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: 8314779265x
- Hours of Operation:
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, 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
41 reviews since May 5, 2014
- Ambiance4.6Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (37)fit for foodies (35)great for outdoor dining (31)romantic (25)special occasion (24)great for lunch (17)great for brunch (16)notable wine list (13)good for groups (12)scenic view (10)kid-friendly (7)hot spot (1)Show More
- 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 ServiceOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined 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.
- Fantastic foods & Excellent ServiceOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined 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 deliciousOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined 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 2012Dined 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.
- RobertDined on 5/11/2014Good food including vegetables from their own garden, in a quiet setting. Recommended.Special Features:
- Venetian foodsLainaDined on 5/9/2014At 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 251 reviews are from the Main Street Garden & Cafe reviews archive.
- Regional Italian FoodsLainaDined on 5/3/2014We 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing Food - True ItalianSueInSoquelVIPDined on 4/24/2014The 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.Special Features:
- Deliciouso!AdelaideDined on 4/20/2014I'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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Incredible outdoor diningOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 4/20/2014Patio 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Go for the Burrata!loomzoomDined on 4/19/2014Friendly 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!Special Features:
- Birthday CelebrationlancerdinerDined on 4/17/2014Our new favorite dining experience. We have been multiple times and never disappointed. The food is fresh and expertly prepared. Keep up the good workSpecial Features:
- Favorite Spotfab1Dined on 4/12/2014This 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!Special Features:
- So many wonderful flavorsLadiesnightoutDined on 4/5/2014Everything I eat was delicious. Can't wait to eat there againSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Does not dissapointVeggie26Dined on 3/29/2014This was our second visit and we were both pleasantly surprised (again) by tge innovative yet comforting food experience. We loved it!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food & service.WinedudeDined on 3/7/2014We 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.Special Features:
- It's so great to have a neighborhooKauailoverDined on 3/1/2014It's so great to have a neighborhood restaurant that is reliable, fresh, and comforting, from both the food and the staff!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Love itEricDined on 2/28/2014Main 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.Special Features:
- Birthday dinnerBetsDined on 2/22/2014Love the food especially the house made buratta. I recommend this place highly. Can't wait for better weather for outdoor dining near the garden.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.