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“Cafe Brasil - loud, crowd, great food!”
Review of Cafe Brasil

Cafe Brasil
Ranked #50 of 374 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $12
Cuisines: American, Brazilian
Dining options: Breakfast
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast
Monrovia, California
Level 6 Contributor
402 reviews
234 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 319 helpful votes
“Cafe Brasil - loud, crowd, great food!”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank astrojane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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135 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    84
    30
    17
    2
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Woodland, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Best breakfast I've ever had!”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Pinkston416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Awesome coffee & brekkie spot.”
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.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank zeppo33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Collingswood, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
331 reviews
201 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Great restaurant away from downtown in Santa Cruz”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank kt3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vail, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Acai bowl was incredible”
Reviewed September 6, 2012

Yeah, the place was packed, but that's always a good sign. We got some acai bowls to go and didn't mind waiting - and they were definitely worth the wait. AMAZING. I haven't tried anything else but based on friends' reviews and newspaper articles hailing the cafe, I would definitely go back and try more.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lcoconut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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