Alderwood Santa Cruz

4.6
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83 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Alderwood Santa Cruz is a seasonally-driven restaurant by chef Jeffrey Wall serving coastal, wood-fired cuisine with French undertones. We are inspired by the Central Coast region and its world-renowned farms. Our goal is to bring you a dining experience that blends sophistication and comfort with our unyielding passion for graceful hospitality, and a menu that reflects California’s abundant produce and the best regional purveyors.
What 83 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipScottC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Another excellent meal at Alderwood. Pricey but worth it

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an amazing experience. One of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. Wasn’t cheap, but would go back anytime.

RP
RaulP
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place was amazing from the service to the food!

CM
ColleenM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Alderwood rivals the best restaurants in SF! Brighten was our server and created a wonderful dining experience for the four of us. The service was top notch! The food is divine, tasty and a work of art. The space is cozy and inviting. I love the open kitchen concept where you can see chef and his team working to create beautiful, delicious innovative food. The cocktails are unique and so delicious. One of my all time favorite restaurants. I'm in love! It's pricey but so worth it. Save up and go!

MD
MDW2004
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is class to the T. Best place in Santa Cruz. Wait staff is wonderful. Kitchen staff is a joy to watch.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Server didn’t seem knowledgeable about the menu or offerings. Messed up our drink order twice, even though it was written down? Service was slow and awkward. Mushrooms were good, but overall the experience is not worth it, especially at this price point. Will not be returning. Money is best spent elsewhere.

M
Mactina
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Courses took to long to come out , we had reservations at 6pm and did not finish till 8:40. Husbands steak was over cooked and my halibut could have been warmer . They seemed to be focusing on filing their to- go orders first.

SL
SophiaL
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

This is our favorite spot in SC! Our service wasn’t the best during this visit but we will be back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
62 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner was the best ever. Service was great. Food delicious. Can’t wait to go back. So glad they have worked out the problems and it is now great in every way

CL
vipCatherineL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful food, service. A little loud for conversation though, otherwise perfect.

SR
SharronR
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great food! Brighton was a fantastic waiter and great recommendations.

CR
CristinaR
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience3

Enjoyed the raw oysters and coktails, but that's about it. All food arrived cold and the scallops were undercooked, twice. Pasta carbonara was flavorless. The scallops were served on a bed of cornbread mix that was still in flour form. The mushrooms were good, but pretty basic. The kitchen didn't seem to be able to coordinate the plating. Very disappointing!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our waiter, Brighton, was the best! He was extremely helpful and friendly. The hen of the woods side dish was amazing as well as the steaks.

M
Mariu
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chef sample menu and pairing wines were perfect. Service was wonderful. We really enjoyed our anniversary at Alderwoods.

j
jess
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall2food4service3ambience4

super overpriced for what it is. service was good but didn't match what we paid. i requested to make it special for my boyfriends birthday and they completely forgot despite saying dessert was on them.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible experience (once again) at Alderwood. Their Carbonara is my favorite pasta dish in the world and the Porterhouse we shared was cooked to perfection. Thank you guys for an amazing dinner. Alderwood is by far the best restaurant in Santa Cruz.

MW
MartyW
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to Alderwood to celebrate my mom's retirement. We had the A5 Cheddarstack, the beet salad, and the porterhouse steak. Chef Jeff came to visit with us about the food since we were sitting at the chef's counter. Everyone was so warm and friendly whenever they interacted with us. I will come back.

e
vipembobel
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was outstanding!!!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was wonder as always.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and atmosphere. Try the Kitchen Garden cocktail, the Thick Burger (and order the potatoes to go with it), or the Filet Mignon or the Carbonara. I actually don’t think there is a bad menu item. Oysters are great too.

M
Marge
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was very good but it is getting too pricey for us, sadly.

AC
AnneC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We chose Alderwood for a company dinner and we were not disappointed. The food was really spectacular. The service was slow but attentive (not sure whether it was the kitchen that was slow or the servers). We explored the menu and were given license to order creatively and generously. The drinks were excellent as were the desserts. We all had a wonderful time and probably created the majority of the noise in the restaurant but no one hindered our good time. Thank you for being a great venue for a truly special event.

H
Hiloaddict
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Sitting at the back bar is always fun and interesting. Then we noticed the nervous salad prep guy who couldn’t keep his fingers out of his ears, nose, hair and mouth. Not very appetizing! Does it add extra spice to the salad?

f
vipfoodiegirl
San Francisco
82 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

I love that they change their menu regularly, but I do wish they would keep a few things that I've really loved and came back hoping to find, like their cheese popovers from the snack section of the menu. My friend and I shared a fabulous iceberg salad, an interesting potato dish and the sole. everything was innovative and good but both the fish and the potato dish were much too salty for me.

EA
vipElizabethA
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Alderwood is worthy of many visits. Located just off of Down Town Santa Cruz, it was easy to find and park nearby. It is a popular destination for foodies and reservations are essential. I was able to snag two counter service seats in the early evening and was not disappointed with the location. We watched as items were finished and plated by the staff which gave us an opportunity to preview the menu as we sipped our cocktails. The drinks were excellent. I had a Double Barrel Old Fashioned ($18) while my friend enjoyed a Mexican Firing Squad ($10). We started with the Smoked Beet Salad ($18) and Roasted Hen of the Woods ($18). Both were beautiful and delicious. Our entrees were equally as nice. The Scallops and the Sole were perfectly plated and served to us by a very attentive and informative waiter. The place was packed behind us but we didn't feel uncomfortably close or unable to hear each other. The bar is next to the dining area and filled with jovial patrons. Some quests waited outside for their reservation to be called.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food fun environment

MD
MarcD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and drinks, fun staff! But certainly not cheap. Still, we'll go back.

