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Lillian's Italian Kitchen

1148 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2106
+1 831-425-2288
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  • Excellent65%
  • Very good27%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“lasagna” (14 reviews)
“risotto balls” (5 reviews)
“cannoli” (5 reviews)
Restaurant Hours
Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
$$ - $$$
1148 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2106
All Details
Write a ReviewReviews (110)
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1 - 10 of 107 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

This restaurant is amazing! The only place I always go to eat at when I visit my daughter up at UC Santa Cruz. I recommend the garlic bread, even though the table bread is wonderful as well. My daughter loves the Carbonara, while I prefer...More

Thank hlynn85
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Loved the choices of fried eggplant, gluten-free pastas in scrumptious sauces. And a fun, energetic and knowledgeable waiter who could have dropped in from the Be Our Guest number in Beauty and the Beast. Great service but we were in Italy, not France! Drink menu...More

Thank katsilverthread
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We had a wonderful meal here and Erin our server took very good care of us. We would highly recommend the quality of the food, range of wine and service.

Thank DavidH1950
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were looking for great food during our stay in Santa Cruz. We had been disappointed by our previous food experiences in the area and were a bit apprehensive, even after reading all the positive reviews. We had no reason to worry. As someone who...More

Thank gma2
Reviewed May 1, 2018 via mobile

I absolutely loved this place! The food was amazing- and I rarely find Italian food that I like. It’s very large and spacious but feels like a family is in charge. I will visit again for sure!

Thank Caren L
Reviewed April 14, 2018

We’ve been going to Lillian’s long before they opened their new location, because it’s that good! A beautiful new location, great bar, friendly waitstaff and fabulous food. Go...

1  Thank Boston-SFGirl
Reviewed March 30, 2018 via mobile

Fantastic food! Everything is great here, but our favs are Chicken Parm(husband) and Grandma's Spaghetti. It's the first item on the menu. It has several type of meet. I ask for it over their homemade fettuccini. Their risotto balls with marinara sauce is the best....More

Thank timteresa0
Reviewed March 29, 2018

Lillian's Italian Kitchen at 1148 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2106 in the Seabright neighborhood is well loved and the new location trendy. Wealthy Silicon Valley working folks who live in the Cruz frequent this place. I wanted to love this food at Lillian's new...More

Thank AptosAmy
Reviewed March 18, 2018

Arrived in Santa Cruz for a visit with great friends and we welcomed an early dinner after our travel day. The restaurant was busy even at 5:00pm. The men ordered pasta and I had a artichoke soup and beet salad and loved both of them....More

Thank E M
Reviewed March 9, 2018

This restaurant has just about anything you would expect in a mid- to upscale Italian restaurant, plus some house specialties that are not really traditional but are good - e.g., one would not get black truffle gnocchi in Italian neighborhoods of NJ or CT. The...More

Thank Daniel S
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Questions & Answers
Julianne J
July 28, 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from ckf722 | Reviewed this property |
Yes, you can substitute gluten free pasta or order your dish over polenta instead of their normal pasta.
May 5, 2017|
Response from JeriLG | Reviewed this property |
No, it is not. There would be a corking fee. But, they do have a great selection of wines.
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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
  • Value
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Highchairs Available
Good for
Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Groups, Child-friendly, Kids
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 1148 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2106
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Cruz
  • Phone Number: +1 831-425-2288
Lillian’s Italian Kitchen opened quietly on July 4, 2007. It’s a joint venture of the owners, Joe and Charlotte Moreno and their sons Chris and Matt. Long time residents of Santa Cruz, the Moreno’s dream was to open a neighborhood place that was an extension of their family kitchen. The inspiration was Grandma Lilly’s wonderful home cooking. Lillian was devoted to family and friends and her life was greatly fulfilled by her love and passion for cooking. Born in Yonkers, New York, Lillian was able to combine traditional Sicilian recipes learned from her parents and the many Italian influences in her neighborhood. Executive Chef Chris honors Lillian’s family recipes as well as offering a variety of fresh and creative additions to the menu while Matt makes sure guests feel at home. Good food, good friends, great prices and straight from the heart. Tutti a mangiare!
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