Cilantros
Cilantros

Cilantros

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://cilantroswatsonville.com/
  • Phone: 8317612161
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 3:00pm, Friday: 11:00am - 3:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Saturday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm; Brunch: Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm, Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Juan Esqueda
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, 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
  • Catering: We offer full service catering for 50 or more people from our fresh taco bar to a full buffet. Call us for details!
  • Private Party Facilities: Our patio is the perfect setting for a rehearsal dinner, anniversary or birthday celebration.


    During inclement weather we can offer an intimate setting in our dining room.
  • Private Party Contact: Manager 8317612161
  • Entertainment: Monday Night Football Specials

    Tuesday KPIG Happy Hour 5:30-7:30 with $1.50 Tacos and Tecate


    Wednesday Hippo Hour 5:30-7:30 with $3 Draft Beers


    Friday Night 9:30-1 with KDON's DJ Sol Rok


    Sunday Trio Santa Cruz 12:30-3:30 during brunch

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Green Valley Road
  • Public Transit: A city bus stop is available in front of the restaurant on Main Street.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking is available on either side of the restaurant, which is located in the Nob Hill shopping center.
A word from Cilantros
For over two decades, Cilantros Parrilla Y Cantina has continued the unique culinary tradition of El Palomar in Santa Cruz by serving award winning cuisine to the communities and visitors of the Pajaro Valley on California’s central coast.
We focus on utilizing fresh ingredients, high quality meats & seafood, and authentic family recipes all professionally served in a relaxed, contemporary atmosphere.
Our full bar features an extensive tequila selection and margarita list, a variety of draft and bottled beers, local premium wines, and classic cocktails made with the finest distilled liquors. Our cantina features nightly happy hour specials, weekend entertainment, and seven flat panel televisions for every sporting event.
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Cilantros reviews from OpenTable diners
7 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4.3
    Service3.4
  • Ambiance3.4
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (5)good for groups (5)great for lunch (4)kid-friendly (3)great for outdoor dining (3)great for brunch (2)romantic (1)special occasion (1)Show More
  • Not so good this time around
    smcfood
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Everything seemed to be off on the day I went went a friend recently. I typically crave a certain dish and really was looking forward to being about to eat it again. At first, the chips were waaaayyyy too salty. I tried to make them more palatable by immersing the chip in salsa but, the flavor was not enough to cover the salty flavor. Typically, I enjoy both, but I only had that one chip. My $19 filete casero was fatty, overlooked and tough. Now I don't know if I'd go back to try again. My friend ordered what she was told were prawn sopes. She asked for beans but no rice. Her meal arrived with the rice and the 2" sized seafood were clearly smallish shrimp, not prawns. Her meal was $17. I lost a favorite place.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Mexican food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Discovered this place last year on vacation. We're back for vacation this year and back to cilantros. Really great Mexican food...don't leave without having some homemade tortillas to dip in your beans! If you don't like authentic Mexican food, don't go!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not happy with waiter
    Torres
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Food was excellent is our 2nd time there but this time the waiter was rude we asked for more salsa he shock his head and then brought us more.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 4 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.5
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 56 reviews are from the Cilantros reviews archive.
  • Will never go back
    Slmill
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Food and service horrible. Unfortunately Santa Cruz dining is poor, offers no competition for restaurants to improve. Dislike Santa Cruz/Watsonville dining very much. Will never go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great overall find
    purrsnickety1
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    This restaurant turned out to be a great find for us. It is in the parking lot of a supermarket, but who would know it would be such a tasty and fun experience?! Service was very attentive and friendly, the atmosphere was upbeat and fun and the food was plentiful, with large portions and robust flavors. We will be coming back soon! Try the enchiladas suisas, they are out of this world.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A408
    A408
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Excellent service!! Food was great..definitely going back again
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Read review on line they were right
    judgethegoodandbad
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Weekend trip to Pajara Dunes... stopped for lunch and grocery's.... Cilentro's was great. Service was wonderful - food was tasty. We were a party of seven and decided to sit in the bar. Which would throw most places off... but they didn't miss a beat.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Friendly service and good food
    Food4life
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Went here for NYE dinner with friends. All of the staff, from the hostess, to the bus boy, to our waitress, the service was excellent. Very friendly and attentive the entire time. Delicious guacamole to start, great selection of beer, wine, and the hard stuff too. The menu has a good mix of the traditional, with some adventurous seafood items too. All in all a great choice for a casual meal with friends.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Casual Sunday