ML
MayaL
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went to Alderwood as a belated valentines date with my sweetheart. We both had the 5-course chefs tasting menu and we were seated at the chefs counter. They were running a little behind when we arrived for our reservation and they generously offered us a complimentary round of cocktails and dessert on the house for our wait. As dessert was included in our meal they ended up comping us extra drinks. They helped recommend some extra oysters on top as a starter. Everything was incredible — all the courses as well as a few surprises were perfectly prepared and so delicious. The house cocktails were great as well - their bar program is impeccable. They also had a great beer and wine list, and an excellent beer was paired with one of the courses that I was thrilled to discover and look forward to seeking out again in the future. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a great date spot or something a little fancy for celebrating with friends

KS
KerrieS
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love going here; always sit at Chef's counter to enjoy the vibe and professionalism of the food preparation. The best restaurant on the Central Coast.

TR
TimothyR
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

the best restaurant in Santa Cruz. Chef Jeff is amazing.

f
flip
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

we always have such a great time with their excellent food and Enzo our waiter----go back as often as we can!

JD
vipJudgeDora
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had a 7pm dinner reservation on Valentine's Day 2020. We arrived right on time, but a table was not ready. The host told us immediately that there would be a wait of a few moments. After about 5 minutes, we were still waiting. The host offered us each a free flute of champagne (very classy thing to do after only 5 minutes of waiting). A few minutes later our table was ready and we were seated, so the wait was very reasonable for a special-occasion-Friday-night. Our waiter, Niko, was very knowledgeable about the menu, and described each dish we asked about in perfect detail. He made several suggestions. We started with the shrimp cocktail which was nicely presented and very large shrimp! Fabulous. I had the duck breast which is not usually on the menu, and it was the best I've ever had. Perfectly cooked. Great-sized portion. Partner had the ribeye which was also perfectly cooked, and very large. We had the potato pave which was surprisingly good. All in all: dinner, with two glasses of wine, two mixed drinks, an appetizer, a side dish and two large main courses was about $300 including tax and tip, but certainly worth it. The ambiance was a bit casual. More side dish choices would be nice. Malbec by the glass instead of only by the bottle would be a nice addition. I would certainly return again for a special occasion. Just a bit pricey for a regular night out unless sharing an entrée. Very happy with our first Valentine's Day dinner! Thank you Alderwood!

J
Jordan
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We sat at the bar and everything was amazing. We got great service from the bartender who also made us the best cocktails we’ve ever had and he was very knowledgeable. I believe his name was Weston. 10/10 would go back

MJ
MaryJacques
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

NY strip steak was to die for!! Loved the Bee’s Knees cocktail too!! <3 can’t complain whenever we go here for dinner!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Best restaurant in Santa Cruz hands down! 🤙🏼

MT
MTMcallistar
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Alderwood is impressive, no matter how many times you visit them, they never cease to offer something that will excite you. Having allowed the Chef to take our hands and lead us down an amazing path of his own thoughtful selections, I was concerned that future visits would not satisfy at the same level. I could not have been more wrong, upon returning with the intention of a simple weeknight snack with friends, I found the same level of imagination and flavor with every plate set down on the table.

Alderwood is the restaurant Santa Cruz has needed for some time, it has filled a hole in our culinary landscape. While we are blessed with techniques and niche cuisine from far-reaching places, I am excited to have a big city level dining experience in our special little town.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great as usual.

SB
SiriB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great Restaurant! Food was fresh and creative as well as delicious! They were very willing to accommodate our vegan needs beautifully!

SA
SAMS
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The new menu is great, and we’re pleased to see that they retained our favorites from the previous menu, like the braided pretzel with beer cheese and baked potato pommes frites. Delicious new items we’ve already reordered are the iceberg salad, cannelloni, potato pave, Hawaiian blue shrimp and sourdough bread with smoked butter. The sole and guinea fowl are also very good. The cocktail list is inventive without being too extra, and the wine list is very good. We’ve eaten at Alderwood twice in the last two weeks with friends and family. Each of the eight or so times we’ve been to Alderwood, Brighton has waited on us. He is friendly, very knowledgeable, remembers us and our choices from previous visits, paces our servings perfectly and manages to appear exactly when he is needed. All in all a very good restaurant experience.

PL
PaulL
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to, hands down amazing food and a great experience. We read about this restaurant in Edible Monterey and decided to try it. Went with my wife, we sat at the bench table looking at the kitchen (highly recommend this even for a date, great fun...not a bar seat but instead a long table away from the bar facing the kitchen). Cocktails and food were amazing, get several small plates up front and enjoy. For mains we had the Delmonico ribeye and scallops, Hen of the Woods (mushrooms), potato pave, etc.

We will go back, won’t think twice about it...the is a must go if you’re looking for high end dining without the stuffy attitude. Staff was great, very nice, very knowledgeable.

FAQs

Alderwood Santa Cruz offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 588-3238.

Alderwood Santa Cruz is rated 4.6 stars by 83 OpenTable diners.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.