About Soif Wine Bar Restaurant

105 Walnut Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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The menu at Soif changes almost daily, and every dish – small plates, appetizers, entrées and desserts – emphasizes seasonal, sustainably grown, and intensely flavored ingredients primarily sourced from local farmers and provisioners.

Soif offers over 40 wines by the glass from small, artisanal producers, as well as some 400 selections by the bottle from our wine shop, available to diners for $20 over retail price.

We find our delight in discovering distinctive, expressive wines, sourcing and preparing delicious, wholesome food, and then putting it all together so when guests walk in the door, night after night, there is something here for them that is authentic – that satisfies their thirst for the soulful, the delicious, and the well made.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, International

Hours of Operation:
Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm,
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00

Cross Street:
Pacific Avenue

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(831) 423-2020

Website:
http://www.soifwine.com/

Entertainment:
Live music every Monday as we welcome Gypsy Jazz all stars HOT CLUB PACIFIC from 7:00 to 9:00. We also host an eclectic array of musicians on a periodic and wholly unpredictable basis. There is never a cover for any show at Soif. Check our website for notice of upcoming events.

Parking Details:
Street and public lot parking are available very near the restaurant.

Executive Chef:
Mark Denham

Private Party Facilities:
We offer a private dining room which can accommodate 16 people seated or 25 people for a reception. Please contact us for additional options and information on facilities.

Private Party Contact:
Christian Groon: 8314232020x

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Special Events & Promotions:
We periodically hold special dinners featuring winemakers from around the world as well as host wine tasting events in the afternoons. Please take a look at our website for all upcoming events.

Restaurant Photos

Lamb & Pistachio Terrine
Dulce De Leche Bread Pudding
Clam & Corn Chowder With Potato Dumplings Applewood Bacon & Celery Root
Fried O
Piquillos Rellenos
Fava Bean Fritter
Oysters
Double Porterhouse of Lamb
pinot
Chicken & Creamy Polenta
Quail With Aragula Kumquat Salad
Crab Salad With Fried Quail Egg
Lamb Sliders
Ribs With Watercress And Coffee Bbq Sauce
Clams And Chorizo
Cheese Platter
Spare Ribs, Watwrcress, Apples With A Coffee Glaze
Green Asparagus Soup
Scallop And Pork Belly
Lamb Shank With Parsnip Mash
Beet And Arugala Salad With Truffle Dressing
Cheese

Soif Wine Bar Restaurant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.2

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Notable Wine List
San Francisco Bay Area
Best Overall
Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
Best Food
Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
4 More
Best Service
Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
Best Ambiance
Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
Neighborhood Gem
Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
Most Booked
Santa Cruz / Capitola / Aptos
Best Restaurants in Santa Cruz ›

fit for foodies (34)
notable wine list (31)
good for groups (15)
See All
special occasion (15)
neighborhood gem (13)
romantic (12)
hot spot (8)
late-night find (2)
great for brunch (1)
great for outdoor dining (1)
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Newest
463 reviews
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

We like Soif and go there often after mo ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

We like Soif and go there often after movies but are feeling that it is too expensive . A fairly light after movie supper for two with three glasses of wine cost $150 including tip. We just had an anniversary dinner at Au Midi in Aptos, with a dessert, for the same price, which seemed like much better value.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent Food and Excellent service

vip
Dined on June 7, 2016

We have been to this wonderful place before and this trip was the best yet. Their food was and still is incredible. I had the cannelloni with green garlic sauce that was probably the best pasta dish I've ever had, and I have an Italian grandmother who could really cook! My wife had the fried quail that she couldn't stop eating until she was stuffed. But even beyond the food, the service was impeccable. We had an amazing and attentive waitress that was superb, professional and friendly. We felt like we were being treated special and we walked away from the restaurant in an elated state because of the wonderful experience we had. I highly recommend this great restaurant, one of the best in Santa Cruz or anywhere.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

WINE

Dined on May 29, 2016

Just love the wine focus - excellent food is a plus!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
food2
ambience4
service2
value3

My husbands burger was delicious as alwa ...

vip
Dined on May 17, 2016

My husbands burger was delicious as always. I had the special ramen and it was awful. No flavor, no meat, came with egg I specifically asked to not have. I left most of it and the waitress didn't even ask why. I said there was no meat and she said that's how it comes. Very disappointing from one of our favorite places in town

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

It's so easily accessible right in downt ...

