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  5. Santa Cruz

Oswald

4.5
4.5
1424 Reviews
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Oswald is a contemporary American restaurant and bar that focuses on the abundance of delicious ingredients found on the central coast of California. Oswald features an eclectic, international wine list and an exciting, seasonal bar program. While the decor is spare and modern, the atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed.

For New Years Eve we offer a Pre Fixe menu that is 3 courses and 3 choices $120 dollars per person.

Make a reservation

2 people

8:00 PM


Booked 25 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary American

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Wed–Sat 12:00 pm–2:30 pm Dinner Wed, Thu 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (831) 423-7427

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Damani Thomas

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Cruz

  • Cross street

    Front

  • Parking details

    Oswald is located on the street level of a four story public parking garage with very reasonable rates.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 1,424 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

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

4.5
4.5 based on recent ratings
  • 4.5Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.4Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Fit for Foodies

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Healthy

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Notable Wine List

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Special Occasion

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Vibrant Bar Scene

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Filters

  1. F

    Fritz

    San Francisco

    27 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Great food, great cocktails, love it that there's outside seating now, though the corner is noisy and some outside tables have no seat backs (they're stools). Expensive, but all the good places are right now
  2. S

    Sancho

    Sacramento

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Took a chance on trying this great little restaurant out. Parking is easy (parking garage directly above the restaurant), outside seating is nice but on the street might be too busy for some folks), great drink selection and food was super tasty with a small but diverse menu. Definitely recommend.
  3. m

    melissar

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    will go back. unusual things on the menu which I appreciated.
  4. WG

    WineGal

    New Mexico

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Oswald’s is one of my favorite restaurants to eat at in downtown Santa Cruz. Food is consistently of a high quality. Staff and their customer service is excellent. I love their burger and fries with a glass of red wine. Don’t miss the Chocolate Soufflé- which is one of the best dark chocolate desserts in Santa Cruz. Because of their popularity- this is a busy restaurant and sometimes I find the noise level high for people that have a hard time in high noise environments. Best to have a dinner reservation and not be turned away.
  5. SB

    StephenB

    Tahoe

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Oswald is our favorite “special” restaurant in Santa Cruz.
  6. F

    Foodlove

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Ordered the fried chicken breast sandwich and salad, wish the salad was more than just a pile of greens and some light dressing drizzled over the top. Other than that it was a nice post-COVID, back in the public, restaurant experience
  7. ML

    MarkL

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Food was great, service was excellent. My wife had the lasagna, and I had the fried chicken. Both were yummy. Topped it off with a nice crème brûlée for dessert: simple, but perfectly executed.
  8. KR

    KathyR

    San Francisco

    33 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    33 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Our first time here and the cocktails were great! We ordered Manhattan straight up, Cosmojito on the bar menu, Lemon Drop, and wine by the glass (Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon). Both soups were delicious (Chicken Orzo & Mushroom). Entrees (skirt steak & Casserolet) offered generous portions and the seared ahi was just enough to count as an entree after the soup. The almond custard torte was the perfect dessert to end our meal.
  9. SC

    SCFoodiesKinda

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience3
    Everything (food/service) was very good. Only issue was that our entree came out too soon after the appetizer (only about 5 min later). Definitely could be worse problems, but they could pay a little more attention to this...
  10. CA

    CageAngus

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food and service. One if the best restaurants in Santa Cruz!
  11. GF

    GalitF

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great, friendly service. Soups served nice and hot. Ordered the chicken orzo soup and Parisian gnocchi. One of the best meals I’ve ever had. Desserts excellent too (we shared chocolate soufflé and panna cotta). Note Meal Portions are not huge so not ideal for sharing.
  12. MB

    MichelleB

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience5
    A lovely place, overall, and great service. We had dined here before and the food was top notch. Unfortunately when we visited this time, the food was not done to previous standards. Burnt hamburger buns, scant ingredients, etc. Chalking it up to a bad day for that cooking crew, just disappointing at such a hefty price.
  13. r

    robk

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was excellent, although priced a bit on the high side. Soup, saled, gnocchi all very good, and service very good as well.
  14. SC

    SantaCruzansMandM

    Yosemite

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    The chicken orzo soup was delicious. The service was excellent. I thought the buyer was overpriced.
  15. G

    Gretchen

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 16, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    We loved all the dishes we ordered, very tasty! Felt the value was excellent as well. Would definitely recommend
  16. LT

    LoveToEat

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Fantastic presentation for Pork tenderloin with polenta and the ahi tuna dishes. And the were cooked to perfection. Confit was delicious too. Perfect meal.
  17. DB

    DonnaB

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on July 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent. Great service from bartender as our waiter at lunch
  18. EL

    EventsLady

    San Francisco

    53 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    53 reviews

    Dined on July 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent customer service. Our server took great care re: our food allergies, and the duck confit was amazing!
  19. J

