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Cafe El Palomar

Certificate of Excellence
££ - £££
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2222 E Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-4737
+1 831-477-0371
07:00 - 22:00
Open now
See all hours
Mon - Thu 08:00 - 22:00
Fri - Sun 07:00 - 22:00
More Info
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50 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
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Time of year
Showing 48: English reviews
United States
Level Contributor
35 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I was pleasantly surprised to discover this mexican restaurant also was open for breakfast. The location is great, with an ocean view and the menu has traditional american and mexican choices. The service and food it timely and meals are tasty. I recommend this spot during the weekday because it is not overly crowded and the food is a good... More 

Thank 825michellez
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2017

Blech. Everything was offensively bland, like they served it straight out of the can. My nieces' grilled cheese was the best thing at the table. I'm sure it's no coincidence that they have the same name as the best mexican restaurant in town - they stuck "Cafe" in front of "El Palomar"; El Palomar is a local favorite two miles... More 

Thank Fyrdraca
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
56 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2017

My wife and I love this place, it's our regular Friday night dinner spot where we can relax at the bar with good people and enjoy the sunset over the water. Good food and friendly service, does get a bit crowded when weather is favorable so consider calling ahead.

Thank Hondo H
Carnelian Bay, Ca
Level Contributor
250 reviews
168 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2016

Inside of the lunch chile verde burrito was a soupy, tasteless mess. Had side salad instead of beans and rice. Ick. Service was decent, prices okay. Would not return.

Thank roamingnoni
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2016

We like to order and sit outside enjoying the harbor activity and beach volleyball action. You have to sit inside if you want a margarita. I recommend the skinny. Yum.

Thank PeggySe
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
47 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2016

even the 1/2 order of nachos with chicken will fill a hearty appetite- Great food and the view is sand, water, and SC Harbor mouth entrance. Park on the street (Lake Ave) and walk to the big white building. Very reasonable prices, too.

Thank Skip H
Level Contributor
43 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2016 via mobile

Perfect pit stop following an afternoon on the beach. Snapper tacos were well flavoured and on the softest tacos. Happy hour margaritas at $5 completed the package. The main restaurant looked busy and the kitchen was also busy. One to try for sure.

Thank UKRegulartraveller
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2016

The chips are warm and crisp not greasy, the salsa is spicey but not overwhelming. The sope was perfect, refried beans cold lettuce, tomatoes onions and guacamole, I asked for no sour cream, get taste. Not too much, not too little. Small lunch. The enchiladas my friend had looked great, choice of beans, her choice black beans. Service is good,... More 

Thank catc0x
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 August 2016

Cafe El Palomar never disappoints. Their food is consistently wonderful. The chips are served warm - and they're just perfect. Not too thick, not too thin. The salsa is some of the best I've had. I now judge all other salsa by this one. They use a lot of cilantro, which is one of the reasons I love it so... More 

Thank kristin M
Santa Cruz
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2016

This is a variation of the menu from the El Palomar in downtown Santa Cruz. It is always consistently good and have never had to send a meal back. Their proximity to the beach makes it easy to grab a bite while lounging at the beach or if you can deal with the traffic and parking, good food with a... More 

Thank caligirlsc

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for
Cheap Eats, Kids, Child-friendly
Open Hours
07:00 - 22:00
08:00 - 22:00
08:00 - 22:00
08:00 - 22:00
08:00 - 22:00
07:00 - 22:00
07:00 - 22:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 2222 E Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-4737
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Cruz
  • Phone Number: +1 831-477-0371

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Cafe El Palomar and other visitors
1 question
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San Jose
9 months ago

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Cafe El Palomar staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?