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Red Restaurant and Bar

3.8
31 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Vibrant Bar Scene (38)
  • Romantic (28)
  • Fit for Foodies (26)

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About

Stylish and sophisticated, the Red Restaurant and Bar offers an elegant dining experience. Still family-friendly, it has a varied menu with dishes for every appetite and taste. Some items on the menu include gourmet pizza, street tacos, burgers and lamb chili. Choose from a list of side dishes to accompany your meal as well like fries, jalapeno bites or Brussel sprout chips.

Open for dinner and late night dining, musical entertainers often perform at the Red Restaurant and Bar. It also features a daily Happy Hour with special drinks and menu items. Holiday celebrations, private parties and corporate gatherings can be hosted in the event space at the Red Restaurant and Bar.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service, Californian
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Hours of operation


Lunch: Daily 3:00pm-5:00pm

Dinner: Daily 5:00pm-10:00pm

Late Night: Daily till 1am
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Phone number
(831) 425-1913
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Herb Kettelson
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Cedar Street
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Entertainment
Live entertainment every night
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Special events & promotions
A wide range of special events are available at Red Restaurant and Bar. From small business meetings and large birthday parties to rehearsal dinners and elegant wedding receptions, you’ll find this to be the ideal location for your very special event. A space like no other in the famous Santa Cruz Hotel building which dates back over 100 years.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 31 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.8  based on all time ratings
3.8
food
3.9
service
3.9
ambience
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Anubisdogdog (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 31, 2014

A bit chilly but if you are early you can sit next to the fireplace. Lots of comfortable seating. Dark and moody atmosphere. Great beer list. Food was good. Enjoyed the mushroom appetizer and the sliders were delicious. Nice staff.

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OliveOyl1 (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 30, 2014

The ambiance on Sunday evening was perfect for a romantic date.

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FamilyDoc (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 26, 2014

We sat at the couches with kids. Surprised by the decor. Really comfortable. Described as a college bar by our server, really lounge feel with fireplace and live Jazz on Wdenesday night. We were quite pleased. Celebrated a birthday there, comfortable and tasty! We will come again.

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SALT (Central Coast)
2.0  Dined on November 25, 2014

We enjoyed having a drink before our meal. The atmosphere is good with red lighting and a good vibe. Unfortunately when we sat down to eat dinner it all went downhill. The service was so slow even though there was only a few people in the restaurant. Eventually when we got our appetizer fried mushrooms it tasted like pure salt. We commented on this to our server and she said "I like salt." Then we got our main course salmon fish and chips and again the only standout was the salt flavor. My mouth was burning from all the salt. The salmon was ok but it was only two tiny pieces with a mound of salt with some fries. Our server at least acknowledge there was not enough fish and brought us a little more. All in all I would go back for a drink but would never eat there!!

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vipSandy (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on November 17, 2014

Dark and romantic with comfy couches and a fireplace separating the "loungey" bar area with the restaurant tables.

Food was very tasty. Service was good and the beer list was appreciated.

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SoquelD (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on November 15, 2014

Our last visit to the Red Restaurant and Bar was our third time for this restaurant. My girlfriend and I have previously met their for drinks and hors d'oeuvres on one occasion and for dinner on one other occasion. We enjoy the comfy couches and seats in the bar area as well as the good selection of hors d'oeuvres. I like that the dining area is separated from the bar lounge by a short wall and fireplace. The dining area is smaller than the lounge but still affords enough space between other tables to provide private conversation. My only negative comment would be the lack of sufficient reading light in the dining area. I am now at a age where I require reading glasses and any additional light is a benefit when reading a menu. The dim lit dining area is romantic.

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AsianGlow (Los Angeles)
2.0  Dined on November 6, 2014

Third time dining at the Red.

It takes over 30 minutes to get salads as appetizers, over an hour for entrees, and add another 30 minutes for the desserts to arrive after the main course is taken away. The water refills are few and far between.

