Cafe Sparrow

4.8
854 Reviews
$31 to $50
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, consistently wins local readers polls for best restaurant. The creative menus are complimented by a varied wine list with a local focus . Lunch is served Monday through Friday 11:30 until 2:00. Locals and visitors love the selections of salads, sandwiches and the best burgers in town, making up the lunch menu. For those looking for heartier selections, look to our daily specials. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday from 5:00. 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.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 854 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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S
Stubie
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined 16 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful meal, excellent service, beautiful ambiance

MA
MiraA
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Sparrow was delicious. Food was excellent, service so kind, and lovely atmosphere.

JM
JayM
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and food. We loved the scallops over polenta cakes and the lamb chops. We tried a small portion of three desserts - all fantastic!

NM
NatashaM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous dining experience once again, consistently great!

P
Paulalalala
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Attentive service. Nice ambiance. We recommend.

JW
JoeW
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lovely $200 dinner for two... Would go again. Proper greeting upon arrival, attentive staff, fantastic flavor. Numerous specials that are described well (actually left at the table for you to consider) along with the prices (I loved that feature).

f
fussyeater
Sacramento
9 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We have been eating there pretty much from the time it opened and have never, and I mean never, had a bad experience with the food, service or price. We could pass on a lot of places when here, but never Cafe Sparrow.

J
Julie
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved our time celebrating our anniversary at Cafe Sparrow. Milla took incredible care of us and everything we ordered was incredible. Thank you for keeping fine dining and great service alive!

RE
RENEEB
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food is always good and consistent, however I paid $40 for a piece of Chinook salmon with rice. A little pricey for sure.

G
vipGourmet4fun
San Francisco
79 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The venison was great and a very generous portion, but the veggies were undercooked, specially the brussels sprouts. My husband really enjoyed the surf and turf, consisting of a petit filet mignon and delicious crab cakes, but here again the veggies were undercooked.

SM
SuzanneM
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience2

Very noisy. Would be good to install some noise reduction in the building. But the food, wait staff were wonderful.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to eat. The prices are less expensive than some other places. It has a French restaurant appeal.

DM
DaveM
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We heard great things about Cafe Sparrow and went with high expectations. We were greeted nicely, seated promptly and the menu and special list were brought over quickly. Our waitress was friendly and helpful. The food was good. The squash apple soup was excellent and my bouillabaisse and my wife’s duck were good but not outstanding. Our biggest nit however was the speed in which the meal was served. I’m impatient, but the food came out too quickly even for me. It felt like a chain restaurant with everything ready for service rather than a fine dining experience. Slow it down a bit and we will return.

CA
ColleenA
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous from start to finish. I impressed my three best friends with my choice of dining experience for the celebration of my 79th birthday!!!

SS
ShaShoeGal
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My new fav go to girls dinner restaurant. Fabulous service from start to finish and the food was superb! Will definitely be returning.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The venue was so appealing. The menu was so broad with great choices for all. Overall a great experience!

CJ
CarolJ
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I came for my birthday and the service could not have been better! Thank you again for the great service and the great food! The Risotto was beyond delicious! See you again soon!

D
vipDianna
Tahoe
21 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing! Our waitress Helen was outstanding! Would travel miles to come here again.

SB
SusanB
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was superb

CB
CarolB
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience5

Lovely atmosphere…. Chilly reception and service. I’d rather have average food in a friendly and accommodating restaurant.

MC
MarCar
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thoroughly enjoyed the cheese fondue appetizer, salmon, duck and venison entrees! The three of us are mini “foodies” and we all loved our meals - three different proteins and all excellent. I can’t wait to return to try the many tempting entrees on the menu. It was my first time eating at Cafe Sparrow for dinner and it won’t be the last! Service was perfect!

AJ
AlisonJ
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Delicious meal! Enjoyed our time at Cafe Sparrow!

