Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 Best of Santa Cruz Dharmas
Cover Stories

Best of Santa Cruz County 2018: Food & Drink

The best restaurants, happy hour, seafood, brunch, desserts and more

Dharma's won Best Vegetarian food in Santa Cruz County.

 

Best Bread

Companion Bakeshop

  1. Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 Best of Santa Cruz Companion BakeshopCompanion was founded in 2006 by self-taught baker Erin Lampel, opened its Westside location in 2010, and now has about 30 employees.
  2. Lampel found her “companion” Jeremy in 2008. He is a coffee lover, business partner and co-manager, and also works full-time as a registered dietitian.
  3. Their most popular bread is their Light and Fluffy Super Sourdough; it sells out often and is also their largest loaf.
  4. The bakery offers workshops that teach homebakers how to make a variety of breads and pastries at home.
  5. Companion also prepares their own spreads—including hummus, cream cheese and avocado—and house-made preserved items such as marmalades, jams and quick-pickled radishes and beets. ANDREW STEINGRUBE

 

Best Breakfast San Lorenzo/Scotts Valley

Mollie’s Country Café

  1. Mollie’s is a dog-friendly restaurant that encourages customers to bring their pups with them to the outside patio.
  2. Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 Best of Santa Cruz Mollie's CafeBreakfast is served all day; they are most famous for “The Hungry One” breakfast that includes three pancakes; two eggs any style; a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham; and potatoes.
  3. The tri-tip-steak-and-egg breakfast is also very popular.
  4. There is an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet on Saturdays and Sundays.
  5. The popular Scotts Valley café supports many local charities and organizations. AS

 

Best Burrito

Planet Fresh

  1. Planet Fresh offers not only traditional burritos like chicken, steak and pork, but also barbecue and Cajun-style burritos as well.
  2. Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 Best of Santa Cruz Planet FreshIn Spanish, the word “burrito” means “little donkey,” and there are multiple theories as to the exact origin of the food item and how it got its name.
  3. Their most outside-the-box burrito is the Pacific Rim ($8.75), which features fresh chicken breast with zucchini, corn, carrots, marinated shrimp, and fresh ginger teriyaki pineapple sauce.
  4. They recently started offering bottled beer.
  5. Besides burritos, Planet Fresh also offers quesadillas, tostadas, burrito bowls, nachos, and tubular, crispy rolled tacos. AS

 

Best Date Night Capitola

Shadowbrook

  1. If a couple in their 20s had their first date at Shadowbrook when it opened in 1947, they would now be in their 90s today (and hopefully still together).
  2. Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 Best of Santa Cruz ShadowbrookThe owners of the Capitola fixture continue to modernize and renovate the restaurant’s one-of-a-kind atmosphere, staying current while retaining a classic feel.
  3. Shadowbrook offers complimentary shuttle service in an old-school taxi cab every night of the week within a three-mile radius.
  4. Many famous athletes and celebrities have dined at Shadowbrook over the years.
  5. Shadowbrook was originally one dining room with fewer than 10 tables, and now features seven dining rooms, three patios, and a bar and lounge. AS

 

Best Deli

Zoccoli’s

  1. Zoccoli’s was opened in 1948 by two Italian immigrants, Robert and Augusta Zoccoli, in the same downtown location where the deli still resides.
  2. Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 Best of Santa Cruz ZoccolisIt is still operated by the Zoccoli family, now in its third generation of owners, making it one of the oldest family-run businesses in all of Santa Cruz.
  3. The deli also serves pastas—including spaghetti, lasagna, and ravioli—with homemade sauces that draw rave reviews from locals.
  4. Zoccoli’s uses a famous, authentic, and highly secret family recipe for tiramisu, a classic Italian dessert that is one of their most popular items.
  5. In Italian, “tiramisu” means to “pick me up”—which is literally what its mixture of espresso-soaked lady finger cookies, mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, and cocoa will do. AS

 

Best Falafel

Falafel House

  1. Falafel House has been serving Middle Eastern food favorites at its current location for 21 years, and for 35 years total in Santa Cruz.
  2. FoodDrink-Falafel-HouseQuick primer on a falafel wrap: it’s basically a vegetarian Middle Eastern sandwich in a pita featuring falafel balls—which are made of fried chickpeas and spices—along with tahini sauce and vegetables.
  3. Tahini sauce is a condiment made from sesame seeds that typically also contains garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and yogurt. Falafel House also makes a non-dairy tahini.
  4. Also on the menu is baba ganoush, which is not only fun to say, but also an eggplant dip flavored with tahini, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, and special seasonings.
  5. In addition to their famous falafels, the longtime downtown spot also offers salads, veggie burgers, hamburgers, gyros and chicken shawarma. AS

