Star Bene

4.2
67 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic

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About

Star Bene is an Italian & Argentine Restaurant located in Santa Cruz, California. We are a traditional family restaurant . Using organic produce, fish, and shopping locally . Casual and perfect for dates, celebration , special occasions or for starving surfers. Indoor patio , pet friendly out side deck . We only open dinners because during the day...we are surfing !!!!!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Argentinean
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Hours of operation
open every day , sunday / thursday 4:30 - 9:30
friday / saturday 4:30 -9: 30
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Phone number
(831) 479-4307
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Payment options
AMEX, Eurocheque Card, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Preto Perlero (Condorello)
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Catering
We can take care your guests and delivery great catering to your home or anywhere else , parks, beaches , etc.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
13th Avenue
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Parking details
Parking lot on site and additional parking across the street.
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Beer Garden, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 67 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.0
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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A
San Francisco
40 reviews
3.0Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

This is a cute little restaurant and we’re hoping to like it. Steak was a mediocre cut of meat that was overcooked with off-tasting chimichurri. Kids spaghetti with marinara was bland, though my son liked the meatballs. Veal saltimboca was pretty good with good sides of potatoes and broccoli. We tried a chicken empanada but the onion was overpowering any other flavor, we only ate half of it. I had a nice glass of Malbec.

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N
San Francisco
50 reviews
5.0Dined on February 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is delicious. Good pricing. Good portions. I will go back

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F
Denver
11 reviews
4.0Dined on February 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

What a treat this was! The food was fantastic and the staff was so friendly! We were there on a Sunday night, and it was pretty quiet - but the staff did not compensate by being over attentive. They were always there at the right time to refill water, bring more drinks or take our order. The menu is not extensive, but it is diverse. There is sure to be something for everyone here. We ordered the Rib Eye steak - it was cooked perfectly Med-rare and was very good. The pasta and shrimp dishes were amazing. Everyone had a great time, enjoyed great food - I would go back here anytime I am in the area.

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BG
Central Coast
2 reviews
5.0Dined on January 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This is a family owned and operated business. Sergio, Julietta & son Lorenzo are delightful and very proud of their cuisine. The decor is funky, but you need to look past that for the great food and warm family atmosphere. The portions are very large and I think reasonably priced. The service was excellent and we were checked on often by Sergio and Julietta. It's just a charming place with really good food!

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TP
San Francisco
4 reviews
4.0Dined on January 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food with reasonable prices. Nice family run restaurant.

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MH
San Francisco
2 reviews
4.0Dined on January 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The ambiance was lovely, the portions were generous and fresh tasting! Pricing was fair. The only thing I would say negative is the waitperson was not very personable. No smiles, very serious..but we have dined in this location through all of the restaurant changes and still enjoy the location and the food! Overall a great experience!

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
4.0Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was very tasty. We made a reservation but it wasn't really necessary, wasn't too crowded even on a holiday. Service was a bit slow and we had to ask for things more than once. The environment is cozy and cute. I would definitely come back.

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c
Salt Lake City
8 reviews
5.0Dined on December 2, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

What a great discovery! Star Bene may not draw you in based on appearance from the street, but it will be well worth stepping inside. The staff (a large, extended family) was gracious and delightful, and the food was excellent. Each person In our party of four had a different entree, and all of us would order the same meal again. Personal favorite - the seafood risotto.

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J
San Francisco
65 reviews
5.0Dined on December 2, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had not been there for a long time.
We thought it was great, dinner and service.

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B
New Orleans
3 reviews
4.0Dined on October 21, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Great mix of Italian classics, plus great Argentinian options incl. chmichurri

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S
San Francisco
4 reviews
5.0Dined on October 21, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly service and outstanding flavor combined to make a memorable date night.

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OT
Sacramento
5 reviews
5.0Dined on October 14, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Argentinian food! One of the best steaks I ever ate (and I've eaten a few). EVERYBODY in our party enjoyed themselves and raved about how good dinner was.

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P
San Francisco
1 review
4.0Dined on October 1, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Perhaps we were there on a low key evening—our service seemed cold and perfunctory. Cold is a temperature I wish the table water approached. Tepid may be authentic, but I wished I had brought a pocketful of ice. I ordered gnocci with gorgonzola sauce and couldn’t detect any such cheese in it. I would go back, but wearily.

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SL
San Francisco
5 reviews
4.0Dined on September 14, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Hospitable, family-run restaurant. Portions are extremely large. Food was excellent--empanadas, seafood soup, pasta. Wine list is marginal in terms of (lacking) interesting and high quality options. Overall, very enjoyable meal and dining experience.

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S
San Francisco
1 review
5.0Dined on September 12, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fabulous time getting together with friends for an evening meal. The owners served us and were delightful. Even with a party of 14 the food came within a reasonable amount of time and it was nice and hot! Great food, service and environment.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
4.0Dined on August 5, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Great list of pastas and the Argentinian Steak and Chimichuri was excellent. The wine list is also eclectic with a nice variety of local and international wines. We were tourists to the Santa Cruz, but were looking for more of local spot, and this place was great. We will definitely be back.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
1.0Dined on July 22, 2017
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Really bad experience - inattentive service, child at the next table was having a meltdown for a straight 45 minutes and no one asked the family to take the kid outside to calm down.

