The Water Street Grill
The service was very slow. To be fair I believe they didn’t anticipate the high number of covers for a Monday night. In addition we felt very uncomfortable with the spacing of the tables given the COVID situation. Our food was very bland. My wife had the salmon and I had the pasta with pancetta. Given the general ratings we were disappointed with our meal.
Most of the diners were eating outside when we arrived. It looked more crowded outside than inside.
We opted to sit inside and there was only one other couple with us and we were more than 6 ft away.
There was probably a staffing issue and Joy-Ann, our wait staff apologized and gave use 2 potato croquettes for our patience as we waited to be seated and for our orders to be taken. The potato cakes were good but bland.
We shared a fried calamari appetizer. It was nice and crispy and not heavily salted. I couldn’t believe when the wait staff had to tell the chef that another customer thought the calamari was crunchy when the menu clearly stated it was crispy.
Hubby enjoyed his entree of chicken piccata which had a lot of yummy capers. It was moist and tasty.
I had the 9 clams with linguini. Even tastier was the side of sautéed cherry tomatoes in olive oil and garlic. I could’ve eaten an entree of that alone. Portions are generous. I could not finish my entree even though I enjoyed the food. We were so full, we had to sadly forgo dessert.
My family came n for dinner tonight, we ordered a skirt steak and pasta. Our son had the chicken fingers. Overall it was not a bad meal. Just a few observations. The timing for the soups/appetizers and the main course was off. My husband had barely started his soup before his entree arrived. The skirt steak was prepared well, but I would have liked it if was completely cut prior to arrival so I didn’t have to worry about cutting against the grain at the table. The server was friendly and overall it was not a bad experience.
On top of the food being excellent, the staff was so friendly and accommodating. It made me feel welcome and I definitely would go back in the future.
Good food but they were unfortunately short staffed so the wait for everything from waters to our food was really long. The servers were both really nice and the food was good.
Great food at a great value! At first I wasn't sure where to park or enter the restaurant as it is right next to Calahan's but I parked on the street and entered via Water st (makes sense)
We sat inside though they also offer socially distanced outdoor seating too.
Nice photos, good music.
Out waitress was very attentive and friendly.
The food is great, good steak at a great price!
Good food! Great service! I’ll be back so many things to try. Fish and chips were delicious the Mac and cheese was also delicious! Don’t let me forget my fish tacos!
Unfortunately not the best experience, from things on the menu not being available to the quality of the food
Enjoyed a nice date night with my spouse. Our server, Steven, was very helpful and spot on with his recommendations on the menu. Hope to return soon.
Note - This review written during COVID-19.
We had a reservation and showed up on time. But when the waitress indicated our table, we were shocked. It was jammed into the corner Tetris-style against another table and chairs where five people were sitting. Not even close to being social distanced; it would have been too close for comfort even during normal times. We would have had to ask the gentlemen at the next table to scoot in their chairs and squeeze past them just to sit down, and then we'd have been close enough to kiss! The waitress recognized it was unacceptable without us having to say so, which was great, and said she'd ask if we could be moved to a different table. But then she went inside the restaurant and just... never got back to us. Walked by us a few times but didn't acknowledge us or let us know what was going on. It's a shame; the food we saw them carrying out looked great. We finally gave up on waiting and went to Lillian's.
Overall, we enjoyed ourselves. With the Covid restrictions, the restaurant’s hands are a bit tied. The noise level was excessive due to sitting so close to the street. On the night we went, the restaurant was out of numerous items: Corona, Fish Tacos, the listed red wine that we chose. They open at 4:30 and we were there at 5:10. I wouldn’t expect them to be out of these items so early. Although our plates were tasty, they were not piping hot. The service was very good, although ran a bit thin. We might consider returning post-Covid.
the BBQ shrimp with mashed potatoes appetizer was yummy, and so was the kitchen sink salad. It was brisk on the patio, but still a nice space.
The server was fantastic. All four of us ordered steak with various temperatures and every single one of them was dry and over cooked. It took an hour to get our food. The server tried to remedy the wait time by bringing out some house chips, which was nice. He also gave us a free cheesecake because only one of us spoke up about her food not being great. The cheesecake was good but then again it’s cheesecake.
Went for our anniversary - this was a great little place for the price. It was Farm to Table which I wasn’t expecting. It had good home style dishes.
