Situated atop the lapping waves of Monterey Bay, Paradise Beach Grille combines upscale island cuisine with stunning waterfront views of Soquel Creek and Capitola Beach. Local, seasonal vegetables abut flavorful entrees from Paradise’s menu, such as the sugar and spice salmon paired with champagne mustard burre blanc ($22) and the Haleakala lava flow prawns sauteed in pinot grigio ($26). An extensive wine list complements island-inspired taste notes, and Paradise’s on-the-water location and outdoor seating means you can watch the world float by on its spherical boogie board until a jellyfish swims too close or its fingerlakes start to prune.
Winner of the Santa Cruz Weekly 2013 Gold Award for Best Dance Club and Best Fancy Cocktails, Motiv expertly slings tapas-style eats and a wide selection of drinks in a lively lounge space. Tucked along Pacific Avenue and Pearl Alley in a stucco building with a corrugated-tin roof and flowering window boxes, Motiv’s serene Old World–exterior belies its energetic dance floor, sleek wooden bar downstairs, and intimate restaurant-lounge upstairs. Half pound grass-fed burgers, skirt steak dinners and Jorge's famous tacos populate the shareable menu, and top-shelf liquors are mixed into specialty cocktails. Nightly live music delivered by a stable of DJs encourages diners to extend evenings by shaking a leg or showing off neon puffy-paint monograms under the colorful disco lights.
Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall’s menu offers diners a vast array of beers, burgers, and meal-worthy sandwiches. Win your stomach’s heart with a hearty starter such as the fish and chips with salmon ($12.99) or the garlic- and cheddar-slathered steak fries ($7.49). European-influenced sandwiches such as the calamari steak sandwich ($11.99) treat taste buds to joy akin to being entitled 10 weeks’ paid vacation. The fiesta jalapeno burger, meanwhile, puts guacamole, jack cheese, and jalapenos on a half-pound patty for a party that ends best if no one rubs their eyes ($9.79). Herbivores can dig into the veggie pocket, which packs pita bread with sprouts, tomatoes, pine nuts, mushrooms, and more ($9.79). A gigantic, gourmet beer list boasting 43 brews on tap helps to inject domestic dinners with a cultured cosmopolitanism. A kids’ menu is available for humans with smaller stomachs and fewer dendrochronology rings.
Located right off Mission Street, Parish sports an extensive selection of domestic and European drinks, from ales to stouts and drafts, as well as a menu packed with pub staples including fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and eight different burgers. Channeling the dark woods, cozy decorative accents, and neighborly atmosphere of a classic English alehouse, Parish's fraternal founders based their brainchild on a collage of amber-tinted memories from their own 15-day tour of Britain, the original Australia. Stop by this homey hoppery to catch a game, celebrate with friends, or get reacquainted with the magic of beer.
The Chefs at Pedro’s Restaurant & Cantina tantalize taste buds with a menu of authentic Mexican comestibles. Launch feast fiestas with a trio of mini handmade sopes chock-full of veggies, chicken, or beef and sprinkled in cotija cheese ($8). Patrons can stick with traditional entrees including chile verde, sautéed pork cutlets and chilies ($14.50) or can venture into new territory with special dishes, such as the steak de la casa’s grilled USDA Choice yew york steak disguised in adobo sauce and served with its partner in crime, the cheese enchilada ($24). Mix and match burritos, enchiladas, tacos, beef tamales, or chile rellenos with the combo option ($11.25 for one item; $13.25 for two; $15.25 for three), which comes with a choice of two sides, such as refried beans, spanish rice, or a palm reading by the wait staff. Pedro’s Restaurant & Cantina dazzles eyes with adobe-esque walls, outdoor seating, a plethora of plant life, and eclectic artwork.
A ceiling of mirrors. A small bouquet of flowers at each table. A breezy, outdoor patio festooned with white trellises and hanging foliage. The decorative accents at the newly redesigned Effie’s Restaurant and Lounge set a handsome backdrop for refined, contemporary American cuisine. In the kitchen, multitalented chefs craft hearty entrees for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—all while juggling wooden mixing spoons. Their culinary repertoire covers everything from brawny burgers topped with mushrooms to sole filets bathing in lemon butter. Effie’s bar and lounge area, meanwhile, morphs into a lively neighborhood hot spot where regulars wet their whistles for karaoke night with sips of beer, specialty cocktails, or wine from Effie’s extensive, five-page drink menu.