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For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 17 times today

Aquarius - Dream Inn

4.2
772 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Special Occasion
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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Organic, Californian
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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
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Phone number
(831) 740-8138
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Bay Street
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Parking details
Hotel parking lot across the street from The Dream Inn, or complimentary valet parking.
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Entertainment
Live Jazz with The Minus Third Trio, Thursdays and Saturdays from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
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Special events & promotions
For information regarding our banquet rooms, please contact Aurora Smith at (831)460-5008
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
What 772 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.1
service
4.5
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Quiet
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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1.0Dined a day ago

Wait staff tried there best. Food was so appalling we gave up sending things back. Really need to step up the quality

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

A great view and very good seafood. On vacation and had a relaxing dinner.

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4.0Dined on April 14, 2018

The food was very good. All fresh.

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

Delicious brunch with Bloody Marys with great view!

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

attentive service, beautiful views, incredible jalapeno margarita and delicious brussel sprout appetizer. Wonderful place for a special occasion dinner.

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

Food was excellent and only surpassed by the service we received from Owen...thanks for an all-around lovely evening with friends in a beautiful setting!

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Great view facing the boardwalk

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3.0Dined on February 24, 2018

Very nice setting. However, the service was slow. Had to wait about twenty minutes to place our drink order. Food was mediocre and over priced. For example, $38 for the scallops, but the dish had only three undercooked scallops and some bland polenta. That's$13 per scallop!

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5.0Dined on February 20, 2018

Had a good meal with a scenic view. We will come back in the future. Thanks!

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5.0Dined on February 19, 2018

If you want good food and drinks with a million dollar view this is the spot for you! I would highly recommend the brussel sprouts with balsamic reduction for starters, they were delicious and a very good portion to share amongst 2-3 people. Servers were attentive and friendly. The short ribs and prime rib were very good with polenta and fresh crisp baby green beans. We finished the meal off with a decadent chocolate ganache and berries. I thought this place was just for the tourists yet I was pleasantly surprised at the ambiance and great food and drinks! I will be back.

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5.0Dined on February 17, 2018

The front desk mentioned that the salmon was great. There was three in my party. We all had the salmon and it was excellent.

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5.0Dined on February 11, 2018

The food was wonderful and presented beautifully. Our server was very friendly and professional! The dining room was quiet, and we were able to enjoy a nice conversation while enjoying the gorgeous view overlooking the beach. We will definitely be dining there again in the future!

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4.0Dined on February 10, 2018

Went there by myself on Sat night (with a reservation) so that often starts service off on the wrong foot. My server had a huge party that was ahead of me, so it took way to Kong to get my first drink and order. Other did jump on to help my server, but service was still slow. The kitchen also backed up because of the large party.

Food was good to great, but appropriate for the price. Theview was good (would have been better if I could have gotten a window seat, but again being a singleton, I wasn’t the priority for prime two-tops).

I think couple or larger parties would have a better experience. It is a noisy space and while appropriate for families, that just amplified the noise level.

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4.0Dined on February 5, 2018

Great! Drinks are pricey...food is a bit overpriced as well, but we had a very good meal.

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3.0Dined on February 2, 2018

I wanted to like this place, but sadly on this trip I could not.
The ambiance was nice with a view of the beach and wharf which is lovely, but the service started poorly and immediately when they forgot to bring the bread. Next they brought the wrong wine. A bad start of course, but the problems got worse when the food arrived. The Fried Avocado appetizer was not seasoned at all. Then, as if to compensate, the Clams were overly salty. The Duck Tacos came out cold on bad store bought tortillas and featured just a mediocre duck confit and a cloyingly sweet sauce... Nothing else. The “Cioppino” had almost no crab at all and actually appeared to be mostly salmon trim. The highlight was The fried Whole Fish which was a small sea bass and was actually quite well cooked and delicious.
Overall a disappointing experience, but I will be back in hopes that they can turn things around and make some much needed improvements.

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5.0Dined on February 1, 2018

Very professional service, with good food, and obviously a fantastic view.

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4.0Dined on January 29, 2018

We’ve eaten here often and always had a good experience. They make a killer Pisco Sour! For the first time, I actually found my meal a bit sub-par. I had steamed clams and the clams were fine, but the broth was exceedingly salty! Plus, it contained large soggy chunks of tomato that didn’t seem to add anything. Otherwise everyone with me enjoyed their salmon, their squash, their beet salad etc. bery very nice service that night.

