Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant
740 Front St, #100
Santa Cruz, CA 95060Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.cafemare.com/
- Phone: (831) 458-1212
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM, Saturday - Sunday: 11:30 AM - 4:00 PM;
Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Saturday - Sunday: 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood, Italian
- Executive Chef: Jean-Pierre Luliano
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
- Catering: Please contact the restaurant for details
- Private Party Facilities: Cafe Mare is the perfect place for your next private party or a group event. We can accommodate groups up to 150 people and offer private and semi-private seating inside and outside. We offer custom preset menus that will surely satisfy everyone’s craving.
- Private Party Contact: Jean-Pierre & Andrea Mura 8314581212x
- Entertainment: Private Parties.
- Special Events: Contact us at 831-458-1212
A word from Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant
Old world charm in the heart of Santa Cruz, authentic Italian cuisine with an extensive wine list and a full bar. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, large groups welcome, patio dining, house made pasta, desserts and bread, gluten free options, all organic produce and sustainable sea food, fresh meats including free range veal. Ample public parking. reservations for groups of 10 or more must leave credit card number, reservations must be cancelled 24 hours prior date of event or $25 per person fee will be charged.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
- Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
- Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant - Best Restaurants in Santa Cruz ›
Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
32 reviews since July 23, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
good for groups (14)fit for foodies (12)special occasion (12)neighborhood gem (10)romantic (8)notable wine list (3)kid-friendly (3)late-night find (2)great for brunch (2)great for outdoor dining (1)hot spot (1)great for lunch (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- fun with friends...pj07Dined on 11/6/2014I eat here once or twice a year with a large group of friends. The food is just above average..I had the cod special and it was a bit dry. My mother is a vegetarian and loved her butternut squash crepe...Noisy,but the staff is wonderful. We always come back.Special Features:
- Always a winner!KJK66Dined on 10/24/2014It's Restaurant Week in Santa Cruz -but the Giants are playing the World Series! For some that means choosing to go out & risk missing the game or staying home and eating mediocre food. Not at Cafe Mare. My husband & I asked for a table near the bar, where the game could be watched (TV was muted). We saw every play but could carry on an adult conversation all while enjoying a wonderful price fixe dinner of 3 courses for $35 each. We dine at Cafe Mare with some frequency and are never disappointed. You won't be either.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent Italian FoodsLainaDined on 10/18/2014The owners of this restaurant are from Sardinia, which is a little different from the other regions of Italy. The coast of the island has seafood and the interior has sheep and goat. We had the special of goat and it was delicious and beautifully braised. Very tender, very tasty. This is an all-purpose restaurant, always dependable and often unusual and special. There is one dish that never flags, Crespilina de Zucca (crepe stuffed with pumpkin).Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/17/2014The food was nothing special and the prices were high. One of our party found the salmon unappetizing and did not eat it. The restaurant didn't charge her for the meal, but should not have been bad to begin with. It was covered with a brown sauce and looked like a cheap TV dinner. We probably won't go there again.
- great foodGiovannaDined on 10/4/2014Went for a birthday celebration and myfriebd loved the seafood pastaSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ElizVIPDined on 9/26/2014I enjoyed my prosciutto panino with small green salad, but the shrimp on my mom's Caesar salad could be smelled from across the table...kind of disconcerting. (We probably should have sent it back.) So, she is not eager to return.
- Good as usualOpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 9/20/2014The pork involtini were great as always and the lamb shank was excellent also. A little screw up on the salads but not all that bad.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- First time delight!HappyDinersDined on 9/9/2014My husband and I enjoyed our first meal here as we live out of the area. Our waiter was wonderful in helping me select an entree as several were appealing. I went with the Crespolini Di Zucca, a crepe filled with butternut squash and ground walnuts served in a browned butter sauce with crispy sage leaves on top. It was to die for. My husband had the Cannelloni Alla Nizzarda, a housemade fresh pasta rolled with ground veal, ricotta cheese and spinach, baked with a creamy tomato sauce. Yum! We are going back again before we leave Santa Cruz. It was that good!Special Features:
- Good foodSV55Dined on 9/6/2014One entrée - the stuffed pork chop special was exceptional otherwise the food was good except the shellfish was overcooked on another entrée.
- PerfectOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 8/30/2014Lunch with friend and absolutely wonderful. We both had the wild salmon which was perfectly prepared and absolutely delicious. The vegetables and roasted potatoes were a tasty addition. Tables nicely set with tablecloths and a single rose. Will certainly return to this restaurant.
- Always excellentchampiondinerDined on 8/15/2014It's funny, this restaurant doesn't get the kind of attention it should -- one of the best restaurants in Santa Cruz.Special Features:
- A Womderful FindDarleneVIPDined on 8/15/2014We were out of town and the menu looked good. It surpassed my hopes. The walnut ravioli was incredible. The carpaccio was served differently then I had had it before, but it was delicious. Well worth a visit.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fab birthday dinnerGarethedDined on 8/3/2014Great food and great service at a good price. Made a fab birthday dinner for my wife.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent Italian SeafoodDineTownVIPDined on 8/3/2014We loved their Pizzas and Seafood dishes. The seafood soup was a lot of work; and it was worth it.
- Good not greatAnissaHDined on 7/27/2014The server was friendly and attentive. The food was just ok. I work at a restaurant that is strictly organic "farm to table" so I know quality of food, and I would say they are lacking in that department if that's what they claim to be. I looked up their wine list online and they were out of the one wine that I was interested in, so that was a downer. My baby was fussy so maybe if I had gone with just my husband my whole experience would have been better, but of course that is not the restaurant's fault. Overall, it was just ok.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Food and ServiceScorpioDinerDined on 7/25/2014Took my girlfriend here for her birthday. The food was wonderful, our server was a very nice and attentive lady. I had a refreshing vegetable salad, we split the butternut squash stuffed cannelloni and then had entrees of stuffed pork medallions and veal saltimbocca. Both came with sides and left us very full. The food is delicious and reasonably priced. We still ran up a $200 tab including tip but that's because we had a few cocktails and a $40 bottle of wine with dinner. My only negative advice would be to skip the specialty cocktails as they're just not worth the price, e.g. the Silence of the Lambs cocktail I had was tasty but served in an 8 oz glass with an piece of ice that almost filled the glass entirely (and cost $10).Special Features:
- The following 113 reviews are from the Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant reviews archive.
- Mikie1569Dined on 6/13/2014Outstanding in every way...the creative cuisine, the warm ambiance, the friendly service...all exceeded our expectations!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good, but not great24dinnerVIPDined on 6/6/2014Average food, no serious deficiency, but tasted as if I had an average night cooking at home. Maybe canned ingredients were used? Website says fresh organic ingredients used.
- Excellent Food and ServiceSandyDined on 5/11/2014All four of us really liked the food we ordered. We enjoyed being able to eat outdoors. The service was very good also. We arrived there at 3pm and the restaurant only had a few tables occupied because we were there between lunch and dinner.Special Features:
- Trusted GemWinniDined on 5/11/2014Every dinner at Cafe Mare has been outstanding - the food and the service! It has been in Santa Cruz so long that I think people forget about it. Go back - it is still a great experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Gem of a resturant in Santa CruzLuvItalyDined on 5/10/2014We had forgotten it was "Prom" time & I was having a hard time finding a place to celebrate my parent's 50th anniversary when I decided to use the opentable app & was pleasantly surprised to find Cafe Mare. We all love Italian food and no one went away hungry. Food & service was prompt and friendly. Hoping to return soon to try more of the delicious looking entrees. Thanks for making my parent's anniversary a memorable one.Special Features:
- Hidden GemOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 5/4/2014Wonderful food and a great atmosphere! This hidden gem is well worth finding. It has great Italian food and a lovely wine list.Special Features:
- Very good, well prepared foodOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 4/25/2014Three of us dined (husband, adult daughter and me) for dinner and we needed a place where we could talk without too much commotion. Traditional Italian fare was very well prepared; fresh, and food was well balanced. It is traditional, but cooked with a talented hand. The waiter was attentive and knew the specials well and offered them with details and good eye contact. He was not overbearing or fussy. We enjoyed the service. It was a very pleasant meal - my only disappointment was that I left my leftovers behind in the box on the table. Bummer!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Charming Italian GemOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 4/25/2014The service was gracious and impeccable. The food was superlative. Like the finer Italian restaurants in Italy, the staff acted like they were happy to see you an introduce you to their cuisine.Special Features:
- great place.OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 4/17/2014Found this place by accident online, reserved a table and signified that it was my anniversary. They had a window seat just for us. Everything was excellent, they did a terrific job.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- All Around AwesomeAngel8701Dined on 4/12/2014They had creative specials, and so many interesting dishes on the regular menu, we had no trouble finding something for everyone. They have wonderful staff that are always present but not interfering.The wine menu is full of local finds, with a few imported thrown in for good measure. They even had a special cocktail menu with original and inventive combinations. One of our group tried the 'Silence of the Lambs'! And the dessert was spot on, with a beautiful presentation. This restaurant has become a regular go-to for me whenever I want a place to take my friends and family for a great dining experience. It has a warm and inviting vibe, the staff is always helpful, cheery, and attentive, and the food is delicious!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dining al fresco at Cafe MareStockyardDined on 4/8/2014This past Tues. (4/8/2014) I dined at Café Mare at its outdoor patio. Along the edge of the patio was a riot of gorgeous daisies, cosmos, and other flowers. I had the luncheon special of chicken (unbreaded) with an artichoke sauce. Accompanying this dish were quarters of broiled potatoes and steamed Swiss chard. I also had a Mojito with my lunch. I'm afraid that too few people take advantage of Café Mare at lunch time. Perhaps they prefer saving it for dining at night.. My meal and service was good. The only thing that did not accompany my meal was a basket of bread. I recommend Café Mare for delicious Italian foods.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Overall great.SarahDined on 4/5/2014Great Italian food, great service and warm atmosphere.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- MehFOODIEDIVAVIPDined on 4/4/2014Service was meh food was not good, pasta tasted frozen not homemade and my veal cannelloni was cold