    Momo
    Dined on 10/27/2013
    On a casual Sunday after pumpkin hunting we went to Cilantros, all 4 of us had a great lunch . I highly recommend it. Its a go to favorite reasonable in price.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • lunch
    busydeb
    Dined on 10/6/2013
    Food was good. The salsa was disappointingly blandvits usually so good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great locals place
    Momo
    Dined on 8/21/2013
    Always a good meal, the chavelas drink with tajin is amazing! (Alcohol)
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Potential
    JerryVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2013
    This restaurant does a lot of things right. Attentive staff, warm & tasty chips with very good salsa and generous refills, entertainment, and pretty good Mexican food. When we visit again in about 6 months we hope it will be very good Mexican food. The management seems motivated and we will return next time we are in the area.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food at a reasonable
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/1/2013
    Good food at a reasonable price. We were in town on vacation and nice not to have to fix dinner. We didn't want to pay the price that some of the more hoity toity tourist destinations might charge but wanted a good meal and good service. This was the place and we will return the next time we are in town. Looking around the restaurant it looked like locals frequented there. I once lived in a tourist town and I can telll you that you want to go to a Restaurant where locals go when you are an out of towner!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Specials and friendly staff
    Paul
    Dined on 6/19/2013
    The grilled salmon tacos were great on the day I was there. The hostess was friendly and seated us right away. The Server was friendly, attentive and very professional! Worth going back!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Same great menu, but food
    helloVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2013
    Same great menu, but food quality less. The prawns tasted chalky as though they were frozen.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Let's meet for lunch!
    OutToLunch
    Dined on 6/7/2013
    Cilantro's is a great place to meet friends for lunch.....or dinner. The food is fresh and tasty, the servers are pleasant and attentive, and the location is perfect for diners coming from all areas of Santa Cruz and North Monterey counties.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • More fish less beans
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/4/2013
    The food is good but our order took more than 20 minutes. I wish that, with the prices, they serve more meat/fish and less rice and beans.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Mexican food with a flare.
    epicureanVIP
    Dined on 4/21/2013
    Good Mexican food with a flare. The Chile Verde is a specialty, AMD with their hand patted corn tortillas, was great, Margaritas are awsome.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently Good Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/15/2013
    Cilantros is our go-to restaurant whenever we have to be in Watsonville for events at our daughter's school. The food is consistently good. This time, I tried the Ahi Salad. It was delicious! The generous portion of Ahi is just seared and cooked rare; it is served on a bed of baby greens and topped with avocado. The dressing is a tangy vinaigrette--I recommend getting it on the side because a little goes a long way. Our waitress Ellissa was prompt, attentive, and polite. We had a great experience as always.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Mexican food!! The
    epicureanVIP
    Dined on 2/23/2013
    Great Mexican food!! The hand-made tortillas were awesome, essence Margaritas were fantastic, must go place.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Everytime I go here I get
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/21/2013
    Everytime I go here I get bad service. The kind where you glass is always empty and you have to get up and find someone to fill it but then no one comes and u have to ask again. Or you get your food and something is wrong but no one stops to ask how food is.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice place to celebrate my
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/17/2013
    Nice place to celebrate my 50th with family! Our server Sam was super!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great FOOD, GREAT server:~)
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/1/2013
    Great FOOD, GREAT server:~) THANKS for being the BEST:~)
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Give your review a title (optional)
    epicureanVIP
    Dined on 12/15/2012
    This restaurant serves a variety of very good Mexican food with hand-patted corn tortillas. All of the selections on their menu have been flavorful, well seasoned and properly prepared and presented. Service is good and servers are friendly. Margaritas are excellent! Be prepared for Mariachi entertainment on Friday's and Saturday's.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, late-night find, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love Cilantro's we try to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/26/2012
    Love Cilantro's we try to dine here at least once a week...Since I am not a fan of the Mariachi I will have to remember that Friday nights it is fun and loud if you like that! Great food, great service, and if there is ever an issue they will rectify it to make you happy! Jose and Amelia have a great place here at Cilantro's and a fun place in Santa Cruz El Palomar...great atmosphere fun and friendly people!! We enjoy Jeanette and Courtney and of course the other servers and hostess always have a smile:~)
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Really enjoyed my birthday
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/1/2012
