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Diners' Choice: Best Value restaurants in Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

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OpenTable
Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for the best value restaurants in Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Sugo Italian Pasta Bar restaurant
4.8
4.8 (232)
$30 and under
Italian
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
A European concept-restaurant of traditional Italian cuisine; a modern and dynamic service, that allows customers to enjoy fresh, organic and authentic italian food through a selection of appetizer, panini, pizza and salads, and obviously our specialty: "Pasta".
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 3, 2024
The food was outstanding and exactly described, although a little delayed. Staff is very friendly and helpful. Highly recommend!
A photo of la Posta restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2275)
$30 and under
Italian
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Select from a menu that features dishes composed of locally sourced ingredients as well as house-made pastas, naturally leavened breads and pizzas from our brick oven.

Because we rely on the bounty of the Santa Cruz farming community, our menu changes frequently and features a wide array of specials. La Posta’s all-Italian wine list includes autochthonous varieties from small producers, by-the-glass and by the bottle.

La Posta adheres to the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program and is a certified City of Santa Cruz Green Business.

We are so thankful for the incredible support from our customers and community.

We will continue to adjust our service based upon best practices for keeping our staff and community safe.

Top review
PaulaAvip
Dined 1 day ago
La Posta is always my first choice of a restaurant in Santa Cruz. The food, farm to table, is extraordinarily fresh, innovatively prepared, and utterly delicious. To be honest, I don't spend money on much besides eating out at La Posta! I'm sometimes in here two to three times a week, and it's always phenomenal. This time, my friend and I shared a lovely calamari antipasto. We could taste the subtle grilled preparation, the simple presentation. Then, we shared the pasta with a fresh tomato cream sauce and fresh tomatoes and greens. Yum. Then the sea bass. Delectable, perfectly cooked, plenty of food to share. And of course we couldn't resist the unbelievable chocolate dessert. Sharing allows us to try more dishes and keep the price down, but my friend still had wine, and we were quite full. The service, as always, is warm and attentive and delightful. I truly can never say enough about how good this restaurant really is. If you appreciate subtlety and innovation, but never fussiness, you will love this, my favorite restaurant.
A photo of Mozaic - Santa Cruz restaurant
4.5
4.5 (466)
$30 and under
Mediterranean
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
We named our restaurant Mozaic because we wanted to capture the diversity of flavors and culmination of authentic Mediterranean dishes that we offer. We bring together the best of Mediterranean recipes from Greece, Lebanon, Turkey and Sicily, emphasizing Middle Eastern influence.

Our menu is hand-crafted after years of experience in the restaurant business knowing what people like. We make every dish completely authentic, utilizing 100 years old techniques that have been passed down through generations to bring you incredible flavor. COME AND TASTE THE DIFFERENCE We seek only the best, local ingredients. We use high-quality meats, like our Australian lamb tenderloin and select only sustainable seafood. Our lavash comes from an authentic Persian bakery.

Everyone wants family. Mozaic is a warm and inviting atmosphere where everyone can feel at home. Come enjoy our incredible and lush atmosphere.

Top review
suzlaw
Dined on Jul 2, 2024
Delicious food and Sam the bartender was delightful.
A photo of Suda restaurant
4.8
4.8 (365)
$31 to $50
American
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Pairing seasonal produce from local farmers with line caught fish and lean, hormone-free beef, the menu at Süda stays as fresh as the ingredients. With a variety of inventive dishes, including vegan and gluten free options, there is truly something for everyone.

The atmosphere at the bar is lively, while booths offer diners a more intimate experience making Süda the perfect place for a casual meal with friends or a night out with someone special. We are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner so you can enjoy fresh food whenever your heart desires.



Top review
Mauivip
Dined 6 days ago
Food at Sudas excellent most of the time today we had chicken wing for a starter and have had them a dozen times this year always plump and meaty, this time scrawny no meat and over cooked just gristle, fish of the day usually outstanding but tiny potion and practically nothing else on plate, disappointing
A photo of Laili restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2804)
$30 and under
Mediterranean
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Laili is our expression of love through food and service. We offer a unique menu made up of fusion Afghani Mediterranean items that include kabobs, wraps, flatbreads, pastas, and spiced lamb and chicken dishes as well as delicious vegetarian options.

