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  4. Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
  5. Santa Cruz

Laili

4.6
4.6
2507 Reviews
$30 and under
Mediterranean
***** Laili Restaurant is now open for takeout and delivery orders. Wednesday- Saturday, 4pm - 8pm. We will be opening out seating and reservations soon so stay tuned for updates.


Rich Mediterranean Flavors with a Unique Afghan Twist in the Heart of Downtown Santa Cruz.

Currently taking reservations for dinner only, 7 days a week, from 4pm-8pm.

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.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 22 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Other options

  • Order online
  • Logo image for Uber Eats

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Mediterranean, Afghan

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Wed–Sat 4:00 pm–8:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (831) 423-4545

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Cruz

  • Cross street

    Pacific Avenue

  • Parking details

    Take advantage of free parking located on River Street at Front Street. In addition to metered street parking, there is also a parking lot at Front Street and Soquel and also at Locust Street and Pacific Avenue.

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 2,507 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Best Overall

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Best Food

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Best Ambiance

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Best Value

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Good for Groups

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Healthy

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Outdoor Dining

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Romantic

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Most Booked

Sort by

Filters

  1. G

    Gigi

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Laili is a beautiful meal destination. Our family and guests love this restaurant! The food is delicious and beautifully presented. Love the courtyard setting...
  2. L

    Laurie

    Portland

    99 reviews

    5.0

    99 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had an early dinner reservation time due to no reservations later in the evening, arrived at about 5:08, were immediately seated, and we enjoyed the quiet of eating at 5:15! More server attention, for sure! I had one of the best lamb burgers EVER, and I personally make pretty good ones! Husband had the beef kabobs which he liked a LOT. There was some kind of delicious apricot thick and spicy purée on the side that he gave me bites of. WOW!! It was good! We both thought that all of the food we were served was excellent!! AND our server, Amanda, was great and did such a nice job even anticipating what we might need before we even asked. When we left at just after 6 PM, we saw how popular Laila was as there was a line out the door of people coming for their dinner reservations!! Glad we could come there early!! We definitely would return if ever back in this area!!
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 24, 2022

    overall4food3service3ambience4
    We are long time customers of Laili and actually had our wedding/reception there years ago. It unfortunately seems that the service and food quality continue to go down each year. We will continue to come back for sentimental reasons, and truly hope that the Laili we knew and loved returns to it’s once incredible self.
  4. DR

    DianaR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Trout, apricot flatbread, baklava hall delicious and well presented.
  5. DT

    DanielT

    San Francisco

    19 reviews

    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on September 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Patio seating was perfect for Covid averse diners. Katherine T was great server. Food, as usual, was excellent
  6. G

    Gruffydd

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 23, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience3
    Food was tasty. Service was uninspired. The restaurant interior was hot and muggy. There's no air circulation, even with the doors open, and there aren't any fans. We got there right when they opened, but were told they didn't have any outdoor seating available due to reservations. By the time we were done there were still a bunch of open tables outside. So, good food but uncomfortable dining and uninspired service.
  7. d

    dalez

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent service. Apricot flat bread delish. Large Greek salad a bit expensive. Wonderful complimentary birthday dessert.
  8. JA

    JudyA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    A Santa Cruz gem. Delicious food, enchanting ambiance!
  9. EH

    ErinH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    delicious food, artful presentation, romantic setting!
  10. CB

    CynB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We haven't been to Lailis for awhile. We recently took guests there for dinner. Our recent meal was outstanding. Aside from the wonderful meal preparations ( and don't forget to try the Kadu and the Bolani appetizers !) the atmosphere in the courtyard is relaxing and beautiful. The noise level is low, so that one can easily converse with others without talking loudly. The staff was courteous and timely. We will return very soon.
  11. N

    Newsjunkie

    San Francisco

    46 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    46 reviews

    Dined on September 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love the flavors! I had the trout which was delicious and my husband had the lamb kabob. Both were done to perfection. We also had the Caesar salad with cilantro and mint. It was wonderful and loved the innovative take on a Caesar.
  12. PJ

    PeteJ

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 14, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience5
    Had the Greek salad and the lettuce was a little brown and old looking. Also, the pour on the wine is too small. You expect more than 3oz for a $11 glass of wine.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 13, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Enjoyed it overall. Good service, good food (koubideh slightly undercooked) and great outdoor set up.
  14. l

    lili

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    Staff was friendly , but seemed busy. Food was ok…Kind of pricey. It was loud due to music from Abbot Square blaring , and sadly we couldn’t dine outside even with a reservation.
  15. B

