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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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👎
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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