We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Malabar Cafe

Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
514 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
+1 831-458-3023
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Sun 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue - Sat 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

74 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Showing 74: English reviews
San Jose, California, USA
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2015

Very interesting vegetarian menu with a fusion of indian, asian and mediterranean ingredients. We tried jalapeno pakora, vegetable roti, rosemary nan and loved each item. Drinks were very innovative too..

1 Thank RT27
Tiruchirappalli, India
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2015

The name Malabar suggested that Kerala food will be available. The menu had Indian items with few Kerala items. Masala dosa, though not a Kerala speciality was good. Coconut roti was very average. North Indian food was not up to the mark. Overall nothing great about this place unless someone is particular about Indian food

1 Thank Prabhudoss
Long Island, New York
Level Contributor
99 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2015

While listed as a vegetarian restaurant and not as Indian, this quiet gem in Santa Cruz prepares fresh not run-of-the-mill Indian food. Very moderately priced.

Thank drmojo48
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
48 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2015

I remember going to this restaurant years ago when it was called the Asian Rose and was located on Soquel Avenue. I went with my parents, who are generally pretty conservative and like to eat what they're familiar with. With this restaurant being fusion cuisine, they didn't feel comfortable trying it, so we left. The owner, Raj, came running out... More 

1 Thank ashuphoto
Ashland, Oregon
Level Contributor
197 reviews
142 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2015

My wife and I had a delicious meal at Malabar. We ordered (and shared) the avocado beet salad, a two-item combo with eggplant basil and green vegetable curry, and an eggplant dosa. Each of those dishes were excellent, but I'd especially recommend the eggplant dishes. Our server was kind enough to share the recipe for dosas (crispy lentil crepes). I... More 

1 Thank ilubliner
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
623 reviews
418 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 278 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2015

An elegant and creative restaurant, featuring vegetarian and vegan cuisine of Sri Lanka and India (secondarily). The menu features a few traditional, but moreso unique dishes prepared with local ingredients. Drinks are also unique. Coconut roti was really tasty & light. The vegetable dosa was nicely done & light on spice. The khotha roti was like the traditional streetfood I... More 

3 Thank MihirMeghani
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2014

TRY THIS PLACE. I went with vegans, a meat eater, and a vegetarian. There's something for everyone. The spices were exquisite and the staff were friendly and helpful. The lentil soup is amazing. It was also inexpensive - about $60 for 4 people.

2 Thank Anna E
Urbana, Illinois
Level Contributor
90 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2014 via mobile

Really good food especially if you are looking for something out of the ordinary chain or typical cuisine. All vegetarian, SriLankan fare is not necessarily spicy unless you want it that way. Mango Coconut shake ... May go get another while in the area.

4 Thank Roqzy
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2014 via mobile

We were looking for something healthy and there seem to be a lot of places in Santa Cruz, but we were intrigued by an ad on the Internet saying Steak Diane and Ravioli. When we arrived, we realized it was entirely vegetarian. Not dismayed, we shared a pear/arugula salad that was built for two. My spouse got a dosa and... More 

2 Thank Rosie P
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
185 reviews
100 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2014

We went to Malabar for a quick bite to eat. It had to be Indian that night since I was craving the taste for a while. All of the food is vegetarian and it doesn't serve alcohol. A pleasant change to the regular beer and burger nights ;) Try it out, you'll be pleasantly surprised. I had the coconut roti... More 

2 Thank ambassadorger

Travelers who viewed Malabar Cafe also viewed

Santa Cruz, CA

Been to Malabar Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Indian, Sri Lankan, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Seating, Waitstaff, Takeout, Reservations, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol
Good for
Large groups, Families with children
Open Hours
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 514 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Cruz
  • Phone Number: +1 831-458-3023

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Malabar Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?