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SCTravelGirl (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on November 4, 2014

Started off very slow.We ordered and about 10 minutes later the server looked like he was bringing us our 1st course.Nope, that was for the table next to us.It took 30minutes to get our first course which was 1 soup and 1 salad.It took 15 minutes to get a glass of wine that we ordered with our food and the place wasn't crowded.After about 20 minutes I asked if we could get some bread as we hadn't receeved our first course.The bread was amazing and I don't think they normally bring it out to the tables. White wine was room temp not chilled. Salad was good, but only 3 strips of grilled pears and the dressing had too much lemon.Chicken was very good and fish was good, a bit salty. Server was friendly,very low red light.2nd half better than 1st

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Peter (Washington DC)
3.0  Dined on October 29, 2014

4 of us went for a restaurant week dinner.
The squash soup option was lacking in flavor but other than that everything was OK.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on October 27, 2014

This restaurant has a somewhat odd appearance with a very low light level and a retro look. But the food was dynamite and our waitress, despite being very busy, was very personable and attentive. I'm still not sure about the dim light but I will be back. Maybe I'll bring a flashlight.

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DFullerton (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on October 24, 2014

The food was delicous. The ambiance is a little dark for our taste and it is a little too loud in there.

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FunTimes (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on October 23, 2014

Service at Red was excellent!! Some of the food was also excellent! The BBQ ribs were dry, arugula salad excellent, dessert excellent. Excellent beer options. As for ambiance the restaurant is too dark, the tables and menus feel grimey.

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Sugar8Spice (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on September 26, 2014

I've been coming to Red's for the unique ambience, the creative drinks and more than decent draft beer selection.
I got a Groupon for a pit fixe dinner for two, and looked forward to trying out the restaurant part of the establishment. Red's had made a special Groupon menu, which would have been a great idea if they had used it to show off some great dishes. They didn't. The bisque seemed more like a puree; the salad had no taste and poorly prepared ingredients; the Brussel sprout&gigantes orrechieti pasta had a tasty sauce, but chickpeas instead of the promised gigantes, cold hard garlic chips and a few burnt Brussels sprouts leaves on top.
Butterscotch pot had no taste, and raspberry sorbet was tangy and grainy. Together, they worked.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on September 25, 2014

Food was good, servers were very nice, but food took a very long time to arrive. Smokers from the business downstairs stood under our window, which we could not close, and smoked reeked throughout our meal. We thought the bar would be the only thing we would frequent again. But the intense 70's rock music was loud and just did not fit the atmosphere. Not sure what atmosphere the dark dingy decor was trying to target. A good try at some eclectic style that just did not quite hit the mark.

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loomzoom (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on September 22, 2014

We had been to Red years ago and wanted to try again. We know it is very busy on weekends so we went for the Sun-Thurs groupon deal. Four of us went and everyone enjoyed their meal. we only had one adder for a 6'3" heavy eater, everyone else was satisfied! We enjoyed the meal enough to brave the regular crowd on the weekends as well.

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Ontheroad2014 (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on September 8, 2014

We went to this resturant with a groupon. We were not offered the regular menu, just one that had mediocre offering especially for groupon users. This did not provide the benefit of a groupon nor was the food remarkable.

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bpsmith (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on August 31, 2014

Used a Groupon to experience this establishment for the first time and had an excellent dining experience. The setting is very old-school loungish with red velvet drapery, dark wood, and stained glass windows everywhere. The majority of the second-floor establishment is bar area with comfy couches everywhere, and there are maybe a dozen dining tables off to one end of the well-lit floor. We enjoyed all the options on the prix fixe menu, and even ordered a couple regular appetizers as well. Cocktails are amazing, with herb-infused liquors and plenty of house specialties. Music was right for the establishment: swanky and chill. Hostess, bartender, and waiter interactions were pleasant. Will definitely return when in the area again!

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OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
4.0  Dined on August 6, 2014

On the second floor of a historical building in downtown Santa Cruz, this restaurant/bar was not on our radar until we saw the Groupon for the prix fixe dinner. Service was excellent, always there when needed but not hovering, and perfectly paced for a leisurely dinner. We were able to relax and enjoy our view with an open window looking down on a busy downtown corner. At 5 pm on a Weds., there were few other customers and quiet background music was playing. Food was beautifully presented. In spite of some unevenness (some dishes were great, others were not impressive), we both felt this was an enjoyable experience, a unique atmosphere and a great value with the Groupon.

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food4life (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 4, 2014

The food was great, the setting magnificent, and the service the best of all. Try it out on a weekday when less crowded. I think you'll enjoy!

