Michael's on Main
Michael's on Main

Michael's on Main

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.michaelsonmain.net/
  • Phone: 831-479-9777x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Tuesday - Sunday 11:30am - 3:00pm
    Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 11:00am - 3:00pm
    Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Comfort Food, Californian, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Michael Clark
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, 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, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Michael’s on Main offers full service catering. We provide professional staff, on-site chefs and can assist with rental equipment for your event. Wedding, rehearsal dinner, birthday celebrations, we are with you every step of the way. We specialize in “cutting edge comfort cuisine”, a fresh take on classic favorite dishes. We take great pride in using local, organic produce whenever possible; our menu reflects seasonal availability in our area.
  • Private Party Facilities: Located in a beautiful, tree-studded setting on the banks of Soquel Creek, Michael’s on Main is the perfect location for your wedding, rehearsal dinner or celebration of any kind. We specialize in 'cutting-edge comfort cuisine', a fresh take on classic favorite dishes. We take great pride in working with local vendors and serve organic produce whenever possible.

    Indoor dining areas are spacious and inviting, each with individual personality and décor; our outdoor Courtyard and Creekside Patio can be heated so they’re comfortable in all seasons.
  • Private Party Contact: Event Coordinator 831-479-9777x
  • Entertainment: Live music weekly. Never a cover charge.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Bay Ave, California Highway 1
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Public lot & street parking
A word from Michael's on Main
Michael's on Main in Soquel, California offers cutting-edge comfort cuisine, a fresh take on classic favorite dishes. We take great pride in working with local vendors and serve organic produce whenever possible.

The ambiance at Michael's on Main is warm and inviting. Indoor spaces are decorated with rotating works by local artists; outdoor seating overlooks beautiful Soquel Creek. Our bar offers an extensive list of local wines and beer and live music weekly (and there's never a cover charge!)
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Michael's on Main reviews from OpenTable diners
44 reviews since June 3, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.9
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
80% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (28)scenic view (22)neighborhood gem (22)good for groups (18)romantic (17)special occasion (16)fit for foodies (13)great for lunch (12)vibrant bar scene (11)notable wine list (7)great for brunch (6)late-night find (4)hot spot (3)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • Bunnylove
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    I had a wonderful time at Wine Tuesday. The ambiance on the patio was so inviting and the view overlooking Soquel Creek provides a relaxing dining experience. Michael, the owner/chef, and Denise his partner/wife always make everyone feel welcome. The food is a modern twist on comfort food - delicious. There's something for everyone. The wait person the last time I was there seemed to be stretched a little thin. She had a lot of tables to cover and voiced her anxiousness about not being able to service us in the way she would like to. The food was also a little slow coming out of the kitchen. I know this can happen at times and it won't prevent me from returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious meal and service
    carrieruth
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    I took my husband to Michael's for his birthday. We both ordered the pistacchio-crusted salmon. After sharing a fresh garden salad, we enjoyed our salmon, which was extremely tender and absolutely delicious. It was served with perfectly grilled zucchini and a wonderful mushroom risotto. Loved it and will return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just GOOD!!
    franKVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Thank you, Michael's....once again, you gave us a wonderful evening with friends and guests from far away. Try the Zolo malbec for a rich surprise, such a nice addition to a full and interesting wine list.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Was very good food and wine and nice guitar playing. Had fun sitting outside
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wine & food pairing (NOT)
    RxDiner
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    We were frustrated. We had come for the gluten free meal and wine pairing and paid $25 each. We were sat at our table and waited. We were then told that we could go get our food at the buffet whenever ready and we could get our wine at the table. There was no description of what wine went with which food (ie. pairing). More importantly, my wife went through the buffet with her salad plate, then came back, ate and then went back up to get the meal. The platter was empty. When we asked the waitress, they said "More people who didn't have reservations showed up so the food went quicker, sorry." We had reservations. They were gracious enough to make her a separate meal; however, she wanted the gluten free meal we came for.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What a wonderful experience
    Bumfleet
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    This was our first time at Michael's and I am not sure why we waited so long-we loved the food, service, and view. Can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful food!
    DarleneVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    This place is a little out of the way, but well worth a short drive. The food is great. Reasonable prices, and nice service. Probable the best Salinas CA has to offer if you are not into Mexican food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Food and Wine Pairing...great deal!
    vmdine
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We had a great meal with lovely wine for a great price. The Tuesday night Food and Wine Pairing is super! Each week is a different theme, so do check online to see if they're serving what you like. We found that there were even some extras dishes served. All were delicious. Beware that serving for this special doesn't start until 6:30, which Open Table didn't seem to account for. The host at the bar served us a complimentary drink, since our reservation was for 6 p.m.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Theme Nights
    Nocooking
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We were pleasantly surprised at the great food with wine and music on a Tuesday night during one of Michaels theme nights. Great value and would be fun with a group. We plan on returning with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outside is where to be!!
    franKVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    This summer (and Fall) grab all the time you can to be OUT!! Michael's has some of the nicest patios (front and back!!) in Santa Cruz. Creekside or under the trees in the front...nice!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot
    Dinner42please
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Food service and fun..great wines...waiter is on to being a waiter great music in the lounge
    Special Features:
    scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unremarkable
    CandCinSC
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Maybe we hit it on a difficult night, but we were really unimpressed. Our waiter seemed to have forgotten about us, and the food was mediocre. The ribeye was pan-fried and drowning in an unsubtle wine gravy, served over hard (not al dente, but hard) Brussels sprouts and cubes of fried potatoes that tasted like oil and nothing else. The kale salad was almost great - the right ingredients and fresh. But so flat, we actually believe they forgot to put on the dressing. It was so disappointing. Not worth it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • No thanks!
    DeniseVIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    5 of us chose this restaurant on our first night in Santa Cruz. It was such a disappointment. They were out if 4 of the 5 entrees we chose. And the place was empty! Worst of all, my sons friend ate the special pizza of the day. Barbecue. Yuk. And he threw up in the bathroom after eating while we paid the bill. That's never happened to us and it was just a bad night.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing
    PaulVIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Really wanted to like this place - it has everything going for it. Ate Sunday brunch, seated on the beautiful outside patio. But the very good quality music was to loud for a conversation at the table - we didn't come for a concert. The food aspired to mediocre. All four dishes were simply poor flavors, soggy and unappetizing. Took a few bites and gave up. The service was just as limp - nothing bad, just nothing there.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wrong hours
    THMH
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Open table allowed us to make a reservation for 30 minutes after the restaurant's kitchen closed. We were left to scramble to find another place to have dinner after we arrived and were turned away, and the server at the restaurant placed the blame with Open Table. We will not be using open table in the future because it appears to be untrustworthy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience
    JefmelVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    My husband and I stopped for dinner on a Saturday evening. The hostess, and servers were very cherry, knowledgable and helpful. Food was excellent as well. Bar had a cover band warming up, and once they got started the sound level was great in the dining room. Over all I will definitely go back & recommend.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We were feted like royalty!
    stillhappyafter33years
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    It was our 33rd anniversary and we were made to feel as if the entire staff was celebrating with us. The food was awesome - perfectly done. We were given a corner table facing the outdoor
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT ATMOSPHERE, FOOD NOT AS GOOD
    LUV2EAT
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Two dinners were good and the other two were not. The Osso Bocco was cold in spots and the pot roast was rather bland and tasteless. Lumpy mashed potatoes. Service was not the fastest - but then we were not in a hurry. We were told the Osso Bocco would take 25 minutes - why we could not figure out since it should have been cooking most of the day - however, we felt it had been cooked prior, frozen and then microwaved. And it took longer than 25 minutes to be served and then it was served luke warm.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bad service day
    SoquelLocal
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Had a horrible service day at Michael's. We know they are not the fastest, and that's not the idea. But sitting there 20 minutes without getting a menu, taking 90 minutes until food arrives is just not acceptable. The server was completely out of it. She went AWOL for extended periods of time, in fact I had to go into the restaurant twice to order drinks. A bunch of items were also sold out, that happens, but I wouldn't mind my server telling me about it before I make my decisions. This happened for both food and wine. I practicably never tip $0. In this case even paying the full price for food and drink felt too much as I did not feel like I got what I paid for. I used to be a regular here. Not anymore
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Chandy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    We had never been to Michael's on Main prior to this visit. The food was fabulous. My boyfriend had the Lamb Lollipops. The look on his face when he took the first bite was one of pure ecstasy. My Artichoke and Spinach Raviolis were wonderful and to my surprise, the portion was very generous. The view of the creek and it's lush surroundings were very romantic and relaxing. My boyfriend even said, "This would be a great place to get married!!!"
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • we canceled the reservation.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    There was no parking at all anywhere. We drove around for ten minutes, then we went somewhere else.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always love it
    lmrh54
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    This place is a local gem and I always wonder why it's not busier during lunch...such a pretty view of the river and all the plantings they have there are stunning. We love to sit outside, usually with our dog, and enjoy the food, wine and the atmosphere. We love it!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food, nice service!
