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Lillian's Italian Kitchen

Certificate of Excellence
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1116 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2106
831-425-2288
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Today
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Mon 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue - Fri 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 176 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 114
    Excellent
  • 50
    Very good
  • 8
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Lillians

We have been there several times and with one exception had a great time. Although the wait is long it is worth it. I would not advise going with small children as they don't have a lot of patience, the desserts are excellent but you seldom have room for them. The one time we took kids it was hard... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 27, 2015
Alliesantacruz
,
Santa Cruz
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176 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Santa Cruz
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

We have been there several times and with one exception had a great time. Although the wait is long it is worth it. I would not advise going with small children as they don't have a lot of patience, the desserts are excellent but you seldom have room for them. The one time we took kids it was hard to... More 

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CA
Level Contributor
87 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2015 NEW

Great food. Try the gnocchi! This restaurant isn't open that much so get here right when it opens. Highly recommended!

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Wichita, Kansas
Level Contributor
81 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

From the outside, Lillians looks a little "off". Its not in the trendiest part of town, its kind of small and the outside is nothing impressive. But that's not why you are here. The food is AMAZING Soup and salad were good. For main course the "headliner" on the menu is Sunday Gravy which is a tomato base meat sauce... More 

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Tracy, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2015

I enjoyed a Wild Mushroom Ravioli entrée with a glass of Pinot Noir. My wife ordered the Alfredo with creamy cheese sauce and a glass of house white wine. We both finished the flavorful, ample servings leaving no room for one of their interesting desserts. We plan to return for some of their fine foods.

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United States
Level Contributor
36 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015

This is the Italian dining experience you are searching for. Lillian's has been voted as one of the very best restaurants in Santa Cruz. Without a doubt, this is some of the best Italian food I've had outside of New Jersey. The food, service, and ambiance are all excellent. A truly memorable experience is waiting for you.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Hughes, Arkansas
Level Contributor
62 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

We planned to dine here on our way to San Francisco based on Tripadvisor reviews. We are glad we did! The restaurant is in an older building with old family pictures on the walls. We started with meatballs with Sunday gravy. We ordered various pasta dishes and my husband loved his meatball sandwich. Everything was tasty. I am glad they... More 

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San Jose, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2015

This place deserves every one of its outstanding reviews. Exceptional food, incredible service. But definitely do yourself a favor and make a reservation. Even with a reservation, we had a short (10 minute) wait. Once inside, this place hit it out of the park. If you're gonna be in Santa Cruz and you like Italian food, do yourself a favor... More 

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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2015

Santa Cruz, California seems like an unlikely place for wonderful, special home made Italian comfort food. Yet here is Lillian's in a cozy storefront on Soquel Street, away from the tourists. Lines of hungry people waiting outside for Lillian's" Sunday Gravy": red meat sauce over your choice of pasta or polenta. Family recipes make the soups special; so are the... More 

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Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2015

Without reservations, we just wandered right into the small dining room on a Monday night. The service was friendly, and prompt. The recommendations spot on. we started with a house salad and enjoyed different pasta dishes, every one excellent. especially the gnocchi were fabulous. A ral espresso and a tiramisu was so authentic, for a moment we forgot that we... More 

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Monterey Peninsula, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015

My wife and I met another couple for dinner here. The other couple recommended it and raved about how good the food was. I'm not really into Italian food.......I know, crazy! We used to live in Santa Cruz, and I was a little embarrassed that I had never even heard of the place. The Rio Theatre is just across the... More 

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 1116 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2106
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Cruz
  • Phone Number: 831-425-2288

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: Italian
Open Hours
Monday
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
4:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Lillian's Italian Kitchen and other visitors
1 question
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Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?