Dined on May 15, 2016

It's so easily accessible right in downtown Santa Cruz. With great wines, delicious & adventuresome menu items & specials, attentive & highly knowledgable service, and truly tasty desserts it's going to be one of our prime "go to" spots from now on. The value-added element to dining here is the very nice wine shop next door.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Best Foodies place in Santa Cruz!

Dined on May 15, 2016

Loved the tapa style appetizers! Great wine list, superb customer service, highly recommend it to foodies!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience2
service3
value1

The food was very good but the portions ...

Dined on May 8, 2016

The food was very good but the portions were small, especially for the price. Service was inconsistent as the restaurant became busier. Our waiter did recommend a very nice wine, which we appreciated. Dessert was delicious.

Tags: fit for foodies, notable wine list
food3
ambience4
service4

Roasted beet salad was my favorite tonig ...

Dined on May 7, 2016

Roasted beet salad was my favorite tonight, maybe ever.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Soif has upped it's food game.

vip
Dined on April 3, 2016

Had a fabulous meal at Soif from start to finish. I don't know if the chef is new or not, but this restaurant totally exceeded our experience for excellence in Santa Cruz. We'll plan to return often.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service4

Best meal of the 3-4 times we've been to ...

vip
Dined on March 28, 2016

Best meal of the 3-4 times we've been to Soif. Wine pairings were good, one rosé in particular was superb. Octopus and tuna were excellent. Braised pork was great.

food4
ambience4
service3

Great apps and salad. Brussels were medi ...

Dined on March 27, 2016

Great apps and salad. Brussels were mediocre. Nice atmosphere. Service was "blah" but not terrible.

food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Ladies Night

Dined on March 26, 2016

Great wine and food. Although food is a bit overpriced for the portions you get. Just get apps and wine!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience3
service5
value3

The food used to be more small plates. ...

Dined on March 19, 2016

The food used to be more small plates. Now there is a nice selection of main courses.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Attentive service, great meal

Dined on March 13, 2016

We came in a bit cautiously because of the atrocious wait time one of us had when the restaurant reopened. This time we were shown right to our table, the waiter got to us promptly, and food and drink flowed in a timely manner. We enjoyed everything, and must recommend the profiteroles for dessert.

Tags: fit for foodies
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

Uneven service detracts from the experience

vip
Dined on March 13, 2016

We've dined at Soif a lot and like it. Unfortunately we find the service uneven and often a distraction from the high quality of the food and wine. On this last occasion the waitress seemed to be rushing, not checking in with us, missing empty water glasses, etc. The food was very good and the wine list, as usual, was exceptional.

Tags: fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Best wine, cheese & conversation spot in town

Dined on March 12, 2016

Great service -- our server gave us lots of samples so we could decide on the right bottle. Much appreciated for grad students who want to splurge! We got a bottle of wine and lingered over a cheese plate-- Soif is a great date spot to have a long conversation with a loved one!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Shared tasting

Dined on March 10, 2016

Had a terrific girl's night out - shared 2 flights between 3 of us - then 2 glasses of champagne with dessert! We loved the manchego stuffed piquillo peppers and the amazing ricotta beignets with honey and peppers. We also enjoyed the gnocchi, the homemade garganelli with chicken ragu and the lovely roasted mini potatoes. The bread pudding was lovely but the piece de resistance was the pot de creme with salted caramel on top! We had excellent service where they accommodated us sharing the flights and when there got to be so many plates and glasses, pulled up the empty table next to us! We are looking forward to next time!

Tags: fit for foodies, notable wine list
food2
ambience3
service4
value2

Not impressed at all

vip
Dined on February 24, 2016

When I checked in the host didn't even note that I was an Open Table customer so I received the "naughty patron who doesn't keep reservations" letter from OT. Wine bar? Imported wines.... what about our great CA wines? Food? There wasn't a single entree that appealed to me so I left after olives and salad. The positives? Kristen, my server.

food5
ambience5
service5

The February 22nd visit was perfect end- ...

Dined on February 23, 2016

The February 22nd visit was perfect end-to-end. The hostess was incredibly friendly and approachable; the atmosphere was welcoming; the band was awesome; our table service associate was super attentive and delivered service with a smile plus she provided excellent cuisine and wine recommendations; dessert was decadent; and overall dollar value was excellent. Perfect evening at Soif!

food5
ambience4
service4
value3

A little touch of class in the heart of Santa Cruz

Dined on February 15, 2016

Immediately upon entering I was welcomed with high ceilings and a warmly lit dining room. The tables were equipped with small candles and a simplistic setting, promoting a tableside intamacy to balance out the open space and movement of the building. For me, first impression really sets the whole mood for the meal. I was enthralled with the extensive wine list that, contrary to the tourist driven lists around town, did not solely focus on local wines. In fact, I had the option to be transported around the globe, making stops at uncommon places such as hungary and South Africa. Even though I had never heard of a lot of the grape varietals, my server Sophia was kind enough to explain what I was in for as well as allowing me to sample once I had narrowed down my interests. The food was spectacular. The colors and plating became a beautifully artistic masterpiece that was an adventure for both the eye and the palate. The portion sizes were moderate and classy, allowing me to enjoy the richness and flavor combinations without overfilling myself. I left with a full belly, and a little jump to my step. Definitely will be returning to this little diamond in the rough.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food1
ambience4
service3
value1

Valentine's Day Pre-Fixed Meal

Dined on February 15, 2016

I went to Soif for Valentine's Day. As someone who loves great food I was excited for a chance to enjoy something high quality in Santa Cruz. They had a prefixed dinner menu and the courses seemed like they had potential. I would say we maybe had two dishes out of six that we enjoyed even a little bit. Although, the ingredients were fresh, there was hardly any food on the plate and the flavors weren't paired well. I understand food won't be excellent all the time, but if you are charging 65 dollars a person the food should be high quality and leave you full. Overall, it was an expensive and disappointing experience. I even felt the need to apologize to my parter for picking this restaurant. I wouldn't recommend this place unless you were coming exclusively for the wine and the cheese plates.

Tags: notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Extra special

Dined on February 14, 2016

Thank you to the entire Soif staff for making our anniversary extra special. As usual the wine and meal was delicious!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Romantic birthday

Dined on February 9, 2016

Every plate was tasty and great quality. We went on Monday which was oyster & live jazz night. Great music and fresh oysters. Pricey, but worth it for a special occasion to try appetizers through dessert.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service4

The fried oyster appetizer was delicious ...

Dined on February 9, 2016

The fried oyster appetizer was delicious! The recommended champagne was tasty too. Really good recommendations, food, service, and experience overall.

food3
ambience5
service2
value3

Something going on?

vip
Dined on February 9, 2016

One of our favorite restaurants seems to be in a slump. The menu is less than exciting and often can't find anything I really want to eat. Also, the dishes are underseasoned and even tasteless. Used to be an excellent restaurant, so I wonder what's going on.

Tags: notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Best wine list in town!

Dined on February 7, 2016

Best wine list in town!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

One of the Few Best in Santa Cruz

Dined on January 30, 2016

While it's on the way up, Santa Cruz's food scene is nothing to brag about. Coming from San Francisco where there are myriad truly excellent food options, I often describe this town as a foodie desert. I know I sound like a total snob, but it's true. There are, however, a few good places that I would recommend to anyone visiting from a big city and Soif is one of them. They are clearly trying to offer inventive, yet delicious food. In my mind it is a great example of what Santa Cruz dining should be. Not stuffy, not trendy, not superficial. But down-to-earth, local, honest and creative. We've been here a few times in the last few months and to be honest, not every plate has been amazing. There have been some misses. But that makes me happy. It means the chef is striving, not resting on his laurels with easy comfort food crowd pleasers that you'd find at a typical bistro. I haven't even gotten to the wine list. The wine buyer is amazing and always finds great, interesting wines to pair with the food. If you're looking for a caesar salad and a buttery chardonnay, you might look somewhere else. Or better yet, go to Soif and have a black cod caesar and a burgundian white.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, notable wine list
food5
ambience3
service3
value3

Fine Dining as Usual

Dined on January 28, 2016

Coming infrequently to Santa Cruz from Monterey over the years, we dine there every chance we get This time, as usual, the menu offerings were original, creative, worth the price. A plus this time was that, while prices seem to have kept up with inflation, the serving portions have grown to the point where they now seem more in line with our appetites.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Amazing Food

Dined on January 24, 2016

Soif is known for it's abundant and varied wine offerings, but don't overlook the food. The flavors are complex and memorable, the portions perfect, and the presentation gorgeous. We would definitely go there again. My only issue with Soif is they don't have a proper waiting area. We were a few minutes early for our reservation and had the choice of standing outside in the cold or hovering over other diners. The hostess didn't recommend that we sit in the wine bar, which seemed like an obvious thing for her to do.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience3
service4
value3

Almost everything exceeds expectation

vip
Dined on January 23, 2016

Warm greeting from the hostess and immediate seating for our reserved table-Very knowledgeable server-she gave great descriptions of the food and wine offerings on the menu- Service was attentive and friendly--appetizers of Arancini -best I ever had- and peppers with cheese were both so full of flavor and nuanced-really terrific. Interesting salad choices-all good Mains-of wagu beef, and scallops were wonderful ---all flavors up to this point were amazing- wine choices by the glass --international and local ,with wide variety of styles available-table tried 4 of them -all very good-especially liked the Piedmont Barbera from Alba and the local Pinot Noir-The only disappointing part of the meal were the desserts, and it was a unanimous opinion from all 4 of us at the table- -the lemon cake and the special recommended chocolate covered cake were both dry, flavorless, bland -- In summary- a terrific wine bar, with wonderful choices, an exceptional restaurant kitchen turning out excellent food, and very good service, -even the coffee was very good- noise level was slightly bothersome--just skip the desserts here-

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service3
value2

Too expensive...

Dined on January 22, 2016

...for the amount of food given. Gourmet yet pretentious at the same time.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Great spot!

Dined on January 16, 2016

Fine food, extensive wine available. Friendly owner and well trained staff ... not intrusive but attentive. Menu revised frequently with small plates and variety.

Tags: fit for foodies, notable wine list
food3
ambience3
service2
value2

Good but Pricey Meal

Dined on January 14, 2016

Ordered one winter citrus salad, two entrees of the pork tenderloin and one glass of wine. While the meal was delicious, the bill was $86. A bit steep for us.

Tags: notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Love Soif

Dined on December 30, 2015

Best food in Santa Cruz, been coming here since they opened, every time we come home (LA transplants). First time back since remodel, love the new bar area. Only disappointment was staff wasn't as outgoing as in the past, we have always enjoyed a spirited conversation on wine with the bartenders, not so much this time around. But food was great and as always glad we came, always highly recommend .

Tags: fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Consistently Very Good to Excellent

Dined on December 27, 2015

Possibly the best restaurant in downtown Santa Cruz. Menu is creative and food is consistently very good to excellent. Wine selections are interesting and server will happily let you taste before committing. Once, we selected a bottle that we really didn't like and the server allowed us to pick another one, no problem. Really appreciate the moderate noise level, at least at the beginning of the dinner service. So nice to be able to have a conversation over good food and wine! Meats and fish cooked perfectly and desserts are excellent.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Christmas Eve dinner

Dined on December 25, 2015

The food was excellent as was the wine. We had duck breast preceded by an endive salad and chicken liver crostini. Followed by some excellent chocolate and pomegranate sorbet with a sauterne. Yum. Service was leisurely, which was all right for this occasion, although not as attentive as usual. I think they were understaffed and heavily booked which made it hard for the staff. We love this place all the time so we don't expect it to be the same every time we go; variation is the spice of life.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food3
ambience4
service4
value2

Not quite right

Dined on December 24, 2015

Was planning to have dinner here, after looking at their menu on line. Even though it was from the company's own website, it did not match what was offered. Problematic when you don't want or can't eat the other options. Staff was great, wine was great, cheese plate was good but extremely stingy. It's expensive to eat out, would prefer that it match the expectation.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food3
ambience3
service3

Soif after renovations

Dined on December 12, 2015

I loved Soif before and I still enjoy it as a neighborhood gem. The wine list is robust and the food is always spot on - I like that they switch up the menu items. Fun to share plates.

Tags: neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service4

We liked the fresh seafood and innovativ ...

Dined on November 21, 2015

We liked the fresh seafood and innovative ingredient pairings at Soif. The wines were excellent, as well, introducing us to some new French labels and varietals.

food4
ambience3
service5

Great restaurant to have dinner in Santa Cruz!

Dined on November 20, 2015

We had a great time at Soif. The food was good, so was the wine. The staff was very friendly and gave us great recommendations. We'll definitely go back next time we're in Santa Cruz.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups

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