    Brizzle

    Central Coast

    15 reviews

    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on September 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Laili, as ever, was excellent for this visit. The food is Mediterranean in style, well presented, well cooked. Small but attractive menu and wine list. One of the best in Santa Cruz
  16. SM

    SusanM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 8, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    The food is delicious and the people are so excited to make you happy. The naan bread is so good!!!one of my favorite places.
  17. D

    Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Anniversary
  18. KC

    KimberlyC

    Central Coast

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 7, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    Always a birthday fav!! Best food and wine an love the courtyard!!
  19. E

    Ebbi

    San Francisco

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 4, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    The server was clearly in over her head. Between the first and second round of white wine, the second was a completely different wine than we had ordered and she had to take them back - granted she did not bill us for the second round. The food was uncooked although we had ordered it to be well done.
  20. M

    Maggie

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious lamb shank and pasta. Beautiful outdoor seating area.
  21. M

    Mczmc

    San Francisco

    22 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience5
    We have been eating here off and on for YEARS. this was by far and away the most disappointing. Met by the nicest, most efficient host ever- and had TERRIFIC service to the table entire evening. the flatbreads were tasteless and overloaded with toppings, so became soggy.salad literally drowning in dressing soup- prawns wayyyy over salted. Meats (filet mignon!,chicken) were too overcooked, tough and had no flavor!Baklava was a 1 1/2 inch square that tasted old- soggy and little flavor- overpriced for the size. ice cream did not even remotely taste like pistachio, flan was gritty and grainy- terribly executed. they need a new chef/cooks to survive. VERY DISAPPOINTING.
  22. WM

    WhitneyM

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 31, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience4
    This was our second time dining at this restaurant And we were pretty disappointed with the service. Our appetizer order was taken and it never arrived. The server did not even remember that we ordered an appetizer. The overall service is relatively slow and that could be related to lack of staff or a backed up kitchen however there were ample opportunities for bussers and our server to take away dirty dishes and they were left on the table when fresh food was brought to the table. Basically our server was not good at multitasking, for example when three of her tables had checks that were ready to process she did one at a time, ours being the last. We watched her take each individual check inside to process. It was a school night and we have a young child so leaving a restaurant that late was not great for our schedule. Also, they have a kids menu but it is not very good. I would recommend the patio seating over the indoor seating. Outdoors is quite lovely. The food is different and delicious. I would say the service is mediocre.
  23. I

    Iva70

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My husband and I had dinner at Laili’s Saturday night to celebrate his birthday. The experience was top notch all the way through. Wait staff, service, food (yum!). A very pleasant atmosphere, not noisy at all even though the dining area was fairly crowded. We like very much the meal presentation. Everything is unique and delicious.
  24. ES

    EricaS

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 28, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    We had a wonderful experience at Laili, celebrating two anniversaries in the family. We sat outside in the beautiful courtyard and had a lovely meal. Everyone loved their meals and drinks. Communication between OpenTable, the restaurant, and me was a little confusing, but it all worked out fine in the end. It was challenging trying to communicate through OpenTable. We have loved Laili for years and can't wait to go back again soon.
  25. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 27, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    The excellent experience was marred by only one thing. We were charged a slightly higher price for the bottle of wine. When we brought it up, the server said she would check with management. She came back with an apology. Granted we said it was not a big deal but an offer of reimbursement would have been very nice.
  26. DC

    DandC

    San Francisco

    28 reviews

    5.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on August 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wow, the flavors are amazing. Everything we tried was simply delicious! we shared a yummy beet salad and ate every morsel. Spouse ordered the lamb shank - full of flavor, fell off the bone, with a fragrant spice. I ordered filet kabob, perfectly cooked and with 3 interesting sauces on the side. The courtyard is a lovely space - nicely planted, beautiful light in the evening and absorbs the sound very well. Service was friendly and attentive. A bit pricey but the food and experience was very enjoyable. An excellent evening!
  27. s

    sandydandy

    San Francisco

    26 reviews

    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on August 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The patio is beautiful, service fantastic, and food is consistently excellent… what’s not to love?
  28. MS

    MarjorieS

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on August 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Laili is our favorite restaurant in Santa Cruz. Like always, consistently tasteful;our server, Trevor, the best!
  29. YH

