Jack O'Neill Restaurant & Lounge

4.4
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1012 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Channeling the spirit of Santa Cruz, and O’Neill himself, Jack O’Neill Restaurant and Lounge is Santa Cruz’s best new destination for coastal California cuisine. The approachable and family-friendly vibe at Jack O’Neill Restaurant and Lounge will welcome hotel guests and locals alike. Live music will be featured Thursday – Saturday year-round, introducing emerging local performers as well as neighborhood favorites.
With a strong emphasis on sustainability and local fare, Executive Chef Ken Drew will feature seafood from the Monterey Bay, meat and produce from small, local organic farms and local wine and craft beers. Jack O’Neill Restaurant & Lounge is also a member of the Monterey Bay Aquariums Seafood Watch program.

Specials

Thanksgiving Dinner Special Menus & Offers

Your reservation is for Jack O’Neill Restaurant, if you are interested in booking our Thanksgiving buffet, please call (831)460-5012.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

What 1012 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Beautiful restaurant. Food is pretty good. Price is quite high. Good service.

JJ
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Breakfast was great! Service was great! View was great!

OT
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was awesome. We got attended quickly and very respectful. Our expectations were met.

MN
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

This is the second time we have eaten here, this time for breakfast. The menu has a nice variety, the service was excellent and the view is to die for. There were three of us. Two had scrambles and one had eggs Benedict. Nice portions with fresh ingredients, however the Benedict arrived cold and the eggs were not medium as requested. The server immediately took it away and after a few minutes returned with a fresh plate, hot and eggs cooked perfectly. This is a beautiful place to enjoy a meal with an outstanding view and good food which is not easy to find in Santa Cuz.

AB
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were staying at the hotel so we had dinner and brunch at Jack O’Neill. I’m Celiac and they were very careful to make sure I didn’t ingest gluten and were willing to prepare items GF for me. I was very impressed with the attention to detail and service. With such a gorgeous view and great food, we had a happy and memorable anniversary.

b
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience5

much too bright inside for dinner. Management said the lights do not have a dimmer. Unfortunate because it is soo bright inside at night you cant see past the reflection of the lights in the windows to see the view. Seat were very uncomfortable as the arm rests are too low and and cant relax in the seats.

MM
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience4

The entire reason we went to O'Neils during restaurant week was to try different menu items, which we chose in advance. Our decision to go there, out of all the restaurants we could have gone to, was based on the menu that was posted on line. We had an early reservation (6pm) so we could catch the sunset, and thank goodness we did because that was the best part of the experience. Even though restaurant week was only 3/4 over (there were 3 more days featuring that menu) and it was early in the evening, they were out one of the three pre fix meal choices, the duck, leaving only the seafood pasta option and the vegetarian option. Not wanting the veg option we both ordered the seafood pasta option and it was very disappointing. There were 2 large prawns, slightly under cooked, and a piece of salmon over a huge pile of pasta with some cherry tomatoes and peas. Not what I'd call fine dining, more what I would expect at a touristy mid priced wharf restaurant. In hindsight I should have just ordered off the menu, but that defeats the purpose of restaurant week.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We had Casey as a server and my brother thought he was dower. But then he brought my daughter birthday cake with a huge smile on his face! Thank you for fitting us in

JM
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience5

The food was not good. The hamburger was very weird, it had mashed potatoes on it. The view is great, but we wouldn’t go back.

HH
Denver
20 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience5

We ordered the seafood trio. The fish was cold. The shrimp were overcooked and rubbery. The zucchini was mush. The purée on which it was all served was horrendous. Service good, though a little too over the top. Dessert was very good: chocolate lava cake filled with caramel. As good as the dessert was, we won’t be back (used to be a good place).

A
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super friendly service that really don't mind talking with you (should you want it). Food was delicious and the seafood tasted super fresh. My date and I had the trio and burger respectively. Had a great view sitting at one of the ocean view tables

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Frequent guests here. Great food and drinks, excellent service and can’t beat the gorgeous ocean views.

AR
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thank you to Tristan and staff for excellent service and a lovely evening. I enjoyed it all, from my pre-dinner drink to dessert.

I don’t imagine I need to recommend a dish to diners, because I’m sure the other selections are tasty- but at happy hour I had the “sea odyssey” a vodka spritzer with grapefruit. For dinner, I had the corn & clam chowder, steak frites with a local pinot noir, and took a piece of tres leches cake to go.

JG
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

We attended Jack O’Neill Restaurant & Lounge for my birthday. We have always enjoyed this restaurant the most for its spectacular view of the world famous Santa Cruz Beach, Boardwalk, Wharf, and beautiful Monterey Bay as it meets the Pacific Ocean. In the pass we were pleased with our selected choices however on this special day we could only rave about one of our selections. The half pound hamburger was outstanding, it was cooked medium rare as requested and arrived with a quality bun that held the additional items on top of the excellent patty. The French Frys were warm and extra crispy just the way fry’s should be served. Our second plate was a chicken flatbread. The bread was so crisp that it would fall apart as we tried to bite into the flatbread. The diced chicken was room temperature, as was the sun dried tomatoes, the minimum amount of green arugula was not wilted. However there was nothing holding the ingredients together or on the extra crispy flatbread. This made the toppings just fall back onto the plate. I was able to eat some by adding a mixture of mayo and catchup. I allowed most to return to the kitchen.

s
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice quiet morning with the sunrise over the ocean. Was seated right away and beverages served very quickly. Ordered breakfast and it was there ultra quick - the restaurant and hotel manager came over and greeted me even tho I could see he was on his way to a meeting. The bar manager also came over during my early meal and made pleasant conversation with me. The servers, Danielle and Molly were very helpful, serving up coffee and asking if there was anything else I wanted. The hostess also spoke to me at length and Kamelia and Dora were also standing by and came to check how the meal was going and brought refills of water and coffee. All in all very relaxed atmosphere.

