Restaurants for Adventure Travelers in Monterey Bay Region, California 

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  • 1

    Walnut Avenue Cafe

    Freezing my buns off waiting to be seated for brunch on a gloomy Sunday was so worth it. However, being sick the next day and coughing like a maniac was not the business. We sat at the best spot in the house with a window view of the street and panoramic view of the restaurant. This makes me happy because ...

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesAdventure
  • 2

    Crêpes of Brittany

    5 reviews

    The crepes here are soooo delicious. I had the ham with spinach, tomatoes, and caramelized onions and it was fresh and perfectly cooked. The crepe chef is super-nice as well--I went on a Monday when there were no crowds, and he took the time to chat. Then he made us a complimentary caramel crepe! Don't miss this place when you're ...

    Popular withFamiliesLuxuryAdventure
  • 3

    La Bicyclette

    13 reviews

    Great spot. High ceilings and bug windows. We came for lunch and it was fantastic. Had thin crust Italian style pizzas - one with butternut squash, arugula and prosciutto that was amazing. The beet carpaccio with blue cheese was also delicious, as was the soup of celery and green apple. No kids menu but they liked the pizzas.

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesAdventure
  • 4

    Laili Restaurant

    Not knowing where you're going for dinner can be exciting and fun. Since I did not get a hint of where we were going eat. I had to speculate the surrounding and assumed that we were going to have seafood as we were on our way to Santa Cruz. Arriving in downtown Santa Cruz and reaching our destination. I surely ...

    Popular withLuxuryFoodiesAdventure
  • 5

    Schooners Bistro

    11 reviews

    Love this place. Monterey's one and only classy open-air dockside restaurant. Great craft beers and appetizers. Try the artichoke!

    Popular withFoodiesBusinessAdventure
  • 6

    Kelly's French Bakery

    8 reviews

    This place is a mile from the Oxford Beach House so jump on your beach cruiser and head over for a coffee, fruit tart, breakfast or lunch.

    Popular withFamiliesFoodiesAdventure
  • 7

    Harbor Cafe

    Chill local breakfast and lunch spot. Great sunny outside area, for mimosas and fun. Friendly staff and a solid comfort food menu.

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesAdventure
  • 8

    The Catalyst

    7 reviews

    The iconic Santa Cruz concert venue and nightlife haven.Great bands come here.

    Popular withNightlifeLocalAdventure
  • 9


    3 reviews

    I give it triple G. Good location, clean & organize Good service fast friendly with a smile Good price very reasonable you can have a meal for 6 dollars can't beat that I like French ice expresso here taste good & cost only $2.50. Tony Winn

    Popular withAdventureBudgetFamilies
  • 10

    Café Bittersweet

    11 reviews

    Great variety of food choices, plus a nice outdoor dining area for us and our dog.

    Popular withFoodiesAdventureLocal
  • 11

    Cafe Brasil

    Cafe Brasil? Brasil?!?!? In Santa Cruz?? For breakfast? Yeah, sure... why not! Where else is there to go after a long hike? Cafe Brasil for their pancakes. The healthiest choice around! They also have great shakes and fresh juices. Bannana shake and mango juice are my personal favorites. The watermelon juice on the other hand was not what she wanted... ...

    Popular withFoodiesLocalBudget
  • 12

    Old Fisherman's Grotto

    17 reviews

    Must try the clam chowder in the bread-bowl! Award winning for years and you will know why after you've tasted it!

    Popular withFoodiesLuxuryLocal
  • 13

    Sandbar & Grill

    9 reviews

    Nice happy hour with $3.50 drafts and a variety of appetizers. The portions were kinda skimpy on the sand dabs and fries, which initially pissed me off, but the view across the marina made up for it. The view also got them another star. Service was 3 at best...

    Popular withLocalFoodiesFamilies
  • 14

    Paris Bakery Cafe

    10 reviews

    Super bakery, couldn't get the freshmade sandwich / salad counter into the shot

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesBudget
  • 15

    Marianne's Ice Cream

    We all scream for ice cream! This greatest lil ice cream spot on the busy santa cruz street where any and every ice cream one could want. What else is there to know? BTW This place was on the market.... I would have loved to have bought it but then there'd be no ice cream for anyone else. hell yeah ...

    Popular withFamiliesLocalFoodies
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  • 16

    The Crow's Nest Restaurant

    22 reviews

    Great food and entertainment. Watch boats enter and leave the harbor. Enjoy concerts on the beach in front of Crows Nest in the summer.

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesLocal
  • 17


    16 reviews

    Once in a while, you happen upon the perfect restaurant. It has everything you could ever want in food service: The perfect view. Sustainably caught seafood. Decent prices. Lots of yummy starters. Inventive taste combinations. ... Okay, I want to go there now.

    Popular withGreenFoodiesLuxury
  • 18

    The Penny Ice Creamery

    Penny is Santa Cruz's only ice creamery that crafts ice cream completely from scratch. Opened by the former pastry chef of Manresa, Kendra Baker, Penny blows away any other ice creamery in town. In addition to the amazing ice cream, you can have housemade sorbets, bon bons, popsicles, floats and shakes. The flavors are seasonal and feature locally farmed ingredients ...

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesLocal
  • 19

    The Restaurant at Mission Ranch

    16 reviews

    Full, fun atmosphere with a piano player and terrific drinks. Lots of locals hang out here and it's always festive. I haven't tried the food.

    Popular withFoodiesLuxuryTrendsters
  • 20

    Duarte's Tavern

    14 reviews

    Good food, good location. The wait can be over a hour. Fortunately, they do take reservations. Holds a special place in my heart as this was the first restaurant I took my daughter to, just the two of us. At about 18 months old she was the perfect little lady. Had a great day. There is a fantastic goat cheese ...

    Popular withFoodiesHistoryFamilies
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