Cafe Sparrow

4.8
349 reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
This charming country French restaurant located in historic Aptos Village, combines traditional French sauces with a California flair. The quaint restaurant with its open kitchen, is the "favorite" of the locals & consistently wins local reader's polls for "best restaurant." The creative menus are complimented by a varied wine list with a local focus. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 til 2:00, and Saturdays from 11 til 2. Lunch features creative salads and sandwiches, along with daily specials. Brunch is Sunday from 9:00 til 2:00. Brunch features creative egg dishes, benedicts, house made pancakes with organic maple syrup and omelettes. Dinner is served nightly from 5:30. Dinner features filet mignon, rack of lamb, pasta dishes, and the freshest of options from the sea. Sauces are a specialty. Desserts are made in house and are sure to please. Cafe Sparrow is the place to go in Aptos and Santa Cruz County for fresh, delicious and beautifully presented food.
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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A perfect neighborhood place that feels special without being pretentious. The food was delicious and well-portioned. It is small and could occasionally feel a bit crowded, but it was never hard to have a conversation or to feel a sense of privacy. Our server, Helen, was attentive and incredibly genuine. And Bob, the owner and chef, periodically came out to check on all the diners and to chat, making for an even more personal experience.

I had the surf and turf. My filet was cooked perfectly, and the crab cakes were excellent. The vegetables really were allowed to shine and added a vibrancy to the plate. My date had a special Prix Fixe dinner of lamb chops, artichoke soup, and bread pudding. It was a value for just $28. Again, everything was cooked perfectly.

The desserts were solid. Ordering 2 petite desserts allowed us to enjoy more without feeling gluttonous. We definitely are happy to have found this gem in Aptos, and certainly will return.

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M
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had forgotten about the ‘Sparrow’ over the years...now I’ve fallen back in love with everything about it… The food was superior – the best lamb on the planet earth, great salads, tremendous wine list, and superlative service… Also nice to have the owner/chef come to see how everything was… Love the customer service and love the restaurant… I highly recommend it and I consider it the finest restaurant in Santa Cruz County...

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DR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very consistently good food, excellent service, lovely atmosphere.

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S
Sacramento
13 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Cafe Sparrow in Aptos offers a superior level of cuisine for its area. The crabcakes on my "Surf and Turf" were flavorful, and a nice complement to the small filet that was covered with a nicely done green peppercorn sauce. My wife also enjoyed her cheese fondue, a nice entree for a cool, rainy weekend. The two small deserts, one basically a flan, the other a dense dark chocolate espresso mouse, we also very tasty. Clearly knowledgeable resident locals love Cafe Sparrow, as seated across from us was a retired heart surgeon whom I had not seen for better than ten years! Finally, it was nice to have the executive chef come out to greet us and inquire about our meal.

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CH
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good food, expertly executed and seasoned. The menu has so many tempting choices!
The restaurant is so cozy and charming.

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MW
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The quality of food was excellent, and the service was even better. We arrived about 30 minutes early for our reservation, but the owner greeted us right away and we were seated within minutes. The waitress we had was extremely attentive and the owner visited our table more than once to ensure that we were having a great experience. Some of the best service that I have ever encountered. Overall, extremely impressive for our first visit to Cafe Sparrow. We will certainly be returning for more amazing food and great experiences.

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OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very expensive and food wasn’t that great for that price

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MM
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic dinner from start to finish. Service was perfect, not rushed at all.

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F
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Varied menu with a combination of French and California. My favorite local restaurant.

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MB
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been to Cafe Sparrow many times. It never disappoints. I love their rack of lamb. My friends got the duck breast special and it was great.
Everything else, salads, pork belly, and dessert were terrific.

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WK
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Definitely LOVE Cafe Sparrow. We love the Gigi fondue appetizer and you can't go wrong with any of the salads offered. My favorites on the menu are the rack of lamb with a brandied cherry demi-glaze and the NZ venison. My husband loves their salmon filet topped with crab, but I think its only offered on the specials. If you can't save room for a full dessert, we love that they offer petite versions - the Pots de Creme is a must for chocolate lovers. Good wine list too with decent prices on bottles. Excellent food, excellent service, excellent wine - An absolute joy to dine here!

