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  5. Santa Cruz

Oswald

4.4
4.4
1445 Reviews
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Oswald is a contemporary American restaurant and bar that focuses on the abundance of delicious ingredients found on the central coast of California. Oswald features an eclectic, international wine list and an exciting, seasonal bar program. While the decor is spare and modern, the atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed.

For New Years Eve we offer a Pre Fixe menu that is 3 courses and 3 choices $120 dollars per person.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 11 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary American

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Wed–Sat 12:00 pm–2:30 pm Dinner Wed, Thu 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (831) 423-7427

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Damani Thomas

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Cruz

  • Cross street

    Front

  • Parking details

    Oswald is located on the street level of a four story public parking garage with very reasonable rates.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 1,445 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.4
4.4 based on recent ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 4.2Ambience
  • 4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Fit for Foodies

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Healthy

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Great for Lunch

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Neighborhood Gem

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Notable Wine List

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Special Occasion

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Vibrant Bar Scene

  • Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

    Most Booked

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Filters

  1. T

    Tico

    Seattle

    6 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall1food1service2ambience4
    If you are visiting Santa Cruz, CA, definitely give this place a miss. The food is terrible, the drinks are mediocre at best. Service isn’t great either. The wait staff won’t even fake a smile.
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    3.0

    11 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    The drinks were good. Well made, good quality. Waiter took a while to come get our order. The food was good but the presentation subpar. The beet salad was literally just beets, the fries didn’t look appetizing and tasted ok. The best thing we ordered was the crap/avocado napoleon. Looked very nice and tasted fresh. I’d go back for drinks but would pass on the food.
  3. DD

    DebbieD

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Enjoyed a wonderful meal at Oswald, staff were great, very attentive. I had the Chicken Orzo soup - absolutely delicious, just the right balance of lemon juice and super hot too. Also enjoyed the mac & cheese with side salad. Mac was delicious and again, super hot. Husband had the fried chicken, three pieces, which he devoured. Thank you Oswald, fun mix on the menu and great food - would highly recommend.
  4. LM

    LeslieM

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    One of the few fine dining restaurants in Santa Cruz and it never disappoints!
  5. F

    Fantastic

    Central Coast

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Sat outside and the chicken sandwich was the bomb!
  6. RH

    RobertH

    Hawaii

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 25, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    It was a nice experience and the Cosmojito was outstanding. Great wine by the glass Cab and our server was very nice. Great experience.
  7. DC

    DeniseC

    San Francisco

    31 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on September 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing dining experience! Food, service and beverages all spectacular! We cannot wait to return
  8. F

    Foodisgood

    Central Coast

    18 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on September 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always great. Always consistent. Such an asset to our community.
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 24, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Fun dining, waitress was great, food was hard to complain about
  10. KE

    KimE

    San Francisco

    18 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on September 24, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    We all enjoyed our dishes, but for the price, the amount of food was very small. We left happy though.
  11. M

    Mitchell

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Long time patrons, Oswald continues to impress us and our friends. The Caesar salad is a favorite, the fried chicken, portobello mushroom sandwich and French fries are musts to try for lunch.
  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience3
    Out of multiple dishes, slow service.
  13. JL

    JohnL

    San Francisco

    86 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    86 reviews

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food and service are excellent. I highly recommend the fried chicken.
  14. FT

    FernandoT

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Service was perfect and the place was clean. The food was very good! We plan to return.
  15. CR

    CRay

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We ate outside in a corner niche with attentive service.. The food is always outstanding and the Greens and Farro with steak or fish is highly recommended.
  16. JJ

    JoJo

    Hawaii

    19 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Nice changes to the menu. Great to have the Dungeness Crab appetizer back (although it's really pricey now). Overall, not as good a value as before, but still great dining!
  17. PA

    PaulaA

    Central Coast

    31 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    I know that it is very difficult to run a restaurant these days and Oswald is certainly one of my very favorites. Nonetheless I was a little bit shocked at how much the prices had gone up. I'm really not sure what can be done about that but a dessert that used to cost $9 is now 17. I'm wondering if offering a few more lower end meals might be the way to go.
  18. A

    Autumn31

    Portland

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on August 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We arrived a little early so we had a drink at the bar. Generous pours and even though they were very busy, the guys were really friendly. Fun watching the kitchen. Great server! She went out of her way to find a wine we would like. She nailed it. Fried chicken was delicious and great value! Tasty dessert. Great place. I highly recommend!
  19. SR

    SkyR

    Portland

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 28, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience1
    We picked this place based on recommendations from Friends, and yelp reviews. We were not impressed. The interior is non-Discript. Not understated, or minimal just - Ho-Hum. We read they had our door seating, sure… outdoor on the side wall next to a busy road, with homeless coming up and asking for change, or just watching you enjoy your hard earned meal. The service was decent kind of, I guess it’s a cultural CA thing, they would look at you and your table but I guess expect you to say I’d like water, instead they look at the table from 5 feet away see you have no water but still just turn back around and do something else. It was not exceptionally busy, it seems the wait staff shared all the tables, because I think we had 4-5 servers, but still felt the drinks were being neglected. The food was also ho-hum. It was lacking in flavor, even had to salt and pepper it. But there was no Italian feel to the flavoring. The quality of the pasta was good, but didn’t make up for the overall presentation or flavor, I expected so much more. She had the gnocchi which was slightly better, the gnocchi was very soft, and even gummy on the inside. Meh, had better. Maybe you’ll have better luck. #dissapointed.
  20. j

    jthelw

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 25, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    The service was quick and attentive despite our eating outdoors in a remote location. The rabbit made three ways is a really unique dish. You should try it!
  21. J

    Jacquie

    San Francisco

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on August 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The bruschetta was so delicious, perfectly done. seared Ahi Tuna with arugula, avocado, shaved carrot, breadcrumbs & sesame vinaigrette was very very delicious, light and satisfying. My guest enjoyed an Arnold Palmer and I had the sparkling water with a twist. We skipped dessert this visit, but next time I'll indulge in a sweet treat. Highly recommend, every item on the menu looks amazing. The chef staff is top notch, servers keep it moving smoothly and with lots of smiles and attention. The bartender is on his game, doin it. This I know from experience. Oswald is Simply The Best !!!
  22. D

    Daniel

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Oswald is Santa Cruz classic - the food is choice and well priced, the cocktails are the best in town and the ambiance is perfect. My choice dinner table away from home.
  23. DA

    DavidA

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food, excellent service. Have eaten here several times and its always been a great experience.
  24. e

    econerd

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I love the menu
  25. MS

    MarioS

    San Francisco

    18 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Oswald is not the fine dining place it used to be. The food is mediocre and the service is poor. We had high hopes for a good meal and were quite disappointed. We are not coming back to this place.
  26. B

    Bebe

    San Francisco

    42 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    42 reviews

    Dined on August 11, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    We dined outside for lunch, and the reason I said it was quiet was that there were no other people around us; however, the trucks and busses that zoomed by created a noise level that required us to speak on a higher level than normal. But, the server made up for the inconvenience. He was charming and helpful and had an infectious smile.
  27. C

    Cnapgo

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on August 11, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    I keep giving this place a try, and keep coming away underwhelmed. The service was very good, but at those prices I was disappointed at the size of my burger. My dinner date loved her meal, however.
  28. F

    Fritz

    San Francisco

    28 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Great food, great cocktails, love it that there's outside seating now, though the corner is noisy and some outside tables have no seat backs (they're stools). Expensive, but all the good places are right now
  29. S

    Sancho

    Sacramento

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 7, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Took a chance on trying this great little restaurant out. Parking is easy (parking garage directly above the restaurant), outside seating is nice but on the street might be too busy for some folks), great drink selection and food was super tasty with a small but diverse menu. Definitely recommend.
  30. m

    melissar

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    will go back. unusual things on the menu which I appreciated.
  31. WG

    WineGal

    New Mexico

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Oswald’s is one of my favorite restaurants to eat at in downtown Santa Cruz. Food is consistently of a high quality. Staff and their customer service is excellent. I love their burger and fries with a glass of red wine. Don’t miss the Chocolate Soufflé- which is one of the best dark chocolate desserts in Santa Cruz. Because of their popularity- this is a busy restaurant and sometimes I find the noise level high for people that have a hard time in high noise environments. Best to have a dinner reservation and not be turned away.
  32. SB

    StephenB

    Tahoe

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Oswald is our favorite “special” restaurant in Santa Cruz.
  33. M

    Marco

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience3
    We went for a birthday dinner and it was great. Excellent martinis.
  34. F

    Foodlove

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 4, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Ordered the fried chicken breast sandwich and salad, wish the salad was more than just a pile of greens and some light dressing drizzled over the top. Other than that it was a nice post-COVID, back in the public, restaurant experience
  35. ML

    MarkL

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Food was great, service was excellent. My wife had the lasagna, and I had the fried chicken. Both were yummy. Topped it off with a nice crème brûlée for dessert: simple, but perfectly executed.
  36. KR

    KathyR

    San Francisco

    34 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Our first time here and the cocktails were great! We ordered Manhattan straight up, Cosmojito on the bar menu, Lemon Drop, and wine by the glass (Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon). Both soups were delicious (Chicken Orzo & Mushroom). Entrees (skirt steak & Casserolet) offered generous portions and the seared ahi was just enough to count as an entree after the soup. The almond custard torte was the perfect dessert to end our meal.
  37. SC

    SCFoodiesKinda

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience3
    Everything (food/service) was very good. Only issue was that our entree came out too soon after the appetizer (only about 5 min later). Definitely could be worse problems, but they could pay a little more attention to this...
  38. CA

    CageAngus

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food and service. One if the best restaurants in Santa Cruz!
  39. GF

    GalitF

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great, friendly service. Soups served nice and hot. Ordered the chicken orzo soup and Parisian gnocchi. One of the best meals I’ve ever had. Desserts excellent too (we shared chocolate soufflé and panna cotta). Note Meal Portions are not huge so not ideal for sharing.
  40. MB

    MichelleB

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience5
    A lovely place, overall, and great service. We had dined here before and the food was top notch. Unfortunately when we visited this time, the food was not done to previous standards. Burnt hamburger buns, scant ingredients, etc. Chalking it up to a bad day for that cooking crew, just disappointing at such a hefty price.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Oswald offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 423-7427.

Oswald is rated 4.4 stars by 1445 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 11 times today
Google Map for Oswald

121 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Front

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Cruz

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Wed–Sat 12:00 pm–2:30 pm Dinner Wed, Thu 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary American

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Oswald is located on the street level of a four story public parking garage with very reasonable rates.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Damani Thomas

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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