Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant
Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant

Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cafemare.com/
  • Phone: 8314581212x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM, Saturday - Sunday: 11:30 AM - 4:00 PM;
    Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Saturday - Sunday: 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Italian
  • Executive Chef: Jean-Pierre Luliano
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, 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, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Please contact the restaurant for details
  • Private Party Facilities: Cafe Mare is the perfect place for your next private party or a group event. We can accommodate groups up to 150 people and offer private and semi-private seating inside and outside. We offer custom preset menus that will surely satisfy everyone’s craving.
  • Private Party Contact: Jean-Pierre & Andrea Mura 8314581212x
  • Entertainment: Private Parties.
  • Special Events: Contact us at 831-458-1212

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Cooper street
  • Public Transit: Metro bus station 1 block away.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking is available behind the restaurant, at the "Galleria Parking" alley or next to it, at the River Street Garage.
A word from Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant
Old world charm in the heart of Santa Cruz, authentic Italian cuisine with an extensive wine list and a full bar. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, large groups welcome, patio dining, house made pasta, desserts and bread, gluten free options, all organic produce and sustainable sea food, fresh meats including free range veal. Ample public parking. reservations for groups of 10 or more must leave credit card number, reservations must be cancelled 24 hours prior date of event or $25 per person fee will be charged.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSpecial Occasion
Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
26 reviews since June 25, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.8
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (10)special occasion (9)neighborhood gem (9)fit for foodies (8)romantic (6)notable wine list (3)great for brunch (2)great for lunch (2)late-night find (2)great for outdoor dining (1)kid-friendly (1)hot spot (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Fantastic Xmas Eve Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 12/24/2013
    Once again we enjoyed our Christmas Eve dinner at Cafe Mare. The food and service were excellent. They were crazy busy but everything was running smoothly. We always get a good meal here with good and friendly service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cafe Mare is the Best!
    yumtofood
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    Cafe Mare has been our favorite italian Restaurant in Santa Cruz for years. We are never disappointed! The food is always fabulous and the owners and staff make you feel like family! They make most of their own pasta and their butternut squash gnocchi is to die for (seasonal only).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Authentic Italian waiter, Bene!
    2fordinnerplease
    Dined on 11/20/2013
    Mid week surprise, early meet my bride for dinner...it was perfect, appetizer salumi was fresh and tasty...my salad was good ..we chose gnocchi for a Primo and they were better than most..the pork shoulder secondo was even better still..the service was very good and our waiter was truly Italian and very fun and patient with my really poor Italian..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No crowd and great dining
    BobroyerVIP
    Dined on 11/17/2013
    We got a table for 6 on a Sunday evening at the last minute. The food was great with a nice selection. The wine list was better than adequate. The service was superior.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Six of us had a great visit,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/10/2013
    Six of us had a great visit, good service , good wine, food and will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent dinner.... Professional
    Got2b4me
    Dined on 10/24/2013
    Excellent dinner.... Professional staff.. Great cocktails
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Slow food
    frustratedfoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    Our food was pretty tasty. My husband thought the pasta was too al dente. But it seemed like we waited a long time for our food to come.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cafe Mare
    Rockhopper
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    The food was good, but the meal arrived after a long wait. We had lasagna and seafood ravioli. Both were average. We also had bruschetta which was very good. The waiter was pleasant but we waited a long time for the food. We had panna cotta for dessert which was excellent! I would go back to this restaurant, but I might try another one first.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic Italian food
    VandalMD
    Dined on 10/14/2013
    I found the food and menu selections quite authentic, having lived in Italy. I wish I could have tried more options! The cocktail menu looked very interesting, too, but I stuck with a traditional Italian red wine, which was excellent. The waitstaff was friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient. This was a great find while traveling. Not a great view, but internal ambience was nice.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An italian gem
    intrepiddiner
    Dined on 10/7/2013
    Cafe Mare is a delightful Italian restaurant in downtown Santa Cruz. We have been here several times over the past five years, and it never fails to please. Excellent service and wonderful food make the perfect combination for an evening out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not bad
    Tadao
    Dined on 10/6/2013
    The food was alright. The service however was outstanding. The waiters do a really good job,
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Comfortable - Tasty - Reliable
    neesybobo
    Dined on 9/22/2013
    We've eaten at Cafe Mare over the years and always enjoyed good meals and good service.Their pizza is terrific, a lot like what we ate in Italy. We appreciate that they offer gluten-free pasta and pizza dough choices as one of us has celiac disease. The service is friendly and competent without being intrusive. Recently one of our party had a rolled pork thing that was super delish and the fresh halibut that night was tasty and perfectly cooked. I am very sensitve to noise and never have a problem here with loud music, clatter from the kitchen, tables too close together, etc. Cafe Mare one of our downtown favorite places.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food but very slow service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/1/2013
    We really enjoyed the food and wine we had for dinner! Their gelato was amazingly good. Service was very slow and we had to ask for things multiple times. We will try it one more time because the food was so good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner
    Bill
    Dined on 8/3/2013
    W went on a Saturday night, they were short a waiter we were told, but other than a delay getting bread to the table, our waiter (Adrian) was prompt and attentive without being obtrusive. The pasta and salmon dish was fantastic, the drinks well made (hard to find a good Old Fashioned, but this place does it right) and we saw no delay in service. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mangia!
