fooddrink
Cover Stories

Best Of Santa Cruz County 2016 Food & Drink

FOOD & DRINK

Best Açaí Bowl

Café Brasil

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1 In an açaí bowl, you’ll find granola, bananas and strawberries over a housemade açaí fruit smoothie.

2 The açaí bowl is one of the most popular items on Café Brasil’s

menu, especially for take-out.

3 In the restaurant, there’s an open “açaí bar,” which is the first thing you see as you walk in. You can watch them make your bowl right in front of you.

4 Café Brasil also has a juice bar with an açaí smoothie similar to the bowl.

5 Even before the acai craze, Café Brasil was a local breakfast institution, and crowds can be seen outside waiting for a table every weekend. AE

Best Burger, Santa Cruz and Capitola

Betty Burgers  

1 The meat at Betty Burgers is organic and grass-fed, with no hormones and no antibiotics—and never frozen.

2 All burgers are made with local produce, and all burger sauces are made in-house.

3 Two of their most popular burgers are the Texas Two Step and Point Grinder.

4 There is a full bar in their downtown Santa Cruz location.

5 Not even the staff can totally explain the slightly salacious touches to the menu like “Betty On Top,” “Rough and Ready,” “Betty Likes It Tender” and “Nachos O’Lay.” The secrets behind this mystery are much-debated in the GT office. AE

Best Cheese Selection

Shopper’s Corner

1 Manager/partner Andre Beauregard and deli manager Allisyn Bordwine spend quality time at the Fancy Food show in San Francisco, comparing endless varieties and cultures of cheese.

2 The store carries 19 categories of cheese, some aged up to six years, and dozens in specific classes, such as smoked or cave-aged.

3 Shopper’s cheeses come from many countries, including Italy, France, Holland, England, Ireland, Bulgaria, Finland, Norway and Spain, in addition to domestic varieties.

4 The latest trend is grass-fed and free-range (as in the cows), as well as raw non-pasteurized cheeses.

5 Enzymes found in non-pasteurized cheese help with digestion, but are stripped away when pasteurized. JS

 

Best Date Night Restaurant, San Lorenzo

Cremer House

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1 Staff say the housemade pretzels are the most popular menu item for couples on a date.

2 Attention to aesthetics is important to the managers at Cremer House, and the vibe is warm and comfortable.

3 The housemade butterscotch cookie with Mission Hill Creamery caramel ice cream is the most popular dessert—and perfect for sharing.

4 The folks at Cremer House believe in keeping their cuisine as organic and locally sourced as possible.

5 They’re also known for handcrafted beers to share, and sparkling wines. AE

Best Hot Dog

Gary’s Snappy Dogs

1 On weekdays, Gary sets up shop outside U-Save Liquor, and on weekends in the Swift Sweet Courtyard, where he suggests having a glass of wine with his hot dogs. He retired from the wine business and decided to put the hot dog carts he had “sitting around” his house to good use.

2 Gary calls his hot dogs “snappy dogs” because they make a delicious snapping in your mouth after a bite. He also jokes that in Pretty Woman they use the term “snap dog,” but he thought of it first.

3 There’s a homemade chili sauce option, but the most popular item is the classic hot dog with condiments. The classic hot dog is a beef dog with a sheep casing.

4 His dog, also named Snappy, can often be found hanging out under the stand, and occasionally comes out to say hello.

5 Other options on the menu are Louisiana Hot Link, Polish Sausage, Chicken Italian Sausage, Cheezy Bavarian, and Smoked Lamb Sausage. AE

Best Italian Restaurant

Lillian’s Italian Kitchen

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1 Owner Joe Moreno and family are proud of Lillian’s numerous wins in GT’s Best of Santa Cruz County awards, the first of which was for Best New Restaurant in 2008.   

2 The newly constructed, much larger space just down the street at the corner of Seabright and Soquel is set to open by May 1, with staff training beginning in April.

3 Seating capacity will be 74 in the dining room and 10 at the bar—which will also offer the regular menu—at the new location.

4 It took Moreno six years to buy a larger space in the same neighborhood.

5 Popular items on the menu will remain, with fresh seafood available daily. “Frozen” is not in the chef’s vocabulary. The kitchen will have an isolated area to prepare gluten-free pasta and other items. JS

Best New Restaurant

Mozaic

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1 Launched in 2015, Mozaic is a restaurant and bar with a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean theme, open every day from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

2 Owners Jay Dib, Jerry Rohana, Faisal Nemri and Ben Khader, who opened just in time for Santa Cruz Restaurant Week last year, say they were “happily overwhelmed” by customer response.

3 Recipes from Lebanon, Greece, Jordan, Turkey, Italy and Spain bring a fusion of blended culinary cultures through flavors, textures and colors.

4 On Friday nights, Arabian belly dancing is held at 6:30 and 8 p.m. Private parties may also request the local dancing troupe.

5 Show-stopping “Sakanaki” is a flamed tableside cheese dish featuring pan-seared feta cheese with olive oil, brandy and lemon juice. JS

Best Restaurant — Soquel

Cafe Cruz

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1 Their most popular new item is applewood smoked buffalo wings with gorgonzola-port dipping sauce.

2 Artichoke aficionados alert: Heirloom applewood-smoked grilled artichokes are now back on the menu.

3 New handmade tables of sustainable alder wood in the lush Garden Room can now seat parties of up to 40.

4 Chefs enjoy chatting with customers from the open copper-backed kitchen, and customers love the cooking tips.

5 Café Cruz has a great local wine selection, featuring vintages from Alfaro, Beauregard, Cinnabar, Corralitos Ridge, Soquel Vineyard, Storrs, La Honda, Martin Ranch, Hunter Hill, Kathryn Kennedy,  Heart O’ the Mountain, Mount Eden, Rexford, Ridge, Sones and Windy Oaks. JS

Best Seafood & Best Sushi, San Lorenzo/Scotts Valley

Otoro

1 Otoro’s menu is best known for its live seafood.

2 Regulars love it when Otoro occasionally gets in live sea urchin.

3 They get their seafood from a company in San Francisco.

4 If you’re new to the idea of eating live seafood, you can check out Otoro’s Facebook page, which has videos of chefs preparing meals.

5 A popular dessert is the ice cream crepes—vanilla, green tea or chocolate. AE

Best Winery

Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery

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1 Alfaro produces 10 different Pinot Noirs and five Chardonnays, in addition to Albariño, Gruner Veltliner, Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot and a soon-to-be-released sparkling wine.

2 Of the 56 acres of grapes planted, eight are CCOF-certified organic.

3 A love of travel has taken Richard and Mary Kay Alfaro to Cambodia, Vietnam, Spain, Cuba, Guatemala, Peru, Turkey, Croatia, and Portugal.

4 Their son Ryan will work his first harvest in the family vineyards this fall, after graduating from UCLA. He’ll pursue a degree in wine science through the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

5 Families with children and pets on leashes are welcome to the tasting room, open on Saturday. Complimentary juice, coloring books and dog biscuits are provided. Don’t mix up who gets what. JS


 

Acai Bowl

Café Brasil  

1410 Mission St., Santa Cruz,

429-1855, cafebrasil.us

RUNNERS-UP Amazon Juice, Samba Rock Acai Cafe  

 

Appetizers

Crow’s Nest  

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

RUNNERS-UP Hula’s Island Grill, Shadowbrook Restaurant

 

Bagel

Bagelry

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

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

4763 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 462-9888

RUNNERS-UP Firefly, Main Street Bagels

 

Bakery

The Buttery

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

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

 

Barbecue

Aptos St. BBQ  

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

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

 

Bar Food

Crow’s Nest

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

RUNNERS-UP 515 Kitchen & Cocktails, Shadowbrook Restaurant

 

Bread

Companion Bakeshop  

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

RUNNERS-UP Beckmann’s Bakery, Gayle’s Bakery

 

Breakfast

SANTA CRUZ

Walnut Avenue Café  

106 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 457-2307, walnutavenuecafe.com

RUNNERS-UP Harbor Café, Zachary’s  

APTOS/SOQUEL

Red Apple Café

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

RUNNERS-UP Silver Spur, Sunrise Café

CAPITOLA

Gayle’s Bakery

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

RUNNERS-UP Cliff Café, Cook House

SAN LORENZO

Mollie’s Country Café    

219 Mt. Hermon Road, Scotts Valley, 438-8313

RUNNERS-UP Auntie Mame’s, Rocky’s Café  

WATSONVILLE

Red Apple Café  

589 Auto Center Drive, Watsonville, 761-9551

RUNNERS-UP Cowboy Corner Café, Wooden Nickel    

 

Brunch

Harbor Café  

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

RUNNERS-UP Chaminade, Crow’s Nest

 

Burger

SANTA CRUZ

Betty Burgers

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

RUNNERS-UP burger., Jack’s Hamburgers  

APTOS/SOQUEL

burger.  

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

RUNNERS-UP Carpo’s, The Hideout  

CAPITOLA

Betty Burgers

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

505 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-8190

1222 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 600-7056

RUNNER-UP Carpo’s, Paradise Beach Grille  

SAN LORENZO VALLEY

Malone’s Grille

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

RUNNERS-UP Cremer House, Trout Farm Inn

WATSONVILLE

Wooden Nickel  

1819 Freedom Blvd., Freedom, 724-2600

RUNNERS-UP Carmona’s BBQ, Main Street Burgers  

 

Burrito

SANTA CRUZ

Tacos Moreno  

1053 Water St., Santa Cruz, 429-6095

RUNNERS-UP El Palomar, Taqueria Vallarta

APTOS/SOQUEL

Taqueria Los Gordos  

7488 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 688-0911, taquerialosgordos.com

RUNNERS-UP El Chipotle, Manuel’s, Sofia’s Taqueria

CAPITOLA

Tacos Moreno

1601 41st Ave.,Capitola, 464-8810

RUNNERS-UP El Toro Bravo, Taqueria Vallarta

SAN LORENZO VALLEY

Los Gallos Taqueria

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

RUNNERS-UP Salsa’s Taco Bar, Taqueria Vallarta

WATSONVILLE

El Frijolito  

11 Alexander St., Watsonville, 724-8823

RUNNERS-UP Cilantros Parrilla y Cantina, Super Taqueria

 

Calamari

Crow’s Nest

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

RUNNERS-UP Riva Fish House, West End Tap & Kitchen

 

Caterer

Feel Good Foods Catering

415 River St., Santa Cruz, 466-9754, feelgoodfoodscatering.com  

RUNNERS-UP Barbara & Co. Catering, Crown Café   

 

Cheap Eats

Charlie Hong Kong

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

RUNNERS-UP Cactus Corner, El Palomar Taqueria  

 

Cheese Selection

Shopper’s Corner

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

RUNNERS-UP Deluxe Foods, New Leaf Community Markets

 

Chinese

O’Mei  

2316 Mission St., Santa Cruz, 425-8458, omeichow.com

RUNNERS-UP Canton, Panda Inn  

 

Chocolatier

Donnelly’s Chocolates  

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

RUNNERS-UP Chocolate, Mackenzie’s Chocolates

 

Clam Chowder

Stagnaro Brothers   

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

RUNNERS-UP Crow’s Nest, Riva Fish House  

 

Coffeehouse (Independent)

Verve Coffee Roasters

1540 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 600-7784

816 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, 475-7776

104 Bronson St., Santa Cruz, 464-8141

vervecoffeeroasters.com  

RUNNERS-UP Coffeetopia, Lulu Carpenter’s  

 

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 Crow’s Nest, Oswald  

APTOS/SOQUEL

Bittersweet Bistro  

787 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos, 662-9799, bittersweetbistro.com

RUNNERS-UP Café Cruz, Café Sparrow  

CAPITOLA

Shadowbrook Restaurant

1750 Wharf Road, Capitola, 475-1511  

RUNNERS-UP Café Cruz, Paradise Beach Grille

SAN LORENZO

Cremer House

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

RUNNERS-UP Casa Nostra, Scopazzi’s   

WATSONVILLE

Ella’s at the Airport

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

RUNNERS-UP Cilantros, Fish House Bar & Grill

 

Deli

Zoccoli’s Deli

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

RUNNERS-UP Erik’s DeliCafe, Garden Deli

 

Desserts

Gayle’s Bakery  

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

RUNNERS-UP The Buttery, Chocolate  

 

Donut

Ferrell’s Donuts  

1761 17th Ave., Santa Cruz; 5520 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley; 7765 Soquel Drive, Aptos; 2227 Mission St.; 1403 Ocean St., Santa Cruz

RUNNERS-UP Allbright’s Donut Shoppe, Dunlap Donuts

Falafel

Falafel House  

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

RUNNERS-UP Falafel of Santa Cruz, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine

 

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, Saturn Café  

 

Frozen Yogurt

Yogurtland

1955 41st Ave., Ste. A4, Capitola, 462-3100

2117 Mission St., Santa Cruz, yogurt-land.com

RUNNERS-UP Top-A-Lot Yogurt, Marianne’s

Greek

Vasili’s Greek Restaurant

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

RUNNERS-UP Laili, 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 Snappy Dogs  

930 Almar Ave., Santa Cruz, 295-3610

RUNNERS-UP Lucys Hot Dogs, 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

RUNNERS-UP Maharaja, Sitar Indian Cuisine

 

Italian Cuisine

Lillian’s Italian Kitchen  

1116 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, Cafe Brasil  

 

Kid-friendly eatery

Carpo’s

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

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

 

Late-night eatery

Saturn Café

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

RUNNERS-UP Crepe Place, Santa Cruz Diner  

 

Mediterranean Cuisine

Laili

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

RUNNERS-UP Mozaic, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine

 

Mexican Cuisine

SANTA CRUZ

El Palomar

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

RUNNERS-UP El Jardín, Tampico Kitchen  

APTOS/SOQUEL

Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant

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

RUNNERS-UP Palapas Restaurant y Cantina, Tortilla Flats

CAPITOLA

El Toro Bravo

123 Monterey Ave., Capitola, 480-7544  

RUNNER-UP Margaritaville  

SAN LORENZO VALLEY

Maya Taqueria

3115 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, 438-7004

RUNNERS-UP Café Carlos, Los Gallos

WATSONVILLE

Cilantros

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

RUNNERS-UP El Frijolito, Jalisco’s

 

Middle Eastern

Laili  

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

RUNNERS-UP Mozaic, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine

 

New Restaurant

Mozaic  

110 Church St., Santa Cruz, 454-8663

RUNNERS-UP Jerk House, The Hideout  

 

Patio Dining

SANTA CRUZ

Laili  

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

RUNNERS-UP Crepe Place, Crow’s Nest

APTOS/SOQUEL

Café Cruz

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

RUNNERS-UP Bittersweet, The Hideout  

CAPITOLA

Shadowbrook Restaurant

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

RUNNERS-UP Paradise Beach Grille, Zelda’s on the Beach

SAN LORENZO

Malone’s

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

RUNNERS-UP Cremer House, Jia Tella’s  

WATSONVILLE

Café Ella

734 E Lake Ave., Watsonville, 722-0480, ellasinwatsonville.com

RUNNERS-UP Appleton, Cilantros

 

Pizza   

SANTA CRUZ

Pizza My Heart

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

RUNNERS-UP Pleasure Pizza, Woodstock’s Pizza  

APTOS/SOQUEL

Pizza 1

253 Center Ave, Aptos, 684-110, pizza-1.com

RUNNERS-UP Showtime Pizza, Village Host  

CAPITOLA

Pizza My Heart

2180 41st Ave., Capitola, 475-6000

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

RUNNERS-UP Pleasure Pizza, Village Host

SAN LORENZO

Redwood Pizzeria

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

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

WATSONVILLE

Cassidy’s Pizza

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

RUNNERS-UP Big J’s Pizza, Ella’s at the Airport

 

Restaurant

SANTA CRUZ

Crow’s Nest

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

RUNNERS-UP Laili, Oswald   

APTOS

Café Sparrow

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

RUNNERS-UP Bittersweet Bistro, The Hideout

CAPITOLA

Shadowbrook   

1750 Wharf Road, Capitola, 475-1511

RUNNERS-UP Dharma’s, Paradise Beach Grille   

SAN LORENZO

Cremer House

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

RUNNERS-UP Casa Nostra, Scopazzi’s

SCOTTS VALLEY

Otoro Sushi

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

RUNNERS-UP Jia Tella’s, Malone’s

SOQUEL

Café Cruz

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

RUNNERS-UP Michael’s on Main, Tortilla Flats

WATSONVILLE

Ella’s at the Airport  

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

RUNNERS-UP Cilantros, The Fish House

 

Salad

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 Erik’s Deli, Garden Deli

 

Seafood

SANTA CRUZ

Stagnaro Bros.

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

RUNNERS-UP Crow’s Nest, Riva Fish House

APTOS/SOQUEL

Café Rio

131 Esplanade, Aptos, 688-8917, caferioaptos.com

RUNNERS-UP Café Cruz, Bittersweet Bistro

CAPITOLA

Shadowbrook Restaurant

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

RUNNERS-UP Paradise Beach Grille, Zelda’s

SAN LORENZO/SCOTTS VALLEY

Otoro

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

RUNNERS-UP Casa Nostra, Rumble Fish, Trout Farm Inn

WATSONVILLE

Fish House Bar & Grill

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

RUNNERS-UP Ella’s at the Airport, La Perla del Pacifico

 

Small Plates

Soif

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

RUNNERS-UP 515 Kitchen & Cocktails, West End Tap & Kitchen

 

Soup

Erik’s DeliCafé

1475 41st Ave., Capitola, 475-4646

1664 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz, 462-1919

155 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 425-5353

RUNNERS-UP New Leaf Community Markets, Shadowbrook Restaurant

 

Steak

Hindquarter Bar & Grille

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

RUNNERS-UP Café Cruz, Shadowbrook Restaurant

 

Sushi/Japanese

SANTA CRUZ

Mobo

105 River St., Santa Cruz, 425-1700, mobosushirestaurant.com

RUNNERS-UP Akira, Shogun  

APTOS/SOQUEL

Kauboi Japanese Grill & Sushi

8017 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 661-0449, kauboigrillandsushi.com

CAPITOLA

Sushi Garden

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

RUNNERS-UP Geisha Japanese Restaurant and Tea House, Takara

SAN LORENZO

Otoro    

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

RUNNERS-UP Rumble Fish, Sushi Garden  

WATSONVILLE

Imura

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

RUNNERS-UP Miyuki, Sushi Garden

 

Taqueria

SANTA CRUZ

Taqueria Vallarta

608 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 457-8226;

1121 Mission St., Santa Cruz, 426-7240, taqueriavallartaonline.com

RUNNERS-UP Santa Cruz Taqueria, Tacos Moreno

APTOS/SOQUEL

Taqueria Los Gordos

7488 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 688-0911

RUNNERS-UP El Chipotle, Sofia’s

CAPITOLA

Taqueria Vallarta

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

RUNNERS-UP El Toro Bravo, Tacos Moreno

SAN LORENZO VALLEY

Los Gallos

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

RUNNERS-UP Los Amigos, Salsa’s

WATSONVILLE

El Frijolito

11 Alexander St., Watsonville, 724-8823

RUNNERS-UP Mi Tierra, Super Taqueria

 

Tea House

Hidden Peak

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

 

Thai Cuisine

Sawasdee

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

RUNNERS-UP Real Thai, Sabieng

 

Vegetarian

Dharma’s

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

RUNNERS-UP Café Gratitude, Saturn Café

 

Winery

Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery

420 Hames Road, Watsonville. 728-5172, alfarowine.com

RUNNERS-UP Bargetto Winery, Beauregard Vineyards

 

Wine List

Soif

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

RUNNERS-UP Crow’s Nest, Shadowbrook Restaurant

 

Wine Selection

Shopper’s Corner  

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

RUNNERS-UP Deer Park Wine & Spirits, Soif

 

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