Soif Wine Bar Restaurant

4.4
649 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Notable Wine List
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
The menu at Soif changes almost daily, and every dish – small plates, appetizers, entrées and desserts – emphasizes seasonal, sustainably grown, and intensely flavored ingredients primarily sourced from local farmers and provisioners.

Soif offers over 40 wines by the glass from small, artisanal producers, as well as some 400 selections by the bottle from our wine shop, available to diners for $20 over retail price.

We find our delight in discovering distinctive, expressive wines, sourcing and preparing delicious, wholesome food, and then putting it all together so when guests walk in the door, night after night, there is something here for them that is authentic – that satisfies their thirst for the soulful, the delicious, and the well made.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, International
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Hours of operation
Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm,
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00
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Phone number
(831) 423-2020
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Marshal Bishop
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Private party facilities
We offer a private dining room which can accommodate 16 people seated or 25 people for a reception. Please contact us for additional options and information on facilities.
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Private party contact
Taylor Congdon: (831) 423-2020
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Pacific Avenue
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Parking details
Street and public lot parking are available very near the restaurant.
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Entertainment
Live music every Monday as we welcome Gypsy Jazz all stars HOT CLUB PACIFIC from 7:00 to 9:00. We also host an eclectic array of musicians on a periodic and wholly unpredictable basis. There is never a cover for any show at Soif. Check our website for notice of upcoming events.
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Cocktails, Entertainment, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 649 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
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined 2 days ago

I have been here many times and have enjoyed it so much. This time was a miss for both of us. Maybe it was just the dishes we ordered. The food was just not up to prior deliciousness. Was to their sister restaurant last week and it was outstanding. Hoping next visit is better.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Good service, fantastic to be seated right next to the combo that played such groovy clarinet & bass music. Like being in Midnight in Paris. Wonder why the host at the door couldn't find our Open table reservation that had been confirmed that same day.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

One of the, if not the best, restaurant in Santa Cruz. Such a great experience from the staff, amazing bartender (try their punch cocktail, fruity but not sweet, amazing!) and the food is just impeccable. I can’t say enough good things about their ever-changing menu and how they cook it. So good. Can’t wait to go back!

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Spectacular Experience. Every moment by every staff!
We felt like celebrities!!
Don't miss out!!!!

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

A welcoming crew, graceful and hospitable! We'll be back on a regular basis for SURE. Wine list is ON POINT, a refreshing selection- and a lot of natural winemakers! Get on it, people!

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

I have been going to Soif for years, and there have been periods of inconsistency with both the food and service. NOT NOW!! They have a new executive chef ( as of the last few months), and he's BRILLIANT. A friend and I tried two salads ( one, more of an appetizer, a remarkable corn dish), a pasta ( courtesy of the chef), bread with the most exquisite butter and salt chunks, a trout entree, and dessert. We shared everything. Both of us wanted that meal to last. It was that good. Each dish was a delectable concoction of different ( never competing) subtle flavors, layers of complexity, beautiful presentation. So fresh, everything tasted like it was just picked from the garden or just brought in from the boat. The bread pudding dessert was light and just rich enough. My friend had a lovely wine. And the service made us feel cared for but never crowded...pampered, in a way. Really an exceptional meal. In every way!!! Kudos to Soif!

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Our server Caitlin was great. We loved our friendly, talented and knowledgeable mixologist Matt.

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1.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Very disappointing. Overpriced, and the food was just okay. The noise level was high. Bread was not served and when I finally asked for some I was told there would be a charge! And charging for bread...never experienced that before.

I would never recommend this restaurant.

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2.0Dined on May 16, 2018

Despite this is one of my favorite restaurants world wide this particular day was not good. The vinaigrette on the salad was very bitter and not balanced (I actually like bitter greens but this dressing was completely out of balance. Even the citrus and the grapes in the salad did not offset). The turkey meatballs were very dry, dehydrating. Normally this place rocks. There were not any wild fish selections and the wine offering wasn't nearly as unique as usual. Still a great place but just a bad day though I'm surprised chef hasn't made some adjustments here.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Great staff and service, Great food and Great wine!

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5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

The food was great in all regards; taste and presentation. The service was attentive and knowledgeable. The atmosphere was simple and artistic. Pricey but worth a splurge.