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TuesdayNiteOut (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on June 10, 2014

Our group of 6 were there on comedy night, the service was friendly and prompt.. The beer selection has something for every taste.. The appetizers were creative, we had the brussel spout chips and house marinated olives, witch were served warm an great idea.. The Duck Cobb was nicely done, a little on the small side but with the cheesy beer soup was enough for me (I'm 6" 3" 225) The lighting is quite low and should be increased as the sun goes down... One of our guest recommended bringing a lantern next time... But as a group everybody had a great time... we kind of wish the curtain didn't have to be closed... Maybe the "stage" could be set up on the outside wall and the curtain left open for a change-up??
Our group will be back... thanks

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vipsnewwithyou (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on June 7, 2014

Red Restaurant has a new chef who's revamped the menu for the positive. The cocktails continue to delight, and the wine selection offers fine accompaniments to the new menu items. I enjoyed the cured salmon appetizer as an entrée and was completely satisfied. Another in our party had the steak special, hanger steak, and left nothing on his plate. The broiled strawberries shortcake was surprisingly yummy, and the crème brulée pleased me greatly.

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vipSFDiner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on May 25, 2014

potato cheese soup was luke warm; waiter was notified and did nothing to correct it. what was supposed to be cauliflower hash was small pieces of refrigerator tasting florets.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on May 23, 2014

It's a short way off the beaten path, but an easy walk to downtown shops. They were not quite ready to unveil their full menu so we had a limited selection. However, what we did have was very good. Market Steak was awesome. And the cornish game hen was also outstanding. Us girls split a flatbread and buffalo style chicken legs and we all thought they were excellent also. Our server was in a great mood, efficient and informative.

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OpenTable Diner (San Diego)
5.0  Dined on March 30, 2014

We visit Santa Cruz regularly because our daughter goes to UCSC. We love the food, ambiance & cocktails. Highly recommended., one of our favorite spots. Well done Red!

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Jmhsc (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 31, 2013

Wanted a convenient meal with a group of friends for New Years. Made a reservation and we were sat 45 mins late. The service remained poor and most of the dishes were mediocre. The anti-pasta had to be the biggest joke of everything we ordered. A bird could have gone out and gathered a better snack for us.

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Gumbi831 (Sacramento)
4.0  Dined on December 31, 2013

I booked this for a small gathering on New Years eve before checking the reviews, after checking I was worried as many were saying the service was slow and that the food was sometimes not available. I am pleased to report that we had good service and the food was excellent. Not being in a hurry and wanting to linger to stay for NYE festivities, it actually worked out great! The entire theme is very RED with all the lighting. The lounge area looked really cool with the comfy couches and all, but we were happy staying at our table and having a place to hang once it got crowded. Looking forward to a return trip to just hang at the bar.

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Tayfont15 (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on September 20, 2013

Wow I just had dinner at Red and what a pleasant surprise. This place used to have a reputation as a college bar but.whatever they have done in the past 6 months has changed the entire vibe and quality of the place. A once spotty place to dine is now on the culinary front. Service is on par with any top resturuant on the central coast and the food is delectable. I recommend this place to locals and new diners alike. It was very clear management has taken control of the staff and the staff has risen to the challenge. Thank you Red for an amazing experience.

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truenorth (New England)
5.0  Dined on September 20, 2013

We're from Maine and were recently traveling the central coast of California on a vacation. We spent one night in Santa Cruz and, based on online reviews, we had dinner at Red Restaurant and Bar. We had a great experience. The decor and atmosphere is cozy and fun. The food, made from fresh ingredients, was excellent. And, as importantly, there was a great selection of craft beers on tap. The ambience, food, and beverages made for an absolutely winning combination!

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Tayfont15 (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on September 13, 2013

If your in Santa Cruz the Red is a must for any beer lover. They have 30 beers on draft. Great menu, open late and have one of the best atmospheres I have ever experienced. Highly recommend to anyone. The chef is on point with a fresh menu and very reasonable prices. Live music all week, something for everyone.

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Tayfont15 (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 23, 2013

Food: excellent menu. Brilliant chef.
Atmosphere: unique vibe nothing like it.
Staff: professional helpful and on point.
Great place for large parties and weddings.
I highly recommend this place and will return.
Recommend the beer list

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