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“Best Caesar Salad in the World” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Limelight

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Cafe Limelight
1016 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-3828
831-425-7873
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Ranked #84 of 327 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Restaurant details
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best Caesar Salad in the World”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

I fell in love with this place initially because of the unparalleled panini. I fell deeper in love when I realized that if you sit outside you can bring your dog and order a treat for your pet from a special dogs' menu. But it's the pace and friendliness of this restaurant that's so special. Owner Farouk likes to know his regular customers, and he greets you like family. Cozy seating, cool jazz, movie nights with a drop-down screen, and a personal touch all make this one of my favorite spots in Santa Cruz.

But it took me a while—I was distracted by the panini (especially the Cheddar, Onion and Cumin)—to find the hidden gems on the menu. The homemade hummus with pita and veggies is the best hummus I've ever had, by a wide margin. And the Caesar salad is a revelation. Farouk does a light dressing. There's nothing heavy or mayo-y or out-of-a-bottle here. He shaves the cheese, so you get big surface area and therefore big flavor on your tongue. And the croutons (panini-grilled wedges of bread, thin and perfect) are rubbed with fresh garlic for a giant burst of flavor. You should absolutely try this place if you haven't already.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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22 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    9
    1
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Santa Cruz, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“nice ambiance and staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Food is good but the menu is very limited. cozy atmosphere and nice staff.
The soups are tasty and paninis yummy.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area, CA
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Great little gem with amazing paninis”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

I love the paninis here. The salads are very fresh too. It's a cute little restaurant that is decorated very nicely.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great little local find!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

De-lish panini sandwiches right down the street from Penny Ice Creamery. Make your day that much better and have lunch at Cafe Limelight and a sweet treat at Penny Ice Creamery afterward. My idea of an ideal afternoon!

Visited July 2012
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Pacific Palisades
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Like Home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2012

Came here when the innkeepers of the Adobe on Green Street recommended it. It feels like you are having a meal at a good friend's house. Simple tasty menu of sandwiches, soup and salad, Nice desserts and drinks and great music. A small, casual oasis in downtown.

Visited June 2012
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