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About Aquarius - Dream Inn

Aquarius Restaurant offers spectacular oceanfront dining just off the beach in Santa Cruz, and is locally renowned as one of Santa Cruz's top dining destinations. The restaurant and lounge is truly a "window box on the sea", allowing guests to experience panoramic views that stretch north to one of the nations top surf spots – Steamer Lane, south to the majestic Monterey Bay and Peninsula and East to the Santa Cruz Mountains. The cool and breezy interior is especially romantic at night when the moon casts its glow onto the sea. Our California Coastal Cuisine is inspired by fresh and local products and produce, including local sustainable seafood, complemented by a regional wine list. Aquarius is a proud supporter of Fish Watch program, promoting sustainable seafood and clean oceans.

175 West Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Organic, Californian

Hours of Operation:
BREAKFAST: Monday - Saturday: 7:00am - 11:30am
LUNCH: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm
Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
BRUNCH: Sunday: 7:00am - 3:00pm
DINNER: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Bay Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(831) 740-8138

Website:
http://www.dreaminnsantacruz.com/santa-cruz-restaurants

Entertainment:
Live Jazz with The Minus Third Trio, Thursdays and Saturdays from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Parking Details:
Hotel parking lot across the street from The Dream Inn, or complimentary valet parking.

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
For information regarding our banquet rooms, please contact Aurora Smith at (831)460-5008

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Details

New Years Eve - Aquarius Restaurant
December 31st, 2017
5:30pm - 3 Course set menu | $48 , 7:00pm 4 Course set menu | $64 , 9:00pm 5 Course Set menu | $85 (9:00pm seating includes, a celebratory glass of bubbles with dessert, live music, and party favors

Aquarius - Dream Inn Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.0

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.8

service

4.0

ambience

4.5

value

3.5

Noise

Moderate

83% would recommend it to a friend

Waterfront (25)
Scenic View (24)
Special Occasion (19)
See All
Good for a Date (11)
Romantic (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (7)
Healthy (7)
Live Music (7)
Quiet Conversation (7)
Worth the Drive (7)
Bar Seating (7)
Good for Birthdays (6)
Local Ingredients (6)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Cozy (5)
Creative Cuisine (5)
Fit for Foodies (5)
Hot Spot (5)
Kid-friendly (4)
Fun (4)
Good for Groups (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Great for Lunch (4)
People Watching (4)
Sunday Lunch (4)
Business Meals (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Authentic (2)
Great for Brunch (2)
Casual (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Neighborhood Gem (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Organic (2)
Seasonal (2)
Tapas (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Great Beer (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Spicy (1)
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749 reviews
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·Dined on December 3, 2017

Outstanding dinner. The wait staff were attentive and on point. Everyone should check this place out.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Sunday Lunch, Healthy, Organic, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Spicy, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 27, 2017

Waiter was spaced out and perfunctory. Still not sure if we were double charged for our meal, waiting to resolve with bank and manager. Waiter was rude to vegetarians, seemed to not understand why we would not want beef soup

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service2
value2

 
·Dined on November 26, 2017

Beautiful venue with amazing view! Loved the clam chowder.

Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Live Music, Waterfront, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving buffet was excellent. A great selection of veggies, cheese and fruit, a flavorful squash soup, plus all the traditional thanksgiving fare was offered. Dessert table was fully loaded. Service was good.

Tags: Waterfront, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 20, 2017

Great food (salmon, short ribs, pork chops). Beautiful view. Both completely over-shadowed by the TERRIBLE service - incredibly slow for a Sunday night at 5:30pm. Over 90 minutes to get our entrees. So glad we didn’t try a Saturday night. Tried to use OpenTable gift certificate, gave it to waiter at beginning when we ordered to avoid problems - wasn’t until half-way through our entree when manager came over to say we couldn’t use the certificate because, “...they don’t participate in that program.” Do not recommend going there unless there is a change in management.

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food4
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (東京)·Dined on November 18, 2017

First time there. Very nice, spacious room with beautiful views. Nice cocktails (on the expensive side for a casual place - $14). The food was very disappointing. We had eggs benedict with crab meat - $19. The potatoes were bad, same as if they had been cooked the previous day and warmed up in a microwave. The eggs were cooked all the way through. However, the flavor of the eggs, crab meat and sauce were good and that is what saved the meal. Service was friendly.

Tags: Waterfront, Scenic View
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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 13, 2017

Ahi tuna was fabulous. Waitress helpful with menu and drink choices.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Waterfront, Happy Hour, Great for Lunch, Healthy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Scenic View, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 11, 2017

I booked this reservation six weeks in advance for my mother in laws birthday dinner. The only compliment I can give is that the hostess had our table ready at the window per my request. From then on it was all downhill. Our server basically ignored use. We had to ask twice and three times for water and bread refills. He talked up the special which was a sea bass that he said was for two people so two of the six of us shared it. Four of us received our meals and ten minutes later the sea bass special arrived on a huge cast iron skillet- the entire fish including head and tail. Clearly this is the type of dish that a server should explain and make sure the diner really wants. We watched as several other diners received cupcakes with candles but we received nothing for my mother in laws 80th birthday. When I spoke with the manager he had nothing at all to offer in explanation or recompense. What a disappointment and waste of $300. On top of it all, none of the food was really good and three of us had bad stomachs afterwards.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on October 29, 2017

Quiet Sunday brunch... great view of Santa Cruz Main Beach! I had the huevos rancheros and they were amazing, along with the Bloody Mary. Our waitress forgot to ask about sugar for coffee and jam for toast but other than that the service was great. It seemed slow for Sunday brunch right on the beach but it was a cold cloudy day. Found parking on the street with no problems but they validate parking for their lot as well. Will definitely go back!

Tags: People Watching, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 29, 2017

One of the best meals I have had ever. The soup, appetizers and entrees were excellent and the service was impeccable. The view and setting is also exquisite.

Tags: Organic, Scenic View, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Live Music
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 24, 2017

The location and view is outstanding. Right on the main beach with huge windows/views. Service was good despite the waiter telling us he was the only one (others had called in sick). Food was acceptable. Definitely not a place for foodies. Lot's of potential, but the menu is short and simple and not very interesting. The dishes were OK, like a chef was cooking items that he was trained to do. Not creative. Would come back for ambiance, view for the right occasion - but probably for Happy Hour, not dinner.

Tags: Special Occasion, Waterfront, Scenic View, Romantic
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food2
ambience5
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 24, 2017

Birthday dinner for my mother

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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Unfortunately the dinner was under par....2 ordered clam chowder & it came luke warm, barely. Another ordered scallops..3 came on the plate & it was smothered with bell peppers & tomatoes- not okay.
4th ordered portobello mushroom dinner & received a pork chop that was warm... they said you'll like it if your not a vegetarian... it was not our mistake but the waitress 's.
Our daughters birthday dinner was a bust👎

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food1
ambience2
service2
value1

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

OMG, the band in the bar was SOOOO LOUD. I had to yell my entire dinner. They need to dial that back until later - post dinner crowd. And we were pretty far into the dining room.

The food is good, not spectacular - the portions are small for the price. You could likely get a better value but you come here for the view which is a nice one.

The noise level needs some serious attention to make this a high end dining place and for me to go back.

Tags: Waterfront
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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 17, 2017

Restaurant Week opened our eyes to this restaurant! Great find! Thank you!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual, Healthy, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 16, 2017

Good food. Great service. Delicious cocktails. Beautiful view.

Tags: Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene, Scenic View, Waterfront, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Handcrafted Cocktails, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 16, 2017

The salmon was delicous, the salad about as big as a silver dollar, the service was very slow and the room very cold and the drinks very pricey.

Tags: Bar Seating, Romantic
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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 16, 2017

We did the pre-fixed menu for Santa Cruz Restaurant Week. Food was tasty and delicious. Plates were just the right size and well balanced.

Tags: Authentic, People Watching, Seasonal, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Fun
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 15, 2017

This place is all about he view. It is magnificent. Besides this, the food is quite ordinary and the service surprisingly amateurish.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
·Dined on October 15, 2017

It is fortunate to have the opportunity to review this restaurant. The food was very good as well as the ambiance. But most impressive was the service. From the moment we arrived, the staff could not have been more accommodating. We were celebrating our 10 anniversary and our server in particular was too good to be true. Her name was Chelsea and she is absolutely the kind of person that any restaurant should be proud to have as the face of their place. Great job Aquarius, and outstanding job, Chelsea! Give that woman a raise and let her train the rest of the staff. You could do much worse than a house full of Chelseas. Thank you for helping to make our evening not only delicious, but special and particularly enjoyable! Keep it up!

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Jackie was a great server and Glen was an excellent manager. The bartender was quite quick as we waited for our table and the drinks were excellent. The portions were small but filling and plated nicely. The jazz trio was a nice touch as well Will definitely go there again.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fun, Good for Groups, Live Music, Kid-friendly, Healthy, Happy Hour, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Waterfront
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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 14, 2017

It was a beautiful restaurant, and they were kind to seat us after we changed our reservation from 2 to 4. Delayed us getting to a table by only 15 minutes on a crazy crowded night of Restaurant Week. I can say that the brussels sprout appetizer delighted my husband, he really enjoyed the Cioppino, and my daughter said that the Fish n Chips were great (after asking for fresh chips). My portobello mushroom entree was too acidic with the marinara & balsamic. After asking more bread I managed but not my night.
I should not judge the restaurant fully on this event week here in S.C. though. So we will go back and try again.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Bar Seating, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Great food, well-prepared. Modern atmosphere, great view of the wharf.

Tags: Special Occasion, Late-night Find, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Romantic, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 13, 2017

Had a great experience overall. Our waiter was good. Very helpful and attentive. The food was very good and view was beautiful. Will return.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on October 12, 2017

Wonderful dinner with beautiful views. Amazing dessert. Fun attentive staff

Tags: Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2017

I really enjoyed my late night meal and was happy to find that many of their vegetarian options could be made vegan. So happy I went.

Tags: Late-night Find, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Live Music, Paleo Friendly, Bar Seating, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Seasonal, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Business Meals, Gluten Free Options, Waterfront, Scenic View, Tapas, Hot Spot, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 7, 2017

We had a wonderful meal and a wonderful time. We loved the food and the atmosphere.

Tags: Comfort Food, Handcrafted Cocktails, Waterfront, Local Ingredients, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Authentic, Great Beer, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 6, 2017

the only problem was parking which was located elsewhere on the property and poor valet service.

Tags: Scenic View, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 2, 2017

Was expecting pumpkin special since we got a postcard i our room but not until later in month ... disappointed

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food5
ambience5
service3
value3

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Went to brunch for anniversary and had a lovely time! Friendly staff and good food!

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 1, 2017

The food was fair, great view, services needs improvement

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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on October 1, 2017

I have been here a number of times. This time, the food was not as high quality or tasty as other times. The service is always excellent, and the cocktails are wonderful. The wine choices are very good as well.

Tags: Waterfront, Romantic, Scenic View
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 28, 2017

Great view and really like the non-rush feel to this place. Will go again.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Scenic View
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 26, 2017

This place was great for a romantic dinner. Great views, solid service and tasty food. Would definitely come again.

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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 24, 2017

We celebrated my mother-in-law's 60th birthday at Aquarius. We live in San Jose and it was our first time here. It was a beautiful setting and our waitress was very nice and attentive. This was quite a fancy place for us, and I think my mother-in-law felt like a princess! We don't normally go out to such nice places, and it was definitely pricey with 7 adults, but absolutely worth it. I ordered the fish and chips and it was THE BEST fish and chips I have ever had. Highly recommended!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Waterfront, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on September 3, 2017

This restaurant is a better choice after the tourist season ends. The menu and quality seems to change off season. But in its favor, this is the only restaurant in Santa Cruz County that is right next to the ocean.

Tags: Romantic, Tapas, Creative Cuisine
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 3, 2017

Until recently, we were big fans of Aquarius' carefully prepared food, based on fresh, local ingredients. But the quality of our dinners the other night with out-of-town guests was terrible.
To start, our aperol cocktails were very odd (they have been delicious in the past-just like they are in Italy). Perhaps they were made with soda instead of Proseco (as the menu described).

The dry, overly cooked halibut was served on a bed of leathery kale. (What happened to the kitchen's kale handling abilities? It used to make one of the best kale salads on the coast.)

Our salads and halibut entres all lacked any seasoning, including salt.

Our server was very professional, but we understand why he didn't check on "how is everything?" We bet he already knew.

It is very sad to see one of our favorite places stumble so badly, particularly considering the prices.

Tags: Waterfront
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food1
ambience5
service4
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 3, 2017

Very overpriced and poorly executed food. Ahi tartare was very small portion and seemed to just have a teriyaki sauce on it with just a bit of guacamole on the plate (this was the "avocado"). Halibut was overcooked and bland. Award winning clam chowder was too thick and lacking clams. And the service was painfully slow. Won't be going back after giving this place 3 tries. Wanted desperately to like it because the views are so spectacular!

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food2
ambience5
service2
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Tried the Saturday brunch here we had heard about from another couple, and weren't disappointed! Lovely table overlooking the beach, where we enjoyed wine and creative cocktails. I like that they do brunch BOTH weekend days, as we can only come on Saturdays. A few of the dishes had more ingredients than were described on the menu, so it pays to ask what else each entree has. Our server Brendan was very swift and friendly at all times, and we felt well-taken care of. Excellent fresh ingredients. Really enjoyed, and will come again to stay in the hotel next time as well.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Waterfront, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Brunch, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 2, 2017

We had a reservation and we were sat upon arrival. However, after that, service went downhill. Our waiter was no where to be seen for most of the evening, seemingly overwhelmed by his workload. We went without drinks, water and food for quite a while and we didn't get our mains until an hour and twenty minutes after we ordered. Our waiter said the kitchen was slammed, so not sure if it was the waiter or kitchen, but either way, it was unprofessional, given the reputation and prices at this restaurant. On the good side, the view is lovely as the restaurant sits right on the beach. The food was hit or miss. The brussel sprouts and new york steak were good. The scallops were blah not an entree portion of food, more like an appetizer and our son's spaghetti was floating in a bowl of butter - totally inedible.

Tags: Scenic View
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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

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