Oswald

4.7
1257 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.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
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
What 1257 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KD
vipKannikaDavis
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the place, the food are fantastic and the service are perfect.

PZ
PatZ
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service2ambience4

We were a party of 4 with reservations yet had to wait while they set the table. Our waitress took a really long time to bring our drinks and when they were out of the wine my son ordered, she brought him something else without informing him what it was. He had to ask. It took forever for her to bring bread and our dinners. We had a child who was getting impatient.

Oswalds is our favorite restaurant and the food was excellent. I realize it is challenging coping with COVID restrictions, especially on a weekend night. I hope the service improves.

CS
CarolS
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All the staff, including the owner are meticulous, friendly and helpful.

k
vipk8hungry
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience3

I am honestly kicking myself for not booking Oswald sooner. I feel like I have been missing out on Santa Cruz's best kept secret. It's outdoor set up is right on the corner in downtown, where they've wedged some tables along side the windows. Inside looked well decorated but due to COVID concerns, we opted for the outdoors. The cocktail list was detailed and long, which I appreciated. The menu was unassuming and understated compared to the insanely masterful plates we received. Given the somewhat "standard" ambiance (non-permanent, I assume) and the seemingly basic menu, I had low expectations. I even told my partner, who has lived in Santa Cruz for 27 years and had never been here, after scanning the menu that I was a little bummed that I canceled our reservation at Alderwood for this...after my first bite of the Pork Sugo, I quickly ate my words!! Oswald's food is EXCELLENT. We've eaten everywhere in and around Santa Cruz and again, I am regretful that it took me so long to book here but I guess that speaks even more to how incredible the food is at Oswald's. I want to try everything on the menu, twice over. Thank you Oswalds, for serving food that is beautiful, well-balanced, perfectly seasoned and wonderfully flavorful. We will be back!!

j
jasmine
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing!! Server was knowledgeable and we never had to look for him, super helpful. We will be back!

J
Jacquie
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had lunch outdoor seating. Very tasty. I had the farro with greens and added trout. Tasty combination. The farro and greens were cooked to perfection and the trout was crispy skin and moist perfectly cooked.

I went back the next day to have the same dish for lunch this time added skirt steak and an egg. OMGoodness was that good.

Kudos to the Oswald chefs and servers!!!!
Always a great experience! Never disappoints.

k
kathy
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience4

The food was exceptional but the service was terrible. We sat at a 2-top outside and waited 25 minutes before our wine order was taken while 3 other tables were seated and their orders were taken... the silver lining was that I was able to spend more time with my friend chatting, but the wait was really annoying.

F
Flamb
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on March 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food. Great drinks. Excellent service! Pork Sufi was amazing.

HC
vipHarveyClan
San Francisco
71 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first experience at Oswald... and will definitely not be the last. Everything from the cocktails to the dungeness crab to the meyer lemon pudding cake was outstanding. Serve staff were gracious and well-informed.

TB
TomB
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Great to actually eat at what is one of Santa Cruz's best. The food is as good as I remembered, and the service too. We actually ate indoors (first time in a year) and it was VERY socially distanced, and comfortable. Glad to know the quality is still there.

i
ivanb
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

New lemon pudding dessert amazing. Josh's bar creations 100% as always. Great place as ever.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic experience every time we go there. The food is exceptional

PL
vipPaulL
Miami
13 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Hamburger was super greasy. Really did not enjoy it. Trout was good.

VS
vipValleyScout
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Overall good. Corner location means outside dining gets plenty of street noise - they played 80's funk on the sound system the whole time, which helped. All the food is great quality and cooked just right, but our dishes were oversalted -- the one flaw in an otherwise good experience. Social distancing was good, restrooms clean, patio heaters came out at the right time.

AG
AaronG
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is seriously one of the best restaurants in Santa Cruz! Fried Chicken was amazing. The staff was fun and attentive and the chef must have some kind of magic! Can't wait to go back! It was not the cheapest place in town but well worth the money!

d
deeps
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent but limited Menu due the pandemic. Delicious food. Very polite and courteous staff.

J
Jacquie
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely evening. Nice people dining enjoying thoughtful well prepared delicious meals. Staff was great just the right amount of attention. Will be dining again very soon.
Truly Oswald is the best restaurant in Santa Cruz. The Best.!!!

M
vipMikey
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious. We really enjoyed the duck, the strip steak (and the scalloped potatoes) and the chicken orzo soup. They have lots of heaters, so the outside dining was very cosy. Great service as well!

d
dvasqu
Sacramento
10 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great experience at Oswald. My sister in law gave us a gift certificate to your place. Due to Covid it took us a year to use it. My husband and I loved the food it was very good/ I loved the shrimp salad dish I would like to eat it again soon.

