One night, one week, or a month, the Santa Cruz Mountains and the surrounding cities, invite you to stay, eat, drink and explore this world famous destination.
The Santa Cruz Mountains is known as a premier wine and food destination for the Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz. The region is home to more than 425 exciting restaurants and home to some award winning Michelin star restaurants. Here is where the farm-to-table culinary scene meets the creativity of some of the Bay Area’s best chefs, resulting in a wide range of culinary adventures.
Whether you’re seeking an in-town hotel close to night life and dining, a luxurious spa getaway, or the peaceful calm of a remote vineyard setting or the sound of the ocean, you’ll find a warm, gracious welcome from any one of our quaint villages or cities, including Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, Half Moon Bay, Palo Alto, Campbell, Aptos, Capitola, or Santa Cruz.
Originally from the Italian coastal town of Sestri Levante, the Olivieri family came to California in the 1950’s and opened their first “stand” next to the Santa Cruz Wharf. Aldo fished while his wife Inez ran their business selling pizza, candied apples and other fresh fare. Their young sons Mauro and Walter helped out, with Mauro just old enough to park cars on the Beach Street Hill.
The operation grew, a pancake house on Portola Avenue followed. Aldo still fished, but found time to make fresh pasta and gnocchi each weekend — with recipes used by the family to this day. The family recognized the opportunity at the Santa Cruz Harbor and negotiated the Harbor’s first lease in 1962, opening a bait and tackle shop. The following year the family opened the Aldo’s Harbor House Restaurant where the Crow’s Nest stands today. Moving to what is now the West Harbor, the operation became a restaurant in 1977.
Mauro, in the meantime, grew up, married Nori, and worked in San Francisco until moving back to Santa Cruz in 1980. Walter ran Aldo’s from its inception until he retired in 2003. The locals still call the adjacent beach Buffalo Beach, named after Walter’s German Shepherd dog.
Today, Mauro and Nori’s son John along with general manager Alfredo Servin have taken over active operation of Aldo’s Harbor Restaurant, with Mauro in the position of family patriarch once occupied by his dad. Recently renovated, the restaurant retains its original look and feel, but now patrons enjoy Aldo’s all year long. Known for its Eggs Benedict, calamari, fresh salmon, and exquisite ocean view, the restaurant accommodates its loyal patrons seven days a week.
Aquarius is a Santa Cruz restaurant offering the best in oceanfront dining and is locally renowned as one of Santa Cruz’s top dining destinations. Located just off the beach in Santa Cruz, the restaurant is truly a “window box on the sea” allowing guests to experience views of the Santa Cruz oceanfront. The cool and breezy interior is especially romantic at night when the moon casts its glow onto the sea. Our creative American cuisine is inspired by fresh and local products and produce, including local sustainable seafood, complemented by a regional wine list. Aquarius is a proud supporter of FishWatch program, promoting sustainable seafood and clean oceans.
Au Midi Restaurant & BistrotAu Midi Restaurant & Bistrot
Bella Notte InnBella Notte Inn
“The Inn at East Cliff”
Relax in Mediterranean splendor just two blocks from the Pacific Ocean. Bella Notte Inn offers ten luxurious rooms, each custom designed to make you feel at home the moment you step in the door. Tucked away in the Live Oaks neighborhood of Santa Cruz, Bella Notte Inn is the perfect choice for a romantic weekend away, a relaxing day at the beach, or visiting some of the Monterey Bay Area’s award-winning wineries.
Bella Notte translates to a beautiful evening. To ensure we live up to our name, we’ve lavished every room with the finest Italian bedding, imported Italian marble countertops, custom cabinetry and heated tile floors in all bathrooms.
Birk's RestaurantBirk's Restaurant
A dedicated team of professionals committed to providing an exceptional dining experience for every guest, every time.
Birk’s remains honored and solidly positioned to serve Silicon Valley’s business professionals, travelers, deal makers, mavericks and culinary aficionados well into the future. Birk’s is privileged to provide a stellar dining experience for all who patronize and continue to support the restaurant.
