Enable JavaScript to run this app.
Skip to main content
OpenTable logo
  1. Home
  2. United States
  3. San Francisco Bay Area

Diners' Choice: Good for special occasions restaurants in Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos

Red OpenTable logo
OpenTable
Updated May 05, 2024

Looking for the best special occasion restaurants 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 Sugo Italian Pasta Bar restaurant
4.9
4.9 (226)
$30 and under
Italian
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
A European concept-restaurant of traditional Italian cuisine; a modern and dynamic service, that allows customers to enjoy fresh, organic and authentic italian food through a selection of appetizer, panini, pizza and salads, and obviously our specialty: "Pasta".
Top review
Rickievip
Dined 6 days ago
Great food at a reasonable price. Good wine list and excellent service.
A photo of la Posta restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2249)
$30 and under
Italian
Santa Cruz
About the restaurant
Select from a menu that features dishes composed of locally sourced ingredients as well as house-made pastas, naturally leavened breads and pizzas from our brick oven.

Because we rely on the bounty of the Santa Cruz farming community, our menu changes frequently and features a wide array of specials. La Posta’s all-Italian wine list includes autochthonous varieties from small producers, by-the-glass and by the bottle.

La Posta adheres to the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program and is a certified City of Santa Cruz Green Business.

We are so thankful for the incredible support from our customers and community.

We will continue to adjust our service based upon best practices for keeping our staff and community safe.

Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 2 days ago
Hands down the best restaurant in Santa Cruz county
A photo of Gabriella Cafe restaurant
4.7
4.7 (940)
$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
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
We love Gabriella's! The appetizers and salads are outstanding. We are often too full to enjoy the main dish until the next day.
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 7 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 4 days 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 (462)
$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
Stubie
Dined on May 12, 2024
Delicious meal and excellent customer service. Plenty of space for large groups
A photo of Cafe Cruz Rosticceria & Bar restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1939)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Soquel
About the restaurant
Cafe Cruz is a popular and lively local restaurant. We offer casual/fine dining with a full bar, indoor and heated patio dining. Guests enjoy watching the "magic" created in our open copper-backed kitchen each night by our talented team of chefs. Notable features include many locally sourced foods, nightly sustainable seafood specials, and many creative salad and vegetable options. Our innovative pastas and sandwiches are always a hit.
Spit-Roasted meats are featured each night, cooked on a french Rotisol rotisserie. The lush garden room can seat larger parties of up to 35. Guests enjoy our warm friendly service, our many seating options, and exceptionally delicious food.

Top review
LarryL
Dined 2 days ago
The sole entree was overdone and I did not like the way it was seasoned. The sides that came with it were uninspiring. My wife’s Beyond Burger was very good and for a change it came out hot. Our server was very friendly and attentive to our needs. Overall we had a very enjoyable time with our friends even though my meal was mediocre.
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 7 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 (583)
$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
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
I absolutely love this restaurant. I don't understand why so many people attack them for having poor service or the food not being worth the price. This is the best restaurant in Santa Cruz. I've eaten here many, many times, and the service has always been outstanding and the food has always been outstanding. Yes the steaks, which I generally do not order, are very expensive. That's the real cost of a Wagyu steak. If you want cheap meat, go somewhere else. If you want inventive food with bright ingredients, well-combined into interesting and delicious dishes then come to Alderwood. Honestly, because of the prices here we don't come often - it's more of a special occasion thing. But you can come here for a burger and a beer and get the best burger in town for a reasonable price on any old night. Either way, great experience.
A photo of The View, a Treeside Restaurant restaurant
4.0
4 (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 5 days ago
Very nice dinner on the beautiful patio. Service was friendly, attentive, and very accommodating for our party of five. Wonderful dining experience!
Explore Diners' Choice best of Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
OpenTable
  • About Us
  • Blog
  • Careers
  • Press
More
Businesses
  • Restaurant reservation software
  • Industry insights
  • Hospitality resources
  • Marketing resources
  • Operation resources
  • How to open a restaurant
  • For restaurants
  • For restaurant groups
Join us on
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information
  • Cookie Preferences
Copyright © 2024 OpenTable, Inc. 1 Montgomery St Ste 500, San Francisco CA 94104 - All rights reserved.
OpenTable is part of Booking Holdings, the world leader in online travel and related services.
Booking Logo
Priceline Logo
KAYAK Logo
Agoda Logo
OpenTable Logo