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  • Main Street Garden & Cafe

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Main Street Garden & Cafe
Main Street Garden & Cafe

Main Street Garden & Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.mainstreetgardencafe.com/
  • Phone: (831) 477-9265
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner:
    Wednesday & Thursday: 5:30pm-9pm
    Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm- 9:30pm
    Sunday Brunch: 11:30am- 4pm
  • 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 (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Special Events & Promotions: Neighborhood Night every Wednesday! Choose an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $30. (A la carte menu also available.)

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Soquel Dr.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Free off-street parking in the church parking lot across Main St.
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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "I 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."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "I 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."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Our 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."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Some 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."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Pizza was so delicious! I will definitely dine there again and recommend Main Street Garden & Cafe to friends and family."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "Love 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 ."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Not 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."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "We had the halibut & cassoulet specials - both delicious & LIGHT (as in not heavy). Not your typical italian joint - perfect service. Great place."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "What is a Pa to do for his youngest daughters college graduation lunch celebration ? AH HA !! Go here."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "We 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! "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Good food including vegetables from their own garden, in a quiet setting. Recommended."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "At lunch, we ordered a squid-ink spaghetti with smoked trout, fava beans, and toasted breadcrumbs that was one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had. It was perfectly balanced in tastes and textures. Also tasted two Italian white wines that were aromatic, minerally, and perfect with the food. It is lovely to have a chance to experience regional Italian foods. The Venice region is underserved. Lovely food."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "We are particularly fond of eating the great variety of Italian regional foods. Main Street Garden is representative of the Venice region, which is full of fish and seafood, house-made pastas, and lovely northern wines (home of Prosecco). A starter of squid, pork belly, and garden borage and new peas was the winner of the evening. A lasagna made with layered squares of fresh pasta was also wonderful. A goat-cheese panacota for dessert was lovely too."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "The garden seating is wonderful in the spring/summer. The wait staff are friendly, fast, and non-intrusive. I can't say enough about the food, it's simply amazing. The wine list is limited."
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "I've taken my mother here for lunch and now Sunday brunch. The Bellini were delicious as a start, and the outdoor seating is welcoming and incredibly pleasant. The owner greeted us with true Italian warmth and made sure we were happy with everything. Our server was kind, friendly, knowledgable, and efficient. This was all at the end of a busy Easter Sunday, which makes it even more impressive. The menu is interesting and pleasantly varied and features vegetables grown in the garden that you can actually walk through. I had the best gnocchi I've ever eaten and my mother's pappardelle (flavored and colored with fresh borage leaves!) was exquisite. The focaccia seemed to be house made as well. I hope eventually to see what dinner is like."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Patio dining looking out onto a large grassy space surrounded by fruit trees, vegetable gardens and local plants. Food was exceptional, with greens from the garden. Beautifully presented with edible flowers, unusual seasonal combinations of flavors. Definitely a unique experience in the Bay Area. "
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Friendly staff greeted us and suggested a glass of wine and garden stroll while our table was being readied. It was lovely, and you could "see" where the food that would soon arrive on your table. This is "slow food" and leisurely dinner, do not expect fast food....that is not the point of this restaurant experience. We chose the Monterey Ranch 32 Pinot Noir and it was perfect for both the Smoke Pork shoulder (fall apart good!) and Fried Whole Trout with Manilia clams. The fish was fried with no breading just a dusting of sea salt, perfection with the broth and clams. Evening was brought to close with a soft and creamy panacotta topped with fruit and coffee...we will be back!"
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Our new favorite dining experience. We have been multiple times and never disappointed. The food is fresh and expertly prepared. Keep up the good work"
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "This is our favorite restaurant in the area. The restaurant combines delicious ingredients into elegant, but simple creations. The Pork Belly pizza was simple and sumptuous, and the goat cheese panna cotta was so creamy and decadent! Even the bitter green salad was unbelievably good. To top it off the "wine for the day", an old Granite Ridge Vineyards cabernet, made us think we had driven to Italy!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Everything I eat was delicious. Can't wait to eat there again"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This was our second visit and we were both pleasantly surprised (again) by tge innovative yet comforting food experience. We loved it!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We went with friends for my wife's birthday. This was our third time here and both food and service were great. I had trout and she had clams on some homemade pasta that was both tasty and perfectly al dente. The service was great. Our friends were a tiny bit late and the staff made sure we were comfortable with some wine whilst waiting. Overall, a fabulous experience."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "It's so great to have a neighborhood restaurant that is reliable, fresh, and comforting, from both the food and the staff!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Main Street Garden cafe is one of my favorite dining locations in Santa Cruz. They grow many of their own veggies and herbs in the back garden and the meat is sourced right up the hill. In fact a chalkboard shows where all of their food served that evening came from. The service and food was excellent. If they have it on the menu, try the pork shoulder. Tap it with a fork and the meat falls off. A larger wine selection would be nice, but the wine they do serve is primarily local and there are always a few I enjoy. You might be able to drop in without a reservation mid-week, but reservations are best."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Love the food especially the house made buratta. I recommend this place highly. Can't wait for better weather for outdoor dining near the garden."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We decided to try this spot because we could walk to it from the house. Once inside we found the ambiance comfortable and inviting along with some great smells coming from the open kitchen. I'm not usually a proponent of an open kitchen because usually you wind up looking at stuff that detracts from the overall experience (dirty dishes, poor hygiene of the cooking staff, etc.) However, this time it was a pleasant surprise to see fresh herbs and vegetables being brought into the kitchen from the garden and to watch them become part of the meal. The wood-fired brussel sprouts ( this vegie is not usually something I personally like) were outstanding and had a great smokey flavor paired with a tangy salsa verde. Overall a delightful adventure."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "We had 5 for my birthday....soooo nice...what a great little tuck-away...beautiful garden in the back for the freshest greens and veggies...they had chickens until the City of Soquel decided they couldn't...another DUMB call from local government. We are headed there tonight for another dip into their interesting menu!! Great place to take a sweetheart or out-of-town guests...pure CA!!"
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Main Street Garden & Cafe is a wonderful restaurant. We especially appreciate the homemade quality of the food, including meats and sausages and breads and the home-grown greens and vegetables (grown in the garden of the restaurant, which also offers outdoor dining). The wood fired pizza/bread oven allows for some of the best pizzas in the Bay area. The restaurant is elegant, intimate and comfortable, and the service is impeccable and informed. It is obvious that the staff and management of this restaurant deeply care about quality and presentation. Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "We started with the Dungeness crab appetizer which was over-fried (dark color) and not tasty at all. Then, both our entrees were a disappointment. Mine was the pastry filled with vegetables and ricotta. It had a flavorless sauce and was generally bland. My husband got the crab mixed with squid in ink fettuccine. He ate less than half of it before he pushed his plate away. I like the idea of the restaurant having garden fresh produce and supporting a neighborhood local restaurant but when seeking out fine dining with higher prices, I expect the food to taste better!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "This is my husband and my new favorite restaurant. The staff is attentive, the ambiance is warm and inviting and most importantly, the food is delicious. They use fresh, local ingredients - some of which they grow themselves! We had a wood fire oven pizza, a couple of salads to start and the artichoke and kale pot pie. Delicious!"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "A little disappointed with the sorry excuse for diners in this restaurant. They were all out of the trout which was one of only three menu choices. However the beef dish I ordered was quite good and the waitress comped me a soup since they were out of everything which made up the difference for me."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "We had a New Year's Eve dinner here. There were three of us so we each ordered a different item, so we each tasted everything...everything was delicious"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "The food was fabulous and service delightfully attentive without being invasive."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "We take out-of-town and in-town friends to Main Street when we want excellent local food and some quality time together without a lot noise and fuss. We're regulars! Thanks guys and keep up the good work."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "MSG had a pig roast this Saturday. It was fun! Prix fixe and a glass of wine included. Pork was roasted in their pizza oven and carved expertly by Chef Chris. Sides included roasted cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cannelloni beans with kale. Pork was separated between shoulder and leaner cuts. Sauces included a hogwash, Carolina red bbq and a verde sauce. Home made bread and panna cotta gelato for desert. Service was attentive. Food was great. Main Street Garden cafe is always a hit."
    Dined on 12/8/2013
  • "Everything's good...wonderfully dressed salads, starters...interesting and adventurous, wood fired pizzas...generous and flavorful, entrees...seasonal and thoughtfully prepared, desserts...always one that catches my fancy. The owners are always there to see to it that everyone is satisfied. We're lucky they're in lil" ol' Soquel !"
    Dined on 12/5/2013