    Julia

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 2, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Best hamburger, great cocktails. We love date night at Oswald.
  20. c

    cindym

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 30, 2022

    overall2food4service1ambience2
    Had to ask the bartender to turn down the music twice. Both of us had the hamburgers and both had intestinal problems as soon as we got home. I think maybe it was old aioli. The meat was great. Over salted fries I've enjoyed eating at Oswald's several times, this was not one of them.
  21. RL

    RhiannonL

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Such a fantastic experience, the food was incredible and the service was outstanding (the waitress was absolutely fabulous, the hostess must have been having a bad day).
  22. LR

    LoriR

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It has been years since my husband and I ate at Oswald's. Returning for his birthday celebration was a fabulous experience. I found myself asking myself, why did we wait so long? Our server was knowledgeable and so helpful. The food and drinks were some of the best we've ever had. I can't recommend Oswald's enough, whether for a special occasion, or just a weeknight dinner and cocktail.
  23. PA

    PaulaA

    Central Coast

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, innovative and delicious. Great service too! I brought a friend from out of town and he loved everything!
  24. SG

    SeanG

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was great — as always!
  25. DB

    DebbieB

    San Francisco

    32 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    overall2food2service3ambience2
    Sitting outside was our choice, but our table on the corner was really loud with all of the traffic going by. Took a long time for anyone to come to our table. Bread was brought out but we had no place settings. I ordered the lasagna which was very bland but came with a nice side salad. Husband had the salmon which was ok, except for the untasty green sauce served with it. Our waitress was very nice. I think they were likely understaffed as the restaurant was quite busy.
  26. CG

    CatherineG

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I will return again and again for the lasagne. Inventive men masterly prepared.
  27. EA

    ElizabethA

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall2food4service1ambience4
    Food was delicious and the ambience was nice. Our server was quite rude and didn’t make our dining experience very pleasant. We ended up going elsewhere for dessert and another drink because we didn’t feel comfortable. The service alone doesn’t make me inclined to come back.
  28. B

    Bebe

    San Francisco

    40 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    40 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall2food1service2ambience2
    This used to be the place I would take people from out of town, but after the last couple of times here, I'm looking elsewhere. I don't know what happened to them ~ maybe Covid, but they haven't bounced back from having a great menu, good food, excellent service. Now, the menu has more drinks and cocktails than food and while we had a good server, everything was slow and took longer than usual. We were there at 5:30 so it wasn't busy. My entree was so dry that I only ate half of it and didn't take the rest home. I'm very disappointed as I used to love this place.
  29. S

    Simone

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall2food3service3ambience2
    The frisee salad was mediocre--had potential. The fried chicken--average--I've had much, much better and the green salad that came with it was simply a bunch of greens. The asparagus was good and the gnocchi was too. The bread nothing spectacular. Hence, for the price and all the fuss, the food and ambience should have been much much better and consistently so. The carpet, floor and bathroom weren't very clean either and you sink in the "booth like" seats.
  30. KS

    KSB3

    Houston

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    Celebrated son’s UCSC graduation. Food was great and the service was outstanding. Thank you for accommodating our large group.
  31. J

    Jasmine

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    excellent as always! the food is amazing and the menu changes which I always appreciate. great staff and service, a favorites for sure!
  32. KR

    KevinR

    San Francisco

    16 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on May 26, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience2
    It’s….fine. Not as great as I had been led to believe. Our waitress Shannon was super nice.
  33. J

    Jess

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing food and expert service! Can't wait to return!
  34. L

    Lars

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 19, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience4
    Overcooked fried chicken and pork loin more like a thick, boneless chop. Service was great.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Anniversary
  36. CM

    ChuckM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and service. There were a variety of options from which to choose.
  37. SG

    SeaGypsy

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Enjoyed our meals at the bar; Josh is the greatest bartender! Very attentive and friendly. Never disappointed when we dine here, never had an “off” night. Thank you for providing an atmosphere where locals are always welcomed and recognized. Itʻs been a pleasure coming here all these years and we look forward to our next meal here! Aloha, Kent and Carmel Lowry
  38. KC

    KeithC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Oswald is always consistently good. I brought a guest from out of town who I know enjoys pork chops. He loved Oswald's version. I had a great cocktail of the day and my usual, the best burger in Santa Cruz. Great service from greeting and throughout the meal. Thank you!
  39. AS

    AnnetteS

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Had a great night out at Oswald’s. Started with cocktails, which were excellent! Service was fantastic throughout. Menu is a bit limited, but everything was delicious. Definitely recommend this place!
  40. J

    Jase

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A burger and fries that I wouldn’t mind getting again at all.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Oswald offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 423-7427.

Oswald is rated 4.5 stars by 1424 OpenTable diners.

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

Make a reservation

2 people

8:00 PM


Booked 25 times today
Google Map for Oswald

121 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Front

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Cruz

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Wed–Sat 12:00 pm–2:30 pm Dinner Wed, Thu 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary American

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Oswald is located on the street level of a four story public parking garage with very reasonable rates.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Damani Thomas

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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