About Hoffman's Downtown
Hoffman's Downtown Santa Cruz serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8am daily. Famous for our DELICIOUS Eggs Benedict, and with our fabulous NEW full bar, Hoffman's is the perfect place for everything from Sunday brunch to an evening martini with the cool jazz humming in the background. Now open even later on Fridays and Saturdays, stop in for a cocktail and a snack off our UN-spendy $3 Bar Bites Menu served until 11pm!
Californian, European, American
Hours of Operation:
8:00 am to 9:00 pm weekdays;
8:00 am to 11:00 pm weekends
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Live Jazz 7 nights a week starting at 6:30!
Limited Parking available directly behind Hoffman's from Carthcart ave. Multi-level garages, public lots, and street parking available nearby.
Metro station located less than 1 block away.
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Hoffman's Downtown Ratings and Reviews
Slammed on Memorial Weekend Sunday
Hoffman's was not able to handle the crowd. Service was slow; some items never appeared; cafe au lait was lukewarm. Our waitress was covering both indoor and outdoor tables, doing her best to be pleasant and accommodating, but she was too overworked to be efficient. Two of the four in our group felt unwell afterward.
This restaurant is well located and comfortable.
We were seated immediately and brought out bread and water while we waited for our friends. I ordered the Pacific Rim salad and it was delicious. My husband was less pleased with the sand dabs as they were somewhat dry. The sauce that was served with it was good and helped. The wait staff was very friendly and efficient.
Nice surprise, we were looking for a restaurant in the downtown Santa Cruz area. Went to open table to get some recommendations and Hoffmans came up. We've walked by several times but never stopped.
The restaurant is in a perfect location, outside dining is right on Pacific Ave. The bldg is well kept up inside and out.
My friend had the Salmon which was ok, I had the meatloaf dinner which was great. The crab and artichoke dip was a 10 and the jazz music added to the fun.
All in all a fun time, I will definitely go back.
Not a favorite. The manager stalks aroun ...
Not a favorite. The manager stalks around & peers over everyone's shoulders & onto their plates. One would think she could be a little more discreet. Hubbys beer refill took over half the meal to arrive. Live music in such a small venue is really loud & overbearing. Food was okay.
Waste of time
My partner and I went to Hoffman's for the first time. We were greeted after a while by an annoyed woman, who promptly sat us next to a screaming homeless lady at the next table. We asked to move, and were promptly seated a few more tables over. Everything about this experience was odd. Between the irritated staff, to the dowdy decor (think Mel's diner), way too expensive for the experience. I trusted my instincts and fled next door to Assembly. They were great.
This was my first trip to Hoffmans. I was excited to find a restaurant open on Thanksgiving. I did make a reservation which went smooth. I made it online with Open Table, I did get a confirmation but was concerned that the system wasn't programmed for Thanksgiving , so I called and confirmed with the host about my reservation, which was good to go.
Even though I made a reservation, my husband and I squeezed between a party of 4 and party of 2. We sat so close I could not speak with my husband privately. I could also clearly hear our neighbors conversations and pretty much sample their dinners. It wasn't the atmosphere I had hoped for.
My salad cost $12 but I guarantee it probably cost less than $3 to make. The entrees came out super early which tells me they were just sitting ready to serve.
The food was not bad. I enjoyed the rice and 3 asparagus I got. The salmon was good too.
I order a slice of pecan pie that took about 15 mins to be brought out. When I came out it came out in a Togo box and all broken and half fallen apart. The ice cream was good.
I will not go there again for a holiday dinner.
I'm am glad they were available to serve us folks who worked thanksgiving and didn't have a place to go. But I had hoped for something a little nicer.
Mediocre at best.
Waitress was new and couldn't keep up with her tables. Had to order olive oil for the bread 3 times before it showed up. Salad was from a bag of greens plopped on a plate. The only saving factor was when we moved to the bar after dinner and enjoyed a little live jazz.
A Santa Cruz Favorite
We have been dining at Hoffman's for years. It is our go to restaurant whenever we are in town. I spent my 50th birthday here and had the most delicious bottle of wine! They have a very well rounded wine list by the bottle and by the glass. The food is always satisfying. There is often live music and we are just great fans of Hoffman's!
Hoffman's is a nice restaurant in downtown.
The food is good. We go as a rather large family group roughly once per month. The service is good and the ambience is very relaxing. I've eaten dinner there also. The food is well prepared and comfortable. I don't worry about getting a bad plate...
Try them out...They can be a welcome change to some of the more...eclectic dining experiences downtown.
It was a hot afternoon so I sat out on the patio and 'people watched' - mostly tourists and grungy homeless. Even the locals did not look very upscale.
An interesting grapefruit juice margarita; a wonderful "Ordinaire" absinthe.
A good salad; a nice piece of King salmon; plain steamed broccoli. I went across the street for a unique and delicious sorbet for dessert.
I had an early dinner which is undoubtedly why it was quiet.
I was hesitant about dining at Hoffman's ...
I was hesitant about dining at Hoffman's due to the I I Hesitated to dine here due to negative comments about noise levels and service. I found just the opposite. The noise level was not bothersome; in fact, there was a delightful jazz trio playing to enhance our dining experience. The wait person was very friendly, prompt, and accommodated my particular food needs, being on a special food plan. I would wholeheartedly recommend Hoffman's for dinner. Try it out; you may find it as pleasing as we did!
We went there for breakfast. The servic ...
We went there for breakfast. The service was slow. Folks who were seated afyer us had thre orders taken before us.
The waitress came by at one point and asked if we had gotten the scones (everyone around us had a basket of scones). We said no. She said she had to get us some, then never bought them.
I can put up with poor service, but the food was bad. I ordered crab and avocado benedict. The base was sourdough beaRd - room temp and not toasted. The eggs we cold - like they had b=en cold in big batched hours before ans assembled when ordered. The only thing on the plate that was warm was the crab.
At the table next to us, we heard the woman order 3 times before they finelybweren't "out of that".
Don't waste you money there.
Service almost ruined our celebration
We chose Hoffmans for a celebratory dinner after having had a fine experience there once before. There were 5 of us. We had a 5pm reservation because my grandmother is elderly and needs to eat early. The meal took 2 hours and we were perfectly neglected by all servers and bussers.
An example: we sat down just before 5pm when it was still the lunch menu. We asked whether we might order the cheese plate from the dinner menu, just to get something started. Server said she'd check. She came back at 5:20 to tell us they were out of the listed cheese plate but another one was available. We ordered it. Another 15 min pass before she returned to tell us they don't have that either...
It's now after 5:30; no appetizer and we have not placed our order because no one has Been to the table to take the order since she cheese plate fiasco. Oh, it's worth noting that we were one of two tables in the joint—hardly a busy time and they had probably 5 employees on the floor. Order finally placed around 5:40, nearly an hour after sitting down...
Dinner arrived at 6:17 (we took note note for the review). The food was mostly good all around. Steak frites was not a very good cut of meat, but the fries and sauce were great. Ravioli were quite good. No one else raved but no one else seemed worried about their food.
On the whole, the service made this an unpleasant and stressful experience on a night that was supposed to be a nice celebration. Can't see myself going back to Hoffmans after this, which is a shame because the food is pretty good, location is great, and the bar is nice.
Good food awful service
We had lunch at Hoffmans were looking forward to it since we'd seen it on Restaurant Impossible. The food was good but our service was just awful. The restaurant had very few patrons for a Saturday at noon, which should have been our first clue. We had three different servers, none of whom checked in on us during our meal. When we requested a dessert menu, our waitress never returned to ask if we had any questions or if we wanted to order something. Every server in the restaurant was more interested in gossiping at the bar than tending to their guests.
We had planned an out of town adventure for my little girls since there Dad works in San Hose 6 days a week. We choose Forbes since we were traveling back to his apartment from the Monterey Back Aquarium yesterday. Our girls, 7 & 5 years old, have never been to a fine dining establishment. They blew us away with behavior & manners, which far exceeded our guests across from us in their early 50's. Our dinner was over 2 hours long and the staff made us feel welcome, and made our experience even better. Jim was an amazing server as well as our sommelier Tim. Food was outstanding! And their attention to our needs was superb. Thank you for making our family Sunday dinner nothing short of amazing. Can't wait for our next visit!
Hoffman's is a great place for breakfast
but forget about it for dinner. Untrained servers were not polite or helpful. They were out of staples such as romaine lettuce at the beginning of dinner hour. Their basic American food - burgers, salads are alright but nothing special. They do have wonderful breakfast-brunch dishes and good coffee. Save them for daytime.
Live music, good food and expansive bar
We went on New Years Eve, it was early so not too crazy. We decided to go with light meals because we were going to a party that was serving food. The French Onion Soup was fabulous and the salad was nice and fresh with spicy pomegranates, both were tasty. We also had a cheese plate which was nice, the quince paste was really good and a great complement to the cheese. The live Jazz made it even better. It's great to see restaurants that contribute to the arts. Will definitely come back, particularly on Friday nights to hear the music!
Very good brunch
Service was fantastic, seating was plentiful, and the food was tasty! I heard it got loads better since they've been on Restaurant Impossible, but this was my first time there so I can't attest to that.
We had noted in our resv that we were celebrating a birthday, but they didn't do anything for that. It was brunch time and NYE, so maybe that had something to do with it.
Nonetheless, I'd recommend Hoffman's Downtown.
Nice but not special
The food was good, our server was great and not always over us. The place appeared clean, the bar area looked nice and the jazz was very pleasant. Went with my family and I had shared some of the reviews I had read, so we were being pretty critical. Started with the calamari and it was light and tasty. Except for me, everyone had burgers and thought they were nothing special, but the fries were great. I had the reuben, which as the 'house specialty' ehhhh, not enough toast on the bread and it was kind of greasy feeling, heavier grilling, would have solved that. It tasted good. Thought the prices were reasonable, especially for Santa Cruz. Would probably try to a different restaurant, but we don't eat downtown too often.
Hoffman's truly is a neighborhood gem. Breakfasts are wonderful, especially their scones!! And a great place for lunch or dinner after a movie downtown. Food is quite good and service is usually excellent. Music in the evenings is pleasant and not intrusive.
Great local joint
I got the impression from dining there only once, that it was a great local joint. Perfect for brunch. Basic, but good food, friendly servers, convenient location. Of the people in there, I think most were locals (we are not). Definitely would go back.
Great Local Spot
I've always loved Hoffman's for breakfast/brunch - they have amazing scones! But more recently I've come to appreciate their dinners, as well. Baby back ribs melt in your mouth, and prawns/salmon salad is delicious! Jazz in the background is a really nice dinner accompaniment.
Good place to hung around
Food - It's good, but not memorable. But, their menu has something for everybody.
Atmosphere - I believe they have nightly live music, which adds grately to the ambiance. When we were there, music volume was moderate. So, we did not have problem carrying a converstation
Service - We called to change our reservation with a short notice, but they graciously changed for us. Server was knowledgeable enough to give us a good recommendations.
Wonderful place, we will go again!
The service was great, the food was all good, the jazz music was a special treat for all 4 of us... the corner location is very active with people.. we really can't say anything else but,.. we hope to go again... thank you Hoffman's!
Great find on Yelp!
We found Hoffman's on Open Table, and checked it on Yelp. We had a nice experience. Our table was ready when we arrived ( surprising for Saturday night). Unique food choices, there was something for everyone, including our vegetarians, meat eaters and everything in between. The food was delicious. Every plate was finished, no left overs. Enjoyed the jazz band , and they weren't too loud that I could hold a conversation at the table. Service good. Not great, but good.
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