Gabriella Cafe

4.7
645 Reviews
$50 and over
Italian
Zagat rated as "OUTSTANDING". Gabriella Cafe is a 50 seat, picturesque and romantic dining experience in downtown Santa Cruz.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
Physical Distancing
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 645 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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sandydandy
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If it hadn’t of been for the four inconsiderate young ladies at the table next to us, the evening would have been perfect! The food and service were superlative, the patio charmingly lit and covered, everything was a go for an unforgettable meal BUT for the 80dB energetically and unstopping conversation of the four young ladies out on the town. We had a hard time hearing each other and ignoring their conversations, it took a lot of effort to bend our heads close together to have our own conversation. Otherwise it was great, as usual. This is the first time we’ve had such inconsiderate people next to us there, so chalk it up to bad luck ( and bad manners!).

CD
CarolynD
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Five people, five different meals and all were fantastic. Thank you!

DP
DonnaP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Food was excellent but only lukewarm. Had big been hot, I would have given it 5 stars

f
familyz
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful delicious blending of flavors. Enjoyed with a friend during Santa Cruz Restaurant week so we each ordered a set of three items from the Prix Fixe menu and then shared so we got to enjoy six dishes. Definitely one of my very favorite places to dine.

H
Happybirthdaytome
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved our dinner, the waitresses were outstanding. Would recommend it to anyone!

EF
EricF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Great food and very generous portions. Cute place for a date night too.

PH
PamH
Hawaii
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Romantic and cozy this little cafe is perfect for a first date or to celebrate a special occasion, like our 33rd Anniversary.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and great service

F
vipFitz
Atlantic City
101 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience4

Appetizers were great. The main dishes were all disappointing. Very disappointing and very overpriced.

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

We had a fantastic time! Te food was amazing delicious. We will be back again 😃

FL
FLiPH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing per usual and the ambiance is nice and quaint without feeling stuffy.

Everything from the aps to the entrees to the deserts were a flavor sensation and we left full and happy without feeling weighted down!!!

Always a favorite❤️

FLiP

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Waitstaff really struggling to get things right. I realize there may be people who are new, but even the basics were shaky. For example if you know you are not going to be able to remember orders use a notepad…

MF
MaryF
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had the most wonderful meal. I had the gazpacho, absolutely delicious and very novel. It contained slices of avocado, cucumber and watermelon with tortilla strips o n the side of the bowl. The presentation was stunning. I also had the halibut. The vegetables were amazing and it was the best polenta I have eaten. My husband had the seafood pasta. He said the sauce was spicy and delicious. It’s our new favorite restaurant in the area.

Last night a table of ten had a fantastic and very loud time. I tried to remember that sometimes I am at a table like that. Otherwise, the evening was perfect.

GG
GailG
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

A perennial favorite! Food is delicious, however, I’d like to see some lighter choices for lunch. Perhaps more salad entrees.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
49 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic outdoor dining. Food was amazing
Our sever was perfect

m
mashsc
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

I think that Gabriella's Cafe is a lovely spot. They were kind to move us out on the street patio. The food was really underwhelming which made us sad. The roasted cauliflower starter has possibilities but was lacking great seasoning. The grilled artichokes, not really grilled, hard to share and aioli was also so underwhelming. My hubby and friend had the gnocchi, which tasted ok but they were missing the, " i could never make this at home" response, so again, underwhelming. I had the steak which tasted great and was cooked as medium rare but at 45 dollars, I wished again, more flavor.. I think the challenge is on Gabriella's , try to challenge yourselves to new and strong flavors that make us want to come back!!! Good luck. we will come back once we see others start rating your food as spectacular. Try Trestle for example, and taste really tasty food!!! They are a good example of what you should be striving to be.

TF
TravelingFoodie
Omaha
23 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite special occasion place in Santa Cruz. Period.

RK
RonK
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome place. Hadn’t been there in a few years, should come more often.

B
vipBizbeth
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We did enjoy our Christmas Eve dinneer, but wished we had known it was a select menu with a designated price per person, when booking it on Opentable.

SL
SusanL
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and wine list. Relaxing atmosphere and cozy dining. Intimate and special night dining with loved ones.

A
vipAnonymous
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Nice spot for conversation with very good food and service!!

GB
GrahamB
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Gabrriella is one of my favorite restaurants in Santa Cruz. The food is fantastic, the staff attentive, and the ambience is marvelous.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Food is delicious, service is great, but the meal would have been perfect if bread was included. It just felt glaring absent from the meal. With great sauces it felt almost criminal to leave the remainder from our ravioli and bolognese on the plate. A quick mop up with some fresh bread would have made the meal a true 5 star experience.

N
vipNice
New England
53 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely cozy and romantic spot. We had been there many years ago and were dying to get back. It didn’t disappoint. The salad, pork and sole were heavenly. Nice people, intimate atmosphere.

TP
TimP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

To be honest, we were in Santa Cruz for thanksgiving and there wasn’t a lot of choice. These guys looked like the best bet and we were not disappointed. As it was a holiday and these folks should have been home with their families, I can’t begrudge the fixed menu - as there were 3-4 choices for each course and 3 of us, we sampled almost everything and it was all delicious including the turkey. Staff was courteous and efficient but still friendly. We’ll be back next time we’re in town. Loved it

RL
RobL
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

We went to Gabriella on Thanksgiving and were not told it was a fixed menu at $55 each until we got there. The fish was overcooked, the bread seemed store-bought, and the desserts were boring.

RC
RonC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. It is our go to bistro/restaurant not only for Thanksgiving, but other times during the year. Paul, the owner, is a joy.

DH
DeborahH
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were there for thanksgiving dinner and it was perfect! Cozy with excellent food & wine. I especially appreciate that the food comes from local, organic farms, it makes it extra special!

AR
AmyR
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The best Italian food I’ve had in Santa Cruz! Very fresh, local ingredients.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

I am an OT power user and a foodie, so was suprised at the attitude I encountered here when I arrived after I’d adjusted my res time in the app (note:they were NOT busy, with open slots every 1/4 hour). The hostess rudely parented me with an eye roll and a “oh you’re finally here” comment.Her waitesss colleague piled on with a “should we put them outside?” [as punishment| dig... really? I’ve generally found folks in SC to be super friendly, so was suprised with the condescending attitude at this place. Food was good but...

KB
KieronB
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

I was very disappointed, the food was tasteless, the service was bad and the meal was way overpriced. $135. lunch for three. I wouldn't mind the price if the food was good but as I said, it was tasteless. Sorry, I wish I could give a better review.

FM
FashionMom
Central Coast
8 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience2

Food was good but the service was poor. We had to ask for service and water. This was an anniversary dinner and we will not be back.

f
vipfoodiegirl
San Francisco
86 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Lovely dinner! Great value for restaurant week. I had a beautiful Caesar salad with the duck confit and chocolate cake for dessert. Excellent and well priced.

DA
DianaA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The fried cauliflower in chili oil was perfect with just the right amount of seasoning, the little gems salad was so fresh with crunchy pomegranate seeds and roasted squash slices, Yum! The entrees we had the rockfish with creamy polenta and perfectly coked vegetables made my tastebuds happy. The sauvignon blanc from Napa paired great with my meal. I finished it off with a frenchpress and was not too full but perfectly content. Thank you.

F
vipFoodie
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Consistently good food in a very comfortable space with friendly staff. There is a reason that they have been there for more than 20 years.

KK
KaiK
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this spot. Amazing food, ambiance, service and overall quality.

SL
SophiaL
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is one of my favorite places to eat in Santa Cruz and always has been! Such stellar quality and service even during restaurant week when you won’t eat there without a reservation. It’s packed and we got our food so fast & it was delicious.

s
sarahgerard
Central Coast
30 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I went for restaurant week and it was fabulous as usual. I’ve eaten at Gabriella many times. They serve consistently great food along with attentive service. Their menu for restaurant week was outstanding. Im looking forward to my next dinner there. I prefer to eat outdoors because the restaurant is small and can get pretty loud when full.

DC
DanC
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved the feel of the place, the food and the service. We'll be back!

JR
JustinR
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

REally good food. Amazing desert. small and cozy and a little noisy, but great experience overall.

FAQs

Gabriella Cafe offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 457-1677.

Gabriella Cafe is rated 4.7 stars by 645 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.