Hoffman's Downtown
Hoffman's Downtown

Hoffman's Downtown

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.hoffmanssantacruz.com/
  • Phone: (831) 420-0135
  • Hours of Operation:
    8:00 am to 9:00 pm weekdays;
    8:00 am to 11:00 pm weekends
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: European, American, Californian
  • Executive Chef: Jayson Holzworth
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Live Jazz 7 nights a week starting at 6:30!

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Cathcart
  • Public Transit: Metro station located less than 1 block away.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Limited Parking available directly behind Hoffman's from Carthcart ave. Multi-level garages, public lots, and street parking available nearby.
A word from Hoffman's Downtown
Hoffman's Downtown Santa Cruz serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8am daily. Famous for our DELICIOUS Eggs Benedict, and with our fabulous NEW full bar, Hoffman's is the perfect place for everything from Sunday brunch to an evening martini with the cool jazz humming in the background. Now open even later on Fridays and Saturdays, stop in for a cocktail and a snack off our UN-spendy $3 Bar Bites Menu served until 11pm!
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Hoffman's Downtown reviews from OpenTable diners
24 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.8
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (8)great for brunch (6)good for groups (5)great for lunch (4)fit for foodies (4)great for outdoor dining (3)kid-friendly (2)scenic view (1)hot spot (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Capitoladiners
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    Went for restaurant week. Incredible food. Generous portions. The bread pudding is spectacular. I will come back for sure !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • GREAT!
    pigle
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    The appetizers were amazing as were the desserts! Loved the Beet Salad and the bread pudding and brownie sundae. The service was outstanding and the portions were quite large. We will come back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • FrequentDinerVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    The food is very average in taste, very nice in presentation. Enthusiastic and friendly wait staff.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service lacking
    GadgetrexVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Perhaps it was just an off day, but the service was (just shy of) terrible. I enjoyed the meal - after I finally received my silverware and drink - but I am not sure that was enough for me to want to return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Easy dinner in SC
    Mauidiner
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Very nice place good burgers great service would go again
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice but not special
    Bouldergirl
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    The food was good, our server was great and not always over us. The place appeared clean, the bar area looked nice and the jazz was very pleasant. Went with my family and I had shared some of the reviews I had read, so we were being pretty critical. Started with the calamari and it was light and tasty. Except for me, everyone had burgers and thought they were nothing special, but the fries were great. I had the reuben, which as the 'house specialty' ehhhh, not enough toast on the bread and it was kind of greasy feeling, heavier grilling, would have solved that. It tasted good. Thought the prices were reasonable, especially for Santa Cruz. Would probably try to a different restaurant, but we don't eat downtown too often.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Food
    ggev
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Hoffman's truly is a neighborhood gem. Breakfasts are wonderful, especially their scones!! And a great place for lunch or dinner after a movie downtown. Food is quite good and service is usually excellent. Music in the evenings is pleasant and not intrusive.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great local joint
    EricVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    I got the impression from dining there only once, that it was a great local joint. Perfect for brunch. Basic, but good food, friendly servers, convenient location. Of the people in there, I think most were locals (we are not). Definitely would go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Local Spot
    ggev
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I've always loved Hoffman's for breakfast/brunch - they have amazing scones! But more recently I've come to appreciate their dinners, as well. Baby back ribs melt in your mouth, and prawns/salmon salad is delicious! Jazz in the background is a really nice dinner accompaniment.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hoffmans - excellent cuisine
    SantaCruzian
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    In busy Santa Cruz location downtown. Did not expect much but was pleasantly surprised. Food and service were excellent and I will go back. Wedge salad was incredible.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good place to hung around
    BerkeleyDiner
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Food - It's good, but not memorable. But, their menu has something for everybody. Atmosphere - I believe they have nightly live music, which adds grately to the ambiance. When we were there, music volume was moderate. So, we did not have problem carrying a converstation Service - We called to change our reservation with a short notice, but they graciously changed for us. Server was knowledgeable enough to give us a good recommendations.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful place, we will go again!
    PM44
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The service was great, the food was all good, the jazz music was a special treat for all 4 of us... the corner location is very active with people.. we really can't say anything else but,.. we hope to go again... thank you Hoffman's!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 12 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 29, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.7
    • Food3.7
    • Ambiance3.5
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 179 reviews are from the Hoffman's Downtown reviews archive.
  • Great find on Yelp!
    GinascucinaVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We found Hoffman's on Open Table, and checked it on Yelp. We had a nice experience. Our table was ready when we arrived ( surprising for Saturday night). Unique food choices, there was something for everyone, including our vegetarians, meat eaters and everything in between. The food was delicious. Every plate was finished, no left overs. Enjoyed the jazz band , and they weren't too loud that I could hold a conversation at the table. Service good. Not great, but good.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love Hoffman's
    emdionneVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    This is one of my favorite place for brunch in santa cruz. The food is great, and I can always make the exact omelet I want. I'm always super satisfied when I eat there. And although brunches are my favorite thing to do there, I must say that they also have an excellent evening menu, and great jazz ambience. The staff is great, the service is excellent and fast, and they are always receptive to accommodate my food needs. The music and ambience is well suited for good conversations, and the place is very lively.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Eggs Benny, as always!
