Main Street Garden & Cafe
Main Street Garden & Cafe

Main Street Garden & Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.mainstreetgardencafe.com/
  • Phone: 8314779265x
  • 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, 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

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Soquel Dr.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Free off-street parking in the church parking lot across the restaurant
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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Main Street Garden & Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
45 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.7
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (39)fit for foodies (38)great for outdoor dining (32)romantic (27)special occasion (26)great for lunch (14)notable wine list (13)great for brunch (13)good for groups (13)scenic view (9)kid-friendly (5)hot spot (1)Show More
  • This place is a gem, with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/19/2011
    This place is a gem, with a beautiful lawn, vegetable garden and even chickens they are taking their commitment to sustainable food systems seriously and doing it well. The food is fabulous and the menu is exciting. The brick oven pizzas are spectacular/
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not for party of more than two
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/17/2011
    We came to celebrate two birthdays. First mistake. Party of 7 cannot be handled here. We were put out far away from the restaurant in cold grass at sunset. Promised a heat lamp etc but did not happen. As we looked longingly at the warm diners with heatlamps and ambiance on the patio that I had originally requested, we decided to move in . We did. It was better but they forgot drinks. Wine came 25 minutes after pizza. The owner came half way through the meal to tell us no more pizza orders as it is Sunday and they like to "close it up early." I could not believe it. So embarrassed as I am local and booked this fiasco. We were served up plenty of excuses instead of what we wanted, a good meal for the family. Don't go if there are more then 2.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great local organic restaurant
    CaPatolaVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2011
    Main Street Garden is a wonderful place. Brad and his crew put out delicious, creative, organic food in a friendly atmosphere. The wine list is very good, local and reasonable. On our most recent dining experience there, Duosumi(a wonderful local duo playing guitar and contrabass) provided music on the back patio which overlooks the garden.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful, as always. Great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/9/2011
    Wonderful, as always. Great food, service and wonderful setting
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The best food ive had in a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/8/2011
    The best food ive had in a long time! The oyster starters and the goat sausage pizza was out of this world! My wife had the pork shoulder that absolutely melted in your mouth. I had the goat potpie, very tastey and unique! Id say the only thing that was missing was good table bread. Other than that i would dine there weekly if i could. This place is a MUST for your dinning experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent meal and wine.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/24/2011
    Excellent meal and wine. Loved walking the garden and ornamental garden. I highly recommend. We went there for our 22nd wedding anniversary and were very happy with the dining experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Here is a restaurant to draw
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/24/2011
    Here is a restaurant to draw you back again and again. From the moment we stepped across the threshold we were treated as if we were very special guests. From the host to the chef we felt welcomed. The chef - Brad Briske - took the trouble to come out and tell us all about how he locally sources his food and how the dishes are made, many in the outdoor oven. Sitting outside in the lovely back garden was perfection. While we waited for our dinner we strolled around the garden to see the vegetable beds and the chickens. When our food arrived there wasn't a single item we didn't rave about from the homemade salami and cheese to the tenderest goat pot pie and crispy crusted delectable pizzas. We can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The French Laundry of Santa Cruz
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/21/2011
    How do you describe "perfect?" Main Street Garden is a special place that could be best described as the French Laundry of Santa Cruz, but you won't have to shell-out $400 (before wine) and wait 6-months to get in. Local ingredients, local beer, local wine, and vegetables and eggs from their own on-property garden and hen-house. The staff is welcoming and excited about what they do. The menu is succinct, but has something for everyone. Not pretentious, just fantastic. The world would be a happier place if every neighborhood had their own Main Street Garden. Avoid the tourist-traps like The Crow's Nest and experience something that you will be raving about to all of your friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Most adventurous menu in the area!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/17/2011
    The fact that they grow as much as they can on the property, raise chickens to source their own eggs, and make nearly everything in house (including the incredible salami selection) speaks volumes about the food focus at this understated treasure. The service was laid-back in a good way - we were taken good care of but never felt rushed or pushed, and the server had terrific recommendations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Over all the food was quite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/17/2011
    Over all the food was quite good although there were some downsides. We ordered the oyster app. I have never seen oysters so small. I used to work at a shellfish farm and oysters that small would have never been harvested. 4 came on the plate and at 11 bucks a pop I expected a bit more. I couldn't even taste the oyster on one. The pork is to die for. It's worth going for that alone. For desert we had flourless chocolate cake. It's made with a bit of salt which is very good, however the salty whipped cream didn't work for me. It canceled out the natural sweetness of the cream and was too strong for the desert. I think it might have been better without the salt. Service was good and friendly. I like the intent of this place. it's honest.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A lovely, well thought out
    Delmerfoodies
    Dined on 6/16/2011
    A lovely, well thought out restaurant that has innovative cuisine. Ingredients not usually found in dining spots. Servers were friendly and knowledgeable about the food. Back patio is a great place for a drink, or dinner. They have a beautiful pizza oven, organic beds where they grow most of their food, and chickens that provide daily eggs.Another wonderful restaurant in Soquel.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Love it!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/11/2011
    A brilliant menu and a wonderful, amiable staff. My family and I couldn't stop talking about the food DAYS after we went here for my graduation dinner. All the food was great, but the dessert was to die for. And all was reasonably priced considering the quality. Would absolutely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • An absolutely fabulous meal.