T
vipTrow47
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding restaurant with great food and always a great list of specials!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Central Coast
9 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Well first of all, when I made the reservation, I had very specifically asked for a table in the large room right by a window and was assured that she was putting me down for that specific table. People were packed inside in the main room which I still don't feel is safe. We ended up sitting outside at one of two tables and it was not very comfortable. And while I have had some great meals that Cafe Sparrow, I thought that the prices were pretty outrageous and the food was good but not brilliant. The fish was a little dry and the asparagus was undercooked. The restaurant was absolutely packed for a Tuesday night, which shocked me because this is still in the middle of a pandemic.. I'm sure I will go back at some point but it will be a while.

M
vipMustexperience
San Francisco
58 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Sparrow was a real find for us - we have stayed in Aptos two times in the last few months and have only eaten dinner at Cafe Sparrow because the food, service and ambiance are so good!!

FB
FBJM
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite restaurant in the area-we come whenever we’re here!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food. Came a little quick but they were busy. Will definitely go back.

MS
MarciS
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food! Every dish I have had here has melted in my mouth! Just amazing.

G
vipGourmet4fun
San Francisco
80 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Every bite a delight! Extensive menu on line with many additional specials. Crabcakes were were delicious, the venison was prepared to perfection with each vegetable perfectly cooked, and the calamari steak was the best we had ever had. Great service, wonderful food, very reasonably prized.

TP
TomP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our anniversary dinner at Cafe Sparrow was outstanding. Every course was delicious with the Petrale Sole cooked to perfection. Our waitperson was friendly, knowledgeable, had great recommendations and was incredibly attentive. It was the best dining experience we've had in quite awhile!

PC
PatriciaC
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great food…great waitstaff…great ambiance! Loved our visit!,

AN
ANDREWB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The crab cakes are divine. The fried green tomatoes, breaded in panko, are a cheeky and delightful addition to the appetizer menu (only recommendation, chef: more of that delicious aioli please). My husband had the beef curry soup - another new addition - and it was surprisingly light, whereas I had the mediterranean salad because I cannot resist Bob's tomate concassé. The duck was superb, but the salmon, which I overlooked as being something I can get elsewhere turned out to be the real star - my husband had to guard his plate. It was simply such exceptional seafood prepared so well, I was a little sad I had gotten fancy with the excellent duck but it's a bit of an embarrassment of riches.

The bread pudding dessert, which has replaced the créme caramel as my favorite on the desert menu, never fails; my husband prefers the chocolate bombe which is just a little too much for me.

Regrettably there is no dolly service to take you back our to your car after dinner. Knowing that this place remains as good as ever and has survived intact with the same staff on hand - some have been here for 20 years - puts a smile on my heart and a smirk on my belly. The Sparrow, for me, is part of what makes this area home - it's more than just good eats. It's a statement about how to live well without ostentation, how to host gracefully without pretention, how to make the ingredients the star, not the chef, and how to care for guests and make them feel like family without, well, treating them like family. Toss in a glass of very good wine and the best non-alcoholic beer I've ever tasted, taxes and tip and it rounded out to just about $200. Worth every penny.

E
Essexgirl
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Always reliably good. We enjoy coming here for special occasions.

C
Carlovers
Portland
17 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Café Sparrow never has disappointed us. Every course is exquisite and the staff works together so well. Again last night the smoked chicken pasta and leg of lamb were exceptional. We only wish we lived closer!

JL
JerryL
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really nice dinner in every respect, we just love this place!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is a gem. Attention to details. Consistent. I wish I could eat here every week.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food! Our server Helen was awesome and fun!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food and service. Wonderful selection of fresh gourmet dishes.

B
Blueb
2 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely the best food you can get anywhere around Santa Cruz. We have been here a couple of times, and each time it just gets better and better. The Filet Mignon and the Filet Fettuccine Alfredo are our favorites, and don't forget the Seared Ahi Tuna and Spicy Crab Cakes! The wait staff is delightful and very accommodating. I highly recommend this place to everyone! Perfect spot for a date night.

TR
TimR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing menu and service.

FAQs

Cafe Sparrow offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 688-6238.

Cafe Sparrow is rated 4.8 stars by 854 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.