Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Wednesday - Saturday 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday: 5:30pm - close
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Oswald is located on the street level of a four story public parking garage with very reasonable rates.
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Wine
Oswald Ratings and Reviews
My family absolutely loves this restaurant . We have been coming here for years and we love it EVERY time.
Fabulous food, service, and ambiance.
Our favorite thing they serve is their creme brûlée. The best we have every had. Made with simple real food ingredients. We also really enjoy sipping on their aperitif, made with herbs.
Get a reservation if you want to dine in the restaurant because they are usually booked up. They do have a nice bar area (much louder) where you can eat if you don’t have reservations.
Overall this restaurant tops our list as one of our favorites. ❤️
I only go to Oswald for lunch; it's way to noisy at dinner time. In fact, even at lunchtime we had to ask them to turn down the music so we could talk to each other (they were very accommodating about it). But what a lunch! The soup that day was butternut squash and persimmon, with smoked paprika oil and toasted walnuts - sensational! The texture was like a cloud! My wife has celiac disease and they don't offer GF options so we opted for sandwiches with out the bread - one was chicken, with bacon & cheese & avocado. So good. The other was a marinated and grilled portobello mushroom with a nice cheesy topping and all the fixins. We had to pass on the french fries because they are cooked in the same oil as the fried chicken, but the side salads we ate instead were delicious! For dessert: the most perfect crême brulée ever!
We had been trying to get together with another couple, our good friends, for some time to celebrate both of us guy's October birthdays. Even though it was a month late for us, Oswald did a great job in preparing and serving a terrific meal and making us feel very welcome.
We returned to Oswald as a celebration of when we were engaged 6 years ago. That night was magic. Tonight was merely good. With so many restaurants to choose from, we likely will seek others on our next visit to downtown Santa Cruz. We found that few of the dining options were suitable for a person allergic to dairy products. Yes, cheese can be withheld, and olive oil substituted for butter, but at the cost of flavor, versus developing a dairy free dish from the beginning.
We had a very nice dinner at Oswald’s. The only thing I wish they had one more vegetarian or fish options. I husband had lamb and loved it. I ended up just getting a couple of sides which were good but I would’ve preferred a good piece of fish or vegetarian plate.
We were a table of four persons, and all of us felt our different dishes were too seasoned. My friend had the lamb dish and couldn't eat it (but didn't complain to the server; the server did not inquire why she hadn't eaten it, which I thought was strange) and my sea scallops were extremely salty. My husband's flank steak was too salty, also. The salads and desserts were much better than the main dishes. If I go back, I will just order a salad and dessert.
Oswald is ALWAYS our go-to place when we want to celebrate...this was an anniversary, so there is no place in Santa Cruz County that will do other than Oswald...real professional from beginning to end!...nice greeting...Superlative Service and Outstanding Food and Cocktails!...it’s our go-to place...bottom line...thanks to all!
We don't get to downtown Santa Cruz very often, but if we did we would eat at Oswald's far more often than we do. The service is always excellent, the food is creative and very well prepared. Prices are reasonable for the quality you receive. Kind of noisy but it's not an ear drum buster, just not perfect for a quiet, intimate dinner. Go, you won't be disappointed.
Over the past several years, we have been going to Oswald's about once or twice a year. In the past, the experience had been truly excellent. This time, however, the overall experience was somewhat disappointing and, given the higher prices than a year ago, Oswald's is no longer a place we would recommend for finer dining. While the first courses (endive salad and crab & avocado salad) were just fine, the main courses were underwhelming. The eggplant risotto ($28) did not taste very fresh and the black cod chowder ($32) was too salty, the broth did not taste very good, and the accompanying toasted bread was almost burnt and had too much butter. The service was very good, but, at $80 per person (tax and tip included) with just a glass of wine one would have a higher expectation. Too bad for Oswald.
Also, Open Table needs to update the indicated price range "$30 and under" for Oswald.
Without a doubt Oswald is our favorite restaurant is Santa Cruz County. We have been there numerous times for dinner. Their rack of lamb when it's on the menu is SUPERB. The service is great and it is easy to make reservations, but I recommend doing it as soon as you know the date.
They always have the freshest food beautifully presented and it's wonderful for any special occasion.
my partner & I had a wonderful time at oswald. we were there celebrating a dating anniversary, and it was perfect! we did have to wait a little at the bar for our table, but didn't mind sitting there and perusing the menu while sipping a cocktail. our server was beyond charming & we felt grateful to be in her company! we had the mussels appetizer, scallops special, and chowder, as well as an apple dessert. heavenly! thaaaanks oswald <3
Went there for Sunday dinner with a friend. First we split an arugula salad that had three small abalone steaks along for the ride. Abalone was quite fresh, from the abalone farm up in Davenport, just north of Santa Cruz. For an entré, we both ordered the skirt steak, which came with the best potatoes gratin I've ever tasted. The beef was cooked to perfection, on the rare side of medium rare, with a reduction sauce...perfect.
Casual and conveniently located within Santa Cruz. We walked from the Hyatt Place to the restaurant because it was so incredibly close. Vibrant artwork throughout the restaurant. Modest priced menu items with enough variety to please everyone. The waitress had an outgoing personality and very engaging throughout the evening. The only unusual factor is the mirrors that line the walls and seemingly only reflect the ceiling. Regardless, we highly recommend this to locals or anyone visiting the area. Cheers!
Highly recommend the mushroom bruscetta as an appetizer. Tuna was cooked perfectly but it was bland and the quinoa bed was uninspiring. Drinks always fabulous. Janelle our waitress was warm, friendly and took great care of us. Great service in our town is unusual. Hostess seemed to be having a bad night on Friday. While not exactly rude all 3 in our party commented on her less than welcoming attitude. A mixed night for us.
The steak dish that I had at Oswald (and the exceptional wine that I had paired with it) was one of the best meals of my vacation. Santa Cruz isn't a city renowned for their dining, but Oswald is clearly one of the better and more focused options for high-end eats and delicious cocktails.
My husband and I were in Santa Cruz for a combination anniversary/birthday beach celebration. Oswald was perfect--exquisite food and wine, simple but elegant ambience, and exceptional service from the restaurant manager, Janet, whose art assemblages add interest to every wall. It all added up to a memorable evening.
This restaurant is a bit of an anomaly in the downtown area of Santa Cruz about a block off Pacific St. on the corner of Soquel and Front. It's an upscale restaurant with a great happy hour bar scene and friendly service (ask for Maria if she's working). The happy hour sliders are so scrumptious, it's worth going out of your way just for those; the burger patties are so tasty and juicy! And the buns are house-made brioche...fantastic. We shared the skirt steak entree afterwards; it comes with au gratin potatoes, roasted carrots, and is served with a bleu cheese butter sauce that is complements the steak perfectly. Ordered medium rare, it is juicy, tender, and very flavorful. Oswald also has some creative house-recipe cocktails that we thoroughly enjoyed, such as their current seasonal special which is a margarita made with watermelon juice and muddled fruit. Very refreshing and super tasty.
Other highlights in the restaurant included the open kitchen and thoughtful touches such as the sound-deadening acoustic baffles hanging from the ceiling. I wish more restaurants used these, because it really helps with canceling out echoing from conversations, kitchen noises, etc. and allows you to have a normal-volume conversation at your table.
Food was delicious. Service, in terms of the time it took for food to be served, was very, very slow and consequently problematic.
Not many options on the menu that immediately accommodate food sensitivities but restaurant was quick to substitute one item for another.
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