Cafe Gibraltar
Cafe Gibraltar

Cafe Gibraltar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cafegibraltar.com/
  • Phone: 6505609039x
  • 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.
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Cafe Gibraltar reviews from OpenTable diners
148 reviews since June 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (106)special occasion (95)neighborhood gem (86)romantic (82)scenic view (60)notable wine list (37)good for groups (23)great for brunch (14)hot spot (13)kid-friendly (9)great for lunch (6)late-night find (3)vibrant bar scene (3)great for outdoor dining (2)Show More
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    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.
  • Would not go back
    diner717
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Don't know how this place received Zagat rating of 28. Food fair to poor. Service ok. Too many issues to name. Don't believe the hype.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Leenda
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    This is my second time at Gibraltar and we were not disappointed. Fantastic flavors of unique offerings. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Honestly Great Dinning Experience
    GMSRP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Decided back in April to try out Cafe Gibraltar after getting rave reviews from family members and Yelp reviews and also there was a Groupon offer. I brought the voucher back in April and wanted to go in the summer months. It so happen I was on a Mediterranean Cruise in June of this year and we debarked in Barcelona where we stay a few extra days and got a chance to savior the Spanish food scene and culture. Cafe Gibraltar reminded us of those small charming dinners, with the decor, atmosphere, service, and great food selection to match. I also praise Cafe Gibraltar for their honesty on the total bill. I had added gratitude to the bill but I was charged less due to some error on the final bill with the Groupon voucher. Thank you !
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Love this place!!
    Meirav
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Food is superb!!! Don't miss out!! Always a winner. Never had a bad meal at this restaurant. If it was closer to my home, I would frequent it more often.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surprisingly Good
    JoyceVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Cafe Gibralter looks small Ann's a bit quaint from the outside,but once you are inside , the atmosphere is lively, the service is friendly and paced just right and the wine list and food are both terrific. Bring your appetite! Not only is it delicious, but the portions are huge. We enjoyed everything we ordered. Definitely on our dining spot list when in Half Moon Bay.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wonderful dinner
    tfromtoronto
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Celebrated 20th anniversary with 7-year-old in tow. Hospitable, attentive and friendly service. Delicious and savory Moroccan dishes. Good wine list. Nice atmosphere. Yummy desserts! A big hit and can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • very good food, very slow service
    greyfoodie
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    after 3 visits found the following:very good food, original menu items and preparation with very slow and occasionally inept service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    The travelzoo discount allow us to try this unique and delicious gem on the San Mateo Coastside. Prices for entrees is $$$, but really special. Very cozy and warm. Will enjoy returning at a later date for another special meal.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tasting menu
    Steve
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We started when they first opened, went for the tasting menu, left many chooses to our server, and ended up trying two appetizers two salads, five main courses, two deserts and three types of wine. The courses were presented in a way that was staged with the wine. The food is good as you'll read elsewhere, and we saw our server sniffing out the right wines to accompany. We were rating everything and I noticed my wife's ratings gradually increased until the last few were 10 out of 10, so there was a cumulative effect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • area visit -- found a jewel
    TheKGB
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    a nice addition to Half Moon Bay area...ravioli appetizer was superb and memorable. great service and lovely atmosphere
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best restaurant on San Mateo Coast
    Greg
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Wonderful restaurant set back from Princeton Harbor. Service is very attentive and hospitable. The wine list is tailored to fit the menu and offers fine wines at good value. The Salads, Soups and Appetizers are all exceptional. The entrees, based upon flavors from around the Mediterranean, offers takes on some standard dishes as well as some delicious Med plates. If you haven't been to Cafe Gibraltar, don't miss it. Those who go, go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious & prepared with passion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Lovely evening celebrating our anniversary. Seated near the pastry chef. Enjoyed watching her prepare desserts and catching glimpses of the chef/cook preparing meals. The owner stopped by to acknowledge our special occasion and chatted with us about the desserts. Our waitress was attentive and pleasant. The meals were delectable. Each bite was full of flavor! An amazing meal. We plan to return. Oh, and our dessert was on the house! Loved it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious Food
    Pooris
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    We usually don't write up reviews but Cafe Gibraltar is truly a gem within the surroundings of Half Moon Bay. Most restaurants I would say are "touristy" with average seafood and a limited menu. Cafe Gibraltar has a great atmosphere with unique sitting arrangements, great menu that spans the spectrum of mediterranean food including Northern Africa. The prawn bisque and brioche pudding was especially exquisite.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Kinda expected better
    Chris
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Gibraltar is one of the more upscale restos in the area. They offer line-caught fish, and fresh locally sourced meat and produce. Very responsible. In light of this, we thought we were in for some very tasty food. I found the recipes somewhat lacking, however. My roast boar loin was succulent and flavorful, but part of it was undercooked, which is a no-no for pork and I imagine the same goes for boar. I mean, 10% of it was pink and raw! All of our entrees were swimming in sauce. We thought the flavors and presentation would be more distinct. Usually when you eat at fine establishments, they make an effort to let the flavors stand for themselves, not bathe them in sauce.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate