Where to Eat
Lillian’s Italian Kitchen opened quietly on July 4, 2007. It’s a joint venture of the owners, Joe and Charlotte Moreno and their sons Chris and Matt. Long time residents of Santa Cruz, the Moreno’s dream was to open a neighborhood place that was an extension of their family kitchen.
The inspiration was Grandma Lilly’s wonderful home cooking. Lillian was devoted to family and friends and her life was greatly fulfilled by her love and passion for cooking. Born in Yonkers, New York, Lillian was able to combine traditional Sicilian recipes learned from her parents and the many Italian influences in her neighborhood.
Executive Chef Chris honors Lillian’s family recipes as well as offering a variety of fresh and creative additions to the menu. Matt runs front of the house operations and is the wine director.
Cafe Brasil is a full-service restaurant located in Santa Cruz, Calif. The restaurants’ menu includes breakfast menu, potato scramble, coffee, and omelets, ham, bacon, sausage and shrimp. It also offers eggs benedict, veggie benedict, fruit and cakes, banana pancakes, fruit bowl, fruit cup, and breakfast tropical fruit. Its side orders include house muffins, black beans, white rice, potatoes, beef and chicken. Its juice bar offers smoothies and fresh-blended juices with fruit pulp. Its desserts menu includes guava paste, marmelada, bananada and marron glace.
Joao Luis Frota came from Brazil to Santa Cruz more than 30 years ago, and after visiting Hawaii and other places with his wife Claudia decided to set roots in Santa Cruz, California. The call was a blend of the beautiful city between the redwoods and the Pacific Ocean, beaches, the people from Santa Cruz and its University; a great place to raise a family.
He started with a breakfast place 24 years ago. He always liked breakfast and was surprised by the typical American Breakfast, which he started offering while little by little added Brazilian dishes. Finding that people wanted to have choices on how to change and add some ingredients and toppings, over time Cafe Brasil evolved into a Brazilian breakfast, brunch and lunch place with the possibility to tailor many dishes to the client’s desires.
Today one of his biggest satisfactions is to see a Brazilian cafe with Brazilian atmosphere where people not only enjoy a large variety of dishes and fresh juices, but they also can relax and feel comfortable with the traditional Brazilian hospitality, warmth and friendliness.
A California twist on an island classic, serving great food and cool cocktails, while creating a sense of community.
Hula’s Island Grill is a throwback to the popular tiki restaurants and bars of the ‘50’s & 60’s. The creation of the Delaney brothers, the original location in Monterey opened in 1998, followed by Hula’s Santa Cruz in 2006.
Upon entering, you are greeted by the island décor, eclectic music, and a smiling staff. The vibe is California casual. The atmosphere is always happy. Come be surrounded by hipsters, oldsters, youngsters, and everyone in between. You can enjoy a tropical cocktail, a quick bite, or a full dinner, while being taken care of by the best staff in the ‘biz. Our menu has something for everyone, and is a fusion of island, and American flavors.
Hula’s mission is to create a community gathering spot for local residents, as well as that special place to invoke great memories, for diners from shores afar. Try us once, you’ll be hooked!
Since 1979 our diner has been serving up awesome vegetarian and vegan comfort food to students, locals and tourists. With a long commitment to our local community, to great food and better politics, the Saturn offers something for everyone — whether you need a late night snack, brunch or a walk down memory lane, Saturn has you covered.
Saturn Cafe offers traditional American diner fare with a vegetarian twist. Our menu features local and organic ingredients within a vibrant atmosphere. We believe that the health and happiness of our customers, staff and the business itself are inextricably linked and we are deeply committed to socially responsible and green business practices.
Located right on the beach where the Harbor meets the sea, The Crow’s Nest is one of Santa Cruz’ most beloved restaurants. For over 50 years guests have returned again and again for breathtaking panoramic views of Santa Cruz Harbor, lighthouse and wharf, and to enjoy award-winning cuisine, spirits and live entertainment.
Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner in our downstairs dining room offer fresh seafood, pasta creations, Midwestern aged beef and daily chef’s specials. Upstairs, the Breakwater Bar & Grill features a variety of appetizers and casual meals throughout the day, and dancing to live entertainment by night.
On both levels, expansive shoreline decks offer a friendly, casual atmosphere, where rich woods, luminous works of glass art, and a unique collection of vintage surfboards and surfing photographs complete the unforgettable ambiance.
The Crow’s Nest is truly the flagship restaurant of the California coast.
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Pono Hawaiian Grill is a traditional Hawaiian eatery bringing you the freshest, most creative and most ‘ono Hawaiian mixed plate here on the mainland. We also have Santa Cruz’s first and only “Traditional Hawaiian” Poke Bar, serving over 20 different types of poke all made to order! A must try!
Pono also provides a truly Hawaiian atmosphere, one that brings together Hawaii’s deep and diverse melting pot of cultures, languages, dance (hula), mele (music) and especially…. “aloha spirit!”