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Diners' Choice: Romantic restaurants in Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

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OpenTable
Updated May 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that are the most romantic in Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Gabriella Cafe restaurant
4.8
4.8 (939)
$50 and over
Italian
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Zagat rated as "OUTSTANDING". Gabriella Cafe is a 50 seat, picturesque and romantic dining experience in downtown Santa Cruz.
Top review
RobO
Dined on May 12, 2024
We went for Mother's Day brunch and really enjoyed it. We were seated quickly, service was very friendly, and the food was timely. Eggs Benedict were quite good, but the waffle did not seem freshly made (seemed just a little old from sitting in the kitchen). All in all, we liked it and will return for dinner.
A photo of The Water Street Grill restaurant
4.8
4.8 (291)
$30 and under
American
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Our local restaurant in Santa Cruz Ca is Family owned, The Water Street Grill is a neighborhood Grill, steak,seafood,burger and wine-Beer Bar offering farm-to-table food, handcrafted drink and a selection of intriguing, affordable Firestone Drafted beers & great selection of wines. We have been more the 20 years in the Restaurant business, we are very committed our restaurant to treat customers with the most respect and let us also handle any event you having, will make it unforgettable moment.
Top review
DennisSvip
Dined on May 10, 2024
We had an amazing relaxing dinner. Food was delicious and our server, Shelley, made the experience memorable!
A photo of Oswald restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1577)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
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. Oswald features new art shows every two months.

We do have first come tables available in the lounge as well as bar seats.
Come by and see if there is a table or seat for you.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
A cozy place with delicious food. A little gem downtown. Quite pricey but the quality of experience makes up for it.
A photo of Laili restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2780)
$30 and under
Mediterranean
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Laili is our expression of love through food and service. We offer a unique menu made up of fusion Afghani Mediterranean items that include kabobs, wraps, flatbreads, pastas, and spiced lamb and chicken dishes as well as delicious vegetarian options.

Laili Restaurant "BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT", Good Times 2023, Voted #1

Rich Mediterranean Flavors with a Unique Afghan Twist in the Heart of Downtown Santa Cruz.
Currently taking reservations for lunch and dinner, walk-ins welcome too.

Dine in our elegant, secluded, off street patio. Visit our website for event information.

Top review
BarryW
Dined 1 day ago
This place deserves a Michelin star or two. The food is not good, it is superb, Everything we ordered was off the charts wonderful. The Aushak, the Flatbread and the braised lamb pasta could not be improved. It’s a must try
A photo of Mozaic - Santa Cruz restaurant
4.7
4.7 (461)
$30 and under
Mediterranean
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
We named our restaurant Mozaic because we wanted to capture the diversity of flavors and culmination of authentic Mediterranean dishes that we offer. We bring together the best of Mediterranean recipes from Greece, Lebanon, Turkey and Sicily, emphasizing Middle Eastern influence.

Our menu is hand-crafted after years of experience in the restaurant business knowing what people like. We make every dish completely authentic, utilizing 100 years old techniques that have been passed down through generations to bring you incredible flavor. COME AND TASTE THE DIFFERENCE We seek only the best, local ingredients. We use high-quality meats, like our Australian lamb tenderloin and select only sustainable seafood. Our lavash comes from an authentic Persian bakery.

Everyone wants family. Mozaic is a warm and inviting atmosphere where everyone can feel at home. Come enjoy our incredible and lush atmosphere.

Top review
NatashaP
Dined on May 3, 2024
Excellent food and great service. So glad we went here and would highly recommend this wonderful eatery!! Tiramisu is a must!!!
A photo of Chocolate the Restaurant restaurant
4.6
4.6 (64)
$30 and under
Californian
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
At Chocolate the Restaurant, we provide an attractive dining environment for couples on dates, friendly meetings, family meals, and for groups up to 20. Dine outside on our covered, heated patio. Celebrate special occasions with up to 25 guests in our private street-side party room. Maybe start with Chocolate Martini or a Passion Fruit Margarita. Our slow-roasted meats, fresh baked pasta, delicious seasonal salads are all a prelude to our many chocolaty desserts. Our wine list focuses on local and on Italian wines. Our cocktails are all made from scratch; often using locally distilled spirits. We are at your service for dinner every night! Weekend lunches too. We are open every holiday except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Top review
Skyotedancer
Dined 4 days ago
We had a wonderful meal, delicious food, delightful ambiance at an outdoor table with a heater nearby, friendly service, reasonable prices. One of our favorite places to eat out!
A photo of Alderwood Santa Cruz restaurant
4.6
4.6 (582)
$50 and over
Contemporary American
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
We are now open at 4pm for Happy Hour! Discounted cocktails, wines, and small plates. (4pm-6pm Wednesday through Sunday) The Cheeseburger and other beloved items have returned.

Alderwood Santa Cruz is a seasonally-driven restaurant (Michelin Guide recommended) by Executive Chef Jeffrey Wall serving coastal, wood-fired cuisine with French undertones. We are inspired by the Central Coast region and its world-renowned farms. Our goal is to bring you a dining experience that blends sophistication and comfort with our unyielding passion for graceful hospitality, and a menu that reflects California’s abundant produce and the best regional purveyors.

Please enjoy the beautiful wood-fired hearth ambiance, our passion to quality, service standards, and an undying strive to create the best experience imaginable. Thank you from the entire team for being our beloved guests. Chef Jeffrey Wall and Chris Jones.

Top review
JulieKvip
Dined 6 days ago
The food was outstanding. Large appetizers. Tempura Zucchini was HUGE! Our server Enzo was great! 🌟
A photo of Jack O'Neill Restaurant & Lounge restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1870)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
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.
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 3 days ago
Wonderful staff and food with great views. Really Loved the place
A photo of The View, a Treeside Restaurant restaurant
3.9
3.9 (1055)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Set high on a hilltop with breathtaking panoramic views of the Monterey Bay, The View, at Chaminade offers a unique dining experience. Indoor and outdoor seating allows guests to enjoy the naturally beautiful scenery which compliments the contemporary California Cuisine. Whether it’s sustainable seafood or locally grown produce, The View emphasizes natural ingredients while providing four-diamond service. A 4% surcharge will be added to all guest checks to help cover increases in labor costs and to support a higher minimum wage.

Top review
Anonymous
Dined 2 days ago
Very nice dinner on the beautiful patio. Service was friendly, attentive, and very accommodating for our party of five. Wonderful dining experience!
A photo of Sanderlings - Seascape Resort restaurant
3.7
3.7 (1269)
$31 to $50
Californian
Aptos
About the restaurant
Sanderlings Restaurant at Seascape Beach Resort offers elegant, casual dining with a spectacular ocean view from sunrise to sunset.
Top review
KevinC
Dined 4 days ago
Nice beach resort with path to the beach. Nice big rooms. Restaurant food was good. Nice big beach.
Explore Diners' Choice best of Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
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