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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 WinnerSpecial Occasion
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "Had reservations Christmas Day at 7, got seated at 6:30. Prix fixe menu and by 6:30 they were already out of one main entree, substitution was offered but took forever. By desert, they were out of one choice, we had the sticky date pudding which was a stale, dry date muffin with a scoop of ice cream. By the time we left they were out of two appetizers, one entree and two deserts. We were at the beginning of the evening and there were a steady stream of people being sat after us. Really poor planning for a prix fixe menu and a hotel restaurant!"
    Dined on 12/25/2013
  • "Beautiful restaurant with an amazing view. Limited selection for vegetarians at lunch. I had the farmer's market vegetable wrap and it was just ok, nothing special. It came wrapped in a tortilla, which surprised me. The fries were really good, though. My table ordered a couple of dishes without cheese and the kitchen had to remake both. They weren't that busy, there was only one other party so I was surprised they screwed it up. Our drink order wasn't taken, we had to ask for drinks after our food came. I was expecting a little more from this place and that is why I took my department there for our annual Holiday lunch."
    Dined on 12/19/2013
  • "Such a great ambiance and View....love to have lunch here with girlfriends. Took a friend out for her birthday and the staff was great. Let us take forever to chat and decide what to order. You can take your time here and not feel pressured to hurry. The food is always good, even though the menu is small. On this occasion, the staff comp'd our sodas in lieu of a dessert for the birthday girl, very nice of them! Love the pastrami sandwich, I usually go for the fish and chips or the chicken sandwich, yum!"
    Dined on 12/16/2013
  • "I dined during the weeks before Christmas, and there were two large parties very close to us, so I'm sure the noise level is usually not that high. But the ambiance was lovely, views of the ocean and boardwark at night all combined to make it very special. The staff was exceptional; in fact, my dining companion got into a very long discussion (2 hrs) after dinner, and there was absolutely no pressure from the staff to move from our table, or to needlessly interrupt our very private discussion. We were checked on, but not intrusively. Very good experience there. The food was good-to-very good. The polenta fries were a bit on the oily side, but everything else was well prepared and tasty. I would deffinitely recommend."
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "Although the view is magnificent, and the service great - the food was horrible. I had the grilled vege wrap, which was folded lettuce and hardly cooked zuchinni - yuck. My friend had a kale salad, which was raw. It should at least be wilted. Another friend had the calamari, which again, was not tenderized, and not well cooked. Food was so bad I only ate 1/2 the wrap --- didn't have any desire for the terrible food there."
    Dined on 12/11/2013
  • "The service was not good. I don't think the server smiled once. Also we had ricotta pancakes with torches bananas and candied walnuts. There were three small alices of bananas!!! Really for the price it wasn't worth it at all. It's a beautiful spot and lovely atmosphere, but the service and food were horrible."
    Dined on 11/10/2013
  • "I am usually skeptical of hotel food. However, the restaurants at Joie de Vivre have yet to disappoint and Aquarius was no exception. I loved the crab fritters. Instead of mayo, the crab was held together with the perfect amount of creme fraiche and the salsa to go along with deliciously spicy eventhough I thought it might not be a good combo. Plus you got 4 of them. The scallops with yogurt was yet another unusual combo that was better than expected. They came with a tasty little lemony salad. The brussel sprouts were good just not exceptional. This is a wonderful place for small plates that actually are not too pricey for their sized and very yummy. Right on the water, lovely live music in the background, eat here. It is a treat."
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "The calamari, mixed seafood pasta and the black truffle risotto were delicious! The seafood was so fresh, and cooked perfectly, the cream sauce was lite, and a real compliment to dish."
    Dined on 11/5/2013
  • "View is spectacular, decor is attractive, service is so so, food was not good."
    Dined on 10/20/2013
  • "You can count on Aquarius for delicious, fresh and sustainable ingredients. Also a very fun menu with lots of twists on the usuals. For the excellent food and beautiful scenery without a stuffy feel this place is worth every penny."
    Dined on 10/15/2013
  • "Great menu for the santa cruz week restaurant. Spectacular view and good service. Very good mango mojito."
    Dined on 10/9/2013