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The Best Brunch Spots in Santa Cruz

The Best Brunch Spots in Santa Cruz

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but brunch is the most fun, so visit one of the many great brunch spots in Santa Cruz.

Barbara Pearson


4 min read

April 11, 2023

As an American staple, brunch is a nationwide phenomenon, and Santa Cruz is no exception. Santa Cruz is a veritable hub for delectable brunch spots thanks to a versatile range of international restaurants and high-end American diners. Whether you’re in for great pizza, juicy burgers, health-conscious snacks, or even a hearty eggs benedict, brunch in Santa Cruz is a special event for all involved. You won’t have any trouble finding a good place for brunch in Santa Cruz, but you might have trouble choosing between the wealth of options. Let’s explore some of the fantastic spots for the best brunch in Santa Cruz

Enjoy fresh salmon eggs benedict topped with tasteful Caribbean spices at this homely brunch venue in Santa Cruz.

Red Apple Café

Location: 783 Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Aptos, CA 95003

Founded in 1988, Red Apple Café is steeped in tradition and strives to offer the best in American fare using high-quality ingredients from right here on the Central Coast of the Golden State. Red Apple Café aims for a cozy diner-like ambiance that’s safe, comfortable, homely, and relaxing, making it an excellent place for brunch in Santa Cruz with the whole family.  

You can’t go wrong with Red Apple Café’s traditional favorites, including its very filling and juicy ground sirloin patty and eggs or a classic ham steak and eggs brunch for getting the day going right. But, if you want something fancier, check out this Santa Cruz restaurant’s amazing King Salmon benedict. This special brunch menu item is a decadent affair with fresh-locally caught salmon, locally-produced eggs, and blackened with exotic Caribbean spices for that extra flair.  

As a famous local hangout in Santa Cruz, Harbor Cafe is famous for its breakfast burritos.

Harbor Café

Location: 535 7th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062

For the ultimate brunch Santa Cruz restaurant on the wharf, look no further than the Harbor Café. Starting as a local hangout for Santa Cruz’s fishermen, the Harbor Café has since flourished into a fixture of the community and is a hot spot for brunch in Santa Cruz. This Santa Cruz restaurant is well-liked by locals and visitors for its laid-back seaside atmosphere, friendly, hardworking staff, and wonderful brunch offerings.    

For brunch in Santa Cruz at Harbor Café, you should grab some of Harbor Café’s famous breakfast burritos that can be customized to your heart’s content. Add bacon, chicken apple sausage, or carnitas, or substitute meat for veggie patties. You can’t go wrong at this Santa Cruz restaurant. Enjoy country eggs benedict, a savory dish full of sausage patties, two poached eggs, a fresh-baked biscuit, and gravy. 

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Enjoy the best in gourmet ahi poke at Süda, a bowl filled with mixed greens, sushi rice, fresh fish, and sriracha aioli.


Location: 3910 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Of course, fishing and seafood are important parts of Santa Cruz’s identity as a charming oceanside town. Seafood lovers would be remiss to have brunch in Santa Cruz without trying one of the town's many great seafood places. For starters, Süda is one of the best spots in town for the seafood brunch lover because it takes things to a new level with innovative takes on old classics and high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients.  

After piquing your appetite with some of its wonderful avocado toast topped with cherry tomatoes, try Süda’s ahi poke bowl, a healthy mix of greens, sushi rice, cucumber, seafood, and sriracha aioli. Süda also makes a mean eggs salmon eggs benedict that they call ‘the hook,’ and it’s safe to say if you try it, you’ll surely be hooked.  

Pleasure Pizza

Location: 1415 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (Downtown)

4000 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (Pleasure Point). 

Pleasure Pizza is one of the great downtown Santa Cruz restaurants. It’s a favorite for brunch in Santa Cruz. You can order by the slice from Pleasure Pizza’s selection of huge pies or buy an entire pizza for the ultimate cheesy brunch in Santa Cruz. Pleasure Pizza also has a branch in Pleasure Point so that you can enjoy your brunch in a surf-themed seaside venue. 

Whichever Pleasure Pizza you go to, try out its amazing Greek pizza, topped with artichoke hearts, black olives, tomato, and feta cheese. This pie is infused with vibrant Mediterranean flavors, and the artichoke hearts make it even more filling than a regular pizza. Meat lovers will love the Pleasure combo as it comes packed with Italian sausage, pepperoni, fresh salami, red onions, black, olives, and mushroom, so you have the best of both worlds.  

As a place of quality, Cafe Cruz doesn’t shirk on the finer details, and every one of its brunch options is a meticulously crafted affair.

Café Cruz 

Location: 2621 41st Avenue, Soquel, CA 95073 

Sporting a beautiful Mediterranean-themed open-air seating area, this great restaurant for brunch in Santa Cruz takes its name from Surf City. Cafe Cruz is the cool place to enjoy distinctive gourmet appetizers by an adobe-style fireplace and savor sumptuous meals served on beautiful reclaimed wood tables. In other words, Cafe Cruz is a Santa Cruz restaurant replete with charm and sophistication, where community and creativity come together to make great food for a lively restaurant. 

Cafe Cruz has solidified its quality brand by providing excellent service and fresh, well-prepared delicious foods sourced from local farms. While Cafe Cruz is most famous for its French-style chicken rotisserie, they also offer delicious vegetarian options such as avocado toast with whipped feta, grilled asparagus with truffle pecorino, and a beautiful 3 Beet Salad. As a trendy spot, Cafe Cruz fills up fast, even at brunch, so make a reservation and arrive early to find parking.  

A hearty chorizo omelet brunch at Silver Spur is the best way to get the day started right.

Silver Spur 

Location: 2650 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95065

Last but not least on our list of restaurants for the best brunch in Santa Cruz is a traditional Western-themed restaurant with a warm and inviting atmosphere. As you might expect, a brunch spot called Silver Spur is big on Southwestern BBQ, and that shows with glorious offerings, including Chorizo eggs benedict and juicy Rodeo burgers complete with onion rings and BBQ sauce.

That’s not to say that Silver Spur isn’t the place for vegetarian brunch lovers. On the contrary, Silver Spur is a great place for a vegetarian brunch in Santa Cruz thanks to its good selection of green offerings, including its flavorful Mexican Style omelets filled with avocado, black beans, salsa, and creamy sour cream. Silver Spur’s friendly servers will even gladly substitute meat dishes with tofu. This is a charming place for brunch in Santa Cruz and a great example of Western hospitality.     

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