L
Central Coast
68 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

For all the beauty of the view, the food is imaginatively described but just marginal in taste.
Very good cocktails, however.

LL
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

This is our second/third visit. The first was for the music in bar. Wonderful sounds of the O Boys. Drinks and pizza in bar was yummy! The second visit was for dinner. The waiter was on top of it! I had the Steakwedge salad and I wanted it with meat. He suggested I add the hanger steak to it! It was delicious! Perfect. Tender and tasty. My friend really enjoyed her meal as well. Then the three of us came back for dinner. Looking forward to that salad and steak again so the two of us split it. It was good but not as tender or tasty. It happens. Still a great dinner. Perfect ambience and though I liked the waiter from before better, the waitress was good too.

JS
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great Sunday breakfast with a beautiful water view!

CM
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food was fantastic and the view is unbeatable! The service was good... the server was sweet, just a little overzealous, which isn’t bad, but maybe a bit overwhelming when you’re out for a romantic dinner. The prices were comparable to other restaurants in the area. Overall a great experience. We will be back.

DD
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall4food2service4ambience5

Your food is usually ok but this past week I ordered an Asian Chicken Salad and I hardly got any vege's... mostly pasta. I was so hungry I ate it but my 2 guests didn't eat much at all.
Views are always great but if the food continues downhill, I won't be coming back unfortunately.
Thanks for asking
David

DW
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience4

We had breakfast twice and give them both a four. Dinner started out great with great cocktails, soups and salad but the Mahi-mahi was dry and bland and the bouillabaisse was just ok. I’m sure the the other entrees were better. The service was wonderful with Tracey and Ziah, they get a five, but we have to give Dinner a three

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We stayed at the hotel Dream Inn on the property and were celebrating our anniversary. The service was superb and I need to mention our waiter Emmanuel and our waitress Lauren both excellent and knowledgeable individuals. We were given all sorts of information about the restaurant and about the city. We had a lovely view of the ocean as well as the pier and Boardwalk. We also got a beautiful dessert for our anniversary celebration complimentary of the restaurant. We loved it all and highly recommend as a special place to celebrate. Next morning we returned with a friend for Brunch which was delicious and just as memorable. Thanks

PM
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience1

Band was too loud, could not have normal conversation due to noise. Food was incorrectly prepared and poorly put together. Steak was raw, gnocchis were massively overcooked, creme brulee was custard. Service was good, but you cant make up for bad food with good service. Would not recommend to anyone. Ever. If the head chef is confident enough to put their name on the menu, it better be good. This chef needs to go back to school.

t
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Extremely high priced! Too expensive for what you get

w
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good as always. Great seaside views and recent renovations to the decor (which was previously very nice anyway) and menu keep it fresh.

T
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Wanted corner tables, didn’t get it, the other table was not as good. The good in bar was great, wanted to stay but had reservations.
The gnocchi was good but not excellent. The poke and salad were very good. But the salad was under dressed and on the small size.

KH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Hostess and servers were excellent.
Food was delicious.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, delicious food! Would love to go back

RO
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

French toast was outstanding

K
Orange County
18 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

I felt the menu was limited so my husband and I ended up having salads and appetizers. Of course I had dessert it was like a little chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream very good. We both had gin and tonic’s mine was with Hendrix and it was as it should be. Our waitress Kaitlyn had quite a few tables but kept up. Use valet parking which was the way to go. They pick you up right in front of the restaurant.

BL
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were there for a special occasion. Got the best view looking out to the ocean. The way the table was setting up give you a sense of privacy. Our waitress Caitlin was very professional and wonderful. Couldn't get a better person. The bouilabasse dish was amazing. It was a very nice experience. Definitely will come back.

MB
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great experience! We will be back

KM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed two brunches and loved the bar stool seating facing the water which was shimmering magically.
Comfortable chairs, attentive waitstaff and Eleni concocted a Bloody Mary with no hot pepper spices for me,it was divine;tomato juice,horseradish,Tito’s,lime and a celery olive/garnish. I was in heaven and enjoyed my sourdough avocado bacon toast alongside my personalized Bloody Mary. My daughter had a generous serving of the Texas French toast with carmelized bananas,strawberries, and mascarpone whip cream. We both enjoyed the experience and delectable meal that we returned the following morning for another brunch of the same.
We live in town and never go out for brunch so we’ll definitely be back for our perfect brunch and a swim at Cowell’s Cove.

r
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing
accommodations for my food allergies and vegan lifestyle

B
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Being locals, we have lots of excellent restaurants to choose from. We had not been to Jack O'Neill's since the bar expanded to include the restaurant. It was an excellent choice for my very special birthday dinner. Lovely view of the ocean, wharf and even the Boardwalk. Our server was wonderful, as were the associated wait staff. Love that the spirit of Jack lives on in so many parts of our community!

B
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience5

We have been a regular customers since the Aquarius days and love the ambiance... Our only complaint is that the quality of the food does not match the price.

The fish is overcooked, the chicken has skins and bones.

Please spend some time with the kitchen team to have a more fresh style.

We'll be back to check.

AG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They always have more than one vegan option, which makes all the difference for us. We would not go otherwise. The cocktails could have been better.

KD
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Out of town visitors.

EH
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excellent food from the Mediterranean appetizer right through to the chocolate birthday cake.

t
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great spot! We brought visitors from out of town, and they absolutely loved it. Very nice ambiance / view of the ocean, great service and tasty food. We will be back!