Sand, sea, quaint shops, and good food all keep visitors to Capitola coming back for more. But where are the best places to enjoy some fresh fish, a succulent steak, and a sparkling view of the Pacific? This Capitola Restaurants Top 10 list breaks down the best spots to nosh.
Ok, there are some restaurants that are just institutions, and the Shadowbrook is to Capitola what the Hard Rock is to Las Vegas and Pink's Hot Dogs is to Los Angeles. Not venturing down the cable car from the top of the hill into the lush landscaping that surrounds the lodge-like eatery is not fully embracing the Capitola culinary experience. The food, wine, and drinks at Shadowbrook are top-off-the-line, and that earns this legendary lounge the Number 1 spot.
Some restaurants in Capitola are a bit to ostentatious, but one that certainly is modest in its décor is Thai Basil, Number 4 on this list. What it lacks in ambiance it makes up for in flavor. In fact, the food would still taste good if it was served out of a barn. Thai Basil specializes in making Thai classics with big, bold flavors at affordable prices. A hearty lunch special can go for $5.95.
Pink Godzilla (Number 6) is on 41st Avenue, the boundary between Santa Cruz and Capitola. It marks the end of one culinary center and the beginning of another-the fresh, sea-inspired Capitola cuisine visitors have come to know and love. Pink Godzilla is funky, fun, and down right delicious. While it maintains some of the beloved Japanese traditions, like tatami-matted private dining rooms, its dishes are refreshingly creative.
1750 Wharf Rd.
231 Esplanade # 112
California cuisine with a panoramic ocean view...
Tropical fusion meets California cuisine in Paradise Beach Grille's ever evolving dishes. Head chef Stephen Hanecak traveled far and wide before returning to the Grille and introducing new takes on some classic favorites like the Coconut & Macadamia Encrusted Ahi Tuna Fillet and Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Butter. His experiments have paid off at one of the most well-reviewed restaurants in Capitola. The Grille is also committed to sustainable agriculture and uses as many products grown at local farms and ranches as possible... read more
210 Monterey Avenue
Affordable and highly edible Thai cuisine... read more
316 Capitola Ave.
Italian food with a Pacific twist... read more
1400 Wharf Rd # B
Hearty continental fare at the end of the Capitola Wharf... read more
Serving drinks, food, live music, even coffee, Zelda's is open 7 days a week and is perhaps downtown Capitola's most popular hot spot. They've got a great Happy Hour (Mon. thru Fri. 2:30pm - 5:30pm) that, among other deals, serves up $2 margaritas. Excellent location right next to the beach and easy walking distance to the rest of Capitola Village. They're even open for breakfast as well... read more
21 Seascape Vlg
Mexican restaurant that focuses dishes using fresh, sustainable seafood... read more
110 Monterey Ave.
Newest location of a Bay Area favorite pub...
115 San Jose Avenue
A romantic Italian hole in the wall that's got a lot going on... read more
4718 Soquel Drive
A humble eatery just north of Capitola sees its patrons leave happy and full of American breakfast and lunch classics. Offers vegetarian and vegan options... read more
1750 Wharf Road
Located beside lush Soquel Creek in Capitola-by-the-Sea, Shadowbrook Restaurant is best reached by its own quaint cable car, or a meandering garden path. Since 1947 Shadowbrook has continued to provide world-class service, fine food, wines and liqueurs in an atmosphere of Old World charm and grace.---shadowbrook.com... read more
800 41st Ave
Pizza at Pleasure Point in Capitola... read more
504 Bay Avenue
Good food, baked goods and deserts... read more