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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM
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Booked 1 time today

Ideal Bar & Grill

73 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Casual
  • Special Occasion
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!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Californian, Seafood, American
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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
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Phone number
(831) 423-5271
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Jesus Garcia
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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!
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Cross street
Front Street
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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.
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Public transit
The public bus stop is just across the street from Ideal Bar & Grill.
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We offer live music Friday & Saturday nights during the summer months and during special events throughout the year!
Bar Dining, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 73 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

We both got the lobster and New York with veggies and Toasted S’mores pudding and it was so delicious! What a great treat this Valentine’s Day! Also, we had the Calamari App and we both agreed it’s the best we have ever had!

TomasD (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

Great Lobster! Not so good pot roast, not even close to my wife's.

mamarene (Tahoe)
3.0  Dined on February 7, 2018

We stopped in for the Wed. night lobster special. The food was good but the special only included the lobster and rice. Anything else, such as a side vegetable, was extra. Still a good value but service could be improved.

28years (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

I enjoy going to Ideal Bar & Grill to watch sports and dine.
Especially this last time celebrating as well my 28th wedding anniversary with my adoring wife!

vipJSBCA (Calgary)
4.0  Dined on January 15, 2018

Our server was excellent, chef’s special was amazing, a great end to a fun day exploring the area:)

LizOB (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 13, 2018

Our family of 6 adults and 4 little ones recently dined at Ideal Bar and Grill in Santa Cruz. It was across the street from our hotel which was perfect after an afternoon at the Boardwalk. They have a wonderful beer selection and many tasty food options on the menu. Our server was efficient, accommodating and fun! We all enjoyed the evening and will definitely return.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 31, 2017

Our last dinner of 2017....and it was GREAT! We live in SC county and come out to IDEAL at least once a quarter. We like how consistent Ideal Bar & Grill is every time we come. The food comes out fast and hot. Being on the sand gives it great views of the water and the wharf. Our server, Megan, was notch...she had such great customer service. We'd go back just to say hello to her!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 31, 2017

We like Ideal Bar because we can easily walk there from our house. Varied menu.

LeeH (Orange County)
4.0  Dined on December 27, 2017

Good. Won’t for special but they ran out. Ended up with more costly meal not what we wanted. Food was good. Just disappointed that didn’t get what was advertised. Will try again.

vipOpenTable Diner (Orange County)
3.0  Dined on December 25, 2017

I came here with family on Christmas Day for dinner. We did have an enthusiastic waiter, however we were very sad to find that they were out of Ciopino and mashed potatoes. I had specifically chosen the restaurant for the Cioppino. The Christmas decorations were nice. The food was pretty good considering we couldn't get what we wanted!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 25, 2017

We went to Ideal Bar & Grill because it was a fine restaurant with great ambience that was open at Christmas in Santa Cruz. We were very glad we did. There was Christmas football on the big TV's over the bar, but the volume was so low we couldn't hear it from our table 40 feet away. It has great family atmosphere, the service was awesome and very fast, and the food was excellent. Good selection of wines by the glass, and a great view of the Wharf and the Bay at night.

vipBillC (Atlanta)
4.0  Dined on December 25, 2017

Best thing was the server. Helpful, friendly, and swift.

vipArthur (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 22, 2017

Nice restaurant on the beach near the Santa Cruz boardwalk. View of the bay. I ordered the sea bass tasted frozen and had no flavor. The clam chowder was good but was very thick. The calamari were good. You can find better value and better food on the wharf within walking distance of this restaurant.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 23, 2017

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

Elizabeth (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on November 17, 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.