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 WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSpecial Occasion
Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
21 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (9)fit for foodies (8)good for groups (6)romantic (5)neighborhood gem (5)notable wine list (4)hot spot (2)kid-friendly (2)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (1)great for brunch (1)great for lunch (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • This is our favorite Italian
    yumtofood
    Dined on 10/5/2012
    This is our favorite Italian restaurant in Santa Cruz. Maybe even favorite overall! Truly authentic and delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Everything was wonderful!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/5/2012
    Everything was wonderful! Appetizer, salad, entree, dessert, limoncello, espresso, wait staff from waitress to manager to owner - most welcoming informative and genuine! Will be back soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent restaurant for great
    UpfromSantaCruz
    Dined on 9/29/2012
    Excellent restaurant for great food and service! Authentic Italian cuisine!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent service and great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/28/2012
    Excellent service and great food! Will go back again for sure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great meal. There was a very
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/8/2012
    Great meal. There was a very large party going on which made for a very noisy room. Will go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great place to go for out
    tiffetalVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2012
    A great place to go for out of towners who want to get away from the tourist trap restaurants. Food was super fresh, organic and delicious!! We just would go back and would recommend to others traveling to the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • frustrating experience...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/20/2012
    The waiter was pleasant and punctual, but the food took 45 minuted because apparently the cook "lost our order". Everyone around us (folks who came after, seemed to get and nearly finish their meals by the time we got ours)Then when we got it, it wasn't fully cooked. Wasn't the anniversary dinner I was hoping for by any means. After all the above, no discount either.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food, generous ambiance, quiet
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2012
    Cafe Mare is a fine place to eat in Santa Cruz, especially if you have a large group and want to hear yourself talk. I've never been there when if was over-crowded. Sometimes the service is slow. That's the only drawback, but if you're in a group it doesn't matter. We've often gone there after an event. Not sure if one can depend on quick service before the event. Nice generous atmosphere and white table cloths!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We love going here whether
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/11/2012
    We love going here whether it's just my husband and me for a romantic tryst or with the kids.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This was a great find; good
    McCarterCouple
    Dined on 7/31/2012
    This was a great find; good food at reasonable prices with a friendly and attentive staff. Would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just Keeps Getting Better
    bcneus
    Dined on 7/16/2012
    Cafe Mare is under new ownership. Two of the employees purchased the restaurant and the food is now better than ever! We've eaten there 3 times over the last 2 months a loved it every time. Last night my husband and I had the lasagna special (soon to be on the new menu) and loved it. It had homemade egg noodles and a beautiful bolognese sauce along with bechemel-yum! My niece and her boyfriend, visiting from out of town, had the stuffed chicken and penne pasta alla vodka. The both said their meals were outstanding. Our family loves Italian food and this food tasted like it was made it a small Italian village-fresh, rustic, and great flavors. We are now making this our "go to" place for a great night out. A nice meal for a good price.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I picked the restaurant because
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/13/2012
    I picked the restaurant because it was close to my other events of the night, and the food was surprisingly good.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Big Disappointment at $50/customer
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 6/16/2012
    First time I've felt the need to write. party of five. Two veal scallopine. The meat was tough and stuck together, looked and tasted as though it had been boiled (nuked?)and it didn't smell right?? Both with the saltimbocca sauce, both diners (who are fond of salt) found the dish overly salty, both diners complained of the saltiness of the dish, another diner had red snapper and complained of the salt as well. The chefs response was that the three dishes had salty elements, i.e. one should be happy and not complain. (60 years of age, I've eaten before). Lastly, two seafood soups, the prawns and calamari were way overcooked and tough("cafe mare" expert?) very little broth. $250 w/only $16 bar, automatic tip of 18% (taken on total WITH tax!)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
    sandydandy
    Dined on 5/13/2012
    Lovley setting, sweet and compete t wait staff , and really great food, what more could a foodie want?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I thoroughly enjoyed my dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/10/2012
    I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience at Cafe mare and the music was excellent. Thank you I'll be coming back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • we were visiting ucsc and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 4/5/2012
    we were visiting ucsc and this was a lovely ending to a wonderful day
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love this place and so does
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/4/2012
    Love this place and so does everyone I bring there. The food is ALL homemade, fresh, and mostly organic. The staff are such nice people you feel like part of the family! A must do in Santa Cruz!!!!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My boyfriend and I dined here
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/27/2012
    My boyfriend and I dined here on Monday night and the food was delicious! Definitely a great place to go for a romantic night out :)
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Was there for Valentine's
    MyrnaM
    Dined on 2/14/2012
    Was there for Valentine's day, service was good. I had a salmon pasta, the salmon was tasty but it was a bit limited, as there was not much salmon there. The sauce was good. My husband had a spaghetti with bolonese sauce that was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nothing special, nothing Italian.
