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  • Aquarius - Dream Inn

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Aquarius - Dream Inn
Aquarius - Dream Inn

Aquarius - Dream Inn Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.aquariussantacruz.com
  • Phone: (831) 460-5012
  • Hours of Operation: BREAKFAST: Monday - Saturday: 7:00am - 11:30am
    LUNCH: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm
    Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
    BRUNCH: Sunday: 7:00am - 3:00pm
    DINNER: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
    Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Organic, Californian
  • Executive Chef: Craig Mattox
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We offer a semi Private Dining Room for 10 amidst wine cellar.
  • Private Party Contact: Gus Siggins (831) 316-5061
  • Entertainment: Live Jazz with The Minus Third Trio, Thursdays form 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
    Sounds of Brazil with Trio Passarim, Saturdays from 7 pm to 10 pm
  • Special Events & Promotions: For information regarding our banquet rooms, please contact Aurora Smith at (831)460-5008

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Bay Street
  • Parking: Hotel Parking
  • Parking Details: Hotel parking lot across the street from The Dream Inn, or complimentary valet parking.
A word from Aquarius - Dream Inn
Aquarius Restaurant offers spectacular oceanfront dining just off the beach in Santa Cruz, and is locally renowned as one of Santa Cruz's top dining destinations. The restaurant and lounge is truly a "window box on the sea", allowing guests to experience a panoramic views that stretches north to one of the nations top surf spots – Steamer Lane, south to the majestic Monterey Bay and Peninsula and East to the Santa Cruz Mountains. The cool and breezy interior is especially romantic at night when the moon casts its glow onto the sea. Our California Coastal Cuisine is inspired by fresh and local products and produce, including local sustainable seafood, complemented by a regional wine list. Aquarius is a proud supporter of Fish Watch program, promoting sustainable seafood and clean oceans. Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Diner Reviews
  • "Awesome location, great food, service was also good. Unfortunately also really loud yelling kids! I should have known on a holiday weekend. Still a good experience."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Beautiful place, great view, great service but food not so good. Combinations were weird ex, garbanzo beans with salmon, cilantro risotto, fish should have been much better, salmon ok tasting, albacore tuna was cooked medium rare, which I think is perfect, but even though it was cooked properly, it was dry, not tasty. We had a group of 8 who r world travelers & we all agreed that the food was just not very good. The best dish was the risotto with truffle."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We both enjoyed our meals very much - especially the local, fresh additions - and Matt's service was fantastic. We appreciated, too, the consideration given to the gluten-free requests. Celiacs makes dining out a hazard; here we felt confident in the quality and tastiness of both meals."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "The service and food was excellent. Very scenic and can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • " We really enjoyed spending Father's Day here, great food and service!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Major complaint is host/hostess lost control of guests with and without reservations---some guests without reservations seated before those with reservations---confusion."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Benefits include getting out of the sweltering Valley heat to the cool sea breezes and add a very friendly and competent wait staff serving interesting selections with an emphasis on the bounty of the sea that is just outside the panoramic windows of the restaurant. Dinner was well prepared and served and even breakfast was noteworthy"
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "Very beautiful scene of the ocean. Nice little place. Very friendly experience. Though intended to be more of an high end, romantic, adult place, my kids were not left out or starred at. Especially my little autistic child. He normal catches some stares from others. None at all though he was laying down, feet on the wall, etc... Overall, it was a very welcoming experience. Best of all, we did not feel any tensions though we were the only Asians in the entire restaurant, which is a definite plus. Definitely will recommend to all my friends that will visit Santa Cruz."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Great service as always....I had the King Salmon, it was excellent. My husbands fish was not, however the waiter handled it very tactfully. The ceviche appetizer was great, I had not had that one before. I have been to this restaurant on many occasions and very much enjoy it. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "... but the food was pretty uninspired. More uncle ben's than gourmet. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Went with friends for br/lunch. Menu was nice. Service was good. But I do think for what you get, it was too overpriced ($70+ for 3 of us with no alcohol.)"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "We picked this restaurant to dine right on the water, so made sure to get a table near the window. You feel like you're right on the beach. We went light on the food, but made sure to get their clam chowder. It was tasty. I didn't feel their brunch menu had a ton of options, but I would go back. "
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Great food, beautiful presentation and flavor. Service was perfect, our server provided just the right attention without being a bother"