    Sissy36
    Dined on 8/2/2013
    I found this place on yelp as we were in need of a place to carb up for a soccer tournament. Had reservations but it didn't look like I needed them at first. Our wait person forgot to tell us the specials. Ordered the gnocchi with meat sauce and the typical Alfredo dish with prawns (about 8 were on the plate). Both were good. Portion sizes were great for us since we don't eat a lot. It's a full plate but not enough for leftovers. Bruschetta was prepared a little differently, but nice and garlicy. Had a few cocktails from the bar. Good bar-keep! Service was slow. A lot of attention from the front end, but I think waitsttaff is stretched thin. Kitchen needed to be faster considering we waited over 45 min for pasta for the 1 of 1st there
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary
    Steven
    Dined on 7/22/2013
    This will be one of our special places to dine. The service was great and the food was better.
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • authentic Italian
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/6/2013
    If you are looking for authentic fresh Italian, this is the place. Unique specialty offerings and willingness to put together whatever you desire. It's obvious everything is homemade and they offer great variety at a very reasonable price.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, good prices
    BirthdayWife
    Dined on 6/30/2013
    We had a fine meal for my husband's birthday dinner. Everyone was very satisfied with their dinner. The service was a little spotty, but I think it's just because our server was kinda dingy. Just minor things that were easily overlooked. I'd recommend the seafood raviolis. I could take a bath in the sauce!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful spot to celebrate
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/16/2013
    We chose Cafe Mare to celebrate our daughter's graduation from UCSC. Coming from out of town, we had to depend on reviews from previous customers. The reviews were correct. It was a perfect setting for a college graduation, service was spot on. There to be sure all was in order. The food was fresh and clean tasting. The kale salad was a hit as was the veal piccata. Love those giant capers! DOn't miis the souffle for dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dowtown Italian Eatery
    MBrodyVIP
    Dined on 6/16/2013
    The dining room is surrounded by glass windows and is below street level making for a nice ambience. All the food was quite good. My wife had the special red snapper and was thrilled with it. I had the Zuppa de Mediterraneo, with prawns, calamari, mussels, clams and scallops in a tasty broth which is actually a soup. Delicious. My son had gnocchi with Prawns in a cream sauce and his girlfriend had the gnocchi in tomato sauce and they both loved them. all the other dishes- bruschettas, salads, and pastas were also very tasty. the desserts- tiramisu and panna cotta were outstanding. The service was outstanding despite the fact that this was dinner on Father's Day! Glad to have found this place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Grad night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/15/2013
    On any other night I am sure this place offers great service to go with the food. But on grad night, 6/15/13, the place was overwhelmed. We did not get any service for almost 1/2 hour and only then when we flagged down someone. We got drinks and ordered but our food appeared about 2 HOURS later and only then when we whined to our server and a manager. The food was excellent but the service was our worst in over 40 years of dining out
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Since there were 12 of us
    Patsy
    Dined on 6/14/2013
    Since there were 12 of us so it took a while for the kitchen to get the food out to us all at the same time but the waitress was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Occasion
    Special
    Dined on 6/8/2013
    We love Cafe Mare. The food is always very good and the service is excellent. Tonight, the food was its usual excellent. The service seemed rushed and the restaurant had several large parties which made the place much noisier than usual. We might just have to skip Saturdays if we want more quiet. This will not keep us from going again, but maybe checking on the crowd before we go.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Enjoyable
    Special
    Dined on 6/7/2013
    We were celebrating birthdays and an early retirement. The staff was attentive, the restaurant was lively - but we could converse easily, and the food was delicious! Some of us are vegetarian, and there were enough choices to feed us well. We have also taken out of town guests here and have had an equally great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food service was very very
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 5/4/2013
    Food service was very very slow - we did not have time for desert and coffee because we needed to make a performance.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday lunch
    Kristine
    Dined on 5/3/2013
    We took my mother to lunch for her birthday. After reading reviews on YELP, I chose Cafe Mare. What a pleasant surprise. We are locals and had never dined there. What a shock to learn that it's been there for 10 years. Where have WE been? The food was excellent...the bread, the salad, the entree (wild salmon, roasted potatoes and vegetables), the desserts, the coffee! The service was superb and the prices very reasonable. Thank you for a lovely lunch!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was amazing and the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    The food was amazing and the service was outstanding! I live in this town and am exceptionally pleased that the service and food was so good! I had the chicken stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese and wrapped in pancetta...so delicious! I highly recommend this restaurant and will definitely be going back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing food and service.
