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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk food recommendations?

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It's summertime and that means 1907 days ($1.00 rides on Mon and Tues) at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We're heading over there tomorrow to ride the Giant Dipper until our backsides ache, throw brass rings from the carousel, enjoy sunset from the rickety Ferris Wheel, and indulge in some of our favorite culinary guilty pleasures. I'm generally not a huge fan of boardwalk food and usually stick to the Cajun Corndog, freshly fried of course. (I do have my standards, such as they are.) One of the group insists we go to Marini's for dessert, i.e. chocolate-covered bacon. I'm probably not a deep-fried Twinkie or cheesecake kind of person, some of the boardwalk food is a little scary, but I don't want to miss out on any hidden gems either. Anybody have any boardwalk favorites we should try?

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    1. I would love to get your feedback. I have wanted to go to the Boardwalk just to check out the food. Was always there growing up in S.C. Looks fun again.

      4 Replies
      1. re: emglow101

        I'm happy to report that the Boardwalk has definitely improved its food options. Used to be all you could get was hamburgers, hotdogs and fried everything else. Last night we saw a fruit stand (long-sliced fresh fruit in a cup), roasted whole corn on a stick, numerous sandwich options such as gyros, Philly cheesesteak, grilled chicken. We also noticed different kinds of wraps, tacos and rice bowl options. Of course we all had to do our traditional annual Cajun Corndog which is a big hot link enveloped in a puffy cornbread coating. Not bad at all for what it is. I haven't had a better one anywhere else, although admittedly I rarely eat corndogs. We shared an order of garlic fries, heavily loaded with fresh, raw garlic. Next time I'm going to try the fresh roasted corn. A lot of people seemed to be enjoying that.

        Didn't have room for dessert. Next time. The Italian Ice cart looked good, and Marini's candy is usually a good bet.

        1. re: ubetty

          Sounds like they have improved the food options. I'll will be checking it out one of these nights. Thanks.

          1. re: emglow101

            And don't forget about The Picnic Basket just across the street from the Boardwalk. Interesting and tasty food options from local, artisan producers and purveyors. http://thepicnicbasketsc.com/

            1. re: spiltinky

              Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle Food Writer, said his best meal in Santa Cruz was a BLT from the Picnic Basket, eaten on a bench overlooking the beach.

      2. I think the Surf City Grill has the best food at the Boardwalk. They were voted "Best corn dog in the country" at some point. That's the only place I'll buy the $1.00 hot dogs as they use better buns there.

        I recently read that "Dole Whip," the pineapple soft serve that is served at Disneyland, is being sold somewhere on the Boardwalk. That's what I'm getting the next time I go!

        If you want something of higher quality, walk across the street to the Picnic Basket.