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CP
Palm Springs
12 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Always great food!!

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KW
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a favorite restaurant. Usually go for lunch. This was my first dinner experience but it was as good as all my lunch experiences have been. Large varied menu. Nice wine list. Great service.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very warm and very comfortable. Delicious

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KD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food, great service! The chef even comes out to greet the tables. Everything was on time, drinks first, etc. They could upgrade the lace doily look but it's still charming.

Top 10 restaurants in the Santa Cruz Area in my opinion.

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OT
Bahrain
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I keep coming back with my husband. What can I say. We love this special spot.

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JN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. The restaurant is small but warm and inviting. The owner/chef came to our table a few times during our meal which was very pleasant. The French fondue is fabulous if you are a cheese lover!

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SS
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Maybe the best Sea Bass meal I’ve ever had...which says a lot!

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JF
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place. The food is so good that it is always difficult to choose. There are so many things on the menu that I want that I just keep going back. They make the best liver and onions I have ever had.

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S
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to celebrate my birthday. Great waitress. Delicious food. Cozy & romantic...

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time there and it was absolutely amazing! Food was excellent

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H
Adelaide / SA
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always have a fabulous experience here! It is the best in the Santa Cruz greater area~

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KH
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My special of the day Filet Mignon risotto was DELICIOUS!! It was such a generous serving I enjoyed the other half the next day! Yum!

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j
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is wonderful, Cafe Sparrow never disappoints!

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HE
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Café Sparrow is one of my favorite places for dinner & lunch. The Pre-Fix Dinners are always delicious, fresh, served hot, and with a great price. Check out Monday's night dinners. All of their wines are 1/2 price.
It is quiet, so you can hear your dinning partners, and the service is always great. I feel so fortunate to have such a great place to dine for any occasion.
Cheers

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is truly special. Loved it.

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JE
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Cafe Sparrow. The food is consistently good and the experience enjoyable. The staff is lovely and genuine. A great place to land for a great meal.

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n
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I felt very comfortable walking in. The service was wonderful as was the food. Looking forward to returning. Have been talking it up to my friends!!

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E
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Wonderful, warm, romantic atmosphere. The food never disappoints. After 25 years of patronage, the only (minor) issue I seem to always have is with wine. The quality of the wine (especially by the glass) doesn't match the quality of the food or atmosphere; not even close. In addition, the servers know very little about wine and can't provide meaningful pairing suggestions. People with discerning palates should be advised to bring their own wine, or expect to be underwhelmed.

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RG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was just a Great Experience
Owner Food Staff
Outstanding

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F
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cafe Sparrow is our favorite restaurant in the Aptos-Capitola area, sometimes just to go out to dinner, certainly for special occasions locally. There are the usual items on the menu (See their web page.) plus specials. The menu is a combination of French and Californian. It ranges from fois gras to chicken livers, fine dining that includes some comfort food. The wine list seems to be all Californian, no French except for the Champagne. There is a $20 corkage fee. The staff are friendly and efficient. As of this writing, they do not take American Express.

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AG
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always the food and service was amazing! The only thing we would say is that the pate was a bit overpriced for the size of the portion. We’ll be back again soon!

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LW
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Food noise level way beyond comfortable conversation.

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RM
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Overall excellent experience. Only minor complaint was my dinner was slightly cold and appeared to have sat a while while we enjoyed our salads. It's not a race ;)

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CH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time for our friends at Cafe Sparrow and they loved it.

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k
Central Coast
72 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our family of five had a delicious and memorable Christmas Eve dinner at Cafe Sparrow! We enjoyed several appetizers, salads, main courses and a variety of desserts... sharing bites of every dish! Everything was cooked to perfection and the flavors spectacular! The service was superb and the generosity of the owners and chef being on site and approachable made it an evening to remember!

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RC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible calamari picatta. Great place for lunch or dinner.

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l
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cafe Sparrow is fantastic. The menu offers a good range of choices, and the food is really superb. We enjoyed our Christmas Eve meal in the cozy, friendly ambience of the restaurant, and will return often with friends and family in tow.

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JW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have never been disappointed with any meals eaten at the Sparrow.
The service is next to none.

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CS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best restaurant in Santa Cruz!!

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