Cafe Gibraltar
Cafe Gibraltar

Cafe Gibraltar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cafegibraltar.com/
  • Phone: (650) 560-9039
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:45pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Jose Luis Ugalde
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Cafe Gibraltar offers cuisine from throughout the world for catering events. Outside catered events are buffet style. We provide full service catering with unique food that defies the traditional perception that catered food is less than exceptional. This food is exceptional.
  • Entertainment: Cafe Gibraltar features classical and flamenco guitar on Wednesday evenings and live jazz on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Palma
  • Public Transit: Sam Trans stops almost directly in front of the restaurant.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Cafe Gibraltar has a private lot adjacent to the restaurant. There is abundant street parking as well.
A word from Cafe Gibraltar
Cafe Gibraltar is a truly unique restaurant, owned and operated by Chef Jose Luis Ugalde and his wife Liam Durkee, it is a warm and welcoming space where every patron's positive experience is extremely valued. The menu is creative and expertly prepared by Jose Luis. He utilizes organic ingredients, primarily locally grown and raised, and creates dishes that honor their cultural origins, yet showcase his unique vision and artistry. The name Gibraltar is inspired by the Straights of Gibraltar, which are the gateway to the Mediterranean. Jose Luis creates cuisine that represents cultures along the entire rim of the Mediterranean. The seasonal menu may feature dishes from France, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Macedonia, Greece and any of the countries of North Africa. Check out our website for current menus featuring the bounty of our local farms and ranches and the fresh bounty of the sea. Cafe Gibraltar only utilizes fresh seafood, and we often get our fish straight off of the boat.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMediterranean
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Cafe Gibraltar reviews from OpenTable diners
137 reviews since July 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (102)special occasion (86)neighborhood gem (81)romantic (76)scenic view (50)notable wine list (34)good for groups (22)hot spot (13)kid-friendly (11)great for brunch (7)great for lunch (4)vibrant bar scene (3)late-night find (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • DanverClan
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Everything was great. We had hummus planter, crab crochets (outstanding), beat salad, boar, & two fish dishes. Boar was really good and interesting as was the fish. This is one of our favorite places to eat and we make the trip from the Bay Area 3 or 4 times a year.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hidden gem on the coast.
    hmbterriVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Cafe Gibralter consistently delights with an innovative menu, fresh local ingredients and a wonderful cozy atmosphere. I have been fortunate to entertain clients in some of the best restaurants here and in Europe and when I took my team here, they raved about the food, the wine and the service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Fabulous
    dramamamaxlnt
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Cafe Gibralter is the most fabulous restaurant on the coastside, and my favorite "go to place" to take my out of town guests, vegetarian and carnivore alike. Again, they were completely impressed by the food, by chef Ugalde, and the service. This place is always a five star restaurant!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reliable, innovative dining
    DangerousWoman
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    The fall 2014 menu at Cafe Gibraltar doesn't disappoint. We ate the pumpkin salad which was a perfect balance of sweet and tart. The farmed boar was out of this world delicious and the lavender creme brûlée was the perfect end to a fantastic meal. We enjoyed their wine by the glass, but there are many interesting by the bottle options as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Phenomenal Meal!
    AuntieM
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We were referred to Cafe Gibraltar by our hosts at our rental. They explained that every attention to detail was given in both the food and drinks served and that in their opinion, it was the best food on the coast! We couldn't agree more. There is no view, but the ambiance is fantastic, every bit of the food was more delicious that the last and the attention to detail was clear from the setting of the table to the dressing of the plates. This is a gem that we will be revisiting as soon as we can make it back. I know their menu changes, but if you have the opportunity to have the Osso Buco ravioli or the bread pudding, I would highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Finefoodfinder
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We went to Café Gibraltar with friends for the first time. The tasting menu sounded great, but our server said it was only offered between 5-7. (The menu didn't say that). Since we'd arrived 6 minutes past 7, she asked the chef who said ok. We then sat for 45 minutes with only a basket of bread and a bottle wine while other patrons--the place wasn't full--received their dinners. Our server apologized and said she'd already asked about our orders twice. After another 15 minutes we changed our orders. The food arrived promptly and we all agreed that it was all delicious, but we were so hungry by that time, could we judge? Had my husband and I been on our own, we wouldn't have put up with that ridiculous wait. We would've gone someplace else.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Extraordinary!
    Kate
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Husband and I had a wonderful dinner at Cafe Gibralter last weekend. We both selected the "any 5 items from the menu for $65" option. I ordered the mezzes plate appetizer (all delicious), the soup of the day (butternut squash and pear -- lovely and light); the beet salad (excellent!), the pheasant stuffed with a delicious mousse (can't recall the ingredients of the mousse, but it was quite good; I think it included a smoked meat), and, for dessert, lavender creme brûlée. The entire meal was exquisite. Our server was patient, attentive, and helpful. The restaurant is lovely. My only complaint was that I was quite cold due to a draft from the open doors, and our table location was a bit noisy, being immediately adjacent to the open kitchen.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT Restaurant
    dbpvVIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Have dined here many times, including recently. This restaurant never disappoints me. Flavors are vibrant, service is good, atmosphere is charming. Menu changes a bit with the seasons. On my most recent visits, I particularly enjoyed the eggplant/goat cheese appetizer, the pumpkin/chestnut bisque, the pumpkin salad, and the crab croquettes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • evening dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Good service. Comfortable seating. If you want a quiet dinner this is not the place for you as it is very noisy. I'd go back if I could get one of the tables that are set against the side wall with what appears to be privacy curtains attached.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but not great
    Gibralter
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Enjoyed a dinner here recently but could not say I was overwhelmed. The food was certainly good but I wouldn't put it on par with some of the finer restaurants in San Francisco or Napa Valley. There is a Mediterranean twist on the meals. The beef shank was a bit off-putting because it resembled stew more than shank. The boar loin though had a nice smokey taste to it. I would certainly recommend the mezza platter. The dessert menu was very underwhelming, was hoping for something more refined than lemon tarts or churros.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Will definitely return
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Food was very good. Pumpkin Bisque was excellent as was the pumpkin risotto. Save room for the churros for desert. They are definitely not healthy but incredibly tasty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • wonderful dining experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We had a wonderful meal, good wine and the service was excellent
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic!
    Frannie
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    My husband and I drove two hours to El Granada from Santa Cruz to celebrate our 32nd anniversary at our favorite restaurant, Cafe Gibralter. We discovered this restaurant several years ago, and try to go there as often as we can. The place is cozy, the food is outstanding, service friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. We were seated at a table next to the open kitchen which gave us a chance to chat with the very delightful, Chef Jose, who was coincidentaly having his 25th anniversary! We thoroughly enjoyed our delicious dinner with him and his wonderful staff, all of whom all went out of their way to make it special. I can't recommend Cafe Gibralter highly enough and hope to go back soon. Thanks!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cafe Gibraltar
    LeGranGrenouille
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Great food, pleasant ambiance, good value. Location near Pillar Point at Half Moon bay is a bit obscure but easily found.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Restaurant
    Veronica
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The experience is always great. The food is the best and we always get our favorite table. It is our home away from home.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always happy
    Hungry
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    For years gibraltar has been consistently delicious. Fresh, subtle but unique flavors, perfect. We wont eat out much because prices are just too high for bad quality, inconsistent food that is never truly satisfying (but we live in pacifica). Nice house wine selections only $8-10 a glass. Love this place and the owners for keeping integrity.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special food
    LisaS
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    The food is unique and wonderful. The service is so warm and friendly you feel like you're at home. We would definitely recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fish
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Excellent food with a romantic atmosphere. Beautiful guitar music with nice lighting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food!
    Bets
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Had a good experience overall. The food was fantastic! Service was very, very slow. Seemed understaffed, don't know if it's always like that or if they were short that night. Went to celebrate my 60th Birthday and it was never acknowledged. Also our dinner dishes were not cleared till we were standing up to leave. But,like I said we loved the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worst experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We were 1 of 3 parties and we were seated where the sun was glaring so brightly that even wearing sunglasses, we could not see the food we were eating. The sun was so hot through that shadeless window that my 2 year old was dripping in sweat. When we pointed out the sun problem, the response was "It's usually foggy." When we asked for another table, we were told they were reserved. When a couple arrived and was taken to a table with the sun issue, they asked and were GRANTED one of the 2 tables we had asked for. After dinner, the place was still half empty so we would not have delayed a reservation if we'd been re-seated. After asking if we could speak to the manager, the chef/owner told us "No, you can just leave." Food was hit and miss.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous food
    dramamamaxlnt
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Cafe Gibraltar is my favorite restaurant on the Coastside. I love taking my out of town guests there for a special treat, as I just did last Thursday. My friend from New Zealand loved our dinner and the whole experience of being there. Always, my guests are very impressed with the food and service, and rave to their other friends. I can't recommend Chef Ugalde's food high enough! Five stars!!.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice! Nice! Very nice!
