Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.05mi
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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.11mi
  3. Distance: 0.11mi
  4. Distance: 0.17mi
  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.11mi
  3. Distance: 0.11mi
  4. Distance: 0.17mi

About Ideal Bar & Grill

Fun, family friendly dining with a beautiful view of Santa Cruz Main beach and the Municipal Wharf! We offer seating both inside and on our sunny deck! Come down and try our award winning clam chowder today!

106 Beach St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Californian, Seafood, American

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 9:30pm, Saturday: 8:00am - 10:30pm
Bar Open until 12:00am and 2:00am on Friday and Saturday

Cross Street:
Front Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(831) 423-5271

Website:
http://www.idealbarandgrill.com/

Entertainment:
We offer live music Friday & Saturday nights during the summer months and during special events throughout the year!

Parking Details:
Parking is available on the Santa Cruz Wharf for an hourly rate and is just a short scenic walk to our location. There are also small metered lots across the street as well. We are walking distance to many near-by hotels.

Public Transit:
The public bus stop is just across the street from Ideal Bar & Grill.

Executive Chef:
Jesus Garcia

Private Party Facilities:
Our Beach Room can host up to 40 guests. The room features a private bar, views of the wharf, beach and ocean. It also offers a small private patio (weather permitting) that extends the inside bar area, making it perfect for any event! We have hosted various events here from rehearsal dinners, business meetings and wedding brunches to surprise birthday parties and charity events!

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Day Special Menus & Offers

Monday, December 25, 2017

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Details

Join us Christmas Eve! We are OPEN until 8pm.

Christmas Day Special Menus & Offers

Monday, December 25, 2017

Details

Christmas at the Beach! Enjoy our ocean front dining on the deck. We will feature a limited menu that will include: fresh seafood, steaks, traditional turkey feast, slow roasted prime rib and breakfast items until 1:00pm.

Make your reservations today! Open 10am-8pm

Ideal Bar & Grill Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

3.8

ambience

4.0

value

3.8

Noise

Moderate

88% would recommend it to a friend

Waterfront (8)
Scenic View (7)
Special Occasion (6)
See All
Casual (6)
Kid-friendly (5)
Fun (5)
Happy Hour (5)
People Watching (5)
Good for Birthdays (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Neighborhood Gem (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Bar Seating (2)
Great for Brunch (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Cozy (2)
Good for a Date (2)
Good for Groups (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Romantic (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Authentic (1)
Business Meals (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Great Beer (1)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Healthy (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Seasonal (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
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59 reviews
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·Dined on November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving non traditional meal - had prime rib , was excellent. Would go again, fair price & service outstanding.

Tags: Waterfront, Casual, Special Occasion, Kid-friendly, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

Service was excellent, great drink deals, good specials and nice setting. Appetizer we picked, garlic and brie was plenty for all. Food was very good and good value.

Tags: Business Meals, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, People Watching, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Scenic View, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 12, 2017

Had a party of 9 celebrating a birthday and an anniversary breakfast. Convenient to be near the warf, boardwalk, Dream Inn where 2 of our members were staying. We were able to make reservations and not have to wait. We were placed outside with a heater on one end but at 9:30am in November, it would have been nice to have had another at the opposite end. Our server, I believe was Riley and she was fantastic! She was nice, friendly, funny, and quick to get things for us. Food runners were great at delivering food. Food was good. I think they can expan the menu bit.

Tags: Great for Brunch, People Watching, Good for Birthdays, Disabled Access, Scenic View, Fun, Kid-friendly, Sunday Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Waterfront, Good for Groups, Casual, Great for Lunch, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 9, 2017

Get the clam chowder! It's so good. Lots of specials throughout the week. Happy hour is 3-6 M-F and during football. Parking sucks.

Tags: Romantic, Hot Spot, Local Ingredients, Sunday Lunch, Kid-friendly, Scenic View, Casual, Cozy, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on October 20, 2017

The place was well-staffed, but not very busy when we three arrived in time for our reservation. The waitress took our order and that was the last we saw of her! We had to hail down someone else to bring us the margaritas we'd ordered and our check. Having our water glasses refreshed might have been nice. There were several other waitpersons working and chatting among themselves until it eventually got busy. I won't hurry back.

