Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant

4.3
300 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian

About

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.
What 300 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.0
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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NormaS
New Mexico
12 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

delicious authentic Italian food. The seasonings were beautifully blended, but the herbs and spices still distinguishable. Good service, though a little over-the-top attentive for my taste.

C
Colette
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2017
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Frutte de Mare with white wine sauce was really delicious. Lasagne left a lot to be desired. Wine was great. Cannoli was excellent. I would return for the fresh, flavorful seafood and romantic ambiance again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2017
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Our waiter was kind and enthusiastic, very good at his job. He had an accent. This place has the best fettuccine Alfredo in town. Nice lighting and great menu options.

RS
vipRalphS
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2017
Overall4food3service5ambience4

I would call the food ok to good. My husband and I shared the fried calamari which was a bit rubbery but the dipping sauces excellent, the Caesar salad which was good and we each had a different pinot noir which was good and ok. We each chose a special for the evening again one ( grouper) very good and one (octopus and ling cod linguine) just ok. The service was excellent and we will try again hoping to find the right combination...it is definitely worth another try.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2017
Overall5food5service4ambience4

My wife and I have been coming for years and enjoy the variety and authentic foods. Excellent, knowledgeable staff and great overall service. We've even purchased gift certificates for friends and highly recommend this restaurant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2017
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Meh. OK food, have had much better for less. My buddy said his meat lasagna was worst he ever had. Other buddy had veggie lasagna and rated it so-so. I had salmon penna and it was OK but nothing special. Was seated quickly on a Saturday night, service was attentive, but later we all thought the waiter was faking his Italian accent.

m
vipmunchy
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience5

The staff were very attentive and professional. I went on Labor Day weekend and it took 80 minutes for food to arrive from kitchen. Not sure if this is normal or an exception. Everything else was great.

B
vipBebe
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2017
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Great for specials that they offer.
The staff is attentive and several of the waiters have a definite flair when describing the specials.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

amazing food and lovely waitstaff, most of whom are Italian. we had an amazing conversation with our waiter about his hometown on Lake Garda in Northern Italy and he helped us decide where we would go when we traveled there.
the food was incredibly tasty. and the Limoncello? to die for!

BJ
BJBernard
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2017
Overall4food4service5ambience2

always a great experience. we had a drink at the bar and they allowed us to bring in a bottle of bubbles! we were celebrating my cousin's birthday so it was a lovely evening. Bella!

K
Kate
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2017
Overall4food5service5ambience5

I always enjoy Cafe Mare. The cuisine is excellent with a good variety to their menu. My only complaint is that I ordered raviolis and only had about five on the plate, which I thought made for an awfully small dinner.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Miami
7 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thanks very much to Daniel and other staff for our pleasantly launch! Very recommend!!!

m
mjdc
Central Coast
35 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

When our family comes to town, we always enjoy dining here - and this family celebration was no exception. The menu is varied enough to please everyone, and the chef and wait staff are welcoming, friendly, and accommodating. The food and service are exceptional! In addition to the regular menu, the restaurant offers nightly specials, always prepared to perfection. This is our go-to place for a special occasion dinner; we are never disappointed!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2017
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Was good, have had better but served it's purpose. Good service and chef was very accommodating with ordering off menu.

CA
CARBROOKS
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2017
Overall3food3service5ambience4

I wouldn't say any of us had exceptional meals, but food was ok. Service, however, was outstanding and all staff were quite friendly. Our server was exceptional. Small portions for an Italian restaurant--especially stingy with pasta servings. Enjoyed that they were able to alter menu to accommodate requests. Great location in Santa Cruz.

A
vipArthur
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2017
Overall5food4service5ambience5

This is a very good Italian restaurant. The kitchen is willing and able to cook just about anything your palate desires. They have good pasta and ravioli. They have a full bar. I ordered the saltimbocca; it was not that tasty but the clams and mussels appetitizer made up for the difference. They have a full bar and the drinks are very good.

TS
TahoeSwimmer
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were greeted warmly at the door. Our table was ready. The server was warm, friendly and very Italian. The food was amazing. Loved every bit of our meal.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly but fancy atmosphere, a solid place for an albeit expensive date or special dinner.

DV
vipDeniseVivar
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service here is always exceptional. They are happy to make menu accommodations and will prepare a number of traditional dishes not on the menu just for the asking. Ask for spaghetti carbonara - it is the best in town.

The room is well-built acoustically so even when it's completely full of patrons the noise level is low and you can actually enjoy dinner conversation without yelling.

m
midscruz
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2017
Overall3food3service5ambience4

The service is good and the menu looked good. However the food doesn't live up to expectations. It is uniformly mediocre or worse. Not one dish met potential. I felt like I could cook it better, and I'm not that good a cook. Salads were blah. Pasta with salmon was dry and overcooked. Calamari was tough. Etc.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been dining here since Café Mare opened 15 years ago. Best restaurant in Santa Cruz. Warm, friendly staff and owner. Very professional. Exceptional all organic menu, homemade pasta and bread. Exquisite attention to detail. Whether your choice is fish or fowl or beef or vegan or pasta or salad or game, Café Mare can serve it up deliciously. Very inventive and attractive dishes. Also traditional Italian dishes and pizza! You will leave happy!

DV
vipDeniseVivar
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner and service were wonderful, as usual! The menu presents many options and there's something delicious for nearly everyone here.

F
vipFrances
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great for graduation dinner with the family - lots of long tables being taken care of consecutively which is always a sign of a good restaurant. We enjoyed the traditional Italian menu and everything we requested on the side was accommodated happily. Good staff and good attitude on a busy evening.

SC
vipSantaCruzLady
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2017
Overall4food4service3ambience3

It was Fathers' Day and UCSC graduation weekend so the place was packed with several large groups when the three of us arrived to celebrate a birthday. JP, the owner, stepped in for our waiter who was busy with a group of 17. We appreciated his attention, knowing how slammed they all were. The roasted beet starter we shared was delicious, as were all three of our entrees. We also shared the semifreddo limoncello for dessert--we wanted to lick the plate! Our waiter Adrian even sang happy birthday for our friend. Café Mare continues to be one of our favorite local restaurants.

L
Lilalondres3
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2017
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Customer service was excellent but food wasn't as great. My spinach pasta was bland, chewy and too thick. Dessert was also uninteresting. Wine was good. The ambiance was too quiet and air conditioning was too cold. Location is great and maybe I would go back if there wasn't anything better than that. I visited this place because it said it was Italian home style food and sustainable conscious.

SC
vipSCDavid
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The usual excellent food and service. Comfortable and welcoming.

G
Gerry
Tahoe
27 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2017
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Service was excellent and the meal was very good. Specials of sea bass and carbonara very good as was the pasta with chicken and Seafood Mediterranean. Only negative was we had an elderly lady with a walker and there was no place to drop her off close to the door and the walk from the parking area, including the disabled parking, was rather long for someone with a disability. Definitely a restaurant I would like to return to again.

R
Robert
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Consistently marvelous food, ambiance, and service. We've been going there since they opened in 2002 and there aren't many places who have been that consistently wonderful for that long. We held my stepdaughter's high school graduation dinner there and it was absolutely impeccable in every respect. Milli grazie, Signori :)

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2017
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Rude, arrogant service, complete disregard of guests. Could not get water!

s
vipsantacruztee
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2017
Overall2food3service2ambience2

They were understaffed and one of the waiters was exhibiting strange behavior-- it was distracting. Our service was slow, yet workers were standing at the bar chatting the entire time. Ordered an Aperol spritz that was incorrectly made. Food was decent-- bolognese was very good.

JH
vipJanH
San Francisco
233 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2017
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We have enjoyed Cafe Mare many times, and this time it was less satisfying for me. I ordered the Pasta Gratinata with eggplant which was unfortunately overdone and dry, and the eggplant was cut in a fine dice which was not what I was expecting. My husband had the veal scallopine which he was very pleased with.

i
vipianlynn
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2017
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We have been to Cafe Mare a couple of times and it never disappoints. Authentic Italian food and a very friendly environment.

E
Enzo
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2017
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Mothers' Day (4th year in a row!)

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2017
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had an awesome time! Our waiter was fantastic and the food was great!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Daniele was outstanding. Very attentive but never intrusive. The ravioli special was exceptional. Had a very nice evening!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first time at Cafe Mare and we will definitely be back! The service was impeccable, the food was absolutely delicious, the ambiance was romantic and the prices were very fair for the quality of the food. Daniel was an amazing server and extremely knowledgeable about the food and where it came from. Everything on the menu is organic and sustainable.

SC
vipSantaCruzLady
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We had a lovely late lunch on Easter. The sea bass special was cooked perfectly and had a very tasty sauce. We always appreciate the attentive service.

J
Jakelada
Sacramento
10 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The experience at this restaurant was great. The staff was so friendly and the food was great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food with an authentic Italian server entertaining us.

JJ
vipJJ1980
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and one super waiter, Daniel. He is very knowledgeable about the evenings special. We had a great time at Cafe Mare. I would recommend this restaurant wholeheartedly!

FAQs

Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 458-1212.

Cafe Mare Italian Restaurant is rated 4.3 stars by 300 OpenTable diners.