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Restaurants in Santa Cruz

Whether it’s a classic culinary temple or a local haunt, these Santa Cruz restaurants are destinations in and of themselves. Read on to discover Travel + Leisure’s picks for the best Santa Cruz restaurants and dining experiences. Browse our travel guides for insider information on food trucks, bakeries, cafés, coffeehouses, farm-to-table restaurants, diners, trattorias, bistros, pizzerias, ice cream parlors, tapas bars, noodle houses, sushi counters, fine dining establishments, and more.

Our global network of editors and writers selects the best restaurants in Santa Cruz to help travelers soak up the local scene and find authentic dishes. Whether highlighting an insider hot spot, a celebrity chef’s newest restaurant, a hip coffeehouse, or the best place for cheap eats, Travel + Leisure takes you there, serving up the best Santa Cruz restaurant listings. Below find T+L’s top picks for where to eat in Santa Cruz.

  • Casablanca, Santa Cruz

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    The bland façade may look quiet and unassuming, but inside, executive chef Scott Cater turns out some smart New American cuisine. His special Color... More
  • Center Street Grill

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    The perfect place for salads, pastas, made-from-scratch hollandaise sauce, ahi tuna, and freshly squeezed lemonade and orange juice on the outdoor ... More
  • El Palomar

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar
    The kitchen delivers fancy but family-friendly Mexican: the shrimp burrito is a favorite. More
  • Seabright Brewery

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar
    Hang out on the patio with a burger and microbrew. More
  • Zachary's Restaurant

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar
    Start your day with “Mike’s Mess”—a mountain of eggs scrambled with potatoes, mushrooms, and bacon, topped with cheese and sour cream—at this local... More

Explore restaurants in Big Sur + Monterey Bay for more options.


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