Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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!
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
We offer live music Friday & Saturday nights during the summer months and during special events throughout the year!
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.
The public bus stop is just across the street from Ideal Bar & Grill.
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!
Bar Dining, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Ideal Bar & Grill Ratings and Reviews
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.
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.
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
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!
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👍
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!! :)
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