.Best of Santa Cruz County 2023: FOOD & DRINK

The best bread, new restaurant, wine selection and more

READ ALL BEST OF 2023 COVERAGE:

santa cruz county Good Times Best Of
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Greek

Nick the Greek 
1133 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz,
431-6313, nickthegreek.com

RUNNERS-UP Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, Achilles

Hawaiian Cuisine

Pono Hawaiian Grill/ Pono Kitchen & Tap
120 Union St., Santa Cruz,
621-7448, ponohawaiian.com

RUNNERS-UP Hula’s Island Grill, Makai Island Kitchen and Groggery

Hot Dog

Happy Dog Hotdogs
324 River St., Santa Cruz,
332-2057

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RUNNERS-UP Left Coast Sausage Worx, Taylor’s Hot Dog Stand  

Ice Cream

Marianne’s
1020 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, 458-1447;
218 State Park Drive, Aptos, 713-4746;
104 Stockton Ave., Capitola, 479-8888,
mariannesicecream.com

RUNNERS-UP Penny Ice Creamery, Mission Hill Coffee & Creamery

Indian Cuisine

Ambrosia India Bistro
207 Sea Ridge Road, Aptos, 685-0610;
6006 La Madrona Drive, #D, Scotts Valley,
713-5594, ambrosiaib.com

RUNNERS-UP Royal Taj, Namaste Indian 

Italian Cuisine

Lillian’s Italian Kitchen  
1148 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,
425-2288, lilliansitaliankitchen.com

RUNNERS-UP Tramonti, Ristorante Italiano

Juice Bar / Smoothies

Amazon Juices
1066 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, 854-2225, amazonjuices.us

RUNNERS-UP Clean Juice, Jamba Juice 

Kid-Friendly Eatery

Carpo’s 
2400 Porter St., Soquel,
476-6260, carposrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Betty Burger, Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar 

Kombucha/Probiotic (local)

Living Swell
424 26th Ave., Santa Cruz,
livingswellkombucha.com

RUNNER-UP Melo Melo

Late-Night Eatery

The Crepe Place
1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,
429-6994, thecrepeplace.com

RUNNERS-UP Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant, Charlie Hong Kong 

Mexican Cuisine

Santa Cruz

El Palomar
1336 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,
425-7575, elpalomarsantacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Copal, Taqueria Los Pericos 

Aptos / Soquel

Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant
261 Center Ave., Aptos,
688-4848, manuelsrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Tortilla Flats, Palapas 

Capitola

Tacos Moreno
1053 Water St Santa Cruz,
429-6095

RUNNERS-UP El Toro Bravo, Taqueria Vallarta 

Scotts Valley/SLV

Maya Mexican Restaurant
3115 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley,
438-7004, mayasv.com

RUNNERS-UP Taqueria Vallarta, Los Gallos 

Watsonville

Cilantros
1934 Main St., Watsonville,
761-2161, elpalomarcilantros.com

RUNNERS-UP Jalisco Restaurant, El Frijolito

Middle Eastern

Laili  
101 Cooper St., Santa Cruz,
423-4545, lailirestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Zameen, Mozaic

New Restaurant

Best Of FOOD-Best New Restaurant - Venus Beachside

Venus Beachside
131 Esplanade, Aptos,
688-8917, venusspirits.com

RUNNERS-UP Achilles by the Sea

Outdoor Dining

The Crow’s Nest 
2218 E. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz,
476-4560, crowsnest-santacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Café Cruz, Laili

Patio Dining

Santa Cruz

The Crow’s Nest 
2218 E. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz,
476-4560, crowsnest-santacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Laili, Makai Island Kitchen and Groggery

Aptos / Soquel

Bittersweet Bistro 
787 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos,
662-9799, bittersweetbistroaptos.com

RUNNERS-UP The Hideout, Café Cruz

Capitola

Shadowbrook 
1750 Wharf Road, Capitola,
475-1511, shadowbrook-capitola.com

RUNNERS-UP Café Cruz, Zelda’s on the Beach

Scotts Valley/SLV

Malone’s Grille 
4402 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley,
438-2244, malonesgrille.com

RUNNERS-UP Bruno’s Bar and Grill, Faultline Brewing Company

Watsonville

Ella’s at the Airport
100 Aviation Way, Watsonville,
728-3282, ellasinwatsonville.com

RUNNERS-UP Cilantros, Jalisco Restaurant

Pizza

Santa Cruz

Pizza My Heart 
1116 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,
426-2511, pizzamyheart.com

RUNNERS-UP Woodstock’s Pizza, Pleasure Pizza 

Aptos/Soquel

Mentone
174 Aptos Village Way, Aptos,
708-4040, mentonerestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Pizza My Heart, Village Host Pizza & Grill 

Capitola

Pizza My Heart
2180 41st Ave., 475-6000;
209 Esplanade, 475-5714,

pizzamyheart.com

RUNNERS-UP Pleasure Pizza, Village Host Pizza & Grill

Scotts Valley/SLV

Redwood Pizzeria
6205 Hwy 9, Felton,
335-1500, redwoodpizza.com

RUNNERS-UP Mountain Mike’s, Round Table Pizza

Watsonville

Cassidy’s Pizza
1400 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville,
724-2271, cassidyspizza.com

RUNNERS-UP Slice Project, Hugo’s Pizzeria

Restaurant

Santa Cruz

Oswald Restaurant
121 Soquel Ave.,
423-7427, oswaldrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Vim, Bantam 

Soquel

Home
3101 N. Main St.,
431-6131, homesoquel.com

RUNNERS-UP Café Cruz, Tortilla Flats

Aptos

 

Best Of FOOD-Restaurant---Aptos/Soquel---Hideout

The Hideout
9051 Soquel Drive,
688-5566, thehideoutaptos.com

RUNNERS-UP Café Sparrow, Mentone 

Capitola

Shadowbrook

1750 Wharf Road,
475-1511, shadowbrook-capitola.com

RUNNERS-UP Trestles Restaurant, Café Cruz

San Lorenzo Valley

Ristorante Casa Nostra
9217 Hwy 9, Ben Lomond,
609-6132, ristorantecasanostra.com

RUNNERS-UP Scopazzi’s, Humble Sea Tavern

Scotts Valley

Ristorante Casa Nostra
219 Mount Hermon Road, F, Scotts Valley,
225-0590, ristorantecasanostra.com

RUNNERS-UP Bruno’s Bar and Grill, Otoro Sushi 

Watsonville

FOOD Best Restaurant (Watsonville) California Grill

California Grill of the Pajaro Valley 
40 Penny Lane, Watsonville,
722-8052, californiagrillrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Ella’s at the Airport, Miyuki Restaurant

Salad

Soul Salad
7957 Soquel Drive, Aptos,
708-2106, soulsalad.com

RUNNERS-UP Carpo’s Restaurant, Café Cruz

Sandwich

Seabright Deli
415 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz,
515-7484, seabrightdeli.com

RUNNERS-UP Garden Liquor and Deli, Zoccoli’s

Seafood

Santa Cruz

Riva Fish House   
31 Municipal Wharf
429-1223, rivafishhouse.com

RUNNERS-UP Johnny’s Harborside, Stagnaro’s on the Wharf

Aptos/Soquel

Scrumptious Fish and Chips Food Truck
651-9458, scrumptiousfc.com

RUNNERS-UP Café Sparrow, Venus Beachside

Capitola

Shadowbrook
1750 Wharf Road
475-1511, shadowbrook-capitola.com

RUNNERS-UP Trestles, Paradise Beach Grille

Scotts Valley/SLV

Scopazzis
13300 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek,
338-4444, scopazzisrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Scrumptious Fish and Chips Food Truck, Otoro Sushi

Watsonville

The Fish House
972 Main St.,
728-3333

RUNNERS-UP Hindsight Café, La Perla Del Pacifico

Soup

Erik’s Deli
1664 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz, 462-1919;
1475 41st Ave., Capitola, 475-4646,
eriksdelicafe.com

RUNNERS-UP Charlie Hong Kong, Dharma’s Restaurant

Small Plates

Barceloneta
1541 B Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,
900-5222, eatbarceloneta.com

RUNNERS-UP Venus Spirits Cocktails & Kitchen, Vinocruz

Steak

Hindquarter Bar & Grille
303 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,
426-7770, thehindquarter.com

RUNNERS-UP Shadowbrook, Alderwood Santa Cruz

Sushi/Japanese

Santa Cruz

Akira Sushi
1222 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,
600-7093, akirasantacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Mobo, Shogun  

Aptos/Soquel

Sushi Garden Aptos
38 Rancho Del Mar, Aptos,
661-0721, sushi-garden.com

RUNNERS-UP: Akira Sushi, Wasabi Sushi 

Capitola

Sushi Garden
820 Bay Ave. #148,
464-9192, sushi-garden.com

RUNNERS-UP Geisha Japanese Restaurant and Tea House, Miyako Japanese Restaurant

Scotts Valley/SLV

Otoro Sushi
235 Mount Hermon Road, #G,
Scotts Valley, 440-9040

RUNNER-UP Rumble Fish

Watsonville

Miyuki
452 E. Lake Ave.
728-1620, miyukirestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Imura, Sushi Garden Watsonville

Takeout

Charlie Hong Kong
1141 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,
426-5664, charliehongkong.com

RUNNERS-UP Scrumptious Fish and Chips Food Trailer, Real Thai Kitchen

Taqueria

Santa Cruz

Taqueria Vallarta
893 41st Ave.
464-7022, enjoytaqueriavallarta.com

RUNNERS-UP Tacos Moreno, Taqueria Santa Cruz

Aptos/Soquel

Taqueria Los Gordos
7488 Soquel Drive, Aptos
688-0911, RUNNERS-UP El Chipotle 

Capitola

Taqueria Vallarta
893 41st Ave.,
464-7022, taqueriavallartaonline.com

RUNNERS-UP Tacos Morenos, Mijos Taqueria

Scotts Valley/SLV

Los Gallos Taqueria
235 Mount Hermon Road, #C, Scotts Valley,
439-9507, RUNNERS-UP Taqueria Vallarta, Chimichangas

Watsonville

El Frijolito 
11 Alexander St.,
724-8823
RUNNERS-UP Super Taqueria, Ranch Milk Market

Tea House

Hidden Peak
1541 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,
423-4200, hiddenpeakteahouse.com

RUNNERS-UP Soul Sweets, Tea House Spa

Thai Cuisine

Real Thai Kitchen
1632 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz,
427-2559, realthaisantacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Sawasdee, Sabieng

Vegetarian

Dharma’s
4250 Capitola Road, Capitola,
462-1717, dharmasrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Pretty Good Advice, Café Gratitude 

Winery

Soquel Vineyards
8063 Glen Haven Road, Soquel,
462-9045, soquelvineyards.com

RUNNERS-UP Bargetto Winery, Storrs Winery

Wine List

Shadowbrook 
1750 Wharf Road, Capitola,
475-1511, shadowbrook-capitola.com

RUNNERS-UP Soif, Vinocruz

Wine Selection (retail)

Shopper’s Corner  
622 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,
423-1398, shopperscorner.com

RUNNERS-UP Soif, Vinocruz

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