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Santa Cruz area - dinner

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We're in the south bay tomorrow and thinking of going to Santa Cruz area for the night on Sat (or anywhere in area that might be fun for 24 hr trip)
Any suggestions on interesting places to eat - doesn't need to be super budget but definitely not super high end
like unusual ethnic, fish, genuine bistro, ca cuisine, organic, interesting fusion
not keen on italian unless it's very good regional
also any interesting wine bars or breakfast place ideas very welcome too
also if anyone has ideas on where to stay - needs to be quiet and doesnt have to be near beach
I just found out its wine passport day on Sat - anyone know if that's a total zoo or worth checking out some wineries?

thanks

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  1. If you search this board using "Santa Cruz" as your search term, you'll get lots of restaurant reviews for the area. To give you a quick answer to some of your questions, I'd suggest Soif Wine Bar and Restaurant for late afternoon/evening.and 515 Kitchen and Cocktails for a good Sunday breakfast/brunch. Gabriella Cafe is also a nice place for inventive, regional cuisine. All of these restaurants are in downtown Santa Cruz. The wine passport days in general tend to be fun and not overly crowded. If you don't want to drive around a lot, you can also do tastings Saturday afternoon at the aforementioned Soif or at Vino Cruz, a wine shop/tasting bar also downtown that features Santa Cruz Mountain wines. Another good breakfast spot is Cafe Brazil on Mission St., but be prepared to wait. Hope this helps.