Shadowbrook Restaurant

Shadowbrook restaurant

One of the most amazing culinary adventures you will find in Santa Cruz County, in the heart of Capitola, is Shadowbrook restaurant.

Capitola, a beach town that brings thousands of tourists annually, with some of the most gorgeous beaches and best vibes you will find in California, is just south of Santa Cruz.

If you visit the area, make sure to spend your day adventuring the boardwalk, seeing all the beauty it has to offer, and then check out the beautiful buildings in Capitola. Like Burano, the colorful island near Venice, Capitola is partially known for its gorgeous beaches and colorful buildings.

The town’s uniqueness rubs off on the restaurant, Shadowbrook, which has been around since 1947!

Shadowbrook’s Uniqueness

Shadowbrook lies at the bottom of a steep hill, directly above, and overhanging of a river. The location is tucked in and you cannot see the restaurant from the main street. If need be, the restaurant will give free transportation in retro taxis up to three miles from the restaurant.

Once you get to the top of the steep hill, you can either walk down the hill, through a forest of plants and flowers, or you can take a unique cable car, which will take you directly to the front desk of the restaurant crafted from recycled redwood. This restaurant’s recycled wood is all from used wine redwood vats from the early 1900s!

The restaurant itself has multiple indoor levels, all unique and themed, along with multiple levels of patios, including one on the same level as the river. Every table outside has an overhead heater that can be turned on by the customers through the touch of a button.

The experience beyond the food is worth the trip!

The Food at Shadowbrook Restaurant

Besides the salad starters, a lot of the starters are fish, including calamari and ahi poke. I ended up enjoying a baked brie dish, with a jalapeno jelly and crostinis on the side. They also have a small selection of soup, including a clam chowder which is supposedly the crowd favorite.

For entrees, the restaurant offers a few selections of seafood, including salmon, lobster tail, and scallops. There is also an assortment of vegetarian and vegan options, followed by a list of entrees containing meats. These entrees include filet mignon, chicken parmigiana, and osso bucco.

The Drinks

Accompanying the decent wine list and beer list, Shadowbrook is known for its unique craft cocktails. They use unique ingredients not found in most bars, and create a large list of cocktails, each with a fun twist.

I had a cocktail called the “Gold Rush” which was Larceny bourbon, mixed with orange blossom honey and orange bitters over ice. It was sweet and tangy; an amazing cocktail!

Final Words

If you are ever in the Santa Cruz area, Shadowbrook restaurant is a must. The retro cabs, cable car, and restaurant scenery are fascinating and fun. The place is amazing for a date, but it’s also a great place to go with your family! You can reserve a table up to 30 days in advance, which I would highly recommend. Also, there is a dress code, so check that out on their website before you go!


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Meet Melissa

Bourbon stole my heart a few years ago when I had several opportunities to write about it. Food stole my heart when I was lucky enough to be raised by a mom who managed to make nearly everything from scratch when we were growing up.