    YiwenH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 24, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    The food was amazing and the service was great too
  30. d

    disappointed

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience5
    Open table is very user unfriendly, I needed to request a different kind of table than where they put ma because I am handicapped and there was no way to do that. They sent me a test number, which I used but there was no such tab to even communicate back with the restaurant. Also, I had to confirm that I was coming. If I make a reservation, I'll be there. I think it is ridiculous to make a reservation and then confirm AGAIN that I will be there. Food way too spicy (not noted on menu), rice dry, skimping on pomegranates on salad. We have been coming for years and always love your food. Really going downhill on food quality. I noticed you were not busy, as in the past, on a Saturday night. I understand charging more, as you have chosen to do, but you are sacrificing your consistent good food reputation. Please bring back Anar Chicken. This is coming from a previous restaurant owner. We supported you during COVID. Don't skimp on your customers.
  31. CK

    CKeats

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Had a party of 7 ladies celebrating a bachelorette party. Booked a table for dinner on the outdoor patio, which was lovely. The food was delicious, and service was prompt and accommodating.
  32. MY

    MrsY

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 20, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience2
    We have loved Laili for years but were pretty disappointed. We requested to sit on the patio but were told it was completely booked. We could see outside and it stayed half empty the entire time we were there. The phone kept ringing and ringing and the host wasn’t picking it up which is fine if you’re busy but the ringer was audible and annoying. The complimentary flatbread was not like it had been in the past, it was hard and fairly flavorless. Our appetizer flatbread was also just mediocre. The waitress was polite but fairly slow. Wine was wonderful, and the meat was satisfying but yet didn’t seem to be as tender and juicy as it was a year ago. I hate to only give 3 stars to what used to be one of our favorite restaurants but it was underwhelming for the price and experience.
  33. KM

    KMos

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 20, 2022

    overall4food2service5ambience5
    The food we ordered wasn't particularly interesting and wasn't worth the price.
  34. V

    Valeria

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 19, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Great food and service! Really enjoyed sitting outside as well.
  35. H

    Hunks

    Sacramento

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 19, 2022

    overall2food2service1ambience2
    Wow, not the restaurant I remember from before Covid. The service and food were sub par. Our waiter barely helped us and another guest reached over and took our bottle of the table.
  36. M

    Marion

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on August 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fabulous on the patio!
  37. CF

    ClintF

    Portland

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 17, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Food was fantastic, loved the caulifour dish- order it, you will be glad you did. Service was good, our server was friendly and made great recommendations. Only downside was hostess who didn’t let you sit where you wanted. We watched two separate couples walk out on her.
  38. IT

    IrishTough

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Lailí is one of the best places to eat in Santa Cruz! The outdoor courtyard is like a Secret Garden setting…incredibly magical with twinkle lights and fountains. Everything we’ve eaten there over the years has been exquisitely prepared and delicious. And the servers are so gracious…always present but not invasive. Just be sure to get your reservations in early!!!
  39. LK

    LowKeyDiner

    Washington DC

    7 reviews

    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on August 14, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience3
    My husband and I were in Santa Cruz for our anniversary and went to Laili for a special meal. The food was excellent! We enjoyed the Greek salad, Mediterranean plate, pomegranate eggplant, and lamb kabob. Aside from the food, which, again, was great, I’d give Laili 3 out of 5 stars. Our server was kind but otherwise we had a bit of a mixed bag on service. Unfortunately, although I made reservations two weeks out, we were unable to get a spot on the patio (it sounded like there were a couple of large parties, so I guess not much we could do there). Although we were comfortable sitting inside, I didn’t think the ambience was as charming and was a bit disappointed, especially because it was a celebratory night for us and I had indicated as much on our reservation request. We also didn’t find out we would be indoors until two days before, which felt like short notice to me and maybe indicated that we had been bumped for another party? But maybe I’m reading into it too much… Overall, I’d highly recommend Laili for a casual spot, but personally wouldn’t go back for a special night out.
  40. r

    robin

    San Francisco

    16 reviews

    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on August 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Never had a bad meal here! Delicious!

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Laili using the Order Online button. Laili also offers delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Laili also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 423-4545.

Laili is rated 4.6 stars by 2507 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 22 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Other options

  • Order online
  • Logo image for Uber Eats
Google Map for Laili

101B Cooper St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Pacific Avenue

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Cruz

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Wed–Sat 4:00 pm–8:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Mediterranean, Afghan

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Take advantage of free parking located on River Street at Front Street. In addition to metered street parking, there is also a parking lot at Front Street and Soquel and also at Locust Street and Pacific Avenue.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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