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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 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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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