 

Best Greek

Vasili’s

  1. Vasili’s has been offering fresh and authentic Greek food at its Mission Street location since 1991.
  2. Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 Best of Santa Cruz Vasili'sThe most popular menu items are gyros and souvlaki plates (grilled meats, salad, rice, pita, and tzatziki), and they also offer gluten-free and vegan items as well.
  3. Their Saganaki dish is Kasseri cheese (similar to a softer parmesan) that is breaded and fried in butter (!), splashed with brandy (!!), and served literally flaming at the table (!!!).
  4. “Opa” is the Greek equivalent to the English “cheers” or “hooray,” and is a good word to use when enjoying their selection of wine and beer—or when you hear a glass break.
  5. Vasili’s offers a happy hour Monday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m., with half off all appetizers and $2 off wine and beer. Opa, indeed. AS

 

Best New Restaurant

Sotola Bar & Grill

  1. Sotola was founded exactly one year ago by Adam and Ashley Bernardi.
  2. Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 Best of Santa Cruz Sotola Bar & GrillThe restaurant’s name comes from a combination of Capitola and Soquel—two villages which back in 1929 flirted with the idea of merging townships.
  3. Chef Anthony Kresge once worked at the original India Joze restaurant.
  4. The cypress wood dining tables in the restaurant are handmade by Adam Bernardi.
  5. Sotola is perched over the confluence of two bodies of water—the Soquel Creek estuary and the Monterey Bay. CHRISTINA WATERS

 

Best Pizza Watsonville

Cassidy’s Pizza

  1. Best of Santa Cruz County 2018 Best of Santa Cruz Cassidy'sNot much has changed in the décor or on the menu at Cassidy’s since it first opened in 1970—and loyal customers like it that way.
  2. This old-school pizza place is known for focusing on consistent quality rather than trends.
  3. They roll their own dough, shred their cheese, and cut fresh vegetables for their salad bar daily.
  4. Much of the staff has been with them for more than 10 years.
  5. Cassidy’s best-selling pizza is the classic combo. ANDREA PATTON

 

Best Vegetarian

Dharma’s

  1. Menu rule of thumb: If it had a mother, Dharma’s does not serve it.
  2. Dharma’s is where vegan doubt goes to die: 95 percent of its vegetarian menu is actually vegan.
  3. For the first five years of its vibrant life, Dharma’s was called McDharma’s—melding its concept for fast food and the sanskrit word for virtue. Blind to the virtue side of things, McDonalds sued.
  4. The Dharma’s dining room is a cell-phone free zone. It’s a plant-lined refuge from your ever-terrifying Twitter feed, where the ancient art of real, face-to-face interaction can be practiced—possibly even with Kenny Loggins, one of Dharma’s celebrity followers.
  5. The ultimate comfort food for political times can be found here, in the form of, perhaps, the Big Cheese, Bo Thai, or, our editor’s favorite sandwich of all time, the Nuclear Bluff. MARIA GRUSAUSKAS

 


 

Acai Bowl

Samba Rock Acai Café  

291 Water St., Santa Cruz, 458-2224

RUNNERS-UP Amazon Juices, Café Brasil

 

Appetizers

The Crow’s Nest  

2218 E. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, 476-4560, crowsnest-santacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Hula’s Island Grill, West End Tap Room

 

Bagel

Bagelry

320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, 429-8049;

1636 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, 425-8550;

4763 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 462-9888

RUNNERS-UP House of Bagels, Main Street Bagels

 

Bakery

Gayle’s Bakery

504 Bay Ave., Capitola, 462-1200, gaylesbakery.com

RUNNERS-UP The Buttery, The Farm

 

Barbecue

Aptos St. BBQ  

8059 Aptos St., Aptos, 662-1721, aptosstbbq.com

RUNNERS-UP Cole’s BBQ & Catering, Mission St. BBQ

 

Bar Food

Parish Publick House

841 Almar Ave., Santa Cruz, 421-0507, thepartishpublick.com

RUNNERS-UP 515 Kitchen & Cocktails, The Crow’s Nest

Bread

Companion Bakeshop  

2341 Mission St., Santa Cruz, 252-2253, campanionbakeshop.com

RUNNERS-UP The Buttery, Gayle’s Bakery

 

Breakfast—Santa Cruz

Zachary’s Restaurant

819 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 427-0646, zacharyssantacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Harbor Café, Walnut Avenue Café

Breakfast—Aptos / Soquel

Red Apple Café

783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos, 685-1224, redappleaptos.com

RUNNERS-UP Silver Spur, Sunrise Café

Breakfast—Capitola

Gayle’s Bakery

504 Bay Ave., Capitola, 462-1200, gaylesbakery.com

RUNNERS-UP Avenue Café, Cook House

Breakfast—San Lorenzo Valley

Mollie’s Country Café

219 Mt Hermon Rd F, Scotts Valley, 438-8313, molliescafe.com

RUNNERS-UP Auntie Mame’s, Heavenly Roadside Café

Breakfast—Watsonville

Red Apple Café  

589 Auto Center Drive, Watsonville, 761-9551

RUNNERS-UP Beach Street Café, Cowboy’s Corner Café

 

Brunch

Harbor Café  

535 7th Ave., Santa Cruz, 475-4948, harborcafesantacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP The Buttery, Chaminade

 

Burger—Santa Cruz

Betty Burgers

505 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-8190, bettyburgers.com

1222 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 600-7056  

RUNNERS-UP burger., Jack’s Hamburgers  

Burger—Aptos/Soquel

burger.  

7941 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 662-2811, burgeraptos.com

RUNNERS-UP Carpo’s, Parish Publick House Aptos  

Burger—Capitola

Betty Burgers

1000 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, 475-5901, bettyburgers.com

RUNNERS-UP East End Gastropub, Paradise Beach Grille  

Burger—San Lorenzo Valley

Malone’s Grille

4402 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, 438-2244, malonesgrille.com  

RUNNERS-UP Cowboy Bar & Grill, Cremer House

Burger—Watsonville

Wooden Nickel  

1819 Freedom Blvd., Freedom, 724-2600

RUNNERS-UP California Grill, Main Street Burgers  

 

Burrito—Santa Cruz

Planet Fresh Burritos  

1003 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, 423-9799

RUNNERS-UP Tacos Moreno, Taqueria Vallarta

Burrito—Aptos/Soquel

El Chipotle  

4724 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 477-1048, elchipotletaqueria.weebly.com

RUNNERS-UP Manuel’s, Taqueria Los Gordos

Burrito—Capitola

Taqueria Vallarta

893 41st Ave.,Capitola, 464-7022

RUNNERS-UP El Toro Bravo, Tacos Moreno

Burrito—San Lorenzo Valley

Los Gallos Taqueria

18 Victor Square, Ste. A, Scotts Valley, 439-9803

RUNNERS-UP Maya Mexican Restaurant, Taqueria Vallarta

Burrito—Watsonville

Taqueria Mi Tierra  

1471 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville, 722-2022, taqueriamitierra2.com/taqueria-mi-tierra.html

RUNNERS-UP D’La Colmena Market & Catering, El Frijolito Restaurant

 

Calamari

The Crow’s Nest

2218 E Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, 476-4560, crowsnest-santacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Johnny’s Harborside, Zelda’s

 

Caterer

Barbara & Company

2431 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz, 426-6051, barbara-company.com

RUNNERS-UP Affordable Chef Services, Mickey’s Catering

 

Cheap Eats

Jack’s Hamburgers

202 Lincoln St., Santa Cruz, 423-4421

RUNNERS-UP Charlie Hong Kong, El Palomar Taco Bar

 

Cheese Selection

Shopper’s Corner

622 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-1398, shopperscorner.com

RUNNERS-UP New Leaf Community Market, Deluxe Foods of Aptos

 

Chinese

Canton  

900 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, 475-8751, cantonsantacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP ABC Chinese Restaurant, Shun Feng Restaurant  

 

Chocolatier

Donnelly’s Chocolates  

1509 Mission St., Santa Cruz, 458-4214, donnellychocolates.com

RUNNERS-UP Mackenzies Chocolates, Mutari Chocolate House and Factory

 

Clam Chowder

Stagnaro Brothers   

59 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, 423-2180, stagnarobros.com

RUNNERS-UP The Crow’s Nest, Riva Fish House  

 

Coffeehouse (Independent)

Lulu Carpenter’s

1545 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, lulucarpenters.com

RUNNERS-UP Coffeetopia, Santa Cruz Roasting Company

 

