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“a fairly casual restaurant with good quality food”

Johnny's Harborside
Ranked #14 of 373 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Eaton St
Benicia, Ca
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“a fairly casual restaurant with good quality food”
Reviewed September 18, 2011

We ate here on a Sunday evening. The restaurant was not too crowded so it was not particularly noisy. We had a great table next to windows overlooking the harbor. The servers were friendly & efficient.

The hot bread was delicious The restaurant has an option to have "Fish Your Way". You can pick from any of the fresh fish that are available. There are 4 options for cooking; we chose broiled. There are also 4 options for accompaniments; we chose "simply fish". We had halibut & steelhead. The fish was served on top of vegetables (primarily squash) & small pieces of roasted potatoes. We could have chosen polenta instead of potatoes. We enjoyed our dinners very much.

The parking lot has 24 hour meters.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TZK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    79
    87
    21
    6
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
arizona
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“No complaints”
Reviewed September 14, 2011

There were 12 of us for a family dinner (ranging in age from 12 to 60+) and we all enjoyed this restaurant. Service was excellent, we all had different items from the menu and everyone enjoyed the food - quite an accomplishment!

  • Visited September 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank somanyplaces
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Favorite place for special occasions AND everyday”
Reviewed September 12, 2011

Best place in Santa Cruz for fresh fish beautifully prepared. Wait staff is outstanding, and we love Neal the bartender, too. If we're celebrating or just want an upbeat dinner out, this casually stylish place is where our friends and family want to go.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank awelles86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aptos, California
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Welcome to the New Chef Brian Woods”
Reviewed September 2, 2011

It was Thursday night and Marti and I wanted to enjoy a light dinner. We choose to head to Johnny’s Harborside for our meal. We have eaten at Johnny’s before and have always been impressed with both the quality and the ambiance. Normally we order fish at Johnny’s but tonight we were fortunate and met the new chef Brian Woods. I asked when we would be seeing some pork on the menu. He stated that he may be adding a few items in October but because I asked he stated that he could make me something tonight.

This surprised me but also intrigued me so I said thanks to Brian and ordered his special pork just for me. When my meal arrived I was pleased. The presentation was a work of art. Sitting on top was a well seasoned and cooked portion of pork with fresh greens below and below the fresh greens was a fried risotto. Wow the meal was a feast for my eyes. First I tried just the pork, it was cooked to perfection the meat could be cut with a fork and the sauce added a special flavor. Next I ate some greens and enjoyed the blend of greens and dressing. Finally I tasted the fried risotto and was impressed by just the right amount of flavoring to rice. Satisfied with each of the main ingredients I tried a forkful of everything together. I do not have the words to describe just what my mouth savored. The meal was fabulous, wonderful, a joy to savor. Enjoying all three items (pork, salad. Risotto) together sent my taste buds to heaven. I was having so much fun enjoying this dinner that Marti just had to have a taste. She had one tasty bite and soon she was back to enjoy another bite. She was heading back to my plate so I had to eat some of her Halibut. The Halibut was very fresh and the sauce was excellent. However, I soon had to fight her off with my fork or she would have eaten all of my pork.

I went to Johnny’s for fish and instead of fish I had pork. I do not want Johnny’s to not serve fish but after tonight I hope they can add pork to their menu. Chef Brian Woods has opened my eyes to a new and delicious way to enjoy pork. I now understand his love affair with pork.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, CA
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Eat the fish tacos!”
Reviewed August 16, 2011

This pleasant restaurant is on the list of our favorites almost entirely because of the fish tacos (only $10 for three), but also because of the friendly staff and nice surroundings. The fish salad (a nicely grilled small filet on a very nice green salad) is also both a real treat and a bargain, as is the basket if sweet potato fries. Most of the rest of the menu is more expensive than justified .Skip the ordinary fries, which are not even as good as ordinary.

The bar is fairly well stocked, but the draft beer selection is pretty limited if you don't like beer that's really bitter.

Parking is easy, not too expensive (meters, about $0.75 per hour).

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank JimBrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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