- Early Dinner3DinersDined on 3/30/2014Everything was cooked to perfection, flavorful, and delicious. We were a party of four and all our food came hot to the table. We dined early. The waitress was lovely and patient. A most enjoyable meal. We will return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SpecialreacherDined on 3/29/2014Our group of 12 is a motley bunch of well mannered "foodies". We were met with excellent food, wine, and service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- NOT WHAT I EXPECTED!TeeTee1Dined on 3/28/2014I was looking forward to dining here since it was owned by two Italian owners. The reviews were all very good however they certainly did not follow thru to our experience. The pasta carbonara was prepared improperly with the eggs be scrambled. The chicken with artichoke dish was tasteless to say the least, however the arugula salad was delicious and the panna cotta was excellent. The waitress was great and super attentive and the restaurant itself is very. nice
- A local favorite (especiallyOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 3/22/2014A local favorite (especially for Happy Hour) but this time the food was uneven. Some items were good, some were overdone and dry. Attentive service and some nice reasonable choices on the wine list. The limoncello semifreddo dessert was absolutely delicious!Special Features:
- Service from our Belarus serverL8DinerVIPDined on 3/21/2014Service from our Belarus server was TERRIFIC! The cannelloni was delicious as was the walnut filled pasta with butter & sage. We would be happy to dine here again.I would recommend this to a friend.
- "Early Bird" Dining at Cafe MareStockyardDined on 3/16/2014My son, his wife, and I ate at Café Mare at 4 p.m. My son chose this time because (1) he and his wife live in San Jose and traffic over Hwy 17 can be bad too early in the day and (2) he had to watch an NCAA basketball game before he left home. I've eaten at Café Mare two other times in the evening and thought the food and service was very good. It's a true Italian restaurant. This particular day when we ate there, I found my eggplant and zucchini dish not as hot as it could have been. But the dish was very good.Special Features:
- Valentines dinnerBrian34Dined on 2/14/2014My girlfriend and I went to cafe mare for v day dinner. The waiter was very polite and attentive, the food was spectacular. The only issue was that our food took forever to come (about 40 min). We did however get free dessert; I liked this restaurant and would definitely come back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Plesant experiencematthovenDined on 1/10/2014Good food, very good service, It had been years since we had dined here and we were pleasantly surprised by the over all experience from the service to the food, every thing was very good. We will certainly be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Forgotten In The Corner By The DoorBirthbysleepDined on 12/31/2013sat us right away near the front door by a loud party. Then we had the time to look over the menu and waited 15 minutes before we even met our waiter. Finally after we placed our orders and didnt see our waiter once until it was time to leave no one even came to refill our drinks or ask us how the food was. When we where finished we just wanted to leave but stayed for 30 min waiting for our non existent waiter to give us our check. After 20 min the bus boy came to take our plates and I ask him if we could get the check he nodded but the check never came. So we stood up got our jackets on and still no one came over we seriously thought about just leaving. Then I saw my waiter finally and he gave us the check. Unless ur a party don't eat here
- Great dinner- as always!KJK66Dined on 12/31/2013We typically celebrate special occasions at Cafe Mare because the food and service never disappoint. We went for new year's dinner arriving earlier than our reservation time and, despite a near-packed dining room, we were seated right away. My husband chose the tagliatelle with prosciutto in cream sauce and I had the involtini de maiaele (pork scaloppine) specials and both were crazy good. We didn't see our favorite appetizer on the menu - chicken liver pâté on crostini - and when we inquired our server immediately accommodated us. We've been dining at Cafe Mare for about 8 yrs. We've travelled to Italy & we're food snobs. From their penne with bolognese to their braised duck or rabbit or fish specials, you will not be disappointed.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent food, rude wait staffScottsValleyDined on 12/31/2013My wife and I reserved a table for New Year's Eve. We had dined at Mare previously. We had a lovely table. Our waiter was nice but seemed to be in a huge hurry, running about. Our food was excellent and the prices equal to the quality. We wondered why we hadn't tried this restaurant previously. Our bill was brought promptly. After signing the credit card ticket we were getting ready to leave, discussing our evening. The waiter quickly returned to pick up the credit card portfolio and informed us that people with reservations were waiting for our table. Essentially he asked us to leave. We'd been there just an hour. I've never experienced such rudeness from a waiter. Needless to say we won't be returning.