Tags: Late-night Find
1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience3
service1
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Was there for birthday dinner. Have done this b4.
The server was horrible. Snarky and lousy service.
Every other time we have gone for birthday dinner, server wished up happy birthday at least once. Not this time. The only other complaint is, and I know the prime rib is free, but could you throw some vegetables on it? At least a piece of parsley?
following direction on sign, we went to outdoor dining area and stood at entrance, where server seated a table. He returned, walked right by us, then just leaned against something and waited. I said we here for birthday dinner. He looked surprised. Definitely to the festive out what, usually is a happy night

Tags: Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Sunday Lunch, Scenic View, Afternoon Coffee
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food3
ambience4
service2
value4

vip
 (Sacramento)·Dined on October 16, 2017

I was there for dinner, drinks or lunch four out of six days, so that should be a clue. Great variety of items on the menu. The chili is definitely worth it if you like that, but so was the pot roast. That diversified.

Staff was great, especially Kevin who quickly learned who we were and provided some good conversation as well as exceptional service. Have him tell you about the pictures on the walls.

I’ll definitely be back next visit. Ideal is one they beach, at the foot of the wharf, and next to the boardwalk, so sitting outside and people watching was wonderful!

Tags: Good for a Date, Happy Hour, People Watching, Fun
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on October 9, 2017

Place rocked - will go for breakfast tomorrow

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 30, 2017

My burger was excellent. My wife's Caesar Salad was awful=Tasteless Dressing. Service was poor =I had to go to the bar to get a refill for my drink! Waiter was going to talk to the Mgr about the salad but he did Nothing!! Surprising because our service last week was terrific=Little blond with long ponytail was very attentive👍

Tags: Comfort Food
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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Food was very good. Did take a little to get drinks but that didn't stop us from enjoying the outdoor seating right over the water.

Tags: Fun, Good for Birthdays, Waterfront, Handcrafted Cocktails, Seasonal, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, People Watching, Comfort Food, Happy Hour, Casual
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Joaquin)·Dined on August 27, 2017

Always great

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 19, 2017

Breakfast was wonderful and we sat by window. Oceanview was relaxing

Tags: Tasting Menu
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food4
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on August 14, 2017

While the service, outside sitting and location are great, the quality of food is very poor. I had fish and ships, how can you go wrong with this? it was very bad, dry, burned and impossible to eat. My husband had seafood pasta and get upset stomach. I would not go back

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food1
ambience3
service2
value1

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 14, 2017

The waiter did not honor our request for a view since it was for a birthday party. The food was very meh. Seafood wasn't as tasty or fresh as had hoped since it is waterfront. The prices were high considering quality. I did not hate the place, but I definitely won't go back.

Tags: People Watching
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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 8, 2017

The food was good. The place itself is a little rustic looking and could use a good cleaning.

Tags: Comfort Food, Healthy, Quick Bite
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
·Dined on August 7, 2017

Always delicious food, great view and good atmosphere... It's always noisy and the staff can be slow but they are friendly...

Tags: Casual, Fun, Waterfront, Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch, People Watching
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food4
ambience5
service2
value4

 
·Dined on August 3, 2017

The food was pretty good. The wait staff were very un-attentive it took a long time to take our order, to get a drink, seemed like forever to get food. The waitress then ran someone else's bill on my card, took it off, tried to run the correct price then my bank froze my card and she wanted cash. I was on vacation, that was all the cash I had and I then had no card. I was not happy

Tags: People Watching
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food4
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 30, 2017

Great meal! My wife and I split the crab and filet. The steak, crab, and veggies were all cooked perfectly.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on July 27, 2017

Lobster special on Wednesday night was great! I ordered a steak salad. Steak was over-cooked (nearly well-done instead of medium) and the salad was way over-dressed (highly suggest asking for dressing on the side!). My husband had no complaints about his lobster and baked potato. My son's steak (filet) was ordered rare and was cooked well on one half and had some medium rare/rare portion. Flavor was good though and my son was happy to eat it. I NEVER like to send food back. Waiter offered, but we declined. He was great and no complaints! View of the beach is great! I'm not a seafood eater and the menu choices were good for me. Vacation spot for us. I will probably go back, but order something else.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Waterfront
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 21, 2017

Every time we've gone to Ideal for dinner it has been wonderful. Our waiter, Chase, was very attentive and fun. My only problem was that I ordered prime rib medium and it was very well done, otherwise I would have given five stars.
I suggest that the tip schedule should be based on the cost of the meal before the discounted amount. Chase deserved and received much more than the $4.50 suggested on the schedule.
Thank you!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Tasting Menu, Great Beer
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 14, 2017

Food and service were quite good but wear a snow suit. They will keep all windows and doors wide open even when freezing out!

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food5
ambience2
service5

 
 (Kansas City)·Dined on June 7, 2017

What a great place! Will definitely be back. Their food, service and ambiance are off the charts. The only negative is parking is challenging. But worth the extra effort!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 3, 2017

Our server Taren was rude (she said she was "new") other detailed reviewed on yelp

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 31, 2017

Love coming down to Ideal Bar and Grill, Santa Cruz for "Lobster Wednesday" for $15.95 the best ticket in town! The ambiance was great. This restaurant sits at the end of the pier right above the beach. The Lobster was good, just a little tough as they cook them in mass and not per order. My party of 4 ordered 3 lobsters and one Sea Bass, the Sea Bass was over cooked and was sent back unfortunately. Nevertheless we enjoyed our visit and will be back again!

Tags: Scenic View, Hot Spot, Happy Hour, Fun
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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 14, 2017

Came for Mother's Day. The limited brunch menu was pretty disappointing. I was expect their regular menu plus some me Mother's Day specials. The food turned out to be so-so but nothing memorable. Our server was great though. He took care of us, and made the experience for us.

Tags: Bar Seating, Disabled Access, Waterfront, Scenic View, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Kid-friendly, Comfort Food
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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 13, 2017

We came for dinner with a Party of 10 for Mother's Day. We are all pleasantly surprised. Food and service were good. Not fancy but good. Love the casual atmosphere.

Tags: Scenic View, Good for Groups, Casual, People Watching, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Waterfront
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 6, 2017

Nice menu for lunch. Nice weather and very pleasant server.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 1, 2017

Shocking that I had for a glass (I got a bottle of cider without the glass) three times and after 10 minutes the waiter told me that I should got from the one assigned to the table. I had to wake up to talk to the one assigned and she told me that she will do it later because she was attending other tables. I ended up going to the bar and asking for the glass.

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food5
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 29, 2017

A great place to have a good meal. Local, colorful, seaside. The specials during the weeknights are a good deal.

Tags: Casual, Waterfront, Happy Hour
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on March 29, 2017

Long wait for waitress to arrive after being seated, and a long wait for drinks to arrive after being ordered. And then one drink was wrong! Fish was overcooked and broccoli was under cooked. Restaurant was not busy, either. She WAS very fast to deliver the check, though. A very mediocre experience. Waitress did apologize often, but who wants apologies in place of food food and service.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on March 26, 2017

Llegamos tarde a la reserva pero nos atendieron perfectamente y sin ningún problema. Muy buen servicio y comida bastante buena salvo las ostras que eran un poco insípidas.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 22, 2017

Service was very slow, but we had a new server, so I give her a break. She was friendly and helpful.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 16, 2017

Front start to finish food and party seen is enjoyable service it's always a great place to go for two or family or friends

Tags: Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 11, 2017

I've been to Ideal a number of times. In all weather for many years. The food is always good as is the ambience and the view to the Boardwalk and the Pacific Ocean. Parking isn't great...but it's not very good anywhere near the wharf.

I've never been dissatisfied and always left with a good taste in my mouth.

Definitely recommend.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Hot Spot, Casual, Afternoon Tea
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 19, 2017

Festive birthday atmosphere. Good good. Service uneven.

Tags: People Watching, Scenic View
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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2017

We had a family dinner here to celebrate my daughter's engagement on New Year's day... food was excellent, service top notch, and we really enjoyed ourselves! :)

Tags: Good for Groups, Happy Hour, Fun, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Waterfront, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on January 1, 2017

I hadn't been to Santa Cruz for a long time but I remembered a good restaurant at the start of the pier, Ideal Bar & Grill. A varied menu lets you choose from area favs and seasonal specials. I had their shrimp cocktail and a bowl of clam chowder which was huge but also tasty. Great place for large get togethers and convenient to the pier and attractions.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 24, 2016

The thanksgiving dinner was a disaster. No one even asked if I had a meat preference. Needless to say, I got a plate full of my non-preferred. Additionally, they attempted to serve "all the fixins" in one round, which resulted in a tablespoon of stuffing, a dollop of cranberry, etc. etc.
I enjoyed our appetizer of baked brie and garlic, although the bread should have been served warm. I didn't get a chance to finish this before the entree arrived, however. Not well timed. I should have forgone the entree completely, given that I had spent $25.00 to park.
Not going back.

Tags: Waterfront
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food1
ambience4
service3
value1

 
 (Boise)·Dined on November 24, 2016

Our waitress, Brianne, was absolutely delightful. She was so nice to us at our Thanksgiving dinner. We would come back just because of her.

Tags: Scenic View, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 21, 2016

After a day of walking on the Beach and Boardwalk, this establishment is a great place to go, relax and have a great dinner... Prime Rib Friday deal was excellent!! and I know Prime Rib! being an ex-chef and asst. manager of the Prime Rib Room back in the 70's.. Great Food and A Very Romantic evening!! :)

Tags: Sunday Lunch, People Watching, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

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