We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Malabar Cafe

Indian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Sri Lankan
Improve this listing
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Get directions
514 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
+1 831-458-3023
Today
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue - Sat 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 64 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 38
    Excellent
  • 16
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Innovative, fusion of asian food with authentic taste!

Very interesting vegetarian menu with a fusion of indian, asian and mediterranean ingredients. We tried jalapeno pakora, vegetable roti, rosemary nan and loved each item. Drinks were very innovative too..

5 of 5 starsReviewed July 18, 2015
RT27
,
San Jose, California, USA
Add Photo Write a Review

64 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Rate and write a review
Roll over, then click to rate
  Click to rate
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California, USA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2015

Very interesting vegetarian menu with a fusion of indian, asian and mediterranean ingredients. We tried jalapeno pakora, vegetable roti, rosemary nan and loved each item. Drinks were very innovative too..

Was this review helpful? Yes
Tiruchirappalli, India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2015

The name Malabar suggested that Kerala food will be available. The menu had Indian items with few Kerala items. Masala dosa, though not a Kerala speciality was good. Coconut roti was very average. North Indian food was not up to the mark. Overall nothing great about this place unless someone is particular about Indian food

Was this review helpful? Yes
Long Island City, New York
Level Contributor
40 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2015

While listed as a vegetarian restaurant and not as Indian, this quiet gem in Santa Cruz prepares fresh not run-of-the-mill Indian food. Very moderately priced.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
37 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2015

I remember going to this restaurant years ago when it was called the Asian Rose and was located on Soquel Avenue. I went with my parents, who are generally pretty conservative and like to eat what they're familiar with. With this restaurant being fusion cuisine, they didn't feel comfortable trying it, so we left. The owner, Raj, came running out... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Ashland, Oregon
Level Contributor
86 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2015

My wife and I had a delicious meal at Malabar. We ordered (and shared) the avocado beet salad, a two-item combo with eggplant basil and green vegetable curry, and an eggplant dosa. Each of those dishes were excellent, but I'd especially recommend the eggplant dishes. Our server was kind enough to share the recipe for dosas (crispy lentil crepes). I... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
497 reviews
327 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 229 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2015

An elegant and creative restaurant, featuring vegetarian and vegan cuisine of Sri Lanka and India (secondarily). The menu features a few traditional, but moreso unique dishes prepared with local ingredients. Drinks are also unique. Coconut roti was really tasty & light. The vegetable dosa was nicely done & light on spice. The khotha roti was like the traditional streetfood I... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

TRY THIS PLACE. I went with vegans, a meat eater, and a vegetarian. There's something for everyone. The spices were exquisite and the staff were friendly and helpful. The lentil soup is amazing. It was also inexpensive - about $60 for 4 people.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Urbana, Illinois
Level Contributor
36 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2014 via mobile

Really good food especially if you are looking for something out of the ordinary chain or typical cuisine. All vegetarian, SriLankan fare is not necessarily spicy unless you want it that way. Mango Coconut shake ... May go get another while in the area.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2014

We were looking for something healthy and there seem to be a lot of places in Santa Cruz, but we were intrigued by an ad on the Internet saying Steak Diane and Ravioli. When we arrived, we realized it was entirely vegetarian. Not dismayed, we shared a pear/arugula salad that was built for two. My spouse got a dosa and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
134 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

We went to Malabar for a quick bite to eat. It had to be Indian that night since I was craving the taste for a while. All of the food is vegetarian and it doesn't serve alcohol. A pleasant change to the regular beer and burger nights ;) Try it out, you'll be pleasantly surprised. I had the coconut roti... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed Malabar Cafe also viewed

 

Been to Malabar Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Malabar Cafe

Address: 514 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone Number: +1 831-458-3023
Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Cruz
Open Hours:
Sunday 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Wednesday 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thursday 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Saturday 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cuisine: Indian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Sri Lankan

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 514 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Cruz
  • Phone Number: +1 831-458-3023

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: Indian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Sri Lankan
Open Hours
Sunday
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Wednesday
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thursday
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Saturday
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Malabar Cafe 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?