    chrisbVIP
    Dined on 6/11/2011
    An absolutely fabulous meal. Every dish was unique in its preparation, and each was totally successful - sommething you rarely find. A wonderful soup of garlic papper broth with fava beans, fava greens and a poached farm egg; a loevly homemade pasta with chicken and pancetta, and three desserts that we shared - a freah berries with lemon curd in a pastry cup; a chevre panacotta with peaches and almons; and the best homemade vanilla oicecream we've evr tasted , topped with hommeage chocolate and candied walnuts. Lovely wines by the glass, most from local wineries complemented the meal. We enjoyed sitting out on the back tarrace facing the garden. We will return soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The restaurant has great potential
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/11/2011
    The restaurant has great potential in that the food is quite good, fine menu and well priced. However the interior needs a professional designer to consider color choices and art displays - also a blocking of the very loud kitchen noise coming directly into the dining room would be appreciated. Attention to detail makes a good place a great restaurant and broken down benches (with missing slats)detract from the environment as well as storing bits and pieces along the building walls outdoors takes away from what could be a beautiful garden area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Perfect Choice
    xNYer123VIP
    Dined on 6/10/2011
    Fabulous all around! Excellent menu of artistically prepared and delicious food. Loved the setting, the service, and the fresh ingredients. Can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful. Try to visit during
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/10/2011
    Wonderful. Try to visit during the warmer months to get a seat outside, beautiful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Didn't meet my expectations
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/9/2011
    The wood-fired pizza was definitely the highlight of the meal. Salad was just ok, romaine lettuce with unimpressive breadcrumbs and some brown avocado pieces found their way onto the plate. Hubby's braised pork shoulder was tough and over cooked (perhaps under?) and the halibut in chili oil was bland and dry. Nice size glasses of house wine and the outdoor garden area was lovely.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful, fresh, organic?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/4/2011
    Wonderful, fresh, organic? food. Really great service, not too intrusive yet attentive. I loved it, esp the salmon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Positively surprised!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/1/2011
    Great food, cooked with local organic produce. Creative chef delivered results that was beyond our expectations. We are looking toward to go again. IImprovement would be for a larger wine selection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • New Favorite Restaurant!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/31/2011
    This is our new favorite restaurant! We can for the first time on a weeknight and absolutely loved the food and the service was great. I highly recommend this place!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We were very happy with our
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/31/2011
    We were very happy with our meal and service. We were given the voice of indoor or ouside patio with gas heater, we chose outside with the lovely lawn ,garden, and chicken coop. Food was very good and interesting. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unusual ingredients (many
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/29/2011
    Unusual ingredients (many had to be explained). Rich sauces! Delicious bread! Recommend to those willing to try unique combinations of foods as a common steak, fries or baked potatoe, and green salad are not on the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Soquel Star
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 5/28/2011
    Main Street Garden exceeds all expectations as to how a Santa Cruz area restaurant compares with the best California cuisine, locally sourced, seasonally fresh restaurants throughout Northern California. If chef Brad Briske were in San Francisco, Chicago, or New York the wait to get a table at his restaurant would be a long one. From appetizers through main course and dessert dishes there was consistent savory flavor and quality. Service was prompt, friendly and attentive, with good knowledge of both the wine list and menu. The wine list features a good offering of local Santa Cruz appellation favorites, but would benefit from a broader list of choices from other California regions. Chef Briske is a star that shines brightly in tiny Soquel.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Main Street Garden is one
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/22/2011
    Main Street Garden is one of the few restaurants that offer goat. Not only do they offer goat, the two dishes we tried were very flavorful (and very different). Try it!.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Did not have two of the six
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/20/2011
    Did not have two of the six wines available by the glass. Server disappeared for long periods of time and seemed indifferent to us. The theme for the restaurant is great but food is just ok.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The Best Food in Santa Cruz County
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/18/2011
    Flavor thy name is Main Street. I've been to Main St. Garden several times now and have never been disappointed. The food is packed with flavor and brilliantly crafted into dishes that you simply won't find anywhere else. The service is warm and friendly and able to answer any and all questions. The burrata with warm olives and flatbread appetizer is a new favorite of mine. It's amazingly simple and full of flavor and a great way to start your meal. The fresh pastas are out of this world. There is something about a great meal that stays with you. Instead of feeling merely full, when you leave Main St. Garden you feel completely satisfied. Life is too short to eat bad food. Tell everyone you know and come back often. You won't regret it
