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“Tiny restaurant but so worth the wait” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Brasil

Cafe Brasil
1410 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4739
831-429-1855
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Ranked #37 of 345 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $12
Cuisines: American, Brazilian, South American
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Tiny restaurant but so worth the wait”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

We love the feel of the restaurant. Frequent hang out for our University students. Great black beans that are so tasty. The food is what sells this place. Yum

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Thank louisadot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

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Monrovia, California
Level Contributor
290 reviews
177 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 238 helpful votes
“Cafe Brasil - loud, crowd, great food!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Driving from Northern California back to LA, my sister and I stopped in Santa Cruz to see her college-age daughter and have lunch.

Niece recommended Cafe Brasil, said there might be a wait, and probably no parking. She was right, we parked 2 blocks away, and had about a 10 minute wait. Expected and not a problem!

We were seated, and it did take a while to 1) get menus, 2) get someone to take our order 3) get the orders served. But again, it was kind of expected, so wasn't annoying at all.

This is a really loud restaurant. There were screaming kids, lots of convos, not a sedate quiet restaurant, which makes sense with college in session and thousands of students out on a school day lunch break. Expected.

Unexpected was fabulous food!

Niece had a dish she has often - Rancheiros Two eggs over easy over flour tortilla w/black beans, topped w/cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream. (served with baguette.) $8.75

Her mom had grilled fish (it was tilapia) with black beans (served with farofa) $7.75 and I had fish polenta: grilled tilapia over spinach & topped w/creamy polenta, also served with farofa. $9.25

In Brazil, where farofa is particularly popular, typical recipes call for raw manioc flour to be toasted with butter, salt, and bacon until golden brown. It's a crunchy, toasty starch. Each country has a variant using a different starch.

A popular dish my niece recommended was the acai bowl, which sounds nice for breakfast but maybe not so much at lunch for us who had 6 hours of driving ahead of us, skipping dinner. It’s a large bowl of Acai smoothie (Acai, mixed fruits and guarana) topped with granola and sliced fruit, available in smaller portions too. I think it would be great for students heading off to school!

There were many more items I'd like to choose, will enjoy a return trip!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank astrojane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodland, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Best breakfast I've ever had!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Everytime we go to SC this is a must stop. Great omelette and all the juices and fruit are fresh. Always one of my favorite things in SC. I've never been a breakfast enthusiast until I went here. Can't wait to go back!

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Pinkston416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
99 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Awesome coffee & brekkie spot.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012 via mobile

Very relaxed vibe. The friendly waitress recommended the 2 specialties - Orfeo Negro & the Costa Rican rice and eggs (can't recall name). The rice & eggs have a salsa that is super tasty, too. I take my coffee black & am accustomed to being let down, but not here. Their Brazilian coffee is smooth and hearty. The plaintains were like dessert! Loved it.

    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank zeppo33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Collingswood, New Jersey
Level Contributor
266 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Great restaurant away from downtown in Santa Cruz”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

My family checked this place out after taking the train ride up the hill in Felton. I found out about it through Yelp and the reviews were spot on. I only rated it a 4 because 5 to me is a rare bird, but the place was really good. I read about the famed Acai Bowl, a mixture of blended juices and the wonder berry (Acai) touted for the health benefits, tasty granola and delicious sliced strawberries and banana. We downed it pretty fast and also had feijoada, a very tasty stew with rice. They don't take reservations so we waited about 15 minutes when we got there. They also have a pretty small parking lot in the rear, so we parked around the corner. The prices were good, as was the food. Definitely worth checking this place out if you don't want to hit a place for breakfast and lunch away from downtown.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank kt3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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