Laili Restaurant "BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT", Good Times 2023, Voted #1

Rich Mediterranean Flavors with a Unique Afghan Twist in the Heart of Downtown Santa Cruz.
Currently taking reservations for lunch and dinner, walk-ins welcome too.

Dine in our elegant, secluded, off street patio. Visit our website for event information.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Beautiful interior and great service. Menu not particularly inspiring. We shared a Caesar salad (very fresh and tasty), and pear Gorgonzola flatbread (bread was too thick, pears not particularly ripe and flavor muted), then eggplant (not too sweet, but kale side was a little bland) and half chicken (a little dry) entrees. Wine list is good. Food is pricey but quality.
A photo of Barceloneta restaurant
4.7
4.7 (178)
$31 to $50
Tapas / Small Plates
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Barceloneta in Downtown Santa Cruz features expertly made paellas, tapas, cocktails, sangria and churros. We pride ourselves on working with local farmers and sourcing specialty foods directly from Spain. Most popular dishes include seafood paella, patatas bravas, jamon croquetas, ibiza hippie salad and harissa ribs. Locals know we have the best vegan and vegetarian options. We are known for freshly juiced cocktails, sangria pitchers, an extensive list of Spanish wines, sherries, vermouths and gins. Diners love our cheery, bright space, open kitchen and bustling bar scene.
Owners Brett and Elan Emerson are husband and wife team who previously owned Contigo, San Francisco. They are known for hospitality, authentic service and delicious, memorable dishes.
*Winner Best New Restaurant, Best Small Plates, Best Tapas Bar, Best Spanish Restaurant North America*
Chef Brett Emerson has been featured in Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetite, Time Out, Financial Times, Via, Plate Magazine and more.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 23, 2024
I've been wanting to try this place for so long, and I'm kicking myself for not going sooner! The service, food, cocktails, and vibe were great. I thought the server who waited on us was so kind and lovely, she was 10/10!
A photo of Venus Spirits Cocktails & Kitchen | Westside restaurant
4.6
4.6 (584)
$31 to $50
Californian
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Enjoy handcrafted cocktails and food right next to the distillery where our spirits are produced. Indoor, bar and covered heated patio seating available.

Hours:
Monday to Thursday 5pm-9pm
Friday to Sunday 4pm-9pm




Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Would rate higher but was mislead on fried chicken. No breast as promised. 2 thighs. I would have liked to see them offer us something to compensate for the error.
A photo of Cafe Cruz Rosticceria & Bar restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1968)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Soquel
About the restaurant
Cafe Cruz is a popular and lively local restaurant. We offer casual/fine dining with a full bar, indoor and heated patio dining. Guests enjoy watching the "magic" created in our open copper-backed kitchen each night by our talented team of chefs. Notable features include many locally sourced foods, nightly sustainable seafood specials, and many creative salad and vegetable options. Our innovative pastas and sandwiches are always a hit.
Spit-Roasted meats are featured each night, cooked on a french Rotisol rotisserie. The lush garden room can seat larger parties of up to 35. Guests enjoy our warm friendly service, our many seating options, and exceptionally delicious food.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
The filet mignon dinner and the chop salad were excellent
A photo of Gabriella Cafe restaurant
4.7
4.7 (947)
$50 and over
Italian
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Zagat rated as "OUTSTANDING". Gabriella Cafe is a 50 seat, picturesque and romantic dining experience in downtown Santa Cruz.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
The food was delicious, and as well presented as the fun setting in the patio. On top of those aspects, the waitress was very personable.
A photo of Ideal Bar & Grill restaurant
4.5
4.5 (298)
$30 and under
Californian
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Fun, family friendly dining with a beautiful view of Santa Cruz Main beach and the Municipal Wharf! We offer out side seating on our sunny deck! Come down and try our award winning clam chowder today! Reservations are for our inside dining room only.
Top review
Erik
Dined on Jun 20, 2024
We are a family of four, with two young boys and a special needs four year old. The service was outstanding! Our hostess was kind and helpful. The waiter was very friendly and patient. And our food was simply delicious. Ideal Bar & Grill is 100 percent kid friendly, with a beautiful interior and a stunning view. 5 stars! We are definitely coming back.
Explore Diners' Choice best of Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
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