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DA
San Francisco
1 review
1.0Dined on July 19, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Dried salad on the glasses, floaties in the tap water, it was not fresh nor handmade like they claim. Over priced for what you get. Tasted more like chef boy r d. Wife's salad was wilted and my hand made gnocchi was Costco at best. Sorry but that is the truth

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OT
Adelaide / SA
1 review
5.0Dined on July 5, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The ambience is very nice, the service was so personable and the food was excellent! The flan was so good and a patron even got up and played the piano wonderfully!
Had a lovely evening and I highly recommend this jewel of a restaurant!

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
5.0Dined on June 27, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the food! Love the friendly staff!! I will definitely dine there again !

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OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
4.0Dined on June 17, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

I hadn't been to Star Bene in awhile so wanted to go back. Overall it was just ok. My wine was not very good and it was served in a large heavy goblet glass. I ordered the seafood risotto. It did have an impressive amount of seafood in it and was a large portion for the price. I left feeling a little disappointed in the overall experience.

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OT
Palm Springs
2 reviews
5.0Dined on June 17, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quaint atmosphere, great personal service, amazing food.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
5.0Dined on May 27, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The owner was awesome. The staff friendly. And the food was delicious. We'll be back with a bigger group next time

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OG
Milwaukee
10 reviews
4.0Dined on May 4, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

It was our first time here and my husband and I thought the food was delicious. I had the salmon and it was so tender and melt in your mouth good, the sauce over it was fantastic! My husband loved his chicken as well. We shared a flan for dessert and it did not disappoint, it was as good as any flan I've tried! We would definetely come back and recommend.

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OT
Central Coast
27 reviews
5.0Dined on April 22, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice neighborhood place, great food and good Italian wine

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M
San Francisco
1 review
5.0Dined on March 19, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excelent as always!!! Pasta, Sergio's soup, the salmon, and finally the tiramisu!!!

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
4.0Dined on March 10, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Family Business that makes good food

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
5.0Dined on February 17, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great fun time with friends and kids. Met owners. Very nice people. Their son played the piano for us.

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M
San Francisco
4 reviews
5.0Dined on February 14, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome as always! One of our favorite local spots.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
5.0Dined on December 31, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was awesome food was great owners were great everything was amazing

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OT
Sacramento
7 reviews
2.0Dined on December 31, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 5

The food was mediocre the service was decent

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AL
San Francisco
11 reviews
2.0Dined on December 31, 2016
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

My husband and I went here for dinner on New Year's Eve. It wasn't too busy although we don't know what a 'normal' night is like. The pasta dishes we ordered were tasty, reasonably priced, generous portions. The negative part was the service - it was sub par and they seem disorganized. And there wasn't much variety on the menu for non-pasta dishes, like chicken. The gentleman working there (seemed like the owner) was unfriendly and busied himself cleaning tables instead of welcoming us to his restaurant. We had to ask for water when he finally decided to come over. The woman owner was gracious and friendly but I wouldn't recommend this place. We are not high maintenance and are really patient...we just expect good service. There are just too many other places that 'have it all'.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
1.0Dined on December 29, 2016
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The worst dinning experience ever!!!! Look on yelp for more!!

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C
San Francisco
5 reviews
5.0Dined on November 26, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A very unique dining experience. A very charming place, perfect lighting and ambiance. Small and cozy restaurant. Food and service are excellent.

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NY
San Francisco
12 reviews
4.0Dined on November 15, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A solid neighborhood Italian place that is consistently good and friendly. The owners are wonderful people. Try the Argentine specialties in as well as the signature Italian dishes.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
3.0Dined on August 20, 2016
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

I've been to Argentina 12 times and, in addition, I've eaten many Argentine Italian restaurants and many years ago on Italian restaurant in Santa Monica. While my wife and I enjoyed the ambience of the Santa Cruz restaurant I was really disappointed with the Pollo Argentina that was served to me. The chicken was tasteless as was the cheese. My wife, however enjoy your meal. The chimichurri was also mediocre in my opinion. We went there on a Saturday night so we thought that this would fairly represent the kitchen best shot.

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P
San Francisco
30 reviews
3.0Dined on August 15, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Other than a forgotten salad the main courses were good. We had fun there.

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SD
San Francisco
3 reviews
3.0Dined on August 14, 2016
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

Food was good but atmosphere wasnt any thing special. People dressed very casually, artwork on walls hung haphazardly and crooked to boot, dirty windows and a big fly joined us all evening. Little pricey for the atmosphere but good and great tasting water.

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JC
San Francisco
2 reviews
4.0Dined on July 30, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My family and I have been to Star Bene for dinner several times. All of our experiences have been very good. We first came here to try the Argentine food on the menu and found that it was delicious! And of course, the Italian is also very good! The atmosphere is nice. Not too loud, not too quiet. The staff is very friendly. I would highly recommend it to a friend.

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M
San Francisco
7 reviews
5.0Dined on July 30, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Looking for great italian in Santa Cruz area? Look no further than Star Bene. Everything tastes home made. The pasta dishes are authentic and the sea food is fresh, amazing flavor and well made. Care is taken with the table bread, soup/salad offerings, entree dishes and desserts!

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