    TheCritic
    Dined on 3/29/2013
    Amazing food and service. I got the seafood stuffed raviolis which were delicious.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was very well prepared
    FrancoiseVIP
    Dined on 3/23/2013
    The food was very well prepared and presented! The highlight of the evening was the friendliness of the staff! We will definitely return for lunch or dinner.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good spot for before concert
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 3/23/2013
    Good spot for before concert dining with attentive service and nice variety on the menu.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One of the better restaurants
    Spanky
    Dined on 3/21/2013
    One of the better restaurants that I have eaten at in Santa Cruz. I am usually somewhat leery about restaurants in strip shopping centers but the ambiance of thiis place was good, the service and food were excellent and we had a great time.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice local Italian restaurant
    Fundiner
    Dined on 3/17/2013
    Nice local Italian restaurant perfect for a meal before or after a show. Menu included vegetarian options, one pasta, one an eggplant parmigiana which I liked. Wine was nice, bread was nice, the insulata mista very good and my entree rich and wry Italian but not heavy with cheese. I would go back again. ,
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tried it again and came up short!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/16/2013
    We dined at Cafe Mare on Saturday night after being away for a couple of years, and unfortunately we came away less than impressed. The restaurant was extremely busy and did not have staff to accommodate the crowd. Many staff were poorly trained and communication with us as to the status of our order was poor. Our food arrived forty minutes after we ordered it and several entrees were dry as they may have been left under heat lamps. The pasta dishes were less than remarkable. Fish was overcooked and vegetables mushy. I would not dine at Cafe Mare again since it was pricey and there are several other Italian restaurants with better food and service nearby.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This is the first time we
    BobD
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    This is the first time we have been to Cafe Mare, the service was excellent and of course having Italiano's working/owning the resto was also a big plus. We would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Resturaunt,Excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    Excellent Resturaunt,Excellent service. The owner goes the extra mile to make sure everything is above par and food is Great. I proposed to my wife there and he went out of his way to get me a dozen roses for the occasion. I have been eating there for years. Highly reccomended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The waiter remembered us,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/11/2013
    The waiter remembered us, and was very cordial. The list of off-menu specials was long, but even though I had already chosen food from the menu, the specials sounded so wonderful that I abandoned my menu choices. I had a salad of raw beet, parsnip and carrot with balsamic vinaigrette and then a tilapia filet done up with dijon mustard and panko bread crumbs, which came with long-stemmed broccoli and roasted potatoes. My husband had the pureed vegetable soup, and both my husband and my daughter had the gnocchi. Each dish was delicious cooked (or not) perfectly, and the waiters were appropriately attentive during the meal, but not overly so. I've never once had either a bad meal or bad service here, and would enthusiastically recommend
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great homemade sauces, I had
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 1/26/2013
    Great homemade sauces, I had a million-layered lasagne that was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, wine and service.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/26/2013
    Great food, wine and service. Perfect for a meal prior to a late movie or other downtown activity. The only negative was the lighting, but that could just be my eyes.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Our mrrt up group wanted to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/22/2013
    Our mrrt up group wanted to try some place that nobody had been to for a while and the food was very good. Professional friendly staff and know;wgable of all the food served.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent restaurant. Great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/21/2013
    Excellent restaurant. Great attention to detail and very friendly staff. Delicious menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet