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“Bar and Patio Menu worth a visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Cafe Rio Aptos

Cafe Rio Aptos
Ranked #9 of 70 Restaurants in Aptos
Price range: $9 - $32
Cuisines: American, Bar, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Large groups, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Local Favorite! Amazing views of the Monterey Bay, this restaurant has food for everyone...including Gluten Free Pastas, Steaks, Fresh Seafood, House made Desserts. You can also bring your tail wagging friend because the spacious heated patio is Dog friendly.
Watsonville, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Bar and Patio Menu worth a visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2013

Nightly $10 specials. My wife is a devotee of Liguini and clams with a glass of wine on Tuesday night, I like the burger and brew on Monday.

Visited June 2013
Thank stearon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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106 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Rio del Mar, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“UNhappy hour”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

Hadn't been the Cafe Rio in a long time...last experience was less than stellar. Did re-con by trying the $10 Bar Menu on Tuesday evening. We both had the Linguini w/White Clam Sauce which comes with a glass of house wine. The linguini was very good, no oil slick at the bottom of the bowl like other places, the wine was o.k. Anyway, you can have the bar menu in the bar or out on the patio. If the weather is nice,opt for the patio. We made the mistake of eating in the bar-bunch of old local bar flies standing around slamming their bar dice cups betting on who would buy the next round. They seemed like they're "too at home" as if they were at someone's house & we felt like we were intruding on their turf. There was a TV on, but you couldn't hear it because of the loud noises from them. It seems that it's a bar first & the restaurant was an afterthought. The atmosphere was better at the Wild Buffalo Wings Sports Bar we went to last week. It really detracted from the overall upscale look of the restaurant and quality of the food. Might try again but only in the restaurant at the farthest table away from the bar or out on the patio.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Cindi8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Watsonville, California
Level Contributor
330 reviews
208 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Good food in fun atmosphere”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

Have been here a few times since reopening. Happy to say food and service much improved . Not too many places to get good food so close to beach in Aptos area and Cafe Rio delivers. Sand Dabs excellent and seafood pasta specials always god and interesting. Mussels yummy and can have in different sauces. I love Pernod and garlic wine. Beet salad is fantastic and big enough for 2'. This is wise as you can save room for dessert. Coconut cheesecake is very good.
Fun bar for drinks and a bite and have bar specials daily for 10.00. If sunny, nice to sit in patio.
Parking can be an issue in summer because of beach, but be patient or park on side street. Nice to take a walk before or after dinner.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Kerryloves2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aptos, California, United States
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Old favorite”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2013

We've gone here for years. The original owner sold it to someone who really messed it up for awhile, but the manager of the first owner owns it now and it is just about as good as it once was. Apps and drinks on the dog friendly patio is fun. It is right across from Rio del Mar beach. I recently had the sand dabs and enjoyed them, but will try the calamari dore next time.

Visited March 2013
Thank Lori D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Stick with the Fish...Salad was awful”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2013

We went to the Cafe Rio expecting a sumptuous meal based on its reputation for fresh seafood. It is on the beach at Rio del Mar in Aptos, but unfortunately, you see more of the parking lot than the water. The others at our table ordered fish and seafood dishes, while I (on a diet) ordered the Caesar salad. I purposely asked the waiter if the dressing was made in house and he said it was. My salad was horrible. The bowl had iceburg and romaine lettuce pieces and thoroughly tasteless croutons that were artificially colored which had the taste and texture of cardboard...no cardboard would have had more taste. Ramekins of so-called Caesar dressing and processed Parmesan (from a cardboard container) were balanced on the plate. It was a disgusting excuse for a salad of any kind and was priced at $9.00. Saying the dressing was homemade was an outright lie. That said, my dinner companions liked their fish dishes well enough, but they were unremarkable considering their prices.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank capegal1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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