    0mnivore
    Dined on 2/11/2012
    Food is OK. Not very special restaurant dining. There isn't anything Italian here, except that they have some Pizza on the menu. Three meals were $85 without wine and 2 appetizers. Service was very friendly, but there were surprisingly long intervals when there appeared to be not a single server of any kind among the tables. Several times, we and other diners were looking around fruitlessly for any kind of staff help.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent, fresh food. Slow service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/5/2012
    My fiance and I were walking downtown, and in the mood for Italian, so we booked a table online. There was one party seated already, and then one family of 6 who walked in with us. We were seated by the bartender, who was extremely friendly. That, unfortunately, was where the great service ended. We were often left waiting for extended periods of time for the simplest of things [bringing back our debit card, coming to take our order, bringing me a coke from the bar], when the restaurant was almost entirely empty. The girl that bussed our table, and the bartender, were 10x more useful than our waitress. The food, however, was excellent, and fresh. I asked for a simple shrimp alfredo, which was not on the menu, and they accommodated!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We have dined here many times,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 1/14/2012
    We have dined here many times, and have never had anything less than an exceptional meal. The food is impeccably prepared and presented, prices are reasonable, and the wait staff is attentive and friendly but unobtrusive. We prefer Cafe Mare for a quiet dinner for two as well as a leisurely lunch with friends and family gatherings on special occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was delicious. Had
    SJfoodieVIP
    Dined on 1/8/2012
    The food was delicious. Had the seafood mixed grill and portion was large. bread came fresh and hot. Delicious veggies with the main dishes.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lousy!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 1/4/2012
    Food was of inferior quality and over-priced. Our salads sat for 10 minutes waiting for our server, and though there were several servers there, and it was not busy, not one brought the salads. Server told us one thing about the food and the kitchen told us another We will not go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We had a long uninterrupted
    GFgogirl
    Dined on 12/31/2011
    We had a long uninterrupted lunch with excellent service and food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Italian food with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 12/24/2011
    Excellent Italian food with attentive but not intrusive service in a comfortable setting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We have been going to Cafe
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 12/10/2011
    We have been going to Cafe Mare for about 5 years now and it has been keeping its quality. It is always a nice experience to dine there.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Liked: that they treated a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 12/3/2011
    Liked: that they treated a woman dining alone very well - good table, same friendly service as everyone else. Food well prepared and delicious, old standards done right. Best gnocchi I've ever had - tender and flavorful. Nice room. Disliked: very slow service, no real excuse for this on a weeknight with many employees dashing about. Ran out of the dish I wanted rather early. Way too expensive for what it is: main dish, pasta, salad, dessert and one glass of wine came to close to $80! Rather limited menu. I liked Cafe Mare but I may have to stick to Lillian's, and for special occasions and similar pricing I much prefer La Posta.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We are new to the area and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/6/2011
    We are new to the area and Cafe Mare was recommended by a friend. We had a very nice relaxing dinner.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another great meal at Cafe
    bcneus
    Dined on 10/22/2011
    Another great meal at Cafe Mare. The food is consistently good to great and the staff is warm and kind. The swordfish special was excellent.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Dinner and good value
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/22/2011
    Very good value and very good choice on the menu. Very attentive service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great as always. The mushroom
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 9/16/2011
    Great as always. The mushroom and ricotta stuffed tortoloni were great. We will look for that as a special again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Adding Cafe Mare to my Favorites
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 8/27/2011
    It was my second time dining at Care Mare, and I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the experience as I did the first time (in Nov 2010). The menu offers a wonderful variety (we usually have a vegetarian in our party), as does the wine list (gotta love a restaurant with my favorite Amerone). Adding to the excellent experience was our waiter, Paolo, who was the perfect mix of engaging talk, information about the dishes prepared, and pure charm. I was also pleasantly surprised at the noise level; the restaurant was full on a Saturday night with about three large groups dining around us, and no one in our party of three had to raise our voices to be heard or was disturbed by laughter or conversation straying from other tables.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed given reviews
    GlobalTraveler
    Dined on 8/15/2011
    Went to this restaurant based on posted reviews and was disappointed. Waiter literally tried to put my salad on top of my plate with antipasta course, which had just arrived two minutes before the salad course. Antipasta of grilled vegetables was miserly for the price, and not particularly good. Main courses were fine, but more on par with a Macaroni Grill than fine Italian food. Place was over hyped and under delivered. Lots of other choices in Santa Cruz.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We always love going to Cafe
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 8/5/2011
    We always love going to Cafe Mare. The food is very good especially the specials such as quail or oso buco or rabbit. Any of the fish dishes are also very good. The service is great, just like the service you get in Italy.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was fantastic! Our
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/20/2011
    The food was fantastic! Our waiter had a great personality, but seemed, at times overwhelmed. We had a party of 10, and drink orders seemed to take FOREVER, on a Monday night. Not the busiest night. there were a few people at the bar. Several times we got up, ourselves to get our own drinks. It was a nice atmosphere, and would recommend for smaller parties. Dinner for two, would be a perfect place. I would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful food & impeccable service
    ramonaVIP
    Dined on 6/11/2011
    We were a party of 12 celebrating my daughter's college graduation and everything was delicious and the service impeccable. The waiter was very knowledgable about the food and we never had to wait very long for anything. We also changed our reservation last minute from 1:00 to 11:00 and they were very accommodating. Next time we're in Santa Cruz we will definitely eat here again!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome food! Awesome service!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/3/2011
    Awesome food! Awesome service! Beautiful ambiance!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Overall, the food and service
    Snow
    Dined on 5/25/2011
    Overall, the food and service were both very good. However, the bill included 18% tip. I didn't realize that until after I came home. I paid a tip in addition to the 18% already included. I think this 18% should be mentioned to the customers.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This is a great dinner restaurant.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/8/2011
    This is a great dinner restaurant. I had my first brunch there on Mother's Day. Service was very good and some of us had a great meal. Mine was ok, but that's more a function of what I ordered than the general quality of the food.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet