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Johnny's Harborside

4.1
525 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies

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About

Johnny's Harborside serves freshly prepared seafood and more. Its casual setting offers scenic views of Monterey Bay, as well as the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor for guests to enjoy as they dine. Johnny's Harborside features tasty appetizer choices like steamed mussels in a lemon chardonnay cream, chili-fried calamari or Caesar salad. Guests can dine on a main course of sautéed sea bass, wasabi-crusted ahi tuna with jasmine rice or blackened New York steak topped with caramelized onions. It also serves gluten-free dishes, as well as tasty burgers and sandwiches.

Johnny's Harborside features a full bar that offers a variety of drinks to complement its meals. It has weekly lunch specials and happy hour specials. This restaurant features brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. It has special events like Taco Tuesdays and hosts private celebrations.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Seafood, Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday: 11:30 am - 8:30 pm

Friday -Saturday: 11:30 am - 9:30 pm

Sunday: 10:00am-8:30pm
Sunday Brunch: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

With continuous service
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Phone number
(831) 479-3430
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Catering
Making your events all that they can be with personalized service and exceptional food.

We offer:

* Full Service Catering
* Self Service Catering

* Events hosted at our Restaurant in the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor

We look forward to making your next special occasion one to remember.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Eaton St
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Parking details
Metered parking is available just steps from our restaurant. Plenty of spaces available.
Additional
Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 525 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
3.9
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined on February 28, 2016

A friend and I waited too long for a table and then were seated at a narrow deck away from the main group of tables and out of the sun. We had to move indoors, but that was not the sunny waterfront experience we sought.

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5.0Dined on February 17, 2016

Whenever friends arrive in town, the first restaurant I consider is Johnny's. The restaurant is clean, friendly, great view of the harbor and excellent cooks. I am a cook myself and enjoy a meal much more when I receive great tasting food and presentation. Johnny's is my favorite choice knowing I will always receive a fantastic meal. I am especially pleased to be greeted with a welcoming staff.

Johnny's also offers you to join their mailing list for any specials which is always a great deal. Thank you to the management and staff for always making my visit a pleasure!

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5.0Dined on February 16, 2016

We love the revamped menu!!! Great wine list, yummy food, and beautiful views! :)

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3.0Dined on February 14, 2016

The food was okay--but quite bland (which is actually what I prefer to eat normally, but not what I'd pay a premium for).

Come here for a causal meal--not for a special occasion. There were many unnecessary choices and dishes we didn't like on the prix fixe, and this place tried really hard to fix it up for Valentine's Day and I wish it kept its usual low key charm!

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4.0Dined on February 7, 2016

I have been to this restaurant twice. Decent fare but nothing super. If you are hungry, you get plenty. More like diner quality-good but not fabulous. Servers were super nice and the view of the harbor is nice. Too bad they can't build a deck for outdoor dining.

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4.0Dined on January 31, 2016

This place had the curb appeal of a seafood chain, but the service was great, the view was lovely and the food was quite good. I would come again for all of those reasons and bring friends as I did on this day.

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3.0Dined on January 30, 2016

Great atmosphere and some interesting local wines. Unfortunately fish dishes are prepared and served with a bit of a heavy hand: little sensitivity to the delicacy of the fish or the presentation on the plate. An example is sand dabs (a very delicate young flounder type fish) served with balsamic based sweetish brown sauce, in my opinion, quite overpowering the flavor of the fish. This restaurant has a lot of potential but needs to bring greater culinary skill to its menu.

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5.0Dined on January 29, 2016

Friday night was busy! Took my dad. We had the scallops, parisian style - yummy as always! Loved the change in veggies :) Dad didn't seem to care for them... oh well. He was satisfied otherwise.
BF had the halibut, parisian style. Very good.

Are you changing the menu monthly? I look forward to my next visit :)

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4.0Dined on January 24, 2016

The food was delicious but the server was not very friendly.

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3.0Dined on January 23, 2016

Always very good food, friendly service, great cocktails... Family friendly too! Locals come here to get fresh catch of the day at good prices.

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3.0Dined on January 20, 2016

This restaurant has changed ownership and things are not the same. Food is great, but the daily specials -- for which we went -- are gone. Disappointing. We were also overcharged for the wine which was supposed to be half-off. I guess they are trying to clean out the cellars.

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5.0Dined on January 16, 2016

Amazing seafood. This is our go to dinner spot when we visit family in the area. Highly recommended.

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2.0Dined on January 5, 2016

We had been wanting to try this place for months and walked away thinking it was "average". We went to try the Wednesday " Burger Night" which is advertised on the website but was told they didn't have that special anymore due to a new owner. We had Happy Hour instead. The dining room was very cold and lacked ambiance. Appetizers were average . The server was good, no complaints there.

We plan on coming back in the summer, maybe will have a different experience.

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5.0Dined on January 2, 2016

Excellent quality of fish. Nice views. Really good service. I have coeliac disease and there were plenty of good options for me.

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5.0Dined on December 30, 2015

This place was a great find! Thanks Open Table!!! We had a great lunch, fish taco's, Fish and Chips, and a burger, all were well executed and the portions were very generous!

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3.0Dined on December 28, 2015

Food was well prepared and tasty. Lunch special was a good value. Service was lacking, orders came out wrong.

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5.0Dined on November 14, 2015

We visited Johnny's for the first time last weekend. Dining out in SC is hit or miss, and this restaurant is a winner. It's an unpretentious and comfortable upstairs restaurant, located right on the harbor, so it has the ambiance you want in a seafood restaurant. On a blackboard was written the fish that were fresh that day. We had fresh broiled halibut Parisian style -- a gorgeous hunk of tender moist halibut, cooked perfectly, atop little spheres of zucchini and carrots in a lemony sauce. We also tried the cioppino which was pretty much the best cioppino I've ever had. A piquant tomato-based garlicky broth with a hint of hot pepper, with clams, mussels, calamari, fish, and a juicy Gulf prawn the size of a lobster tail. The teenagers ordered fish and chips, which was perfect. Three very large fillets, with a crispy crunchy crust and a delicious lemon/ranch dipping sauce. Add cocktails, good wine and beer selection, and their $3 dessert "bites" to finish (try the caramel pot de creme. mmmmm) Great meal - we'll be back!

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5.0Dined on November 5, 2015

Absolutely amazing! We had the clam chowder, delicious! We couldn't decide on what to order, our waiter suggested the chefs special for 2, so happy we made that decision! 3 different types of fresh fish prepared 3 different ways. To die for!!!!!!! Highly recommend! The food was fresh and delicious!

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5.0Dined on October 28, 2015

We wanted to go down by the water for dinner, and wanted to try the restaurant that is above were I used to work. It was a little pricey but worth it. The server was really nice and personable. The food was really good and for someone who does not eat desert ate the whole thing. It was quite lovely. I would go again since there were a few more things I would like to try.

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5.0Dined on October 21, 2015

Last night of SCRW we decided to try their menu ... We've had poor to terrible service at OTHER restaurants during the week and thank gawd for Johnny's!!!
We come somewhat frequently and the waiter remembered us, took care of us and we had a great experience. I love Johnny's. The menu was differnt (compared to some places which just choose items from the normal menu).
We got the following tasty meals:
tuna tartar - yummy!
Halibut with mole sauce, cheesey polenta and radicchio - excellent. Definitely not something usually offered.
Desserts: we tried two and they worked perfectly together: donut bites (SO FRIGGIN GOOD!) and the yummiest vanilla panna cotta. Holy cow that was so good. The rich vanilla flavor was to die for!!!

Thanks again Johnny's! Until next time...

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4.0Dined on October 21, 2015

enjoyed our dining experience and brought in some new friends that recently moved to the harbor area in Santa Cruz. it was nice to check out restaurant week selections too.

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5.0Dined on October 11, 2015

The view is outstanding, the service is great and the food is good. I had the grilled sand dabs with the "Cherry Blossom" and my husband had the smoked salmon Benedict I would've liked to have the "Parisian", but the vegetables were squash or as the waitress said zucchini and squash. I understand why restaurants use those boring vegetables as their shelf life is seemingly forever, but there are so many other vegetables out there beyond squash and broccoli. That said the Cherry Blossom came out with the fish over a ball of rice on an artfully sauce decorated plate with endame . The sauce was a kind of teriyaki sauce. There was some sort of mixup in the kitchen with my husband's meal and it had to remake it. When it did come out it was good, but not great.

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5.0Dined on October 3, 2015

I like to eat a Johnny's every time I visit Santa Cruz. I cannot eat gluten so this is my go to restaurant. Food is outstanding and I have always had an outstanding meal. Saturday's visit was my restaurant pick for our girls weekend and my friends are still talking about what a great dinner it was...several said that they will take their husbands to Johnny's the next time they are in Santa Cruz. Part of the great experience was because our waiter (Dan) did an excellent job serving us and kept us laughing. Thank you to Dan and all the staff...We will be back!

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5.0Dined on October 3, 2015

Love the fish they serve.
Freshly caught.
Fish served any way they do it, is marvelous.
French Dip Sandwich w/Sweet potato fries is soooo good.
💙💚💜Johnny's

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5.0Dined on September 26, 2015

Decent fish tacos and shrimp Louie. Lovely service. Appreciated the fact that despite being super they saved our table thirty minutes. Machine challenged people like us might have a hard time with the parking payment thingie.

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2.0Dined on September 22, 2015

Best that can be said is that the fish was fresh, and the scenery
with a view of countless fishing boats and sailing yachts was terrific.
Calamari app was just ok, the sauces and sides were either cold or, if warm,
uninspired.
This restaurant exists only because of the freshness of it's seafood. As far as
I could tell, all other aspects of the menu and preparations need a serious
reworking.

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4.0Dined on September 21, 2015

The seafood was the best we had in Santa Cruz. Would definitely return.

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1.0Dined on September 18, 2015

Restaurant was hot and stuffy. Not enjoyable at all to be sweaty and uncomfortable while eating a meal for $. Open window doesn't help, for a pricey meal. Need to invest in air conditioning for your customer who need to have can't tolerate warm rooms. I would not visit again. Eating was not enjoy or scenery was ruined.

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3.0Dined on September 6, 2015

Nice but restaurant needs deep cleaning. The bathrooms are awfully dirty and people say that's an indication of cleanliness in the kitchen! Get on that, Dan. Also the entry is yucky

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5.0Dined on September 6, 2015

Amazing fish tacos with large portions. The service was really quick and the view was really nice although no outdoor seating

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5.0Dined on September 5, 2015

Our server Regina was attentive, professional and very pleasant. The food was delicious as always. 2 of us ordered the special for the evening - halibut was vey good. Someone else had the Cioppino and said it was tasty but a little spicy for their taste. The linguini was also very good. We enjoyed the view from our window seat.

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5.0Dined on September 4, 2015

We go down to eat near the harbor area a lot and had never been to Johnny's. We finally decided to try it a couple weeks ago, and we absolutely loved it. We all had great food, great service, and such a wonderful view. We will definitely be back!

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5.0Dined on September 2, 2015

Came after a wonderful night of sailing. The burger special sounded phenomenal and it was! YUM!!! We all got the burger and loved it. Fresh mozz, basil and tomatoes = yumminess!

The orange julius drink is very tasty!

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4.0Dined on August 31, 2015

I picked this restaurant as my daughter and I wanted to eat fresh fish overlooking the water. We were not disappointed. My daughters sea bass Parisienne was spectacular and my daily special of wild salmon was also very good.

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3.0Dined on August 29, 2015

Very pleasant and hepful staff seated us quickly and made sure we were attended to. The noise level was a bit much for old ears. The 20-40 crowd seemed more comfortable with everyone talking loudly to be heard over the din. Sand dabs were fresh and well prepared, but not the quiet, elegant dinner we were hoping for. With the right expectations I suspect this place would be downright fun.

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3.0Dined on August 29, 2015

The server was sort of friendly but overall very short with not much personality. The open layout made it hard to gain privacy and it was very noisy. The food was great and the kids loved their meal.

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3.0Dined on August 29, 2015

The food was very good, but it was HOT in there. The waitress was very sweet and the service was excellent. We came there to celebrate my sons 8th birthday and we had a great time, except the heat.

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4.0Dined on August 29, 2015

varied menu concentrating on seafood. Many selection and very well prepared. The wait staff is very well trained and nice to interact with. Fun setting and good food. We dine there frequently

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4.0Dined on August 24, 2015

I have been to Johnny's Harborside several times with one or more friends. We are always seated promptly, service is good, staff are friendly, food is good. Menu is reasonably diverse, from standard items to more unusual, such as the tempura avocado, which I liked a lot. The high beamed ceiling and wood interior have a nice feel. Somewhat noisy, though. The view of the water & boats is what's most delightful, so go during daylight if you can.

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4.0Dined on August 17, 2015

We're coming here more often and everything is always great. You can't beat the view of the harbor and the service has always been excellent. I'll be writing food reviews based on what we got from now on...
Cioppino - yum! Tons of seafood! Came with garlic bread.
Salmon burger - patty freshly made with local salmon. Had an asian type slaw on it which gave it a sweet taste. I probably wouldn't order it again, unless it had a different topping, but it was good and a nice change.

We went for my BF's birthday and they gave him a free scoop of ice cream with lots of whipped cream!

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