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Dolphin Restaurant

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71 Municipal Wharf, Suite A, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
+1 831-426-5830
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Today
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: At Dolphin Restaurant, we have something for everyone. Join us in our...
At Dolphin Restaurant, we have something for everyone. Join us in our dining room for our favorites including everything from an eclectic breakfast menu to our traditional fish & chips. Or if you prefer, dine outdoors on the only outdoor patio on the Wharf. Our walk-up to-go window always has both visitors and locals lining up for our great seafood, clam chowder bread bowls, and a selection of American classics, like burgers and fries. We are also proud to announce that we now have an in-house smoker, serving some of the best quality BBQ. Our mouth-watering pulled pork, baby back ribs, brisket, and other smoked delicacies. Dolphin Restaurant has delicious options for everyone including the kiddos, so come visit the beautiful Wharf and enjoy a bite to eat at the Dolphin!
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 77 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 19
    Excellent
  • 29
    Very good
  • 20
    Average
  • 7
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Great views, food and service

Was talking a break from a training class and rode to the Santa Cruz wharf. What a great place and the Dolphin was really good. The views are breath taking. I was having dinner and watching a whale and sea lions. The wine selection is solid. The Manhattan chowder was good but the star was the... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 28, 2015
Karkman
,
Aurora, Illinois
Good for:
  • Families with children
  • Local cuisine
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77 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Conroe, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2015

Very affordable restaurant on the pier in Santa Cruz. We stopped here late in the day for a nice meal and had a great time on the outside patio overlooking the ocean. The food was very good, at a very reasonable price, and was able to enjoy the seals and ocean activities while eating.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Scott P, Manager at Dolphin Restaurant, responded to this review

Don, thank you for your wonderful recommendation! We're so glad you enjoyed everything from the food to the view, and it would be great to welcome you back when you're next in Santa Cruz. 'Til then, Dolphin Team More 

Fairfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2015

Worst meal in 2 weeks of dining out. Steamers were not "steamers", but the smallest hard shell clams I'd ever seen in unimpressive broth. Clam chowder tasted out of a can, certainly not fresh. Calamari was rubbery and again not fresh. Kids had grilled cheese and even that was so bland they just ate the fries. Oh don't bother with... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Scott P, Manager at Dolphin Restaurant, responded to this review

Jen, we totally understood your comment saying the "steamers were not steamers" the moment we looked and saw you're from Connecticut. We've had steamers in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and you're right -- they're very different from what we have here. The same is true for the clams we use in chowders here versus the Northeast. We're really sorry we weren't... More 

Aurora, Illinois
Level Contributor
115 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2015

Was talking a break from a training class and rode to the Santa Cruz wharf. What a great place and the Dolphin was really good. The views are breath taking. I was having dinner and watching a whale and sea lions. The wine selection is solid. The Manhattan chowder was good but the star was the calamari steak! It was... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Scott P, Manager at Dolphin Restaurant, responded to this review

Karkman! We're so, so glad you had such a great dinner and enjoyed the calamari steak especially. :) We see you're from Illinois. We're guessing you don't get to eat a lot of Calamari back home, which makes us doubly thrilled you got to sample the best calamari Santa Cruz has to offer. Hope you took pictures of our spectacular... More 

San Ramon, California
Level Contributor
94 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2015

We had lunch here on a weekday this past week. Bright (and warm!) sunny day in Santa Cruz, if a bit breezy. We were able to eat outside (with one foot on the umbrella) and had a nice lunch. One order of fried shrimp (very good, even if the fries were a bit on the soggy side), one Sole sandwich,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Scott P, Manager at Dolphin Restaurant, responded to this review

We're so happy you enjoyed your lunch with us! Being at the very end of the Wharf, the spectacular views are sometimes accompanied by some breezy conditions, so thank you for your understanding as regards the umbrella. We hope that wasn't too much of a problem. We're also happy to hear the delay in getting off the wharf was only... More 

Waterloo, Belgium
Level Contributor
346 reviews
158 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2015

This restaurant is really at the very end of the Wharf. However, it is worth walking until the end for several reasons ... Good food ... friendly service ... and a nice view. I had Seafood chowder (excellent !!) followed by an Entree ... Scampi & Scallops in a mushroom sauce.. For my taste the sauce was a bit too... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Scott P, Manager at Dolphin Restaurant, responded to this review

Otto, this is so great! Not only did you come all the way from Belgium, but then you had to walk all the way to the end of the Wharf for our Seafood Chowder and Scampi. Really glad it was worth it! :) Take good care, Dolphin Team More 

California
Level Contributor
173 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2015

At the end of the wharf, this is a very casual indoor/outdoor cafe. The breakfast is always good but we love that it has Manhattan clam chowder which you can also get by the. Quart to go.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Scott P, Manager at Dolphin Restaurant, responded to this review

We're glad you enjoy our breakfasts! Add to that a spectacular ocean view, and a lot of our visitors tell us there's no better place in all of Santa Cruz to start their day. :) As for our clam chowder, you should try our New England version in a bread bowl next time. Yum! 'Til then, Dolphin Team More 

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2015

We stopped here for lunch. We were impressed with the service and the view. The staff were friendly, the food was fresh, delicious and reasonably priced. Great views too!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Scott P, Manager at Dolphin Restaurant, responded to this review

We're thrilled you enjoyed your lunch so much! Thanks for all your kind words for our team, and we'd love to welcome you back soon. Don't hesitate to let us know what your favorite dishes were! :) All our best, Dolphin Team More 

Merced, CA
Level Contributor
39 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

We tried Dolphins for the first time late one evening. It was cold so we chose to eat in the small and simple diner. The wait staff was very nice. Unfortunately they ran out of bread bowls that evening and many people were not able to have clam chowder in a bread bowl. Some people chose to leave because of... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Scott P, Manager at Dolphin Restaurant, responded to this review

Thank you for your awesome review! We're really glad you and your husband enjoyed your pasta dishes, and it'd be great to welcome you back soon - we'd love for you to have the chance to try that clam chowder in a bread bowl! We think you'll find that it's "the best ever," too. :) 'Til next time, Dolphin Team More 

Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2015

Okay. This is our 'go to place' after heading home from the beach. The take out window and fish and chips. The prices at the take out window are really great. And the food is good, too. And what would be better than listening to the sea lions while you eat. There are some seagulls, but they are not aggressively... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Scott P, Manager at Dolphin Restaurant, responded to this review

Knowing this is your go-to spot is music to our ears! And to the sea lions' ears, too - that's what their singing is all about. :) Like us, they're always happy to see you. By all means, keep coming! Cheers, Dolphin Team More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015

Want some good seafood when we staying on the coast during a trip to California. The fried shrimp that my wife had was terrible. Could have come from the frozen food section of grocery store.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Scott P, Manager at Dolphin Restaurant, responded to this review

Paula, we were so sorry to read this today. Truly, that's not at all how we want anyone's experience to go, and we're disappointed that your fried shrimp wasn't as good as it should have been. We'd love to welcome you back another time - we know we've got what it takes to do better than this. All our best,... More 

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 71 Municipal Wharf, Suite A, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Cruz
  • Phone Number: +1 831-426-5830

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: Seafood

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine

Description

At Dolphin Restaurant, we have something for everyone. Join us in our dining room for our favorites including everything from an eclectic breakfast menu to our traditional fish & chips. Or if you prefer, dine outdoors on the only outdoor patio on the Wharf. Our walk-up to-go window always has both visitors and locals lining up for our great seafood, clam chowder bread bowls, and a selection of American classics, like burgers and fries. We are also proud to announce that we now have an in-house smoker, serving some of the best quality BBQ. Our mouth-watering pulled pork, baby back ribs, brisket, and other smoked delicacies. Dolphin Restaurant has delicious options for everyone including the kiddos, so come visit the beautiful Wharf and enjoy a bite to eat at the Dolphin!
Open Hours
Sunday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Monday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 9:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Dolphin Restaurant and other visitors
1 question
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Questions? Get answers from Dolphin Restaurant 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?