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“Good atmosphere, great food and service”

Aquarius - Dream Inn
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Ranked #23 of 369 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Price range: US$30 - US$60
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, View, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Bay Street
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
493 reviews
227 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“Good atmosphere, great food and service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2014

We were given a table on a busy sunday despite not booking. The waiter was lovely and very efficient. Food great and as per description. Good ambience and atmosphere. Great views over beach.

Visited May 2014
Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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273 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Lunch and bubbles”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2014

As we had a puppy with us, we sat on the small outdoor patio, which we had to ourselves. This restaurant is in a great location for the view from the inside and we enjoyed some bubbles and lunch. The kale salad was delicious and we all enjoyed our food. The only downside was the main courses coming out not long after we'd begun to eat our starters, but I think that was just a kitchen miscommunication. The staff we met were incredibly friendly and the restaurant is clean and airy. Definitely a must if you're visiting Santa Cruz.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Emer T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
131 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Delicious food on the Santa Cruz beach”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2014 via mobile

Aquarius is the hotel restaurant for the Dream Inn. It sits 20 feet above the beach with an outstanding view if the Santa Cruz wharf and beach. There is a wonderful selection of fresh local seafood and well-aged beef. Our waitress was well - informed and very knowledgeable. We were greated warmly by the host when we entered. Valet parking at the Dream Inn
makes visiting this beach restaurant easy.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Chris E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
62 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“great views and location, good food”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2014

Validated parking was nice. Service was off that day. There is plenty to do in the area, including the new Monterey bay National marine center. I would return.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank larry155
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
86 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“View-licious. Bar is overlooked gem. But American cheese? Seriously?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2014

The whole O'Neill Bar thing is super-cool. Love the new sign and surf history art. The style is clean and modern. And, of course, the view is amazing. Now, about the meal...

It is possibly worth the experience of seeing your kids relive the anachronistic classic icky fav of the t.v. dinner generation: American Cheese grilled sandwich to the backdrop of 70's hits like The Captian and Tannile hit "Love will Keep Us Together" and Village People doing YMCA. (Seriously, what self-respecting graduate of the 70's roller rink can restrain from doing the YMCA w their arms when it comes on?) -Maybe THAT's what kept the server away?

The waitress looked at me like I was visiting from Mars when I requested the salmon dish hold the fish, but vegetarian options were few. After checking with the chef they made it and it was delicious: hot garbanzo beans in a lightly spicy tomato sauce w flecks of spinach and dabs of yogurt. In the end, everyone at our table was happy with their food and that's saying something.

The bar drinks are good- (bartenders, however, are hit and miss). I highly recommend the house made Bloody Mary (spicy!!) and the 209 Martini w Point Reyes blue cheese stuffed olives. It is one of the best cocktails in Santa Cruz. Sophisticated, classy, simple, smooth. Umm...

Basically, Aquarius menu is a fresh if safe entry point to the Monterey Bay local food scene. There is something for almost everyone- including pasta with "absolutely nothing green" for the munchkins, though the menu definitely leans toward the middle of the road.

Service: Locals and visitors alike will appreciate rarely having to wait for a table. Once seated, however, you can sit for long periods over empty plates with no server to collect dishes or bring the check for no apparent reason ( one other table in the place). That shouldn't happen. Getting food service in the bar can also be a painful experience.

Playing it safe with the menu isn't so surprising considering It IS a hotel restaurant. Being able to valet park (for free w validated ticket) and not having to wait 30min. before being seated is a huge plus in Santa Cruz. I've been many times and will keep coming back. But I do always wish the menu were a bit more interesting.

Personally, I would like to see them bring back the cotton candy finish.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MonarchX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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