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4.0Dined on January 20, 2018

Hostess seated us at one of the worst locations, noisy and a lot of foot traffic. We requested another table and were offered only slightly better. Other tables were reserved, but we also made reservations in advance. Food was good, waiter was great.

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1.0Dined on January 19, 2018

Being 6 of us, a Friday night and a special occasion, we made reservations. We arrived half an hour early specifically to have drinks in the bar. As a courtesy, we checked in with the hostess for our reservation and let her know that we wanted to have drinks in the bar first. She said that was fine. It took a really long time to get a waitress for our drinks. I asked what a particular alcohol was in a drink on their menu. I thought it sounded great and ordered the drink. After some time, the waitress came back and said it was something completely different. I had to change my order. The hostess came over before we even got our drinks and said our table for dinner was ready. We repeated our desire to have drinks in the bar first. She said they were having our drinks taken to our dinner table and our tab transferred to our dinner tab. Again we expressed our desire to have our drinks there and that we at least would like to close out our tab in the bar so our waitress would get the tip. She seemed inconvenienced and frustrated, and repeated that the tab would be transferred and our drinks taken to our table. Finally, she agreed to have the tab transferred back. Our drinks finally arrived. One of us had ordered a cosmo which came clear. A cosmo is supposed to be hot pink. The restaurant was not crowded when we sat down. We ordered several appetizers which were overpriced, but it was a special occasion. We asked for more bread and butter and were told they had run out. Who runs out of bread at 7:30 on a Friday night? After we were finished with our soup, they came back and said they had "found" some more bread. Probably gathered up from other tables. 3 of us had short rib which was not good and was 1 small piece of meat. 1 of us had the special whole fish which had weird seasoning. 5 of us had clam chowder which had an odd taste and lacked seasoning. The same 5 of us were up all night sick. We won't ever go back. Definitely do not go here.

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1.0Dined on December 31, 2017

Heard amazing reviews of this restaurant so chose it over others for our first New Years in Santa Cruz. It started with a waiter who was clearly worn down from multiple seatings for the night that rarely appeared again through the evening. It took 45 minutes for the first course (a soup) to arrive, and subsequent courses arrived as the kitchen could handle (two hours in total). All in all, given expectations we’d hoped for based on others experience, I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant. Especially for what we paid.

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5.0Dined on December 24, 2017

Excellent overall - delicious food, exceptional service, gorgeous sea views! My only wish is to have a few vegan options on the menu....they’d had 3 vegetarian options for breakfast but no vegan choices.

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2.0Dined on December 23, 2017

TERIBLE... ordered an appetizer that consisted of tomatoes and cheese and 5 crackers. obviously there wasn't enough crackers so I asked for a few more and the waiter stated it was going to be another $2.00? What a joke the appetizer cost $13.00 and was very skimpy and then to charge another $2.00 that was ridiculous. Our food came and my fish was uneatable. I was so tired of the attitude from not only the waiter but the manager I decide not to complain anymore ... just wanted to get out of this place. There was so much salt on my fish it took the skin off my tong. My tong from the briny fish was still raw from the evening before the next morning.
Will never be going back!!!

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2.0Dined on December 14, 2017

A friend was arriving from out of town. I gave him the names of few places to stay, including B & B's. He decided a room with a view on Monterey Bay.....The Dream Inn. So, we decided to make things convenient, made a reservation at Aquarius.

The service was very good.

The view was beautiful.

I haven't had such an uninspired meal in a very long time. All I want to say is almost tasteless
food preparation...........

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5.0Dined on December 2, 2017

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

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3.0Dined on November 26, 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

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4.0Dined on November 25, 2017

Beautiful venue with amazing view! Loved the clam chowder.

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4.0Dined on November 23, 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.

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3.0Dined on November 19, 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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3.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined on November 12, 2017

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

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1.0Dined on November 10, 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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5.0Dined 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!

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5.0Dined on October 28, 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.

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3.0Dined on October 23, 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.

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4.0Dined on October 23, 2017

Birthday dinner for my mother

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1.0Dined on October 21, 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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2.0Dined on October 21, 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.

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5.0Dined on October 16, 2017

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

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4.0Dined on October 15, 2017

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

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3.0Dined on October 15, 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.

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