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[whitespace] So Say We
Photograph by George Sakkestad

The Hunger: When the pangs strike 12, So Say We is still serving.

Where to Dine Round Midnight

Late-night and all-night diners, restaurants and cafes

By John Yewell

WE'VE ALL BEEN there. Perhaps it was a late date or a midnight cult movie. Maybe the party ran on and on. Something, someone made food necessary, compelled extending the celebration or the conversation. One more stop to sort out who's going home with whom and who's going home alone, or just one long laugh-riot that would not, should not end. Whatever it was, there had to be a place to ease the culinary craving. Fortunately, Santa Cruz is blessed with dozens of options for that late-night urge. There are a handful of places open 24 hours and many more open at least until midnight--not to mention all the fast-food joints that keep the grill light burning for that quick fat-and-cholesteral fix on the way to a bonfire on the beach.

Sometimes, the nighttime need is highly specialized. Ferrell's, for instance, has been satisfying the after-midnight donut crowd for two decades. Several coffee shops stay open late with light fare, pastries and such. Other times, the urge points to something more exotic: the wine-bar menu at Ristorante Avanti, the complete menu (until 2am) at So Say We, the chicken fried steak at Tiny's.

If it's really late, the newly reopened Saturn Cafe, with its French Kissed Toast and yummy fries (perfect, I've heard, for soaking up the extra beer from a night on the town), is not to be missed. Next door, the Washrock fulfills the need to munch pastries and do a load of whites at 3am.

For ravenous insomniacs, the Santa Cruz Diner on Ocean Street dishes up everything from a great burger to Asian, Italian and vegetarian dishes. Maybe it's just the so-Santa Cruz dolphin logo, but the place looks like a fresher, healthier Denny's--and with a genuinely cool jukebox to boot.


John's favorite painting is Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks."

Round the Clock

Denny's
1515 Ocean St., SC (426.4628); 6014 Scotts Valley Dr., Scotts Valley (438.2023)

Ferrell's
2227 Mission St., SC (423.3448); 1403 Ocean St., SC (423.9470)

Jeffery's Restaurant
2050 Soquel Dr., SC (425.1485)

Santa Cruz Diner
909 Ocean St., SC (426.7151)

Saturn Cafe
145 Laurel St., SC (429.8505)

The Washrock
135 Laurel St., SC (471.0555)

Tiny's Family Restaurant
1549 41st Ave., Capitola (475.5764)

Round Midnight

Cafe Pergolesi
Fri-Sat. until midnight.
418 Cedar St., SC (426.1775)

Espresso Royale Caffe
1545 Pacific Ave., SC (429.9804)

Lyons
1900 41st Ave., Capitola (462.1504)

Mr. Toots
Fri.-Sat. until midnight
221 Esplanade, Capitola (475.3679)

Manuel's
Mon.-Sat. until midnight
261 Center Ave., Seacliff (688.4848)

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
Appetizers daily until midnight; Fri.-Sat. until 1am
110 Walnut St., SC (459.9999)

Pizza My Heart
Fri. until 2am; Sat. until 1:30am
1116 Pacific Ave., SC (426.2511)
Fri.-Sat. until 1am
209 Esplanade, Capitola (475.5714)

Positively Front St.
Weekdays until midnight; Fri.-Sat. 1am
44 Front, SC (426.1944)

Ristorante Avanti
Wed.-Sat. until midnight for light fair (wine-bar menu)
1711 Mission St., SC (427.0135)

So Say We
Daily until 2am
418 Front St., SC (454.9547)

Starbucks
Fri-Sat. until midnight
1335 Pacific, SC (459.7681)

Tampico Restaurant and Bar
Appetizers daily until 1:30am
822 Pacific Ave., SC (458.2821)

Taqueria Vallarta
Daily until midnight
608 Soquel Ave., SC (457.8226) 893 41st Ave., Capitola (464.7022)

The Crepe Place
Weekdays until midnight; Fri.-Sat. until 1am
1134 Soquel Ave., SC (429.6994)

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From the September 22-29, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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