Cookies

Pacific Cookie Company

1203 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 429-6905, pacificcookie.com  

RUNNERS-UP The Buttery, Gayle’s Bakery

 

Cupcakes

Buttercup Cakes & Farmhouse Frosting

1411 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 466-0373, farmhousefrosting.com

RUNNERS-UP The Buttery, Cutesy Cupcakes

 

Date Night Restaurant—Santa Cruz

Laili  

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

RUNNERS-UP The Crow’s Nest, Oswald  

Date Night Restaurant—Aptos/Soquel

Home  

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

RUNNERS-UP Bittersweet Bistro, Café Sparrow  

Date Night Restaurant—Capitola

Shadowbrook Restaurant

1750 Wharf Road, Capitola, 475-1511  

RUNNERS-UP Paradise Beach Grille, Sotola Bar & Grill

Date Night Restaurant—San Lorenzo

Cremer House

6256 Hwy. 9, Felton, 335-3976, thecremerhouse.com

RUNNERS-UP Casa Nostra, Malone’s Grille

Date Night Restaurant—Watsonville

Ella’s at the Airport

100 Aviation Way., Watsonville, 728-3282, ellasinwatsonville.com

RUNNERS-UP California Grill, Cilantros Parrilla y Cantina

 

Deli

Zoccoli’s Deli

1534 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-1711, zoccolis.com  

RUNNERS-UP Erik’s DeliCafe, Garden Deli

 

Desserts (Bakery)

The Buttery

702 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 458-3020, butterybakery.com

RUNNERS-UP Gayle’s Bakery, Kelly’s French Bakery

 

Desserts (Restaurant)

Chocolate

1522 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 427-9900, chocolatesantacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Bittersweet Bistro, Shadowbrook Restaurant

 

Donut Shop

Ferrell’s Donuts  

2227 Mission St., Santa Cruz, 457-2760

RUNNERS-UP Allbright’s Donut Shoppe, Dunlap Donuts

Falafel

Falafel House Downtown

113 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 459-9770, falafelhousesantacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP AJ’s Chevron Mart & Car Wash, Falafel of Santa Cruz

 

Food Event

Greek Food Festival

Downtown Santa Cruz

RUNNERS-UP Clam Chowder Cook Off, Grazing on the Green

 

French Fries

Betty Burgers

1000 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, 475-5901

505 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-8190

1222 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 600-7056

RUNNERS-UP 515 Kitchen & Cocktails, Carpo’s

 

Frozen Yogurt

Top-A-Lot Yogurt

738 Water St., Santa Cruz, 426-1375, topalot.com

RUNNERS-UP Cruz Creamery, Juicy Sweet

 

Greek

Vasili’s Greek Restaurant

1501A Mission St., Santa Cruz, 458-9808, vasilisgreekrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Mozaic, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine  

 

Hawaiian Cuisine

Pono Hawaiian Grill

120 Union St., Santa Cruz, 426-7666, ponohawaiiangrill.com

RUNNERS-UP Aloha Island Grille, Hula’s Island Grill  

 

Hot Dog

Gary’s Old Fashioned Snappy Dogs  

930 Almar Ave., Santa Cruz, 295-3610

RUNNERS-UP Happy Dog Hot Dog, Taylor Bros Hot Dogs  

 

Ice Cream

Marianne’s  

1020 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, 458-1447

218 State Park Drive, Aptos, 713-4746

mariannesicecream.com

RUNNERS-UP Mission Hill Creamery, Penny Ice Creamery  

 

Indian Cuisine

Ambrosia India Bistro

207 Sea Ridge Road, Aptos, 685-0610, ambrosiaib.com

6006 La Madrona Dr., #D, Scotts Valley, 713-5594

RUNNERS-UP Mumbai Delights, Sitar Indian Cuisine  

 

Italian Cuisine

Lillian’s Italian Kitchen  

1148 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 425-2288, lilliansitaliankitchen.com

RUNNERS-UP Ristorante Avanti, Ristorante Italiano  

 

Juice Bar / Smoothies

New Leaf Community Markets

1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz, 426-1306

1134 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 425-1793

1210 41st Ave., Capitola, 479-7987

RUNNERS-UP Amazon Juices, Staff of Life

 

Kid-Friendly Eatery

Carpo’s

2400 Porter St., Soquel, 476-6260, carposrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar, Woodstock Pizza  

 

Late-Night Eatery

Saturn Café

145 Laurel St., Santa Cruz, 429-8505, saturncafe.com  

RUNNERS-UP Charlie Hong Kong, Crepe Place

 

Mexican Cuisine—Santa Cruz

El Palomar

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

RUNNERS-UP El Jardín, Jaguar

Mexican Cuisine—Aptos / Soquel

Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant

261 Center Ave., Aptos, 688-4848, manuelsrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Palapas Restaurant y Cantina, Tortilla Flats

Mexican Cuisine—Capitola

El Toro Bravo

123 Monterey Ave., Capitola, 480-7544  

RUNNER-UP Casa Rosita’s, Margaritaville  

Mexican Cuisine—San Lorenzo Valley

Maya Mexican Restaurant

3115 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, 438-7004

RUNNERS-UP Café Carlos, Los Gallos

Mexican Cuisine—Watsonville

Cilantros Parrilla y Cantina

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

RUNNERS-UP El Frijolito, Jalisco Restaurant

 

Middle Eastern

Laili  

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

RUNNERS-UP Mozaic, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine

 

New Restaurant

Sotola Bar & Grill

231 Esplanade #102, Capitola, 854-2800, sotolabarandgrill.com

RUNNERS-UP Jaguar, Persephone

 

Patio Dining—Santa Cruz

Laili  

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

RUNNERS-UP Crepe Place, The Crow’s Nest

Patio Dining—Aptos / Soquel

Café Cruz

2621 41st Ave., Soquel, 476-3801, cafecruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Bittersweet Bistro, The Hideout  

Patio Dining—Capitola

Zelda’s on the Beach

203 Esplanade, Capitola, 475-4900, zeldasonthebeach.com

RUNNERS-UP Paradise Beach Grille, Shadowbrook

Patio Dining—San Lorenzo

Malone’s Grille

4402 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, 438-2244, malonesgrille.com

RUNNERS-UP Casa Nostra, Cowboy Bar & Grill

Patio Dining—Watsonville

Ella’s at the Airport

100 Aviation Way, Watsonville, 728-3282, ellasinwatsonville.com

RUNNERS-UP Appleton Grill, Cilantros Parrilla y Cantina

 

Pizza–Santa Cruz    

Pizza My Heart

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

RUNNERS-UP Pleasure Pizza, Woodstock’s Pizza  

Pizza–Aptos/Soquel

Village Host

4 Seascape Vlg., Aptos, 685-8646, villagehostpizza.com

RUNNERS-UP Pizza 1, Showtime Pizza

Pizza–Capitola

Pizza My Heart

2180 41st Ave., Capitola, 475-6000

209 Esplanade, Capitola, 475-5714,
pizzamyheart.com

RUNNERS-UP East End Gastropub, Pleasure Pizza

Pizza–San Lorenzo

Redwood Pizzeria

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

RUNNERS-UP Boulder Creek Pizza & Pub, Tony & Alba’s

Pizza–Watsonville

Cassidy’s Pizza

1400 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville, 724-2271, cassidyspizza.net

RUNNERS-UP Big J’s Pizza, Corralitos Pizza

 

Restaurant—Santa Cruz

Akira Sushi

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

RUNNERS-UP The Crow’s Nest, Laili, Oswald   

Restaurant—Aptos/Soquel

Café Sparrow

8042 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 688-6238, cafesparrow.com

RUNNERS-UP Bittersweet Bistro, The Hideout

Restaurant—Capitola

Shadowbrook Restaurant   

1750 Wharf Road, Capitola, 475-1511

RUNNERS-UP Paradise Beach Grille, Sotola Bar & Grill

Restaurant—San Lorenzo

Cowboy Bar & Grill

5447 Hwy. 9, Felton, 335-2330, feltoncowboy.com

RUNNERS-UP Casa Nostra, Cremer House

Restaurant—Scotts Valley

Malone’s Grille

4402 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, 438-2244, malonesgrille.com  

RUNNERS-UP Jia Tella, Otoro Sushi

Restaurant—Soquel

Star of Siam

3005 Porter St., Soquel, 479-0366, starofsiamsoquel.net

RUNNERS-UP Cafe Cruz, Michael’s on Main

Restaurant—Watsonville

California Grill  

6008, 40 Penny Lane, Watsonville, 722-8052, californiagrillrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Ella’s at the Airport, Jalisco’s

 

Salad

The Crow’s Nest

2218 E Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, 476-4560, crowsnest-santacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Carpo’s, Dharma’s

 

Sandwich

Zoccoli’s

1534 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-1711, zoccolis.com

RUNNERS-UP Garden Deli, Surf City Sandwich

 

Seafood—Santa Cruz    

Stagnaro Bros.

