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-3913
    Read More »
  • #7
    Zachary's Restaurant
    #7 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 269 reviewsTripAdvisor (269)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    819 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4433
    Read More »
  • #8
    West End Tap & Kitchen
    #8 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 230 reviewsTripAdvisor (230)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar, Pub, Brew Pub, Gastropub
    334 Ingalls St Ste D, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5880
    Read More »
  • #9
    Betty Burgers
    #9 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 211 reviewsTripAdvisor (211)
    $ | American, Fast Food
    505 Seabright Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-3748
    Read More »
  • #10
    Harbor Cafe
    #10 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 167 reviewsTripAdvisor (167)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    535 7th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-3911
    Read More »
  • #11
    The Penny Ice Creamery
    #11 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 199 reviewsTripAdvisor (199)
    $ | American
    913 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-3801
    Read More »
  • #12
    Hula's Island Grill and Tiki Room
    #12 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 319 reviewsTripAdvisor (319)
    $ - $$ | Bar, Polynesian, Hawaiian, American
    221 Cathcart St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4419
    Read More »
  • #13
    The Picnic Basket
    #13 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 431 reviewsTripAdvisor (431)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    125 Beach St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5412
    Read More »
  • #14
    The Crow's Nest
    #14 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 1344 reviewsTripAdvisor (1344)
    $ - $$ | American
    2218 E Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-4713
    Read More »
  • #15
    Saturn Cafe
    #15 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 251 reviewsTripAdvisor (251)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe, Diner
    145 Laurel St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4498
    Read More »
  • #16
    Pizza My Heart
    #16 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 244 reviewsTripAdvisor (244)
    $ | Pizza, Fast Food
    1116 Pacific Ave Ste B, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4472
    Read More »
  • #17
    Johnny's Harborside
    #17 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 291 reviewsTripAdvisor (291)
    $ - $$ | American, Seafood, Bar
    493 Lake Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-3938
    Read More »
  • #18
    Crepe Place
    #18 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 143 reviewsTripAdvisor (143)
    $ - $$ | American
    1134 Soquel Ave Frnt, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2158
    Read More »
  • #19
    Stagnaro Bros Seafood
    #19 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 656 reviewsTripAdvisor (656)
    $ - $$ | American, Seafood, Soups, Bar, Pub
    Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    Read More »
  • #20
    Verve Coffee Roasters
    #20 of 374 Places to Eat in Santa Cruz
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 136 reviewsTripAdvisor (136)
    $ - $$ | Cafe
    104 Bronson St Suite 19, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
    Read More »

Explore More of Santa Cruz

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.