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A real gem. Innovative food
    culinarycruzersVIP
    Dined on 5/6/2011
    A real gem. Innovative food using fresh local ingrediants. Go with a group and share all the appetizers. You will not be disapointed
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Probably the best restaurant
    MartinVIP
    Dined on 4/29/2011
    Probably the best restaurant in Santa Cruz. Inventive ingredients, irresistible pizzas and salads -- and some higher aspirations too. Wine list could use more expansion and attention. Very accommodating staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We had a wonderful late lunch,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 4/24/2011
    We had a wonderful late lunch, outside in a beautiful garden on a beautiful day. Food was very good and quite inventive - just what we were looking for! We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Interesting and creative menu,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/22/2011
    Interesting and creative menu, comfortable dining rooms, and you can take a stroll in the beautiful gardens out in back. Food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A knockout experience.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/22/2011
    One of our best meals ever...gnocchi so light they floated, wonderful pasta dish, excellent (and daring) pork-belly/anchovies wood-fired pizza, superb Windy Oaks Pinot, strawberry/lemon curd in tender, flakey crust. Attentive, friendly staff. Will be back this summer to sit outside with view of veggie garden/chickens. Wonderful experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very imaginative menu featuring
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/21/2011
    Very imaginative menu featuring fresh, seasonal local ingredients. Delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful food, each dish
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 4/20/2011
    Wonderful food, each dish felt specially prepared. Service was attentive, friendly, solicitous - just right, not intrusive. The noise was not worse than in many restaurants but still too high for older folks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We liked that menu choices
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/13/2011
    We liked that menu choices varied from the high end, which we were in the mood for and lower end items for a more casual meal. The atmosphere is elegantly homey. Our waitperson recommended ordering 1/2 portions of more items for our group of 4 to try. This worked well. I am a pasta snob and was reluctant to order the gnocchi or lasagna. These were both excellent, especially the lasagna. The specials were wonderful as well. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Fantastic Spot in Santa Cruz?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/9/2011
    I'll preface this review by saying that, had the service been a bit more attentive, we would have considered this one of the best restaurants we've been to in awhile. Service was not terrible, but it wasn't up to par to everything else. The food was downright phenomenal. Halibut with pork belly and mussels was sublime, tender, flavorful, and there isn't one thing I would improve. Whole Petrale Sole could have used a little bit more sauce, but the fish was ultra flakey, expertly cut, almost completely devoid of small bones. Our Scallop Crudo was also some of the best fresh and raw scallops we've ever had; EVER! Finally, the Panna Cotta desert was totally on par with the rest of the meal. Spectacular. Needless to say, we'll be bac
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Slow Service, Great Good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/3/2011
    The food was excellent! It was very flavorful and at the same time creative and unique. It was also fairly priced for the quality. The servers were friendly, pleasant and attentive without being overly attentive. Some customers might not be completely down with their informal, laid-back approach to serving but it was ok with me. One negative thing about the service was that after we were seated it took them an excessively long time to come and take our orders. It was around noon and a few groups of customers came in at the same time. The servers seemed a little disorganized and were having trouble with the sudden influx. I was rather hungry and getting somewhat irritable about waiting 15 mins to place our order.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • one of the top two or tree
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 4/2/2011
    one of the top two or tree restaurants in santa cruz county--dishes you won't get everywhere--would try anything they make even if not on my favorite list
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It has to be one of Santa
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/1/2011
    It has to be one of Santa Cruz County's best restaurants the Chef is nothing short of an artist.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food but service is
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 3/25/2011
    Great food but service is still a little rough. The cook out in back promised my husband a piece of the rib roast would still be available but when we ordered, it had been taken. Still, the pork shoulder was fabulous.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I think this place is great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 3/19/2011
    I think this place is great and it is definitely what the Santa Cruz dining scene needs. The food philosophy is appreciated, the menu creative. We enjoyed the burrata and salami as a first course and the accompaniments were a delightful surprise. Thereafter, seasoning was mostly underwhelming. The goat pot pie was amazing. It brought me back to the memories of my Colombian grandmother's delicious empanadas and that is impressive. The service was mild. More acknowledgement and astuteness would have matched the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet