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

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Cafe Limelight
Ranked #102 of 355 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best Caesar Salad in the World”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 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
Helpful?
1 Thank KOtraveler234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    13
    12
    1
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“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
Helpful?
Thank susantreefrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
111 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 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
Helpful?
Thank Jenn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
42 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 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
Helpful?
Thank TracyLPhoenix_AZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pacific Palisades
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 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
Helpful?
Thank iamabus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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