    JD1980
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We went for dinner, originally requesting an outdoor table. When we arrived, the temperature had gone way down, so they got us inside, despite it being Friday night. The place was full, but not crowded. The bar music was slightly audible in the dining room, which was amazing for how much it was cranking over there. The view was gorgeous, out to a beautiful garden in the back. The food was great. We had a few things and shared them, all were done quite nicely. The runner brought our salads before our apps, which was the opposite of what our server had intended. No big deal to us, but he apologized 3 times, and brought us a second hot chocolate (with fresh whipped cream) to make up for it. We'll definitely be going back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Huge disappointment
    EastBayFoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Should've been a warning sign when I got call from restaurant that they were closing the kitchen at 9pm and can we please come sooner. We raced over. When we arrived for our highly anticipated romantic anniversary dinner, the restaurant was near empty and we definitely had the feeling everyone wanted to go home and were just waiting for us to finish. Not sure what people are talking about in terms of ambiance... the furnishings were pedestrian and the artwork incongruous so that it wasn't clear at all what look the restaurant was going for. Unfortunately neither the food or drink redeemed the experience. The wine list is mediocre as is the food. No special dessert or treatment given it was our anniversary and no one else was there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Osso darn good
    disapointed
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    I had heard from a friend that they had a so so experience at michaels and I went back because I couldn't believe it...I had the Osso Buco and found it still to be the best I have ever eaten. It may take a few minutes longer, but worth it. Michael visited our table as he usually does. Great experience again.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner four four
    Pstepo
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Lamb excellent. Pasta rich. Burnt Caesar terrible. Polenta terrible. Wedge salads good but huge . Risotto good. Waitress wonderful. Oysters fabulous. Green vegetables way undercooked. All in all a good experience but would order a differently.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • coastlover
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    The owner and our server went above and beyond to ensure that our experience was awesome. Highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Solid Local Tuck-in
    franKVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Great burgers/fries, sunny creekside deck, full bar and solid service make MOM an easy pick for lunch-n-gab with the girls or a comfort dinner when you're just not into cooking that night. I've brought family, out-of-towners and friends here and can always count on the menu having something they can enjoy whether they are vegan, veggie, non-gluten or whatever diet du jour happens to be wafting thru California. The kitchen can be a bit problematic but they are always game for subs and requests. The service is really competent; many folks who get into the waitstaff biz think it's an easy job (we all know what that looks like...sigh) but the MOM hires are hardworking and smart. Can't miss with Michael's on Main!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    Delicious meal. Salmon special with ginger sauce and herbed potato cake was divine. Loved the ahi appetizer. Noise level increased when live band started playing in the bar area, otherwise noise level in restaurant area was fine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Find in my Neighborhood!
    Alexandra
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Three of us found a late lunch here on a Wednesday. We sat in the bar, looking out at two different, spacious patios: great views and quiet! Although I am sure that the noise level is higher when the restaurant is full, I really relish my food more when I can actually talk to my partners, so this quiet lunch was so perfect for us. We had lovely food: one of us had the 1/2 grilled panini and a side salad. The other two both had the home made ravioli Special which was excellent! We had good wine recommendations and enjoyed our selections. We also enjoyed the brussels sprouts as an appetizer. Although because it has such a large capacity, I fear Michael's would be too noisy for me for dinner, I will look forward to my next lunch there!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Very Nice Find
    FineDiner
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    We were very happy with our experience. The food and service were excellent. I love that they have "small plates" that have some character to them! A couple of less-than-perfects: I wasn't thrilled, being seated by the kitchen door. But it wasn't distracting or noisy. What can you do? Every restaurant has one! They had a band playing in the bar that was pretty overpowering (read "loud") - on a Thursday? I love rock & roll as well as anybody, but it was hard to hear our guests across the table and it seemed out of place in such a nice dining room. Despite that, I'd go back anytime!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 13 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 3, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The following 145 reviews are from the Michael's on Main reviews archive.
  • Had Sunday brunch here
    Nine
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    This is a great place to eat outside, although there were few umbrellas. The food was perfect (I had the shrimp (prawns?) and grits. It was yummy. The service was also good! Live music was a special touch. (one singer)
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • brunch
    Julie
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Brunch was alright--I was expecting more food and more of a selection. It wasn't a breakfast buffet. My breakfast burrito looked so small in that big plate they gave with 3 slices of melon, a a little container of salsa. I should have ordered more food. It was just okay.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Easter Brunch
    treat2eat
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    On a busy Sunday we did not have to wait for our table. The service was good and food delicious. The dining room looking out over Soquel Creek was very pleasant.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Scenic View
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice casual dining
    Barb
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    The waiter was terrific, but the food was spotty in quality. Kids meals were very good as was the fresh fish entree. However, two of us ordered the spare ribs, which were heavily charred on one side, making them nearly impossible to eat. Further the sauce on the ribs was a heavy mustard sauce which did not compliment the meat or the sides presented with the meal. The swiss chard and mashed potatoes were fine. I suggest others try the fish or other entrees. Aside from our poorly executed entree, the dining experience was very enjoyable and the location relaxing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We were disappointed. The
    Hungry2
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    We were disappointed. The food was expensive and unremarkable. On a bright note the waitress and bus person were delightful.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hospitalty
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    Bartender & Waiter erver where very atentive to my presents and service needs. Makes it a great place to go back again.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasant
    Bunky
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    Food was good and had a nice long lunch with a friend.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • super 89th
    oldie
    Dined on 3/18/2014
    I couldn't have made a better choice for birthday dinner with friends -- made the best not only by chefs and servers but by other guests at nearby tables!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently good!
    AnnaVIP
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    We love the food and ambiance. But it seems the production in the kitchen needs work. The flow of the meal has consistently been off. The salad comes in a timely fashion and then the entree is 25 minutes later??
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.