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Cafe Rio Aptos

$$ - $$$
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131 Esplanade, Aptos, CA 95003-4501
+1 831-688-8917
15:00 - 21:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 15:00 - 21:00
Fri - Sat 15:00 - 21:30
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109 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Time of year
Showing 108: English reviews
Reno, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Right on Rio Del Mar Beach with great seafood & service, we always make sure to hit this spot at couple times while we are in town visiting family. One visit we have appetizers and drinks on their outside patio, and another fr dinner. Food is great, ambiance is really nice - pretty wood everywhere. Never disappointing.

Thank jenniferpJ9729PF
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

May 2, 2017-Went with family, I ordered the nightly pasta special which was a seafood ravioli in a white wine, garlic and butter sauce topped with fresh prawns, pieces of salmon and swordfish with sprinkles of sundried tomatoes. Excellent! My husband had the Opa fish special which was prepared beautifully atop a bed of rice and sautéed, finely chopped brussel... More 

Thank Crystal S
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
183 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Expensive area, but location next to a public beach is mainly for low spending tourists and locals who walk on the beach for free, and so this rstaurant struggles to find a place in the community.

Thank JohnInItaly
Merced, California
Level Contributor
55 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

We decided to have a business meeting on a Monday night. Figured it would be a nice spot for dinner. Most of the dinners were okay. The risotto was severely undercooked which is not like this restaurant. The special of the day, Cioppino, I understand was fabulous. Service was adequate.

Thank Andrea K
Lafayette, California
Level Contributor
162 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2017

Larger than a “café”, this modern dining spot has great ocean views. There is a good variety on the menu that specializes in seafood. We had the sand dabs and a fish special that night, opah, from Hawaii. Both were fixed perfectly. The wait staff was friendly and efficient. The dinner was around $80, including two dinner salads and a... More 

Thank casilva54
Hampton, Virginia
Level Contributor
426 reviews
240 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2017

After a lovely ride we ended up here for a sunset dinner. The have a great happy hour but we opted to eat inside the restaurant. Our meals were awesome and so was the service. Very attentive. Parking is free right in front and if that is taken there are many spots in walking distance.

Thank 2muchfun4us
1 review
Reviewed 24 March 2017 via mobile

My husband and I dined at Cafe Rio and the service, drinks, and food were excellent. We enjoyed the ambiance! We cannot wait to go back!

Thank Ann G
Aptos, California
Level Contributor
317 reviews
264 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2017 via mobile

We eat here about 3-4 times per year. Tonight ---Three star food, four star service, 4 1/2 stars for the nice location. Their food can be hit or miss. Tonight it was just average. My veggies were cold, the fish was slightly overlooked. That said, my wife's chicken was very good. Their wine list is reasonable.

Thank soifdawg
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
444 reviews
281 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2016

We went here for a special birthday dinner with 7 people. Our server wasn't attentive and we had to flag her down several times. Two of us were surprised how small the swordfish portions were- more like a lunch size. Salads or soup were ala carte. Evidently the sand dabs are good but we weren't impressed with the food nor... More 

Thank Loves2TravelALOT_11
Watsonville, California
Level Contributor
341 reviews
217 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2016

The food is very good here. Nice choice of appetizers , salads & entrees. Beet & Goat cheese salad with pecans is wonderful. A bit costly ($16) but easy to split as it is big. I had salmon & ahi poke ( appetizer) for my entree. Delicious! Sand Dabs always well done here. Fish special was Opah with orange -... More 

Thank Kerryloves2travel

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
  • Value
Average prices
USD 9 - USD 32
American, Seafood, Bar
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for
Bar Scene, Groups, Child-friendly
Open Hours
15:00 - 21:00
15:00 - 21:00
15:00 - 21:00
15:00 - 21:00
15:00 - 21:00
15:00 - 21:00
15:00 - 21:30
15:00 - 21:00
15:00 - 21:30
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 131 Esplanade, Aptos, CA 95003-4501
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Aptos
  • Phone Number: +1 831-688-8917
Local Favorite! Amazing views of the Monterey Bay, this restaurant has food for everyone...including Gluten Free Pastas, Steaks, Fresh Seafood, House made Desserts. You can also bring your tail wagging friend because the spacious heated patio is Dog friendly.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Cafe Rio Aptos and other visitors
1 question
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5 months ago

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Questions? Get answers from Cafe Rio Aptos staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?