Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Live Jazz with The Minus Third Trio, Thursdays and Saturdays from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Hotel parking lot across the street from The Dream Inn, or complimentary valet parking.
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
Aquarius - Dream Inn Ratings and Reviews
We went to Aquarius for a friends birthday and were very happy with our time there. We were greeted immediately with a smile by the hostess and taken directly to our table where our waitress was there ready to get us started with drinks. She was extremely attentive and kind and went the extra mile for my friends and I.
I had a kale salad with salmon. It was cooked to perfection. The wine selection was more than adequate and a friend of mine loved the bacon beer (which ironically does not taste like bacon.)
The view at night is beautiful and the ambiance was lovely. My one complaint if I had any would be that the chairs in the restaurant area were not really all that comfortable. I'm assuming they are made for outdoor use but it being winter are in for the season.
I will definitely be going back and would recommend Aquarius to anyone needing restaurant recommendations in Santa Cruz.
We were so sad about this dinner! Service was very nice food was terrible. The scallops were small over-cooked and over-seasoned. One of the scallops looked like it was smashed and then pushed back together for plating. Steak was ordered medium and arrived more than well, everything on the plate was subpar or inedible. For $30 a plate id call this place a total tourist trap. We would not recommend or return.
My husband and I and 2 friends went to Aquarius on New Years Day to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary. The service was wonderful and the food was amazing! Steaks were cooked perfectly and everyone was happy with their dishes. When our dessert came the waitress had out a candle on mine since it was my birthday. My table and the others around us all sang me happy birthday. I can't wait to go back here! Such a great experience.
There was no mention on OpenTable or the Aquarius website of a Prix Fix menu for NYE, but when we got there we learned that is what it was. It was a 3 course meal with an add'l Amuse-bouche of Blini with Caviar and a glass of Champagne. There was 3 choices in each course with mains being a Ribeye steak, a Seanad, or a Mushroom Stew. I had a soup for an app, my husband had the salad followed by the steak and the stew. Last, we ordered the Sabayon for dessert. The apps were fine, the mains were meh, and the dessert was frozen. In our opinion, far from worth the $95 per person price tag.
We usually spend NYE at the Aquarius and the ambiance, food no service is top notch. We were disappointed this year: main entree was less than spectacular, we had to share a ritz cracker sized caviar appetizer, and the band quit at 10.... on NYE! And we spent $250: more than usual, for less than usual. We won't be returning next NYE.
Came for Christmas dinner and everyone was super friendly. Our waitress was outstanding. Even though it was very busy she was attentive and sweet. We had a later seating (7pm) and they were already out of the Lobster Bisque which was one of the menu items I was looking forward to. Apparently everyone else was too. Chose the salmon appetizer and it was generous and tasted fine. The pasta dish was goat cheese ravioli..odd in of itself but wonderfully prepared with Black Kale and cranberries...ended up being delicious. Husband had the lamb Osso buco and my daughter the filet mignon...both were very happy with their meals. All in all a very wonderful meal in a beautiful setting. I had requested window seating through open table and received it!
We came here for Christmas dinner. This was our 1st time at Aquarius. It was prix fixe menu. When we asked why the menu was different than the menu posted on their website, the manager told us we were wrong. The smoked salmon app was delicious per my husband. The lobster bisque not so much. If it had been hot, the dollop of crema on top would have melted instead of breaking into little globs. For the entree, 2 of us had lamb osso bucco, 2 had the sole. 3 of the 4 entrees arrived cold and had to be sent back. Funny how the manager had disappeared by then. In the end they were fine. When we asked at the end of our meal why we didn't get bread with our meal, we were told bread is only served upon request. Would have been nice to know this at the beginning of the meal. $59 a head + wine = $400+. No comp asked for, and none offered. Won't be back.
Went for their Thanksgiving prix fixe menu. Great seats. Service was good but way too smarmy. There was nothing really memorable about the food quality or quantity to justify the $60 per person (w/o wine) tag. Better for vacationers than locals I suppose.
The Aquarius is a go to option for us for a nice meal. Generally it is easy to get a reservation, and it's quiet. It is one of the few quality restaurants in Santa Cruz with ocean views. The food is very good, made with local ingredients, and there are plenty of gluten-free options. They feature a number of locally made wines and spirits as well. The service is above average for the area. I highly recommend Aquarius.
We love going here because first of all, you can't beat the view. Food-wise, they really have it down. All our dinner choices were well executed and delicious, with one exception: the caesar salad. It was terrible. Unremarkable presentation and they should have gone through the lettuce, it was mostly stems and a lot of it had turned brown. Not at all the quality we've come to expect from Aquarius. On the bright side, our entrees were terrific. I had a bite of my friend's steak with gorgonzola sauce and it was the most tender and delicious meat I've ever tasted. I didn't taste my other friends' scallops because I don't care for scallops but they were both swooning. I and another pal both enjoyed the risotto with mushrooms and other things, superb. Cocktails were lovely, especially I love the Pisco sour which few bars in this town make. Aquarius makes a very good one. We had lovely service and the ambience is great, cool decor and not too noisy to have a conversation. I just hope they do something about that dreadful salad.
The service from the hostess to the waiter, to the water boy was beyond amazing. The food was DELICIOUS! Best steak I've had! (I usually have to put a ton of salt & pepper, but the taste was perfect!) The view is incredible. Good food, great views, the best service...DEFINITELY going back!
We went on reataurant week. The first course was very good, a kale salad and butternut squash soup. Both were flavorful and fresh tasting. The entrees, however, were less than satisfactory. The steak, ordered medium was very well done and the scallops served with roasted Brussels sprouts were drowned out by the blackened sprouts. The dessert was simple but tasty. Overall, rather disappointing.
We went to Aquarius for Restaurant Week. The menu had great choices for the prix fixe menu: appetizers, main and dessert. The appetizers and mains were outstanding - the desserts not quite. Service was attentive but timing of courses way off. We'd go back again for the food and hope they get the kinks out of the timing. Great view, cool decor.
If they are charging $5 for a Capuchino I would hope their staff would know how to make it. I asked waitress to re-do it cuz it was all milk and no foam (Capuchino is shot of espresso and creamy foam, what she gave at best was cafe with lots of milk and a smidge if watery foam-- the best part? Ha ha. She said oh sorry, sometimes the foam milk melts! Ha ha !)
The view is spectacular here and it's built into the pricey dining experience. Had lunch recently and the clam chowder was decent and rich with cream and bacon. The ceviche was underwhelming and lacked freshness. the only seafood in the ceviche was shrimp. Chips accompanied this and they didn't taste fresh to me. I wouldn't order it again. All in all it cost over $150 for 4 of us for lunch with no cocktails or dessert. Service was decent, but it wasn't crowded so there would have been no excuse for lack of attention.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.