Food & Drink

Soquel Favorite Carpo’s Celebrates 40th anniversary

Fresh seafood and classic American favorites keep locals coming through the doors

Carpo's has been at the same place in Soquel since 1981. PHOTO: TARMO HANNULA

The family-owned Carpo’s just off Highway 1 in Soquel has been serving up fresh seafood and classic American favorites for the last 40 years.

They are currently open daily for takeout only, including beer and wine, from 11:30am-8pm (8:30pm on Friday-Saturday). Co-owner Indy Todd says the key to maintaining a strong following and reputation is serving high-quality, consistent food. He shared his thoughts with GT on the ongoing struggle of the pandemic, and about the food that keeps multiple generations of locals continuing to come through the door year after year.

What are a few of your flagship menu items?

INDY TODD: Our burgers for sure. We have two different options: a regular six-ounce burger that comes on a sesame seed bun, and our popular Carpo’s Burger, which is larger and comes on a francese bun from a local bakery. Guests can then add any condiments or additions that they like. We’re also known for our fish and chips. We always use fresh Pacific rock cod dipped in a house-made beer batter and served with tartar and cocktail sauce. The fish is just so fresh, and the batter is super light and crispy. We also make our own fresh fruit pies and desserts, which not many places do. The top seller and everyone’s favorite is the olallieberry pie. We always use fresh berries, and make a good apple pie and cherry pie. Our carrot cake is also made in-house; it’s a huge chunk that is really dense, soft, and moist. We sell a ton of it; people really love it.

What has been the hardest part of navigating the pandemic?

The loss of revenue has been really difficult. We’ve had to let go of some staff, and we hope they come back once we can fully reopen, but it has definitely been tough losing some great longtime employees. Also, just the uncertainty of it all—we’re 10 months into this and back to takeout only. Not knowing when we can return to normal business is just really taking a toll on the business and our staff. We’ve been doing pretty good with just takeout. Lunches have been slow, but the dinner rush is usually pretty strong. Even though the orders often all come at once and it can be difficult to properly fulfill them all, we always try our best.2400 Porter St., Soquel. 831-476-6260, carposrestaurant.com.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. IB Local

    February 11, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Carpo’s is a local treasure! I really like the fact that the food is pretty tasty and about the same price as Denny’s, but much better. I wish the Carpo’s in West Santa Cruz was still around but I will continue to patronize the Soquel location. Actually, if I remember correctly there are pictures of Carpo’s in the Soquel store from the early 1970s, so I think the restaurant has been around longer than 40 years. I hope they are around for another 40 years!

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