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "...but the food was good. The fish was cooked perfectly."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "we went for brunch and asked for the far windows which give a beautiful view of the cliffs and beach. The food was excellent and service was attentive but not intrusive. there was no rushing and overall a delightful experience."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "We had dinner there for Mother's Day, and the food was excellent. The restaurant, very modern, stylish and clean. We had a beautiful view of the ocean. My husband said, "This is the best clam chowder I've ever tasted." "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "First and foremost, we had a nice family Mother's Day Brunch. Not a buffet brunch. The children's menu was perfect and the overall menu had some varied options so that everyone got something they wanted at reasonable prices. Nothing beats their view....But with that said, there were some exceptions that were "disappointing". First, they were not serving clam chowder soup, which is a staple on their regular menu and I was looking forward to having it...second, their inflexibility to rearrange seating so that we could have a different table and thirdly, the table we were seated at wasn't "finished" as it was lacking pieces of silverware. Overall, you can't beat their view and the food was good! "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Would love to see more vegetarian food on the menu"
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Aquarius is a lovely local Santa Cruz restaurant with a fabulous view, friendly & efficient service and good food. The appetizers we ordered were great including the beet salad, fried oysters, ceviche and calamari. The entrees were good but not great. The fish was overcooked and the pasta had a watery sauce. That said, the ambiance, service and great appetizers are enough to bring us back!"
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "Great service and food. Our whole experience was positive from beginning to end. The hostess was nice and sat us right away. Our waitress was attentive and personable. The food was great and they had some really good options. The apple dessert is very good. We will be coming back again for sure."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "What a special night. They even put on a full moon and eclipse for us. Our table had full view of the event. The food and service were outstanding. "
    Dined on 4/14/2014
  • "I had not been to the Dream Inn for a long time when friends from Santa Cruz suggested we meet for lunch at Aquarius. I arrived to find the hotel much upgraded and the Aquarius a lovely, inviting space with gorgeous views of the beach and ocean. With so much change, I was sorry to see a menu that looked like it had passed through too many hands. I ordered the Buratta salad. It was disappointing. The Buratta had a nice olive oil and Balsamic vinegar dressing but the cheese was so cold it had little flavor. The arugula was perfect, but the Roma tomatoes were hard and flavorless. The service was good and the views, on this lovely day, were fabulous. I wish the food had matched the rest of the experience. Janet"
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "I love Aquarius. Usually the service is very good & it was this time. As a local, I love to bring friends because most don't even know it exists (!) & it's so beautiful. This time, I was disappointed in two things. (1) Fish tacos - were marginal at best. Blah.Nothing special. Salsa was bad. Chef, try the fish tacos at Johnny's @ the Harbor-much more interesting. (2) Two in party didn't want fry's w/sandwiches & asked for a sub. One had a side salad, one fruit. Both were fine BUT THE SERVER DID NOT MENTION ADDITIONAL COST. Come on. Seriously? I have to commend the server though,saw that we were celebrating a BD &offered a free dessert which we declined, & ordered coffee instead. Coffee was complimentary, which was VERY generous. Thank you. "
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "The food was really bland. We ordered the fish tacos and the fried fish was cold and really no flavor. Was hoping for more from this restaurant, since it's in a prime spot overlooking the water."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "We are locals, but haven't tried this restaurant since the big makeover. Great bar, focusing on Jack O'Neil, with great views and a nice bar menu. Unfortunately, it was Saturday night and we couldn't find a place to sit. We had reservations and the very helpful staff sat us at our table, with a view. Had a cocktail and an appetizer and then dinner. All four salads and dinners were great, except one steak was ordered medium-rare and came medium-well. The swordfish special was excellent. Staff was attentive. Had a great time and will be back."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We picked a Sunday that had spectacular weather, and the views were stunning. My husband and I stayed at the Dream Inn (hotel attached to the restaurant) and invited several friends to join us for brunch. They were all very impressed with the food, the service and the views. I'd go again any time I'm in Santa Cruz. The proximity to the Boardwalk made it nice after brunch to be able to walk the pier and through the Boardwalk. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Server was nice but harried. Had to ask for bread and butter, wedge salad was warm, no bacon as described. Dressing had flavor of puréed tartar sauce. Not good. Clam chowder was sweet, salted and cayenne. wife had salmon with chick peas.... Tasted canned, hummus ? was cold and tasteless, poor presentation. I had hangar steak. Served med rare. cold old mashed potatoes. carrots were beautiful but cold. Poor plate presentation. Daughters grilled cheese and tomato soup were ok. Great view, nice people, service lacking professionism. Hostess was nice yet in appropriately wearing skin tight clothing. Good look for a hard bodied 21 year old, not what a hostess should wear to seat guests however. Grilled cheese and the view were the best parts!"
