Capitola Restaurants


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.

Shadowbrook Restaurant Capitola

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1750 Wharf Rd.

Stockton Bridge Grille

231 Esplanade # 112

California cuisine with a panoramic ocean view...
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Paradise Beach Grille

215 Esplanade

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

Thai Basil

210 Monterey Avenue

Affordable and highly edible Thai cuisine... read more


231 Esplanade # 101

Bella Roma Ristorante

316 Capitola Ave.

Italian food with a Pacific twist... read more

Wharf House Restaurant

1400 Wharf Rd # B

Hearty continental fare at the end of the Capitola Wharf... read more

Dharma's Restaurant & Catering

4250 Capitola Road

Zeldas Restaurant

203 Esplanade

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

expert pick

Palapas Restaurant & Cantina

21 Seascape Vlg

Mexican restaurant that focuses dishes using fresh, sustainable seafood... read more

Britannia Arms

110 Monterey Ave.

Newest location of a Bay Area favorite pub...
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Caruso's Tuscan Cuisine

115 San Jose Avenue

A romantic Italian hole in the wall that's got a lot going on... read more

Sunrise Café

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 read more


1750 Wharf Rd

Pleasure Pizza

800 41st Ave

Pizza at Pleasure Point in Capitola... read more

Tony and Alba's Pizza & Pasta

1501 41st Avenue

Good Pizza & Italian Food... read more

Pink Godzilla

830 41st Avenue

Capitola Sushi Restaurant... read more

Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria

504 Bay Avenue

Good food, baked goods and deserts... read more
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