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“Bohemian vibe” 4 of 5 stars
Review of 515 Kitchen and Cocktails

515 Kitchen and Cocktails
515 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-
831-425-5051
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Ranked #26 of 287 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Fremont, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Bohemian vibe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

When we are in one of those funky bohemian mood we head for 515. In general, it is a younger crowd although grey hairs are welcome. We always love the appetizers and entrees. The salamon entree is one of the best in Sana Cruz. I love how they will bring tastes of wine if you want to try something you are not familar with. Their wine list has some fun choices. My husband loves trying the different mixed drinks. We keep going back for the atmosphere and their heavenly salmon. Sitting outside in good weather is a plus for us.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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52 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Cool lounge bar, great cocktails, very popular!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

With respect to Santa Cruz, it's not exactly a hub of sophisticated bars and restaurants... This place twinkled with fairy lights and and inviting cosiness. Inside it was like a cool, old school jazz lounge but with a young, hip crowd. The staff were quirky and delightful, the food delicious, the cocktails very good. A great place to go when in SC.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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La Selva Beach, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Best cocktails in Santa Cruz by far ... great local bars like this are hard to find”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

In a town where it is a challenge to find a good meal and harder yet to find a good cocktail, 515 stands above the rest. Yes it is funky, yes it is eclectic, yes it is classic Santa Cruz. I have to admit that while I was not impressed on my first visit a couple of years ago, I have definitely come around to appreciate what 515 has to offer -- the best and perhaps IMHO only real "specialty" cocktail bar in town. What first grabbed my attention was my discovery that 515 is the only place in town that carries my favorite designer rye. Hey, when you want an Old Fashioned prepared the way you like it and you give specific direction on how you want it built you should expect to get it ... and (unlike most others in town) 515 delivers every time. Note that if you are looking for well drinks and a loud singles scene this may not be the place for you, but if you want to sit back in a soft chair or sofa with your best friends and have a quality drink or two while munching on some excellent small plates/appetizers you simply can't do any better. Your first move upon entering is to climb the stairs to the upstairs lounge, which is a favorite hang out among locals, especially on weekends when it can get a little crowded later. If you see a couple seats available at one of the open areas don't be shy, expect to be greeted with a welcome smile and not a dirty look. The seating at the bar may be limited and intimate, but it is just as comfortable. I often drop in before or after dinner or a movie, and my small office group enjoyed a wonderful Christmas celebration there highlighted by an unexpected and entertaining performance by a roving (and well-dressed) magician. While I would personally not consider 515 a dining destination, the menu is more than adequate -- especially for Santa Cruz. The small plates are a great compliment to a cocktail and I would recommend the truffle fries, mussels and lamb kabobs as a great start or ending to a night out. The bottom line is that small, intimate local watering holes like this are hard to find these days, but if you're reading this review then congratulations: You've just found the best in town!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Santa Cruz
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Not that great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

We stopped by for a few drinks and some appetizers for happy hour. The pommes frites with truffle oil were yummy as french fries go. The well drinks were weak and without discernible bubbles. the beer was a bit warm, a bit bitter and not local, the signature cocktails seemed to be "overshaken", read well-diluted with ice. The crab cakes were dry with insufficient dressing. We wanted to sit on the second story deck but we were advised it was only for reservations.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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San Clemente
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Lucky find!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

This restaurant was listed on our GPS and the name sounded interesting. What a lucky find! The restaurant has a funky, fun vibe. Service was excellent. Cocktails were great. My son is a bar manager from Chicago and was impressed by the liquor list. Food was fantastic. I will return to Santa Cruz just go back!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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