T
igTradewindshd
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Even in COVID times, Oswald is a special place to go. Took out my wife and daughter for lunch and had a blast.

DR
vipDavidR
Hawaii
29 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Stopped by on a Sunday day trip to Santa Cruz. Loved the beer and manhattan! Burger and fries were also fantastic. The fried chicken had a nice crunch but not a lot of flavor (spices). The Caesar salad was just okay. We loved our server (male, possibly manager?) and it was GREAT to be outside on a beautiful day.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

The food was great- we had a small snafu with seating and communication but our hostess was lovely and quickly amended the situation.
All our food was exceptional as were the cocktails with one exception- the butternut squash that accompanied the lamb shank was raw.

K
Kristin
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food, great service and a very attentive and pleasant staff around the restaurant. They have made the most of outdoor seating, which felt intimate and relaxing.

J
Jacquie
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Oswald does not miss a beat ever! Still great value delicious food and the outdoor dining atmosphere is very inviting. I'll be returning soon. Oh yeah, did I mention the food is delicious!!! Indeed. Cocktails and wines are top shelf !

LS
LoriS
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was excellent! Wonderful variety on the menu, very creative takes on classic food, and executed to perfection. Also, so nice to get a view of the action in the kitchen with the large open windows. Exceeded all expectations!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience1

We were outside. The fog rolled in, it was chilly. Outdoor dining is difficult. More heat lamps would be great. Not a lot of appetizers, small menu. The food was very good. I got the mussels. And he got meat lasagna. Small portions and not a lot of side dishes to help fill you. The dessert was great.

VS
vipVictoriaS
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great casual place for Covid dining. First time here won't be our last. Great staff... clean establishment.

i
irose
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

But this restaurant is the cat’s meow

RK
RayK
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We’ve never been to Oswald before, so a first visit during the Covid and days/weeks before outside dining might get shut down is not a fair shot.

First, I’d like to thank everyone for working under such uncertainty! The service was very good and very friendly.

Although it was cold (for Californians) the butternut squash soup warmed us up and we enjoyed the rest of the meal.

I look forward to trying Oswald under more normal circumstances and encourage everyone to support their local restaurants.

CA
CageAngus
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food here is fantastic. We had the lasagna, fried chicken, and lamb shank and all were fantastic. Not to mention yummy cocktails!

L
Louis
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Oswald has done a nice job with their outdoor setup! I went with my spouse in the evening, and there was plenty of heat from the heat lamps, the service was friendly as always, and the food was delicious (I had the braised lamb which was fantastic). Definitely on my short list of places to go in Santa Cruz (or get takeout).

PW
PatrickW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We had a great meal at Oswald. Hard to give a simple rating with Covid but they are doing a great job. The menu was full and the outside seating was done well considering they are on a busy corner. Staff was great and the service really brought it all together. I had the lamb and the only complaint would be that it was a little salty and didn’t find the beans worked. The soup was amazing on a cold night, ceased was good and cocktails on point as always.

i
irose
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Oswald is a charming and delicious restaurant. The owner and staff are warm and welcoming and the food is wonderful. The bar is an occasion unto itself: Fabulous cocktails, great wine selection, and wonderful selection of liquors.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience2

Comida muy rica, el rstorant estaba helado, no habia musica y la luz no hacia ambiente

Report
KM
vipKMH218
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Oswald is doing a GREAT job offering a fine dinning experience even with the restrictions imposed by COVID. Wonderful service, expertly prepared food. All Aces!

d
dawnl
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super yum food, very nice staff, covid safe seating distanced and outside.

V
Virgann
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food. Great staff. Great social distance place.

CH
ChelseaH
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We absolutely love dining here. The food is delicious, beautifully presented, and always fresh and seasonal. We love to try the seasonal cocktails as well. Besides all of their beautiful dishes, they have THE BEST BURGER in town! Oswald is always on point

SB
vipSouthBayFoodie
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

We wanted to love this place, unfortunately it was very underwhelming.
The menu is extremely limited, perhaps due to pandemic.
The highlight of the evening was the Chicken Orzo soup. The Petrale Sole was ok, nothing
extraordinary. My prawn salad was something I can make at home, and the creme brulee crust was burnt. The service was very friendly, the food was just not up to par.

PL
PiaL
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Sitting on the street was loud and cold, but the food was delicious.

FAQs

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

Oswald is rated 4.7 stars by 1257 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.