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  3. San Francisco Bay Area
  4. Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
  5. Santa Cruz

Laili

4.6
4.6
2473 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 9 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 2,473 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
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • San Francisco Bay Area

    Mediterranean

  • 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

    Fit for Foodies

  • 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

    Special Occasion

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Most Booked

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Filters

  1. j

    joannae

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic experience! I left my phone on the table and they had it! Five stars and we will be back! Best dessert in town
  2. d

    delightfoodie

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    This was a wonderful dinning experience . We had a reservation and waited less than 10 minutes on a very busy Tuesday night at 7 o'clock. service was knowledgable, helpful and prompt never rushed. The food was flawless (the lamb shank should not be missed).Through the entire evening not one flaw.
  3. WB

    WillB

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I proposed to my wife here and she has been reluctent to come back because she thought it was just pasta. We were meeting up with a friend in the orchestra and my wife ordered a kabab and really enjoyed it and is ready to come back again.
  4. d

    detouriste

    Central Coast

    17 reviews

    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Perfect dinner spot for the nice before our big swim in Santa Cruz. We both found satisfying delicious and healthy melas to fuel us up before our adventure. When i was there i remembered that i had visited years before as a special treat fir my sister’s birthday. It was just as perfect the second time around. :-)
  5. SM

    SheilaM

    San Francisco

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I highly recommend Laili Restaurant. The service from the very start was wonderful. I contacted the restaurant about a large party reservation and Steven, with the restaurant, responded right away. The food was amazing and the service was outstanding. I definitely recommend the restaurant for any occasion.
  6. s

    suzanned

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outdoor dining super at Lilli's -lots of space, none to wear masks!
  7. C

    Cgree

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Great patio dining! Decided to order an assortment of apps and desserts to share. Enjoyed the flatbreads and the Bolani fried turnover. The pistachio cardamom ice cream topped with baklava was really yummy. Good Santa Cruz Mountain pino noir wine!
  8. J

    Jnet

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great homemade authentic food. All the great flavors of the Middle East with a modern presentation. My favorite restaurant in Santa Cruz. The ambiance in the courtyard is the best!
  9. M

    Marge

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    We love this restaurant. Great value, delicious food, friendly service and in a good atmosphere. Glad they are back!
  10. ER

    EvaR

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience5
    Ambiance and service were excellent. The food has deteriorated significantly since before covid.
  11. SM

    SusanM

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Standards of excellence have been maintained. Food is still delicious, beautifully presented, service impeccable, patio ambience gorgeous.
  12. i

    irose

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience1
    Sadly, although they closed for many months to “sort stuff out”, they don’t seem to have done so. The host was rude; told us we were early and would have to wait so he could set up our table - we were 5 (five) minutes early and there were 12 set and empty tables in view, at one of which he seated us. He acted like we had totally inconvenienced him by coming on time for a reservation. Our wait person did not check in for 15 minutes, host finally brought us water, restaurant still largely empty. We finally got service, wine and ordered an appetizer. She brought the wine and I saw the app sit on the counter for 15 minutes till someone else brought it. Then she came back to take dinner order. I ordered a salad and a main. I saw the salad sit for 20 minutes (that’s how empty the restaurant was) and then someone brought over our mains while we were in midst of appies. He realized and looked sheepish. I said no, we aren’t taking those right now and I see my salad on the counter please cancel it. It’s been sitting in dressing for 20 minutes. They literally took the mains back to the heat lamps and then brought them once the table was cleared so they overcooked, including my cucumber tomato mint salad. My partner ordered a second glass of wine and the waitperson came back with it once he reminded her and she set it down and said “you should know this is on the house”. When she brought the bill, she asked for the first time how everything was. I explained about the hot cucumber salad and that our mains had sat under the heat lamp and she said oh you should have told me I would have re-fired it. They comped us the appie and the second glass of wine but NEVER acknowledged in person the problem with the service, Sorry but we won’t try again. Where is the owner? The host is terrible. The service was worse.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful dinner on a beautiful patio. Friendly service! We enjoyed the beef kebabs, trout and cauliflower- all delicious.
  14. S

    Steveh

    Charleston

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    I had no expectations for the restaurant as we chose it randomly while in Santa Cruz. The experience was a pleasant surprise. Enjoyed all the food and especially the appetizers.
  15. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious and amazing experience! The Afghan dishes are wonderful!!
  16. L

    Lili

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food you should trie the eggplant caramilised and the mantoo. Sooooo delicious!
  17. s

    sandydandy

    San Francisco

    26 reviews

    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on July 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    If dining outside in a cone covered courtyard with superb service and delectable Silk Road inspired food is your idea of a good evening, you’ve found your spot. Oh, the wine was fantastic, even tho not expensive! What’s not to love?
  18. CC

    ColleenC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The most amazing Pomegranate Eggplant!! Started with the Mediterranean plate which was a perfect blend of tastes.
  19. SK

