At the Pier

Santa Cruz - Dolphin RestaurantOfficially known as the Municipal Wharf, the huge pier is the perfect spot to enjoy views of West Cliff drive and the Boardwalk – or to grab a meal with awesome views.


Dolphin restaurant is our favorite place for breakfast on the pier. It sits at the end of the long pier with indoor and outdoor seating and great views all around.

The food and service are always exceptional. Some of our favorites are Eggs Benedict, Biscuits and Gravy, and the Denver Omelet.

Santa Cruz - Stangniro Bros. by gérard - FlickrFor lunch or dinner, you can order one of their gourmet seafood sandwiches, Hamburgers, or Pasta dishes.

Stagnaro Bros.

Stagnaro’s is another good place to enjoy a meal on the Wharf with great views of the bay. The food is above average, but not exceptional. Service can be spotty, depending on the crowds.

The best choices here are the Clam Chowder, Fish Tacos, and the Seafood Tortellini. You can also get Cracked Crab or Lobster Tail.


Downtown Santa Cruz is comprised of a few blocks of stores, restaurants, and entertainment. It is easily walkable and close to many hotels and attractions.


Santa Cruz - Laili Restaurant - by Dean C.A unique mix of Mediterranean cuisine with an Afghani twist. The place is large with an outdoor garden area.

The food is always delicious. For starters try the Mediterranean Plate with a variety of popular dishes like hummus, tabbouleh, and babaghanoush.

For the main course, we like Eggplant parmesan flatbread, Lamb shank, Filet mignon kabob, Roasted Cauliflower.

For a great finish to this meal, you must try Pistachio Cardamom Ice Creamor or Baklava - or both.

I love Sushi

Santa Cruz -  I Love Sushi - by Gwen C.Do you love Sushi? We do and it is a tradition for our family to eat here whenever we visit Santa Cruz. The menu is extensive and includes delicious rolls, Sashimi, hand-rolls and combo plates.

The restaurant is famous for serving free samples before your order. It could appetizers or a new roll to try. It is always a nice surprise when it shows up.

Too many favorite rolls to mention here. Be adventurous and try them all. For people who hate Sushi, they offer a selection of cooked dishes like Beef Teriyaki and Chicken Teriyaki.

Everywhere Else


In a small strip mall away from downtown, you will find this hidden gem. Akira offers Sushi, Santa Cruz - Akira SushiSashimi and creative rolls. They also have a large selection of vegetarian rolls and dishes.

Some of my favorite specialty rolls are White Dragon, Natural Bridges, and Akira Rainbow. If you are looking for a cooked meal, try the Sesame Chicken Donduri or Salmon Teriyaki. They also have a Bento Box with 1, 2, or 3 items.

For a drink, try their hot Sake. They also have cold Sake and a variety of beers. For dessert, you must try the Green Tea Mochi.