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About 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.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Please contact the restaurant for details
Parking is available behind the restaurant, at the "Galleria Parking" alley or next to it, at the River Street Garage.
Metro bus station 1 block away.
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: (831) 458-1212
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Contact us at 831-458-1212
Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
I came here with my girlfriend the day before I left for college and we had a great time! Formal-ish, yet fun and our waiter(s) were on top of it. Oh, and the food (I got chicken wrapped in thinly sliced meat and stuffed with cheese) was AMAZING. I seriously did not know that flavor combinations could be that interesting!
The staff was very accommodating for our gluten and dairy allergies and whipped up a little custom dish. Regarding flavor, it was a bit on the bland side and required some salt and pepper. I could always wish for more gluten free options but I was happy to be able to eat something.
Five of my family members and myself came for dinner to celebrate my birthday. My first thought was how comfortable I felt .Our server was excellent, very professional and knew everything on the menu (and how to say it). My son and I tried the octopus appetizer based on our server's description, and both of us loved it. Each one of us ordered a different entrée, and each one of us wanted to lick our plates. I just felt good as we were leaving the restaurant, great meal and worth every penny.
We had great service from Daniel, our charming waiter. We were attending a concert so we appreciated having our meals served in a timely manner. We all enjoyed our food, although I thought my fish entrée could have been seasoned a bit more. Dessert was wonderful! Café Mare is one of our favorites in downtown Santa Cruz.
My family and I were on vacation in Santa Cruz and found this wonderful place on the internet. We often go out for meals and love experiencing new places. We can honestly say this was one of the best meals we have had in a long time. My 5 year old daughter even said it was the best pizza and dessert she ever had. We will definitely be back. The service was amazing as well.
This was our first visit and we found Mare pleasantly surprising, particularly such high quality. The special dishes of the day were remarkable in taste and presentation, wines were special rather than run-of-the-mill. And our waiter was a true European professional. We will return.
Our server, Jeremy, was knowledgeable, helpful, and gracious - even when it came to splitting the bill three ways after the fact. Special requests such as pasta as opposed to polenta were quickly handled. Authentic Italian cuisine served in refined and relaxed ambience.
This is a lovely restaurant with a sophisticated ambiance. Our server was certainly attentive and friendly, but hard to understand. Maybe I chose the wrong menu items, but both my salad and entree were lacking in flavor. The entree, Spaghetti Mistomare, with mussels, clams, prawns and calamari, in a white wine sauce, was dry and bland. I poured a little olive oil over it to moisten the mixture a bit. The mussels tasted bad in my dish and also in my dining companion's.
I cannot respond to the question directly above as this was our first and only visit and it was late evening when we arrived. I can say we will likely be back next time we want to eat lunch or dinner in Santa Cruz. The restaurant was very busy, but they seated us promptly and the service was very good for a large group. We very much enjoyed our dinner. Thank you.
The staff here is excellent. From the bartender who let us try a couple different things as we waited for our table, the young Italian waiter who flirted with the great-grandmother at the table, to the funny Italian host, everyone made us feel welcome. The food was overall great, with a boar dish being the standout. I only subtract stars because the ambience is pretty terrible--the space itself has no charm, it's weirdly separated into two rooms, and we got sat at a table that was between the bar and the bathroom, which was too heavily trafficked to feel comfortable or private.
Seven women gathered for dinner before attending a film festival downtown. Service was very good, all tastes were accommodated with our dinner choices. I have been here for Happy Hour (which is an amazing value) first time for dinner in a long time and I will be back!
We had the cannelloni and the pesto gnocchi, which were quite good. We also had the special salad which was OK- overdressed with a dressing that tasted like mayonnaise and overpriced at $11. Nice bread and the Zinfandel was good. The room felt spacious and the tables are placed well apart so even though it was busy, you did not feel crowded. Overall a very nice experience and I would definitely eat here again.
This is basically a good place to take someone on a:
- Birthday with some friends for early dinner.
- Later date (like date 5 or 6 if you want to kick it up a notch)
- Work anniversary.
This place has a nice ambiance, solid menu, good service and decent wine list. It also lets out into walkable streets for an after-dinner drink/dessert. At the same time, it's not exorbitant. Figure, with alcohol, $30/person.
Went for Valentine's Eve dinner with my sweetie. Service was great. They were very busy but accommodated us even though we were late for our reservation. The food was excellent. I had the sea bass, which was done perfectly. The sauteed brussels sprouts were excellent, and they served the fish on a beautiful creamy grits-like base. A 10 out of 10, for sure. My sweetie had the farfalle with calamari, tomatoes, capers and a few other things. A little bland, but still delicious. My sweetie was very happy. Wine list was a little sparse and maybe on the expensive side for what they had, but I'm not much of a wine drinker anyway. I would go back in a heartbeat.
We enjoyed our dinner at Cafe Mare. All the waitstaff was friendly, efficient, and attentive.
The menu selection is very good and substitutions weren't a problem to accommodate some of our group who had special dietary requests.
The atmosphere is quite nice. It also was a pleasure to be able to have a quiet conversation over dinner - no loud music or conversations coming from other diners.
This was our third visit to Cafe Mare and once again they did not disappoint! From the initial greeting upon arriving at our reservation time, to the exceptional friendly service throughout and finally to the amazing Italian dishes made to perfection...it is easy to say Cafe Mare is our favorite Italian restaurant in Santa Cruz and we will be back again and again. An added bonus I have to make mention of, they use local and organic in many of their creations which is extremely important to me and it comes through in the flavors of the dishes.
Went for lunch with 6 other women. We had a lovely time. Food came in good time. The waitress was very nice and helpful. I tasted the arrabiata and carbonara and they were really excellent. I ordered the cannelloni and did not like it. The sauce was boring but I really disliked the filling was dry, and fibrous and had small chicken bones. This was a special but they need to rethink it. The lunch came with very good bread, olive oil and balsamic. Then we ordered desserts - just 2 for the table. The cannoli and the panna cotta. Both were really amazing - especially the cannoli - one of the best I have ever eaten.
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