    EALo
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Mothers day, so a bit packed and slow to order, but food great and service great, as always. It was nice that they gave out free scones and little tartlets to us Moms too! The scones are awesome, never dried out like most, I like the cranberry one the best, but today they had a cinnamon one that was great. I almost always get the crab and avo benny and it did not disappoint, my hubby thought his regular Benny should have come on an English muffin, but I think they were just busy with the holiday and were out.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Underrated!
    scbestudent
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Hoffman's was not crowded at all. Maybe it's because the restaurant is more of a dinner place, but the breakfast was delicious. Definitely would recommend! No long wait, great food and service, and the free scones are amazing!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • You Gotta Go!
    Woowatkins
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Hoffmans is probably our favorite restaurant in the Santa Cruz area...period! Delectable food, friendly service, great jazz, good drinks, quiet calm atmosphere. And it all comes at a very reasonable price. What more could you want?!! We go again & again with or without our kids, and are NEVER disappointed! :)
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Easter Breakfast
    loveyummyfood
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    We overall had a nice dining experience at Hoffman's. There were 4 of us with reservations at 10:45am. First 2 of us were seated promptly and provided with yummy scones. Drinks were brought to the table quickly but when ordered the 2nd set of drinks, took maybe 10 mins. Waitress waited another 15 mins to come and take our order and it took another 25 mins for our order to be served. It was Easter and they were busy however, a table of 4 that sat after us, somehow ordered before us. My scramble was delicious but other 2 diners ordered Eggs Benedict and they thought eggs were too vinegary. Overall, nice experience and we'll be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Place for a Dinner Date
    Cicero
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    My date and I stopped by Hoffman's late Saturday to get some dinner after a movie, and it was the perfect restaurant for us. Great seating, amazing service, and zesty entrees. We both left with a smile, and Hoffman's made a great evening just that much better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reliably comfortable and delicious
    neesybobo
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    Good old Hoffman's. We've eaten breakfasts, lunches, & dinners there for years. Recently their long luscious bakery counter has been replaced with a bar which seems very popular (Ed Hoffman is a master European baker who still makes wedding cakes & other goodies; their scones are the best in town). I almost always order the Pacific Rim Salad: a salmon filet & plump prawns over fresh greens, red & yellow bell pepper, macadamia nuts, puffy rice sticks & a sensational lime cilantro vinaigrette. My mom said the French Dip Sandwich was really good (meat sliced paper thin). A friend always goes for the meatloaf. Their French onion soup is well known. I only wish they'd skip the live jazz at night; it raises the noise level past my comfort zone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • yummy Benedict!
    EALo
    Dined on 2/19/2014
    As always the Eggs Benedict did not fail me! I had the California Benedict with crab and avocado and it was yummy and enough for two! I also ordered the cranberry scone and it was delicious too. Good amount of food for the price, attentive service. I mostly come here for breakfast of brunch, but have been once for dinner as well and it was yummy too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Menu for Valentine's Day
    ValerieS
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Ordered Crab & Artichoke Dip for starters, then boyfriend and I had the Baby Back Ribs and Lobster Ravioli. For dessert we finished it with the Double Chocolate Brownie Sundae... I can't stand it! Food alone was so delicious it cancels out everything else
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was good and service
    foodfoodfood
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Food was good and service members were nice and engagin. One issue I had was with the music, live by the way, was just too loud to talk normally.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • disappointed
    foodguy
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I know they have struggled over the years to find a center, something that defines them. Unfortunately they continue to confuse the diner with confusing selections that ultimately are not great. Many far better choices within walking distance.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hearty fresh European-style cusine
    BigMike
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Really enjoyed our Valentine's Day outing, and a few visits before. The kitchen is somewhere between German, French, and Belgian, so no crazy spices or funky eastern European ingredients. Renovation a couple of years ago has really perked the place up, and the kitchen is clearly dedicated to home-made details, from sauces to dressings. The veggies are locally grown and fresh, so the menu is not massive, but everything is delicious. Service is lovely, unpretentious, and come after 7 and you'll likely catch one of several jazz ensembles grooving gently in the front corner. Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great find!
    Pamela
    Dined on 2/12/2014
    We were looking for a quiet cafe that serves breakfast all day. We lucked upon Hoffman's. My omelette was perfect. The veggies (spinach, mushrooms & tomatoes) were fresh. The jack cheese & bacon was generous without being too much. The eggs were cooked just right. The Yukon Gold potatoes were hot and crunchy - just how I asked for them. The server was pleasant, helpful and kept our water glasses full without us having to ask. She also provided some commentary on local historical sites in Santa Cruz. All in all, it could not have been a better dining experience and we will DEFINITELY be going there again. My only regret is that we live nearly two hours from Santa Cruz, so we won't be able to eat there as often as I'd like.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great time and even better
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    Great time and even better food! Really enjoy the service and atmosphere! Had a great time and will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food & service!