    Jemca
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    After riding along the gorgeous California coastline and running the dog on Gregorio beach we happened upon El Grenada and Cafe Gibralter. The restaurant looks small and rather uninviting from the outside, it sits on the corner of 2 streets and has a small parking lot behind it. Getting out of the car, I noticed a garden of grapes and some squash sitting above the parking lot, sweet. Walking in was surprisingly nice, a gem of a place with tables and Mediterranean style seating. Starting with the Mezza appetizers, a variety of delightful spreads for bread. Entrees were delicious, salmon cooked to perfection, sea bass done beautifully - but too hot. Mushroom Risotto, delicious but too mushy. Desert was okay (Creme Brulee crust burned)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious as always
    Pleezfeedmewell
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Never disappoints. The wild boar is tender as can be, lovely sauce. Attentive unobtrusive service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Very enjoyable! Best food experience we had in Half Moon Bay. Food was wonderful, service attentive, wine list extensive!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • No longer serves brunch
    livvywalker
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Had a great Sunday brunch here once, but apparently they are no longer open for brunch, even though OpenTable accepted my request for a reservation.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food - mediocre service
    dragonflyVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We have been to this restaurant many times and the food is probably the best on the coast in the Half Moon Bay area. You need to book on Fridays and Saturdays because the restaurant has a good reputation in the whole SF peninsula area. On this occasion the wait service were sub par - inattentive and slow. The bill was unreadable. However, the food as always was great - the bisques, rabbit and beef dishes were hits with our friends who are not regulars. It is also surprising for a restaurant like this to not have an espresso machine. Weeknights are also great, with often some local musicians. They have their own herb and vegetable garden and the food is always fresh.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful dining experience
    Meli
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Cafe Gibraltar is such a unique, romantic dining experience! The service is amazing and the food is to die for! Perfect neighborhood gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful flavours
    luv2try
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I'm always delighted to eat at Cafe Gibraltar. They put so much thought and creativity into their specials that I normally order them and am never disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Back again
    Greg
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We dine here so often that it is challenging to find new things to report. Suffice to say- dining here so often says it all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Intensely fantastic
    Happygolucky
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    One of the best meals I have had in a long time and I am a foodie. Highly recommended. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spectacular!
    coastisdebonnieVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    We chose 2 starters, 2 entrees and shared a dessert; each dish exceeded expectations from past experiences. The wrapped scallops were succulent and tasty, the rabbit was superb, the pheasant was excellent ant the king smon was the most moist I have ever experienced. Every dish was cooked to perfection with ripe perfectly cooked vegetables. For dessert we enjoyed a bread pudding made of brioche withe chocholate and caramel sauce that was scrumptuous. Exquisite dights for a foodie!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • namaVIP
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    The receptionist was not friendly, no smile in her greeting . The food was horrifying, they piled up with no presentation. The ravioli and the squib and their sauce were dark and unappealing. The stuffed pheasant breast and the stuffing were by itself. The braised lamb was so tough that we could not even chew on it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Unfortunately the staff were not familiar with the special coupon deal and what to offer the guests. Didn't get an appetizer like we were supposed to per the coupon. I had to tell the waitress that we were entitled to a salad also. Disappointed with the experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • abiku
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We go the 5 course tasting menu, so we got to try a good variety of the menu items, which was fun. It made for a long relaxing meal, which was great because we were celebrating a birthday on a romantic weekend away, and we didn't want to rush. Our server was great, giving us good information and paying attention to our pace so that we didn't ever rushed, nor did we have to wait for our food for too long. The calamari, scallops with apple glaze, crudo di giorno and stuffed pheasant breast were all excellent! But the lamb entree was too chewy, and the watermelon salad was extremely sweet with no good savory balance. All in all though, it was a wonderful place for a romantic dinner for 2 celebration.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Diverse Menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    My husband and I shared the calamari and octopus salad which was great, but very filling. My husband really enjoyed a fish medley stew type dish and I had a rolled stuffed eggplant dish; both were very good. No room for dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Wonderful taste sensations. Loved it, the second time there and will go back. Very generous portions
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Coastside's Best
    Rick
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Cafe Gibraltar has long been a personal favorite. The owners, Jose and Liam, are wonderful hosts and make an incredible team. They also set a wonderful example for their staff who take obvious pride in working at the restaurant. The kitchen is open to the restaurant, it is fun to be able to view Jose and his sou chefs masterfully creating all his incredible dishes. The greatest challenge at Cafe Gilbraltar is just trying to decide what to order! Wine list is well selected and prices are offered at a good value.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great as always
    ClydeVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Love the authentic Mediterranean cooking and delicious dishes you don't see many other places. Wine list has a good variety and fairly priced. I have been here a few times and the food is consistently good. Service was a little slow this time and the servers were moving around tables a little hectically like there was some confusion, but not too bad. Atmosphere is nice and relaxing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • like the hundred foot journey movie
    Fish
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The best food and atmospheres any where I have ever been in the world!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • consistently good
    laff1
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Excellent menu. One of my favorite restaurants in the bay area. Too many great choices. Everything was great
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.