Johnny's Harborside

493 Lake Ave, Santa Cruz
(831) 479-3430

Recent Reviews

Hannah Beadle

Johnny's Harborside? More like Johnny's Tinyportions. We had the misfortune of experiencing this restaurant's idea of takeout-sized portions in the form of two $8 servings of clam chowder, which left our stomachs empty but minds full of unfulfilled fantasies of the sea. These peckish pirates won't be returning to these shores anytime soon.

Raquel C.

The chefs special was sorely disappointing. We both ordered it, I had salmon and my bf had halibut, both were in our opinion overcooked and lacking in any flavor or seasoning. Mine was pan fried and the only flavor I detected was fryer oil. No salt, no sauce. I took 2 bites and felt as though I had to force feed myself if I was to finish. Instead my bf agreed that it was inedible and we asked for the check. Now the manager I assume came and asked us the issues and we described in detail how unappealing our food was and the response was that they like to let the fish speak for itself....I'm sorry but it could have benefited from seasoning. They ended up comping the dinner minus our wine and bread which was corked and the bread was hard, we received 2 rolls. Our waitress was very nice so we tipped her well and left. Now I should also mention that that manager lady tried to get us to order something different but after having sampled their fish we didn't want anything else wouldn't have been worth it. Especially since this place likes to let fish speak for itself without any flavor or seasoning. Disappointing really because I had looked at the yelp photos before we came in there was plenty of sauced pieces of fish, I saw blackened salmon with spices I didn't see anything like what we received. We walked to the crow's nest and enjoyed calamari at the bar so much better.

Rich F.

Mediocre place. Food not great. Was served severely stale sour dough bread and couldn't eat. Brought up to waitress and to my face she said it is fresh made delivered this morning?!?!? Good location, nice views, good ambience but the food is just OK.

Scott Rush

It was a few years ago, so I don't remember what we ate. I do remember that it was excellent, & we had a really nice time. We were staying in the Harbour Rv Park, & it was just a short pleasant walk to the restaurant.

Brittany Baxter

The service gives you just enough attention . They could use a little bit more flavor, when it comes to the food. Attractive atmosphere as well as nice and quite with great views. Also as being so close to the beach for a nice walk along the harbor you might even catch some music playing at Crow's nest beach on a lovely Thursday summer evening.

J. G.

What a horrible experience we had for Saturday morning breakfast (to be quite honest I have never had good food here but I acquiesce to my hubby) We enter to be escorted to a table squished between two other filled tables and ended up moving to where we could breathe a bit. Sit sit sit hear two waitresses chat up another table of two.... wait wait wait.... no water no coffee no attention Restaurant is far from busy with way too much staff About 20 minutes later she comes by and we order (no you can't have poached eggs on your avocado toast as the cook is a food natzi-no changes!) and wait and watch the bus boy do nothing for 5 more minutes until bam he brings coffee and a tablespoon of creamer (must be a shortage) During this fun time I look up at the rafters (not recommended as you will wonder how much of that is falling in your food) Your food FINALLY arrives and the sad state of what their version of an omelette is sinks in. Such a sad, dry and small state of affairs but it gets worse the breakfast potatoes which we asked to be well done, were red potato and SWEET POTATO, WTH! Not only were they not well done they were gross. Ok and the no egg change allowed avocado toast was literally a big ole piece of bread with butter, grill toasted with sliced avocado, a hunk of beefsteak tomato and that egg (no you can't change the preparation of that egg ) As we ate enough to get by for our planned walk afterward I looked with both pleading and angry eyes as the staff walked the restaurant floor with no intention of refilling a coffee or water cup (yes they were empty handed) and had to finally flag someone down to get a refill Not sure who was more hung over the wait staff or the other patrons, but you would have to be hung over to enjoy this place!

Graham W

Terrific bartenders, food quality, portions. All are first class. Most fish was still in the ocean that morning. The deep sea boats are docked not 75 feet away from the restaurant. High quality appetisers at happy hour and $4 drinks. Excellent service.

Sarah Lawrence

Great cozy place to eat. Make a reservation so you don't have to wait a long time. Great food and they served it quickly.

Terese H.

Hoping for something special and was pretty disappointed. The ambiance was my biggest problem. For the price of the food, I was not expecting old carpet, no tablecloths, and basically what looked like a bar environment. Food was solid but not great. Service was great, no complaints there. Overall, I don't see any compelling reason to return.

Jo C.

Over priced seafood. Overall it was good but Gave me a stomach ache. Beer selection was good They have a store under with fresh catch but you have togo early or else it would be sold out

Don Vance

great service

Marcy Mcquillan

This Place is awesome! you really cant beat the view. I brought my employees for a Christmas luncheon and the service was wonderful. Their menu had many options In which I chose the fish tacos and they were delicious! When you decide a dessert pick the Creme Brulee Yum!!

Andy N.

Taco Tuesday with work brought me to Johnny's Harborside, a laidback restaurant that has plenty of bar fare and drinks for a decent price. Their specials last until 18:00 and offer $4 tacos as well as a buck or two off wines, cocktails, and draft beers. I got to try their fish tacos and they were decent at best. The fish didn't taste very fresh but it was enough quality to get me excited for the rest of the meal. I tried my friend's calamari plate and while it wasn't the best in town, it was still better than most places I've been to for the sea critter plate. Depending on where you are sitting, you may or may not have a view of the Santa Cruz harbor itself. Our large party was in the middle of the dining area so we really couldn't see much as we could from the window. Lots of tall boats get in the way of an actual ocean view but that's to be expected. So overall, it was a decent place for a happy hour but I don't see myself coming back here for anything but their specials.

Bentley B.

So disappointing! Hubby and I had the fish and chips (garlic fries). Fish was overcooked and dry. The tartar sauce was an unimpressive, soupy, lemon/dill concoction. Garlic fries, however, were nice and garlicky. Maybe we would have fared better with one of the fresh catch dishes. I'm not willing to return to find out. Bring quarters for parking - the machine doesn't take dollar bills. $1.25 per hour.

Elizabeth I.

came here today for valentines day lunch.Was seated right away. Ordered a diet coke then studied the menu.Lots of delicious choices to choose from.I settled on the fish and chips.Food came out fast.The garlic fries were very tasty.Fish was a little dry and over cooked as someone else mentioned in another review Service was really good.I will be back

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