    emdionneVIP
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    I booked my reservation last minute, and the food was amazing. The service was excellent, and we did have some special requests, and they were all taken into consideration with care. I recommend the Green Giant omelet for sure!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Happy New Years Eve
    LisaTVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We were looking for a place for a nice dinner for New Years Eve near downtown, and found Hoffman's on Open Table. The place was hopping, but our table was ready on time, and we had friendly and prompt service from Callie. All the servers were dressed festively with New Years hats and lots of sparkles. There were special holiday cocktails, and a varied and reasonable menu. Food was great, service was prompt and friendly! Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yummy
    PattyL
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    A lovely meal and excellent service all around. Only one thing. Server brought a CAN of beer w/o a glass and w/o pouring.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great service, mediocre food
    gmansc
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    Went there for dinner before a movie. Service was wonderful and the interior is very pleasant. However, the food was bland and rather ordinary. For example, the chicken satay was undercooked and fleshy, as opposed to thin bbq'ed strips that one would expect. Peanut sauce was good, however. Been there for breakfast, which is excellent. Dinner, so so. We might try it again but will stick with burgers.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Giving them another try...
    SuzDinnerDiner
    Dined on 12/5/2013
    My first time here... and I'm not ready to make a recommendation yet. We went mainly to see what kind of music is being featured, and decided to have dinner instead of something off the bar menu. I had the Jaegerschnitzel. A nice mushroom sauce - but I expected something more tender. Cabbage & spaetzle were excellent, though, as was the berry cobbler dessert. I hope they have varied musicians. These guys played ok, but kind of a depressing 60's ballads playlist. I would have chosen something more upbeat, or maybe sought out some student jazz groups from one of the local colleges. Anyhoo... I'll give them another chance, as I liked the place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Thanksgiving Dinner
    Pahaloalto
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    With our home kitchen out of service, we went to Hoffman's for Thanksgiving dinner. Hoffman's made the classic recipe, with just enough style and originality. I loved the host and the servers, who were at once welcoming and efficient. I only wish we had come later, because musicians were arriving as we were leaving. If you will forgive the Thanksgiving metaphor, Hoffman's ran it into the end zone!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Comfortable dining with jazz
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 11/23/2013
    Reasonably priced with a nice variety of options--both traditional entrees and small plates. I've found their service at times to be lacking, but this Saturday night, despite the place being full, the waiter was very friendly and attentive. Lots of wines by the glass and now they now have a full bar. It is a good location for before/after a movie--it is comfortable and casual. The live jazz was a nice addition.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Volatile satisfaction
    Andro
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    We had dinner here with a group of 6. Unfortunately there were two people performic live music so loud, that is was sometimes hard to understand each other. Service wasn't that qualified to answer all questions of our group properly. But 5 of us were really satisfied with the food, e.g. the meat loaf was outstanding! But one of our group ordered a medium-well steak and got a dry and absolutely dead well-done steak. Personally I would go there again but I would prefer a day when the musicians are not in the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Downtown Dinong
    ggev
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    Hiffman's is known for their brunch, but they also have excellent dinners. Very good food and service, but a bit hard to talk over the noise.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Won't come back
    karlyVIP
    Dined on 10/26/2013
    1st off, the scones and bacon are great. Outside of that, our brunch was tasteless. The potatoes were inedible, mushy, no seasoning and it tasted like freezer burn. I will eat most any breakfast potatoes, but couldn't stomach these. The scrambled eggs were flavorless, perhaps they thought I wanted Eggbeaters. We had to ask for refills of coffee and water. Perhaps it was an off day, but too many missteps to warrant a return trip in the near future for us.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • disappointed
    ladiesweekendVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    this restaurant was participating in the restaurant week prix fix dinners. it got good reviews on open table and yelp so we decided to give it a try.read that the restaurant was featured on food network restaurant impossible -- i think they need a follow up show cause it didn't seem that they learned much the first time. they should have anticipated the crowds if they were participating in restaurant week and they didn't seem efficient in the kitchen. you would think with a prix fixed menu, they'd have had those items prepared in advance and ready to be fired when ordered. luckily for them the food was good when we finally got it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overwhelmed
    Cindy
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    I normally love going to Hoffman's. It was Saturday night of Restaurant Week. For some reason, they got very behind with their orders. The staff was very apologetic and tried to take care of us as best they could. They were just put in a tough position. The food was good, not great. We still had a very nice time sitting outside, weather perfect, watching the people go by.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We love Hoffman's, but...
    neesybobo
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    We've gone to Hoffman's often over the years and it's very consistent (the Pacific Rim Salad is my favorite and their scones are divine!). We went during "Restaurant Week" in Santa Cruz. Many restaurants offer a 3-course prix-fixe meal for $25. Apparently Hoffman's wasn't prepared for their popularity! Staff was spread too thin, frantic. Their usual competent service got pretty ragged. I'd give "service" one star for all the mistakes that were made, except our server gets 5 stars - she was sweet, hard-working and accommodating - you could see she was doing everything possible to get us out of there in time for the symphony. I generally prefer Hoffman's for breakfast or lunch because they have live jazz at dinner and it's much too loud.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic