Main Street Garden & Cafe
3101 N. Main St
Soquel, CA 95073Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
Main Street Garden & Cafe
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.mainstreetgardencafe.com/
- Phone: (831) 477-9265
- Hours of Operation:
Wednesday & Thursday: 5:30pm-9pm
Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm- 9:30pm
Saturday lunch :11:30am - 2:30pm
Sunday Brunch: 11:30am- 3pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Italian, Californian
- Executive Chef: Chris Carloni
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Special Events: Last Thursday of the month 4 courses dinner to discover Italy regions, their food and wine pairing. First prix fixe dinner starts Thursday 7/31. We will exploring Tuscany, Marche and Umbria regions
A word from Main Street Garden & Cafe
Main Street Garden & Cafe is located in downtown Soquel, CA and serves California - Italian cuisine inspired by local and seasonal ingredients. We use vegetables, herbs, and flowers harvested from our onsite garden. To book a reservation for 8 persons or more, please call the restaurant.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Main Street Garden & Cafe - Best Restaurants in Soquel ›
Main Street Garden & Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
38 reviews since July 26, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (34)neighborhood gem (29)romantic (24)special occasion (24)great for outdoor dining (23)good for groups (14)notable wine list (10)great for brunch (7)great for lunch (7)kid-friendly (5)scenic view (4)hot spot (3)Show More
- Wonderful Foods and Wines from the Veneto, ItalyLainaDined on 11/13/2014This is the only restaurant in our county that features the foods of the Veneto (Venice) and other northern regions in Italy. We love the diversity of the foods of the various Italian regions (Sicily is one of my favorites) and the Veneto is wonderful. The Garden has begun to do a series of special dinners featuring regional foods and wines. The latest that we attended on November 13 was the absolutely best special regional dinner they have done. Of particular interest were the wines of the region as well, starting with a stellar Fagher prosecco, a Pinot Bianco (that was dry but tasted of honey); a Muller Thurgau (the German name is common in Northern Italy); and a wonderful Tuscan Sangiovese. After a nice salad of greens from their garden, we had Vongole e Bacala, manila clams with salt cod and potato in a broth. This was a remarkable and very authentic dish for this time of year. Bacala is a dried salted cod that has been a winter food in Europe for the past thousand years at least. A risotto, creamy and perfect, was topped with apples (a major northern Italian crop), fennel, and asiago cheese. It was perfect with the Muller Thurgau wine. The meat dish was a Gulasch di Manzo, a dish that sounds like Hungary but is traditional to Northern Italy as well. It was beef praised with red wine and paprika, served with polenta and cabbage—a marriage of Italy and Austro-Hungary! The dessert was a Tiamisu made with a marscapone mousse, a sherry zabaglione, and (surprise) dates. This is a tribute to Venice being a famous international merchant city. Goods came from everywhere exotic. This dinner at $60 a head including wine tastings is a real find. It would be three times that in San Francisco. You might want to get on their mailing list.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent Italian food!DebDVIPDined on 11/7/2014We are from the east coast, and were delighted to find this authentic Italian restaurant in Santa Cruz. Everything was absolutely delicious!Special Features:
- Lovely spot in SoquelDamonSDined on 11/5/2014Not a new spot, but a spot new to me. Visited Main Street Garden & Cafe the other evening, and enjoyed a lovely meal. The appetizers were good sized, and tasty. Our main dishes were similarly delicious. I definitely plan to get back and try the restaurant again, although my next visit will either be for lunch or in the summertime when I would have a chance to enjoy their garden as well as the restaurant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Simply the best!Luv2dineDined on 10/25/2014We love the organic, healthy and delicious foods, superb service and lovely ambiance! Highly recommend Main Street Garden & Café!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great FindLovenortherncaliforniaDined on 10/16/2014Wood-fired beef cannelloni a big hit, pizza very good. Very accommodating of our 5 year old who has a sophisticated palate for her age. Will definitely be back on our next Santa Cruz visit.Special Features:
- DeliciousOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 9/26/2014Dinner was delicious! Love the pizzas and pastas!Special Features:
- Nice FindLunchingDined on 9/26/2014Right on Main Street in Soquel, but it's almost a hidden gem. A converted home that blends into the street scene, the Main Street Garden & Cafe was a wonderful surprise with a farm to table style of Italian/Mediterranean cuisine. Paired with a wonderful bottle of Montepulciano red wine, we enjoyed pasta, pork, and salmon all wonderfully prepared with generous portions at very affordable prices.Special Features:
- Love this place!secretagentmanDined on 9/13/2014This was our second time going (first time was for lunch - this time for dinner) and we absolutely love it. This time we chose it as the restaurant for a friend who's contemplating moving to the area from the east coast, and it couldn't have gone better. Our friend is nearly blind, and our server (and the entire staff) was sensitive and very responsive, along with having a wonderful spirit. I live in Santa Clara and wish there were more restaurants like Main Street on our side of the hill.Special Features:
- Unique: Main Street not Main StreamDeeDeeDined on 9/12/2014Main Street Garden & Cafe is an ambient place for special occasions or for a charming organic lunch break. The service is very attentive and the food full of creativity, flavorful and beautiful in appearance. I tested 3 of the 4 desserts available at the time...wow! Do not miss dessert! Bring a group of friends for a get together or a romantic dinner date, you will be among friends. Thanks for the lovely experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A birthday Party to rememberLove4LifeDined on 9/6/2014We reserved a table for 3 to take a friend to celebrate his birthday. Minutes before leaving we ran into a couple that wanted to join the party. I called Main Street Garden Cafe(MSGC). They said "no problem it's now a reservation for 5." Then we saw 2 more friends who just happened to be going to MSGC for dinner and asked if they could join us too. Table for 7 now "No problem", they said with great service when finding the perfect table! Everything was so wonderful. This is a true neighborhood gem that is fit for foodies for sure. We stayed for hours and never felt rushed and our friend with the birthday was so happy, he shared his chocolate dessert with all of us!Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/6/2014We really enjoyed this restaurant especially the use of backyard grown ingredients. Fresh organic produce makes a huge difference in taste and since we grow much of our own vegetables we could really appreciate the food. With the atmosphere and service we felt this restaurant was a good value.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Once again...EliHDined on 9/6/2014Simply great and not expensive restaurant. The ingredients are carefully and chosen and they reflect the chef's and the management's commitment to great food. Also, both the outdoor and the indoor spaces are beautiful and intimate, relaxing and unhurried. Highly recommended.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A new favorite!celesteVIPDined on 9/5/2014Chose this place for the reviews and was not disappointed. The menu is small but the dishes are excellent. I particularly liked the fresh-from-the-garden items. All courses, appetizer, main, and desert were exceptional. Can't wait to go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fresh ingredientsOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 9/4/2014Enjoyed especially the use of ingredients that were grown in the garden.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- An outstanding dinnerWaltVIPDined on 9/3/2014We enjoyed dinner last night at the Main Street Garden & Cafe. I had the beef/pork meatballs and they were remarkable and outstanding. My wife had the gnocchi, also excellent. Our friends ordered the salmon and the egg plant; both reported them outstanding. The staff was very very good and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner (the desserts were also very very good). We will certainly return to this peaceful tasting restaurant.Special Features:
- A long, Italian lunch!AlexandraDined on 8/30/2014Our family celebrated an achievement here recently, and because we had a 5-year-old, we chose the Saturday Brunch. The menu was a tad smaller than dinner and there were no "specials," but we all found yummy things to eat. The wait staff was perfectly attentive: there but not there, if you know what I mean. We began our meal with a celebratory Prosecco, which was perfect: not too sweet and very refreshing. Everyone toured the garden and since it is kept so well, it's a favorable view of where the "garden" menu items will come from. I have not had a poor or even mediocre meal here and I love dining outside, due to the ease of talking with one another without the hard-edged sound one finds in todays restaurants. Yummy food; great staff!Special Features:
- Quiet Patio DiningAlexandraDined on 8/28/2014This is my third time dining here and I've come to feel that it is MY place. The food is reliably tasty and prepared well. For appetizer, we split the Garden greens with fresh cannellini beans and kale. For main course, my partner had the special stuffed pork loin and I had the local, freshly-caught halibut. The Nebbiolo my husband chose was declared "very nice" and I had a lovely Falanghina from Campagna. We splurged for dessert, too; he opted for the panna cotta, pronounced "not too sweet" and I enjoyed the lavender pound cake with lemon curd, followed by freshly-brewed-for-us coffee. The freshness of the produce (picked right from their own garden) and the crafted-in-house breads and pizzas make it a treat to come here, every time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- lovely lunchMargaretDined on 8/28/2014all around excellent! A beautiful setting for garden fresh food. Delicious. Loved it. Can't wait to go back.Special Features:
- Fifth visitOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/23/2014We love the setting and food at Main Street. This time the service was a bit off. Odd because we had the same, friendly server. Appetizer plate taken away before we were finished. Entrees delivered at way too different times. Not sure what was going on. I will definitely go back because the outdoor patio is so romantic and the food is outstanding. I am hoping this was just an off night.Special Features:
- The best competitor!JoyjoyDined on 8/13/2014Main Street Garden was recommended by its (outstanding) antique shop neighbor. My partner and I went for our first-year anniversary, specifically looking for a quiet, romantic place with good food. We were not disappointed! The restaurant is intimate, with the option of outside garden or inside seating. Our inside table was next to a window, and the fireplace. The service was outstanding; the waitress was attentive, the hostess was ready with French-pressed coffee, and the young man returned with answers to my questions as to the fresh garden-grown veggies listed on the board while he happily cleared away used dishes. But the final treat came with the meal! One of the best veggie entrees I've ever had! I highly recommend Main Street Garden!Special Features:
- disappointedjillcDined on 8/7/2014If this had been our first meal there we might not return. The service was spotty (my SMALL water glass was refilled when I flagged the bus boy down during dessert). Food was slow coming out. My husband said it was because we were in the back room in a corner so they forgot about us. The owner made his rounds but never looked our way until we were walking out the door. We've eaten there a number of times (and we've brought friends quite a few times) Our pizza was lousy- dry and boring. It sounded interesting (on the menu, peaches and salami ) and last time we had a wonderful pizza. My pork was delicious, but half of it was FAT. inedible FAT. (and it was very expensive FAT). we'll go back and hope it's a better experience.
- Superb Foods and ServiceLuv2dineDined on 8/2/2014We enjoyed our dinner and definitely would return to try more dishes!Special Features:
- Wonderful!OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 7/31/2014We went to the restaurant because they were having an Italian dinner with wine pairing-it exceeded our expectations. We felt like we were back in Italy with the food. The wines were great and the gentleman serving them was very informative.Special Features:
- Excellent Regional Italian FoodLainaDined on 7/31/2014This restaurant is always wonderful for its food and wines. It is a little uneven in its timing of things, but not a big deal. The owner is charming and helpful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful dining experience!TKingfromBenLomondDined on 7/31/2014I hate to share because I know it will make it impossible to get reservations, but our dinner at Main Street Garden & Cafe was superb! I booked based on a Tuscan prix fixe menu with special Italian wine tastings offered. Every course, every wine was wonderful. The ambiance of the backyard garden doesn't hurt, either! Can't wait to go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 268 reviews are from the Main Street Garden & Cafe reviews archive.
- Fantastic foods & Excellent ServiceLuv2dineDined on 7/24/2014Loved the food and the beautiful garden. We enjoyed our lunch and going back there for dinner. Highly recommend it!Special Features:
- PLEASANT OUTDOOR DININGAlexandraDined on 7/10/2014We brought out-of-town relatives to lunch here, with a 10-yr-old. I was completely satisfied, with food, beverage and attentive, helpful wait staff. My husband's frittata was outstanding and I HAD to return to the Squid Ink pasta, which I have had before. My relative had the meatball entree (excellent). The orechiette and the farfalle were not "flavorful" enough for the child and his mother; I did not taste them, so I cannot comment. I have dined here before and everything has been to my taste. The sauces are not overbearing, in the American-Italian way, so I prefer them. I have visited Italy only four times, but to me, the menu here is genuine Italian, in preparation, ingredients, and flavor. I love that the produce comes from the garden.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Quality!!!fishingFreakDined on 6/28/2014I can't express how much I’ve been impressed with Main St Garden Café, not only the quality of the food but the dining experience in itself. The wait staff are very attentive yet not overbearing and smothering, quality yet again. There is always something on the menu that one will fall in love with, my favorite dish is the Smoked Pork Shoulder dinner. The meat falls apart upon touching it with your fork, not only is it super tender the meat is juicy with such flavor I am salivating as I write this thinking about every bite until the last one passes my lips. Every time I order the pork shoulder it will have different side dishes which makes the same meal anew yet very familiar.Special Features:
- great Graduation Dinner!TerriVIPDined on 6/14/2014I chose this restaurant for a graduation celebration dinner for daughter and her friend, who graduated with Environmental Studies/Sustainability interest from UCSC this week. The restaurant advertised a Sustainable Menu. The menu was not extensive, but everyone is our group of 6 thoroughly enjoyed their meal. The wine sommelier was knowledge and very attentive throughout the meal. Next time we are back in the Santa Cruz area, we will gladly stop by again. Everyone commented on how cozy and warm the setting was, like we were in a country villa in Italy. Service attentive, but not invasive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The food was excellent!OceanforeverDined on 6/14/2014Our waitress was great! Food was very good. We were in the area because of a graduation and found the restaurant via Open Table. We were happy with our choice.Special Features:
- Fresh and deliciousMichaelUVIPDined on 6/13/2014Some of the veggies are grown in the garden out back. We toured the garden while waiting for our food - really quaint. Everything tasted fresh too. The asparagus cassoulet was very inventive. I'd come back to this place if I'm in the area again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DeliciousOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 6/13/2014Pizza was so delicious! I will definitely dine there again and recommend Main Street Garden & Cafe to friends and family.Special Features:
- Wonderful outdoor seatingkaboolieDined on 6/8/2014We has a wonderful lunch on a wonderful day on the patio. It is a beautiful setting and a nice little walk in the back to see the garden where herbs and vegetables are grown was very nice. The selection of items was great for everyone. Great flavors! Inside is very nice as well but on a perfect sunny day go to the back patio.Special Features:
- my fave placeFoodFreakDined on 6/1/2014Love this place but wish the server wouldnt have made us feel like it wasnt the cooks fault for a hair being in my friends food and then we saw a cook walk out with a full beard that was the same color as the hair in her food. I will go back but im sure my friend wont .Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Foods of the VenetoLainaDined on 5/30/2014Not many Italian restaurants focus on the foods of Venice and its province. Main Street Garden does this, and always does it well. At luncheon, we had a splendid asparagus and leek soup that may have been the best version of this soup I have ever tasted; wonderful house made focaccia with excellent olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Italy; and we shared an excellent cannaloni made with roast beef and porcini. Very savory.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great experience!ebgirlDined on 5/25/2014We ended up in Santa Cruz unexpectedly one day and I did a search for a local restaurant that uses good-quality ingredients, but wasn't too formal. I found this place thanks to OpenTable. When we first drove up, it looked a bit nondescript, but it's actually very cozy inside, and there's a BEAUTIFUL patio, yard, and organic garden in the back. The service was enthusiastic and outstanding. They knew their menu well, and were able to tell us where everything was sourced (all local). The food was very good and reasonably priced for the quality. There was plenty of parking on the street, & we were glad not to have to deal with downtown SC parking. I'd definitely return here any time I'm in the area. We had a fabulous experience.Special Features:
- Neighborhood restaurantesserDined on 5/23/2014We live just up the road from this gem of a restaurant. Food is fantastic. Wait staff is attentive, but not too much. Take your glass of wine along for a walk through the garden in back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good, unique fresh food!lmh1Dined on 5/23/2014We had the halibut & cassoulet specials - both delicious & LIGHT (as in not heavy). Not your typical italian joint - perfect service. Great place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A BA graduationJustRightDined on 5/18/2014What is a Pa to do for his youngest daughters college graduation lunch celebration ? AH HA !! Go here.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful neighborhood diningCaPatolaVIPDined on 5/16/2014We love Main Street Garden Cafe for it's creative, local, organic dishes. If you sit on the back patio overlooking the lawn and herb garden, you can often see one of the Chefs picking fresh herbs and edible flowers to add to your meal! Our server, Jason, is great. He recommended some wonderful wines for us to taste and fell in love with the Bonarda. Mauro, the owner, is doing a fine job selecting the wines and the staff!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.