Renowned for outstanding hardwood grilled steaks, chops and seafood, Birk’s has evolved into a South Bay icon since its inception in 1989. Driven by exceeding the expectations of guests and striving for excellence, Birk’s excels at consistently executed, straight forward cuisine in a lively ambiance of understated elegance and casual sophistication.
Boulder Creek Country ClubBoulder Creek Country Club
Join us for a memorable, relaxing Santa Cruz golf experience among the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains. You owe it to yourself to share in the tranquility and relaxation offered when you stay at the Boulder Creek Golf Club.
Whether for a day or for a week at a time, the serenity of our California golf course and delightful lodging facilities is sure to put your mind at ease. Breathe deeply of the pure Santa Cruz Mountain air and take in a calming experience you won’t soon forget.
Boulder Creek offers a challenging 18-hole Executive Golf course with a full-service restaurant and bar open daily for breakfast and lunch. Our conference & meeting facility, overnight condominium lodging and vacation rental packages are ideal for your next retreat. Boulder Creek Golf Club is truly the perfect setting for your next conference, vacation or golf tournament.
We are one mile west of 280 on Woodside Road on the right at 3062 Woodside Road. We are directly across the street from Robert Market. There is a 20 foot carved wooden fish in front of the restaurant.
Cabrillo Culinary Arts Pino Alto RestaurantCabrillo Culinary Arts Pino Alto Restaurant
Cafe CruzCafe Cruz
Established in 1995, Café Cruz has been a favorite dining place for area residents and out-of-towners for over 16 years. Its atmosphere, menu selections and congenial staff are an ideal combination for enjoying a casual meal or celebrating a special occasion.
The restaurant offers something extra for every event. The interior décor was designed to offer an open, festive and casual atmosphere. Guests appreciate white tablecloth service in the spacious dining room. A classic French made Rotisol rotisserie is in full view featuring natural meats and poultry. Chefs can be seen working their magic in the open copper-backed kitchen. The murals depicting local scenes are the work of local artist Terry Wells.
Visitors enjoy cocktails and appetizers in our bar featuring a distinctive adobe-style fireplace (the creation of artist/contractor Shan Gilmore). The bartop itself is hewn from a solid piece of California fir, tracing its history back to the old Bass Lake Hotel at the turn of the 20th century.
For those who prefer open air dining, Cafe Cruz’s heated patio is just the ticket. The focal point of the patio is the beautiful Tuscan fireplace, surrounded by greenery and flowers. For banquets and other special occasions, the lush garden room with its distinctive waterfall fountain is an ideal choice.
Cafe Cruz began in 1995 as a partnership between Chef Steve Wilson, and Jerry Neilsen, former proprietor of the popular Grapesteak Restaurant (which was located in the building Cafe Cruz now occupies). Their combined vision created a lively and fun restaurant, featuring food using fresh, high quality ingredients. Steve’s experience and love of cooking originated in Pennsylvania, Monterey and Santa Cruz establishments where he worked his way up in the culinary world.
In 2008, Jerry retired from the restaurant business and was bought out by Steve and his wife, Nikki Howe, to continue the tradition of creating pleaurable dining experiences at Cafe Cruz.
Cafe LimelightCafe Limelight
WE’RE HERE TO SERVE YOU
At Cafe Limelight we serve a large assortment of homemade Panini sandwiches, fresh soups, and garden salads with LimeLight’s dressings. We offer an extensive assortment of espresso drinks, flavored coffees, and quality loose-leaf teas. Sit in our patio or indoors, alone or in the company of your friends and family. Relax as you taste one of Farouk’s delicious original recipes, such as a BBQ chicken sandwich dripping with a sauce whose taste secret has been passed down through generations, or have him prepare you a grilled ham and cheese, carefully toasted to perfection in our grill. Paninis are his specialty. So come down and enjoy a caffe latte, a beer or a nice glass of wine with us in a lovely place.
California CafeCalifornia Cafe
A word from California Cafe – Los Gatos