Delicious! We sat right under the speaker but it was plenty easy to talk. The food was great and we were given a complimentary appetizer. The staff was professional and everything was clean. Would definitely go back.
We had a superb dinner. We enjoyed wine with dinner.
We shared one of their salads. I enjoyed their clam linguine; my husband the salmon.
We had their cookies and ice cream for dessert.
They also served a complementary appetizer. This time potato cake and watermelon.
Service was superb. We will be back.
Great place. Food is really good. Service is awesome. But it is not a fancy building/space, which I could care less about. We love going here. Give it a try.
First time and we will be back! The place is small and close tables so conversation is mingled with other people but its ok. There are so many choices so you are bound to find something to eat. The description is not always what you get but I would try again because it was good. My husband loved the fish and chips!
Nice potato croquettes as an amuse boucle. Food could have been hotter and clams were sandy, but otherwise good. Tables were a little tight.
Food and service were really great. Will definitely return again. Don’t be put off by the dated ambiance.
The waitstaff are friendly and know their food. Everything from the kitchen is delicious. I go for the juicy Turkey mostly, but the chicken Piccata, the Salmon and Pastas are really good. I have never gad a bad meal there. Excellent!!!
Do not go here, there is nothing to recommend nothing good to say
Maybe it was because it was Restaurant Week, but the service wasn’t great, they didn’t turn down the blasting air conditioning and the food wasn’t as stellar as it could’ve been.
We were here for Santa Cruz restaurant week. It was our first visit. The food, service, and ambiance was top notch. It was somewhat loud, but we were sitting next to a loud party. That happens sometimes. We will definitely be back!
Service was pretty bad and the food was okay, overall was semi disappointed compared to the past. I went there for restaurant week
Maybe it was because it was "Restaurant Week" in Santa Cruz, but service was very slow and our server was a bit inexperienced (at least that's what we told ourselves). We went early to avoid the rush - 5:30 pm but waited for our entrees for longer than seemed reasonable.
Intimate environment fabulous staff excellent fare
Pleasantly surprised! Really enjoyed the variety and how everything we ordered complimented each other. Very nice staff and very attentive to us. Will definitely go again.
The Water Street Grill is a great neighborhood restaurant! They have a fantastic mix of Southern-inspired cuisine hailing from New Orleans, to local favorites, seafood, chicken, and many American classics. Wines and beers are well-selected and reasonably priced. Great service with with a clean and friendly atmosphere. Just off Ocean Street, with ample parking to the rear and side streets, which makes Water Street Grill an easy place for the family to relax and enjoy an evening after visiting the beach or a day strolling downtown.
Food was delicious. Waitstaff was very attentive & super friendly.
Looking for a restaurant close to our hotel and away from the boardwalk. Found Water Street Grill, don't let the outside fool you, it is a nice little restaurant inside. Street parking was available.
Menu was diverse enough, ordered the fresh local caught King salmon and the ribeye ($25) without the lobster ($15).
For dessert we had the creme brûlée.
Food was good but service from DINA was great.
Concerned about our seating arrangement and table set up, honest responses to our questions, and extremely timely service.
DINA a great resource for her customers and an asset to the institution!
The inside is small and tight so we sat outside plus the patio is pet friendly. We really enjoyed our food and their signature teas were delicious. It is perfect for date night or just a quiet dinner
The waiter was great. I think his name was Steven. Came by our table several times to see if we needed anything. Would dine here again.
Water Street Grill is my favorite in Santa Cruz! The food is consistently great!
This is my second time to the Water St.,Grill and I love it.
The chicken piccata was delicious as were the desserts we tried.
And, it is an excellent value for wonderful food.
Recently dined here for the first time with a large party. The service was fantastic and everyone thoroughly enjoy the experience and the food.
Very enjoyable meal. The Mac and cheese was incredible!
Food very bland and mediocre
I don't know how this is a four star review restaurant. There was exactly one vegetarian entree and that was a tired vegi burger. My other meat eating companions were also not very wowed by the fish tacos and the salmon salad. Sorry we won't be back.
The service was great and I loved our waiter, but I ordered salmon and it was way overcooked and dry. My companions weren’t raving about their food either. I expected more based on the reviews I saw before I chose this restaurant. Very disappointed.
The Water Street Grill is rated 4.2 stars by 136 OpenTable diners.
Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.