Cafe Sparrow

4.8
378 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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C
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 13 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great menu great service. The chef checked on us and we really enjoyed the Monday specials.

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AC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, great service. Wonderful restaurant!

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

Never disappoints...high quality, devious food...always a treat!

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JT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Cute place, fantastic dinner. The pork belly special was perfect, lots of gooey fat, caramelized outside, and sweet and savory jalapeño fruit jelly made this the tastiest thing I've had in months. Vegetable risotto with sun-dried tomato sauce was highly flavorful, and a dried fruit sauce also made the roasted garlic an even more delectable treat. My only (small) complaint is that the Henri, jumbo shrimp with orange sections and citrus sauce was only good.
An interesting selection of wines --many local-- rounded off the experience. We finished our meal with a glass of Riesling from Washington that was a perfect example of what Riesling should be. Definitely worth a trip to Aptos!

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CD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent and the service superb!

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VA
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had the lamb chops - Delicious. Husband had the Filet - Fabulous! Friend's had lamb chops and
calamari - always great! Love the small home atmosphere. Doesn't feel like a restaurant but rather
what an old world inn would have had. Love it every time!

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AB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My Family and My Son's Family ( Utah residents) get together twice a year for Sparrows fabulous food. In my opinion, the food offered is the finest in Santa Cruz County. Thank you for always being consistent with the quality of food and presentation.

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k
San Francisco
44 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful meal after a long work week and it was a great place to unwind. The service is attentive but unobtrusive so you feel well cared for. We love the food and usually go with their daily specials and we have never been disappointed!

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely evening all around. It’s been years since I’ve dined and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll be back soon..

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T
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was delicious, not something you see around this area of the country often.

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JP
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always a great place for dinner in Aptos. Highly recommended.

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TG
Palm Springs
7 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You can tell that the word has gotten out ever since that "100 most romantic restaurants" article was published. The place was PACKED and the earliest we could get a reso was 8 pm. But I couldn't be happier for Cafe Sparrow. This place is an absolute gem. The food is always great. The specials change frequently so you never get bored with the same thing. The service is always top notch and they've got a great wine list. We will be back again....and again.....and again......and again.

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S
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cafe Sparrow is always delicious. The service is great and the food is amazing

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TD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were outstanding. We had such a good time we may go back again next weekend

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SE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and staff. Very helpful with our questions and needs. Ambiance was perfect!

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CR
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for 1/2 off wine Monday’s! The food is delicious, and it’s such a cozy atmosphere!

You can never go wrong with anything off their specials menu!

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CM
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed our dining experience here. My wife had the chicken liver and I had the venison. Both dishes were very good. The portion size was just right, allowing us to have the ginger cake for dessert.

Thank you Bob and Julie. We look forward to enjoying another meal at your wonderful restaurant!

Charles and Hoa

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l
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

would appreciate more vegetarian dishes,
i took some vegans there for dinner and we were hard pressed to assemble a meal

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OT
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cafe Sparrow continues to serve excellent food, a nice combination of the traditional and more innovative choices. I especially enjoyed the crab cakes and profiteroles. Very good wine by the glass choices and excellent selection of bottled wine. Service is friendly, yet professional and efficient.

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DS
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food

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JL
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a party of 10 for lunch. The food was exceptional, service was good, and prices comparable to other nice restaurants in the area. Would highly recommend.

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F
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place any time

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MH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’m so glad I remembered this sweet little place as my boyfriend and I had a wonderful anniversary dinner here! The food has always been outstanding, as well as the service. It’s a great memory of our special day!

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EK
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Last Saturday I went to Cafe Sparrow and thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The food was fantastic and the service helped make the experience. I would highly recommend this place to everyone.

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JB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food in comfortable setting. We had the lamb and a surf and turf dish. Perfectly done and very tasty. Profiteroles were delicious too. A gem of a place! We will be back even though it is quite a drive from our house.

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BS
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Julie and Bob Montague have a local treasure on their hands and you wouldn't know if unless you dine there. Thoughtfully appointed, yet unassuming, the ambiance is simple and inviting. Owner Julie seated us and shared a bit of history of the decorations. I think 115 yards of fabric were used in the ceiling decoration years ago.
The food could not be better, I'm never disappointed, try anything and everything but whatever you do, don't leave without having a petit dessert, so tasty and cute! I think I'm going back soon, just writing this review is making me hungry!

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k
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We have been to Cafe Sparrow a number of times, and have never been disappointed. The food is excellent, with a lot of choices, and also many good options for wine by the glass (including a half-glass).

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E
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an excellent meal. Definitely a place for a special occasion, but it was very good. Nice food and friendly service without being obtrusive. Really enjoyed it.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
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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RK
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cafe Sparrow is one of the nicest restaurants in Santa Cruz County. It is pretty, romantic, and the food is excellent.

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M
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
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 on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very consistently good food, excellent service, lovely atmosphere.

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S
Sacramento
13 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
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 on February 10, 2019
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 on February 9, 2019
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 on February 9, 2019
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 6, 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 2, 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 2, 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 2, 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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