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Dinner was at 6:30 and already out of the halibut and the only beef choice was a burger which was a small portion with a huge fry portion to compensate. Beautiful dishware but really oversized for the small tables and food portions.

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

We are so fortunate to have this caliber of restaurant in Santa Cruz. We have eaten there a few times now and we are never disappointed-So pleased with the food and the service. We will return I am sure for many more extremely satisfying dining experiences. We love it!!!

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Great! I do wish there were a couple more green salad options and dessert options , but what we had was lovely, as usual.

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5.0Dined on May 1, 2018

Lovely. Portions appear have been increased to a more reasonable size and the food was delicious! Service always impeccable!

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1.0Dined on April 28, 2018

I have had good meals here in the past, but the last one made me think no chef was in the kitchen. The only good dish was the special appetizer, crispy sauteed artichoke hearts served with a spicy aioli sauce. Sad to say, but the Caesar was not a Caesar. Why not call a little gem lettuce salad with green goddess dressing what it is? My husband was not pleased -- I guessed he missed the Green Goddess Dressing warning. The main dishes were appalling. I had had the Curry Dusted Tofu Medallions before, and I had loved them. This time, there was no curry dust, they were soggy and drenched in vinegar, the raisins and capers were not to be seen or tasted, and the rainbow greens turned out to be tasteless little carrots and limp broccoli stems. I left most of it. Worse was the Sea Bass, with King Trumpet mushrooms so undercooked we could not cut them, let alone eat them, four or five pathetic fava beans and a crab dashu sauce so vile I had to move it away from me lest the odor make me faint. So we figured we had earned dessert. I have had stellar desserts here. Tonight, we ordered the Pavlova, a dessert I am proud to make and eager to eat. This one was a round of moist, inedible meringue with a scoop of strawberry sorbet (why?) and five or six berries wallowing on a thin smear of tasteless cream. Please, Soif, wake up and taste what you are sending out. We loyal locals deserve better!

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4.0Dined on April 18, 2018

Excellent service and food. Uncomfortable chairs but overall very good perhaps the best in Santa Cruz

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4.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Wonderful Fresh Ingredients

We had a special occasion dinner for 2 on a Saturday night. We had a reservation and were seated within 5-10 minutes after arrival. The waiter was knowledgeable and helpful, answering questions about menu specifics. The blue asparagus and market salad were so fresh, tasty and light, and adequate for sharing. The short rib ravioli and lamb loin were cooked perfectly and made with high quality ingredients. These items weren't our first choices however. Numerous menu and "special" items were not available when we ordered, leaving few alternatives to choose from, unfortunately. The busser was not attentive, we waited for glasses to be filled and plates to be removed. The waiter was delayed in welcoming us upon arrival, but was generally attentive.

Overall, the quality of the food was excellent, but lack of menu items and inattentive service tarnished the experience

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

The staff was super friendly and accommodated our little family (2 kids) very comfortably. The barman even made up a fresh lemonade for my daughter even though it wasn't on the menu.
The food is really good and full of flavor. The wines were wonderful too. We'll definitively go back. The place and ambiance are very special.

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3.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Decent food, but nothing special. Prices tend toward the high side. Service is good.

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4.0Dined on April 3, 2018

I was glad to see that the small plate menu has been augmented lately with more choices than the last couple years. We like to stick with the small plates an order tapas style. The chestnut agnolotti with truffle butter were incredible. I could've eaten just those. Fluffy like little pillows with just the right amount of sauce for the truffles and chestnut to play off of each other. Also the house olives. It's definitely a sharer plate for 2 - 4 people. If you like olives in the south of France, you'll love these - warm enough to really taste, with the perfect amount of garlic and lemon zest on the top. The best olives I've had in the US! And the fact that the servers have tasted everything on the menu and tasted the wine and can knowledgeably answer questions about either says much about the quality of the restaurant. The one downside to our dinner was that they closed at exactly 9 o'clock and we felt rushed leaving the restaurant and finishing our dinner.

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2018

We all enjoyed the our dishes, especially the scallops and short ribs ravioli. Stellar. The only miss was the crab starter--needed lemon zest or something else to add another dimension. We will definitely be back. Great wine and beer selections.

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4.0Dined on April 3, 2018

I love Soif and the service is impeccable. The food is quite good but, recently, I have been disappointed with the portions. I shared a "crab salad" appetizer which, for 16$ was a tiny roll of crab wrapped in cucumber. And I do mean tiny. Prices have increased and portions are smaller. There needs to be a balance. The scallop entree was great, and also quite small for 36$. I usually share with a friend, but the portions now are questionably shareable and decidedly pricey for what they are. Sorry, Soif. Just sayin'.

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2018

Totally fabulous from the time we arrived till we left for the Theatre. Excellent cocktails, eclectic wine selection and food fit for foodies. Highly recommended, it has become a favorite place to dine with family and friends.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Wow ,
We had not been to Soif since last year. The changes made were a extreme improvement. The drinks were excellent, service was superb and food was delicious. We will be back. Highly recommend for a casual night out.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Great service from a full staff. Our server was ready with wine and entree recommendations. The food was delicious, unique and nicely presented. The menu is so wonderful that we struggle to make a decision every time we come.

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3.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Having been a loyal Soif fan for years, and very appreciative of the creative spin on traditional dishes, the recent shift in food philosophy leaves me underwhelmed. For example, serving an otherwise delicious asparagus risotto with a parmigiana emulsion did nothing to enhance the dish. My sense is the kitchen is veering too far away satisfying meals toward trendy emphasis on food drama.

On the other hand, Soif’s sister restaurant, La Posta continues under the direction of Catherine Stern, the same chef of many years, and the dishes are as innovative yet substantial as ever.

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

Great wines with interesting foods to match

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Best in Santa Cruz

Finally fine dining in Santa Cruz, if you like great service, phenomenal food , exceptional service and a great wine list, then this IS the place. The new Chef Marshall if doing a great job and he enjoys his craft.

Please go and support this amazing restaurant!!

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3.0Dined on March 13, 2018

Loud
Over priced
Food good but not great
Servers were very good

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2.0Dined on March 11, 2018

Although staff was very attentive, the dishes were bland and way overpriced, especially for the tiny portion size. We left hungry and wound up having a second dinner. For the cost that absolutely should not have been the case. Sadly, this may be the last time that we go for the restaurant. Perhaps wine at the bar.

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2.0Dined on March 6, 2018

The main concern for this "fair" review is that the food was very slow in coming out of the kitchen. We waited 50 minutes before getting our food. The server, who was very pleasant, apologized and said that many customers came at the same time (7pm Monday). Also, when I asked for bread, the server told me that that Soif no longer gives "complementary bread" and that the bread I saw served at another table came with an appetizer. She offered us some toast as a substitute (not complementary). The main course was fine, steak served with a few delicate (and very tasty) vegetables, but no potatoes or starch. Seemed like a lot of money for something so simple. The big plus on this restaurant are their wine flights. Excellent.

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4.0Dined on February 27, 2018

Limited menu, but excellent food quality and outstanding service. However, the portions are tiny, especially the "share" dishes, which seem to be getting progressively smaller. As a result, Soif feels like an overpriced place.

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5.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Food as always is excellent as is service. Great wine list- I had tastings from Lebanon, Georgia and Greece. Server was attentive without over gushing. food was excellent and easily swaped out potatoes for more veggies. It's a little high priced, but if you want to splurge it's worth it.

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5.0Dined on February 21, 2018

Delightful, delicious..great wine at an appropriate price!!!

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2.0Dined on February 18, 2018

The price of food has gone sky high and the portions are smaller than in the past. Service is excellent, but the food has declined not only in value, but in taste - Very disappointing.

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4.0Dined on February 17, 2018

Great wines, great food, and our server, Jessica, was a dream.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Very enjoyable. The preset menu was lovely for a Valentine celebration. Dessert was amazing!!!

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3.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Valentine's day is often not restaurants' best occasion. we have enjoyed Soif more on prior occasions than this time around. we hated the loud rock music, which seemed inappropriate for a romantic evening. the food was good but not outstanding so we thought it was overpriced although the price might have been reasonable for a more interesting menu. we'll be back but not on Valentine's Day.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Always outstanding meals very creatively prepared and presented, with well paired wine offerings, and attentive and professional wait staff

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