    Really enjoyed my birthday with 5 companions. All had great food, attentive service on holiday weekend too. Will do that again
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food, service, live entertainm
    epicureanVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2012
    Good food, service, live entertainment. Food quality is very good, hand made tortillas, very good selection of drinks.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This was our first time at
    etlrVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2012
    This was our first time at Cilantro's. Although we've passed by many times over the years, our loyalty has been divided between 2 other local Mexican restaurants. Now we realize what we've been missing!! The food was delicious - fresh, beautifully presented and loads of it. Nobody leaves Cilantro's hungry and we noticed thar most people were carrying boxes with their leftover dinners. The atmosphere is very casual -not a dressy place - so it's the place to go when you don't feel like dressing up and where you won't feel out of place, whatever you wear. The staff were friendly and patient (I took a while to make up my mind!) and the Margaritas were delicious. We're looking forward to returning very soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We LOVE Cilantro's....Courtney
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/13/2012
    We LOVE Cilantro's....Courtney called us to let us know the server we requested Jeanette was not going to be on for our 5:30 p.m. reservation..what amazing customer service. We of course waited for our favorite server...always a smile, great communication and knows what we like:~)
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • To date I have not found a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/8/2012
    To date I have not found a restaurant that has the authentic taste of Mexican food. Throughout the area the less "worse" is Cilantros, but the rice, no doubt, resembles the style "arroz de fonda" of Mexico -negative connotation for tasteless rice. Prices are high and although I do not mind paying dearly for good food, in this case is not worth the value for quality. The only thing that "saved the note" is to listen to mariachi music.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Evan.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/3/2012
    As always, Cilantros is a fantastic place to sit and enjoy a great meal with small or large groups. The portions are extremely generous, the service is always polite and on top of things and the ambiance is never harsh, even when its full, which is often! Its also very easy to find and there's always parking available close by. I will always recommend Cilantros to any of my friends and family for a great time. I urge anyone reading this to stop by as well!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was great, and the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/5/2012
    The food was great, and the service was fast. It's a pretty noisy environment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We always enjoy our meals
    luv2eat
    Dined on 4/28/2012
    We always enjoy our meals at Cilantro's. The food is fabulous, service is prompt, and the atmosphere family-friendly.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food was good, but not
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/22/2012
    The food was good, but not exceptional, portion sizes were generous (although more beans and rice than main items). Wait staff was very helpful with a large group (10), and order changes and special requests (put a candle in a piece of flan and sang happy birthday to the member of our group we were honoring). Tasty salsa and house-made chips were plentiful and checked often while waiting for the entrees. Desserts (flan, cheesecake and ice cream) were yummy.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The best Mexican Restaurant
    fairwinds
    Dined on 4/13/2012
    The best Mexican Restaurant in Santa Cruz County and possibly the USA! Can't find anything like it in Arizona, that's for sure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very dissapointed once we
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/16/2012
    Very dissapointed once we moved to the bar. Only 1 cocktail waitress on a Friday night? Then she left when the music started and no one was available to wait on tables.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cilantros is one of my favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/14/2012
    Cilantros is one of my favorite restaurants in Watsonville. Absolutely fantastic food with a very cozy atmosphere once you're inside. I've always had great service even when they are completely packed and everyone is friendly which is all I could ask of a restaurant, well that and good food. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for great Mexican food and a very pleasant dining experience.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We love Cilantro's! It's
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/28/2012
    We love Cilantro's! It's our absolute favorite Mexican food restaurant. We drive 40 minutes from Morgan Hill to get there. It was a double birthday - my Mom was 86 and I'm not saying how old I am. We took friends who also love Mexican food and they thought it was very high quality food with lots of authentic Mexican flavor. Wonderful ceviche and the flan is to die for. Also, by using OpenTable we got right in. Thanks.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, for the older
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/11/2011
    Great food, for the older crowds. Will definatly go back to eat
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • You must try their sampler
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/23/2011
    You must try their sampler platter of marinated Skirt steak, shrimp , ceviche, snapper , beans and rice! It is so flavorful and enough for 2 to share. Their Margaritas are worth sampling too! The mariachi Band Definately makes the ambiance. You will love this restaurant, I have been eating here for 20 yrs. My favorite authentic Mexican Restaurant. skirt steak
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic