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Lillian's Italian Kitchen

1116 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2106
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Ranked #5 of 328 restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Italian
7 visitor photos
Restaurant details
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118 reviews from our community

91% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

Booked a table for Thursday night at 7pm for 5 people - making a reservation is essential. The place is small and was packed. Good atmosphere. Four had pasta with one opting for steak. All pasts dishes were excellent with freshly made pasta. The steak was a 3 out of 5 - a bit fatty - no room for deserts.... More

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santa cruz, ca
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

We love this place. From the gracious host, to the incredible food, & wonderful staff. Hands down one of our favorite restaurants. It's TINY, there's always a wait, and it's always worth it. If it's a warm day, wear shorts, it can get pretty toasty inside. I hope they never change or move.

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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

My husband and I were in Santa Cruz for a weekend trip and heard we had to stop by Lillian's! So glad we did!!! The Lasagna was to die for! The restaurant is small, but in a good way. When amazing restaurants expand they lose their home touch feeling and taste! WE can't wait to come back!

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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

Small and a little noisy but comfortable and great family food. Great eggplant Parmesan . Family owned. Reservations in advance a must. Friendly service.

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Nashville, TN
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

Tiny Mom and Pop Old Town and Authentic. Awesome food and great atmosphere, get there early as seating is limited, but definitely worth the wait. Can't imagine there's any better Italian in Santa Cruz.

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Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

Although it seems almost impossible to get reservations for this Italian restaurant, the food is only average. It is located on a busy street and is just an old hole in the wall, but it is very popular. People without reservations were consistently being turned away. Nevertheless, the food was only average and the menu somewhat limited. They are very... More

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St. Albans, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

Loved the food, the atmosphere and the service was excellent. Very tasty and authentic, the best food we have had in the USA on this trip so far.

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Capitola, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

Excellent home-style Italian food at a reasonable price. The place is small, so no need to try to get together a large group. This eatery has become very popular, so you may have to wait up to 45 minutes for a table. But the food is worth it. Try calling in earlier, but only on the same day.

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Newport Beach, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2014

My GF and I traveled up here from LA for a nice weekend get away to Santa Cruz and decided we wanted Italian food. I googled the local restaurants and came across Lillian's, it was a Friday night the wait was about and 1 hour+ long so we put our name on the list and headed across the street for... More

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Santa Cruz
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Have been there since the beginning and it's no surprise it's gotten to be one of the top places to dine at in Santa Cruz. Lillian's services pretty homey authentic Italian food, whether you go with what's on the regular menu or one of their specials for the night, you're guarantee to love your meal! Friendly service to boot! Just... More

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