    SandraK

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 16, 2022

    overall3food2service2ambience3
    Food was mediocre. Chicken tough and flavorless. Got 1 of 4 orders wrong. Food did not seem fresh and was not hot. We should have gone to Mosaic.
  20. TE

    ThomasE

    Central Coast

    5 reviews

    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on July 16, 2022

    overall3food2service3ambience3
    We have enjoyed Laili for years. Unfortunately the pandemic has degraded the restaurant. We had 6:45 reservations and we got right in, after they cleaned a table. It appeared that many empty tables had not been cleaned. Probably a shortage of staff. The outdoors is the place to be, but you need to reserve far in advance. As for the food, I had the Maush-awa soup. It was amazing and the flavors will blow you away! The pear gorgonzola flatbed was also very good, although a bit much on the balsamic. My wife opted for Anar Chicken. Unfortunately It was a bit tough (roast chicken should fall off the bone easier), and was cold in the center, like it has been prepared ahead of time and warmed. The accompanying veges were nothing special.
  21. JA

    JaneA

    San Francisco

    13 reviews

    3.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on July 16, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience2
    We waited a long time between ordering and anyone checking in our our drinks. One of our salads literally sat in the ‘kitchen window’ for 25 min. It took forever for the main meal to arrive. The staff was very nice but clearly short staffed.
  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing food and ambiance.
  23. TJ

    TomJ

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    One of those nights when it all comes together…Appetizers and main dishes were prepared and presented perfectly. Service was friendly, informative, and efficient, while keeping guests feeling relaxed. I love this place and have been going for special occasions for years, but somehow last night everything tasted better from tender lamb, juicy chicken, flavorful veggies, to the lime/ginger/mint drink concoction. My mouth is watering just thinking about it again!
  24. MT

    MichaelT

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding as always! The patio was relaxing and beautiful too
  25. M

    Mar4dining

    Central Coast

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Beautiful outside ambiance. We were unfamiliar with the cuisine, but our server had great suggestions and we had a delicious mea. So glad we chose this restaurant!
  26. JA

    JulieA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love this place! Such great flavors and the patio is awesome!
  27. SU

    SUE1234

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Birthday dinner. I was great! Enjoyed by all 👍👍👍
  28. IL

    ILoveToEat

    San Francisco

    32 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on July 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always love Laili!
  29. B

    Beth

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything about Laili is fabulous! Will return soon!
  30. JB

    JohnB

    San Francisco

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 9, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience3
    We had a theater ticket for 8 PM and so booked a table for 545. 2 1/4 hours seem to be enough, obviously. But our food finally came only 20 minutes before we were due to leave. The restaurant was unable to serve us satisfactorily because it could not cope with a large party which had arrived just after us. Consequently we gobbled down our food and really did not enjoy the experience. Will not return.
  31. R

    Rita

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on July 7, 2022

    overall5food5service3ambience5
    Servers did not wear masks which made us uncomfortable in light of recent Covid surges. Also, the online menu needs price updating. Menu items are much cheaper online than in the restaurant.
  32. SH

    SueH

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Laili is a gem in the heart of Santa Cruz. The patio is the loveliest outdoor dining space in town.
  33. H

    Harry

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    An excellent elevation of Afghan flavors. Service and ambiance are also excellent.
  34. SL

    SusanL

    Unspecified

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    excellent food: portions are generous. Courtyard with heaters is comfortable and quiet. Inside good music playing but noisier.
  35. CD

    CynthiaD

    San Francisco

    22 reviews

    4.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on July 1, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience5
    Three of us had a lovely dinner in the outside garden. We had the meat dumplings and beet salad as appetizers. Both delicious. We also ordered the pomegranate eggplant and trout which were very well spiced and flavorful. Desserts were a little disappointing. The baklava was refrigerator-cold. The cardamom Brulee was delicious but lacked a cardamom flavor. Service was ok but we had to requesting silverware, water and plate removal. Waitress was very pleasant, but perhaps they were short-staffed? We will return!
  36. LL

    LoriL

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service, nice ambience and delicious flavorful food!
  37. BP

    BranddiP

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The cilantro salad is so good and the salmon with dill sauce is insane! This is one of my favorite places!
  38. u

    umsken

    Los Angeles

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was our first time at Laili and we ate in the outdoors patio, which is lovely. Both the food and the service were terrific. We had the butternut squash bolani, the eggplant flatbread, the chicken flatbread, and the salmon filet. All 4 dishes were delicious. I'm looking forward to returning there next time we're in Santa Cruz.
  39. JB

    JulietteB

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 24, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Very good. Please add a full bar.
  40. JB

    JoscelynB

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 23, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    Our waitress was very nice but she took a very long time to give us our bill. Also she took a while to check in on us. She was very busy.

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 2473 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 9 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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