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  5. Santa Cruz

Oswald

4.4
4.4
1408 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

7:00 PM


Booked 18 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 1,408 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

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

4.4
4.4 based on recent ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Best Value

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Fit for Foodies

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Healthy

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Great for Lunch

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Special Occasion

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Vibrant Bar Scene

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  1. J

    Julia

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Best hamburger, great cocktails. We love date night at Oswald.
  2. RL

    RhiannonL

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    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).
  3. LR

    LoriR

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    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.
  4. PA

    PaulaA

    Central Coast

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

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

    SeanG

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was great — as always!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. J

    Jess

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing food and expert service! Can't wait to return!
  15. 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.
  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Anniversary
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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!
  20. 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!
  21. 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.
  22. L

    Lovenortherncalifornia

    San Francisco

    58 reviews

    5.0

    58 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Cocktails, mussels, fish chowder with rockfish, greens and lemon pound cake were excellent. Service was prompt and professional. We’ll be back.
  23. s

    sefost

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on April 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Service was awesome; drinks were delightful, food was delicious!
  24. MD

    MaggieD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 9, 2022

    overall5food5service3ambience5
    The busser was very helpful and sweet. The server was fine, but not friendly at all and we were wishing we could have been at the bar with the very friendly bartender. Too bad the restaurant has rearranged the bar seating. It's highly inefficient and makes no sense why it's all split up still. Oswald's bar used to be a favorite spot for us, but the limited seating that's all chopped up makes it impossible to find a seat and normally at least one stool is empty but it's next to the server station and therefore unusable and since another one can't be brought from the other chopped up side, the bartender loses clientele and the clientele can't find a spot to sit.
  25. VG

    VirginiaG

    London

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 2, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Love the new menu items!! Keep changing it up, we come often and like variety;)
  26. PA

    PaulaA

    Central Coast

    25 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on March 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The Caesar salad with the trout or with the chicken are both incredible and great deals! Beautifully cooked and a great value. I hope people will not forget about Oswald. It's one of Santa Cruz's best restaurants and has been for many years. Please support them. I really don't want to lose another great restaurant in town. They also have fabulous drinks and desserts! And the service is always top notch!!!
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 25, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience5
    The food was not great considering the price. We order calamari and it was served with ketchup and mayonnaise for a dipping sauce. Waitress was kind of rude and forgot our drinks. Wouldn’t go back probably.
  28. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on March 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding experience as always!
  29. k

    katheriner

    Palm Springs

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 19, 2022

    overall2food2service1ambience2
    Unfortunately the service was terrible and the food was just ok so I won’t be heading back anytime soon
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Dallas

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 17, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience1
    Staff wasn’t attentive and heard unkind joke about us as they walked off
  31. MW

    MichaelW

    St. Louis

    18 reviews

    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on March 12, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    The service was excellent, the entree was delicious, the fried calamari was not. Tasted like it was fried in old oil. Overall would recommend it, just not the calamari.
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 11, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Loved this spot. Ambiance was great. Food was delicious except the serving was a bit small. Had the duck breast just wished it was more on the plate. Chocolate soufflé was superb and cocktail really tasty. Will definitely return. Good stop for after work with friends.
  33. JR

    JennyRoussel

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food and service, as usual. First time having an evening meal
  34. AT

    AdeleT

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was nice to be out and enjoying great food. We split mussels, salad and a steak dinner. The martinis were devine!
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 25, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    My husband and I went to Oswald with another couple to celebrate a birthday. The host and waitstaff were very friendly and helpful and service was timely. The menu is nicely limited. Three of us had burgers and the fourth had friend chicken and we were all happy with our meals. We had to scoot to make a concert but will def return when we have more time to linger.
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Meeting family
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great experience! We ordered the market fish chowder and it was lovely, sophisticated, beautiful blending of flavors. Service was excellent!
  38. O

    Onolicious

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on February 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    fantastic place...just the right vibe for relaxing meal
  39. BH

    BryanH

    San Francisco

    15 reviews

    4.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on February 19, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Not bad; better than most places….not amazing.
  40. OT

    OT4fil

    San Francisco

    117 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    117 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    For this, our anniversary dinner, we chose to eat outside. Street noise along Soquel was intermittently loud and some strange but benign street people would briefly make there presence known. The weather was clear and a propane heater kept us comfortably warm. Service moved a little slowly at first and in recognition of that our cocktails were complimentary (for which the waiter was rewarded in her tip). This said, we came for the food and were not disappointed. The salads were generous, different and delicately dressed. We each had the duckling with an assortment of accompaniments that paired well. Our desserts were chocolate soufflé and torte topped with house made vanilla ice cream. Both we would recommend.

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 4.4 stars by 1408 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 18 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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