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Eating here for prom was an amazing idea. I had not only eaten here for prom but also for girls treat. All of there food here is amazing and it has a beautiful view of the beach. This place is very nice to eat at they are very friendly here. The waiters always asked I everyone was okay or if anyone needed anything. Its like they were waiting to take our order not us waiting for them to come and take our order which is better when you are in a hurry."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "A beautiful setting viewing the beach and pier. Excellent food and good service. We had to ask for a dessert menu and we enjoyed a chocolate delight."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Great food, wonderful service, but scant selec tion of vegeatarian dishes."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "I've come to Santa Cruz every year in July for the past 20 years and had never been to Aquatius. I am so happy we finally found this gem. The service was outstanding, food was amazing (I ordered the King Salmon), and the views are to die for. Such a fun atmosphere. I will be back. I have a feeling this is going to be a new tradition for myself and my family."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I went off Yelp reviews about this place mostly because I wanted a romantic vibe with a view. And this place delivered. I timed my reservation for sunset, so that the sun was setting and the sky turned with beautiful blue-gray clouds. I didn't actually see the sun on the ocean though, that may not be viewable from the restaurant. I requested a romantic table by the window on my reservation request, and I'm not sure if they really read it, but we got seated at a nice corner table. There is a large square pillar in the corner, so it wasn't a full panoramic view, but still good nonetheless. The food itself was decent. Calamari was delicious, pacific albacore was dry though, and scallops were good too. Service was good and friendly!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The food was excellent. While the chowder was the best I've ever had, I can not recommend the calamari. It was dry and bland. Other than that everything else was amazing. Great wine selection. The view was amazing and completely romantic."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "Outstanding experience...food, wine, service, ambiance.... every time! A favorite!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We went out with another couple. Everyone enjoyed their meal (the veggie pasta, hangar steaks and rib eye steaks), the service was good and we had a lovely table by the window overlooking Steamers Lane. A very delightful evening with good friend, good food and service."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "I recently had family members gathering for out of town guests, and the dining staff was extremely accomodating. I thought the food was really good. But, (and this is my fault) I neglected to ask the corkage fee for the two bottles of wine that we brought with us. The fee for EACH was TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS, making a total charge of $50.00. I was stunned. I understand charging to open a bottle, maybe even $25 for the first (which is still off-the-charts high) but the second? No extra glasses, no extra effort except to pull a cork. SC is in the heart of some of the best wine growers and regions that California has to offer. Do we have to get scalped for carrying in wine, when 10 people are ordering other drinks and food? Unfair!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "We were given a corner table with a superb view of the beach, wharf & boardwalk. The food was wonderful except that I ordered shrimp Louis with Louis dressing & was given French or viniagrette dressing. (The waitress was young & didn't know the difference.) She graciously returned my salad with Louis dressing. Really enjoyed the appetizers--clams. All & all, this was a wonderful restaurant that wasn't noisy & offered a great selection of food, an awesome view & a wonderful ambience. A hidden gem we never would have found were it not for our cell phones."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Service was adequate but had to wait a lot in between courses. Restaurant had a pre fixe menu as to be expected for a holiday. Their regular chef must have had the night off though as food was very mediocre. Ordered prime rib at medium rare but no pink to be found. Desert could have been used for hockey puck. We were never even offered coffee. Then we watched another couple each make three attempts at a different dinner but finally left without eating."
    Dined on 12/25/2013
  • "Aquarius was open on Christmas Day, so what better way to celebrate and not cook? Met a friend who had a baby in tow and were treated wonderfully, the food was good, the Bloody Mary excellent. My only complaint was that the service was a wee bit slow, but then again it may have been due to less staff since it was Christmas Day."
    Dined on 12/25/2013
  • "Went for Christmas dinner and they were out of 3 of the 9 items on the prix fine menu. They were good at substitutions, and made up best as possible. Nice looking restaurant overlooking the water. Probably much better not on holiday."
    Dined on 12/25/2013