59 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, 423-2180, stagnarobros.com

RUNNERS-UP The Crow’s Nest, Johnny’s Harborside

Seafood—Aptos/Soquel

Café Cruz

2621 41st Ave., Soquel, 476-3801, cafecruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Café Rio, Palapas Restaurant & Cantina

Seafood—Capitola

Paradise Beach Grille

215 Esplanade, Capitola, 476-4900, paradisebeachgrill.com

RUNNERS-UP Shadowbrook, Sotola Bar & Grill

Seafood—San Lorenzo/Scotts Valley

Otoro

235 Mt. Hermon Road, #G, Scotts Valley, 440-9040

RUNNERS-UP Malone’s Grille, Rumble Fish

Seafood—Watsonville

Fish House Bar & Grill

972 Main St., Watsonville, 728-3333, fishhousewatsonville.com

RUNNERS-UP California Grill, La Perla del Pacifico

 

Small Plates

515 Kitchen & Cocktails

515 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, 425-5051, 515santacruz.com

RUNNERS-UP Lúpulo Craft Beer House, Soif

 

Soup

Erik’s DeliCafé

1475 41st Ave., Capitola, 475-4646

1664 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz, 462-1919

155 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 425-5353

222 Mt Hermon Rd J, Scotts Valley, 438-4646

RUNNERS-UP Betty’s Noodle House, New Leaf Community Markets

 

Steak

Hindquarter Bar & Grille

303 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 426-7770, thehindquarter.com

RUNNERS-UP Café Cruz, Shadowbrook Restaurant

 

Sushi/Japanese—Santa Cruz

Akira Sushi

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

RUNNERS-UP Mobo, Shogun  

Sushi/Japanese—Aptos/Soquel

Akira Sushi

105 D Post Office Drive, Aptos, 708-2154, akiraaptos.com

Sushi/Japanese—Capitola

Sushi Garden

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

RUNNERS-UP Geisha Japanese Restaurant and Tea House, Takara

Sushi/Japanese—San Lorenzo

Otoro    

235 Mt. Hermon Road, #G, Scotts Valley, 440-9040

RUNNERS-UP Rumble Fish, Sushi Garden  

Sushi/Japanese—Watsonville

Imura

1994 Main St., Watsonville, 761-8799, imurasushi.com

RUNNERS-UP Miyuki, Sushi Qu

 

Taqueria—Santa Cruz    

Tacos Moreno

1053 Water St., Santa Cruz, 429-6095

RUNNERS-UP Taqueria Los Pericos, Taqueria Vallarta

Taqueria—Aptos/Soquel    

Taqueria Los Gordos

7488 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 688-0911

RUNNERS-UP El Chipotle, La Cabana

Taqueria—Capitola   

Taqueria Vallarta

893 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, 464-7022

RUNNERS-UP El Toro Bravo, Tacos Moreno, Tepeque

Taqueria—San Lorenzo Valley

Los Gallos

243 Mt. Hermon Road #A, Scotts Valley, 439-9507

RUNNERS-UP Maya, Taqueria Vallarta

Taqueria—Watsonville

El Frijolito

11 Alexander St., Watsonville, 724-8823

RUNNERS-UP Delicias Taqueria, Super Taqueria

 

Tea House

Hidden Peak

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

RUNNERS-UP Café Delmarette, Lulu Carpenter’s

 

Thai Cuisine

Sawasdee

101 Main St., Santa Cruz, 466-9009, sawasdeesoquel.com

5050 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 462-5051

RUNNERS-UP Real Thai Kitchen, Sabieng

 

Vegetarian

Dharma’s

4250 Capitola Road, Capitola, 462-1717, dharmasrestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Café Gratitude, Saturn Café

 

Winery

Bargetto Winery

3535 N. Main St., Soquel, 475-2258, bargetto.com

RUNNERS-UP Alfaro Family Vineyard & Winery, Storrs Winery & Vineyards

 

Wine List

Soif

105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-2020, soifwine.com

RUNNERS-UP The Crow’s Nest, Shadowbrook Restaurant

 

Wine Selection (Retail)

Shopper’s Corner  

622 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-1398, shopperscorner.com

RUNNERS-UP Deluxe Foods of Aptos, Soif

 


 

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