The Cook House Restaurant (Diner) Reviews

The Cook House is by FAR the best diner in Capitola, or Santa Cruz for that matter. Carol (the owner) is the best, and gives the best service around. Definitely worth a try if you want breakfast.

Joey W.
Soquel, CA


My brother and i use to go to this place because the food was good but every time we went we had the worst customer service by the ladys that work there. they did not follow up with us to make sure the food was good or if we needed anything else, the soda did not have any gas. id rather pay extra and go into I HOP were i know the food is going to be good and the customer service is always great.

Jorge R.

Santa Cruz, CA


Open for berakfast and lunch, the Cook House is the small-town cafe in the middle of Santa Cruz county. Omletes, biscuits and gravy, and bacon…. oh, the bacon. They also have more exotic specials. Open 7am until 2pm. Grab your paper and expect a 10 minute wait on the weekends.

Richard H.
Capitola, CA


As I look back, I have been giving a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews, probably because my personality is generally positive and sunny with regards to meals, clubs, restaurants, cafes … and other things like museums, concerts, hikes, movies and parks. It’s pretty hard to make me unhappy or wish I did something different or made another choice from the one that I did.

But this time I made a bad choice, had a bad meal with bad food and felt bad that I took a new road instead of going to a place to eat that I knew would be good and would make me happy.

It was a beautiful warm Sunday afternoon in San Jose – the temperature was 67 – and as a result I was lead like a magnet to my favorite quick day-trip; Santa Cruz for a sunny, bright beach outing. Gotta’ get out and away from the house, go over the hill, get my face and body as warm as possible as quickly as possible, and be able to hear the swoosh of the surf. Carmel was too far so we decided to go half way to the little town of Capitola.

Every time I have ever been to Capitola, I pass by the wonderful, awesome, fantastic Gayle’s bakery/sandwich shop off of Bay Avenue. Gayle’s simply can’t be beat; unfortunately, I tried and failed to do just that. Should have listened to my inner voice, instead I over-rode that and went to a backwater breakfast hole-in-the-wall called the Cook House. In three simple words, “I wasn’t happy.”

Why? Well the place was dirty; carpets really needed cleaning, tables chipped and worn, booths taped up and wobbly, kitchen small and greasy. My first impression should have told me to quietly back out slowly with a smile and return to the sure thing; Gayle’s. I ignored that and sat down.

The nice, friendly waitress gave us menus; I ordered my usual decaf coffee and perused the offerings. Luscious strawberry waffles with powdered sugar, banana pancakes, gravy and biscuits, extra thick French toast. Everything I love, love, love … However, I am still on a non-carb diet (so far lost 8 1/2 pounds since Dec 30 which is great, I’m happy with the progress) so I could not get what I really, really wanted. I had to get an omelet … a cheese with Italian sausage and broccoli with a side of potatoes and wheat toast (couldn’t eat the taters or toast though). It sounded pretty good but it wasn’t as I like my omelets kind of underdone but this one was not; instead it was extra firm and hard almost like a hockey puck. And even if I could have eaten my hash browns I wouldn’t have because they were loaded in grease, it was pooling in little droplets on my plate like clear, yellow mercury rivulets. ICK! After picking at it for awhile I came to the conclusion that my nephew who eats anything and everything just like I used to do would gobble this down no problem so I just boxed it up, got the check and headed for the car.

You know I feel really bad about being so negative about a place where the staff were nice but it was what it was, I can’t lie. I may go back one more time off diet and get a syrupy, sugary, sloshy chunk of soft, gooey French toast topped with blackberry jelly and maple syrup, then coma out behind the wheel. It may just have been a bad day for them all here but you can’t get away from the fact that this restaurant needs a complete interior remodel to at least give their customers the appearance of cleanliness and peace-of-mind.

terry h.
San Jose, CA


I have been coming here for 8 years. The hashbrowns are fantastic, always crispy, the omelets are full of flavor and the french toast is a sweet treat.

I can always count on this place for a consistent, and yes artery clogging breakfast.

Erica M.
Aptos, CA

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