Santa Cruz Restaurant Openings and Closings including Café Gratitude opening


Fresh fruit parfait from Cafe Gratitude

In Santa Cruz restaurant news, there have been a number of recent openings and closings, including the opening of vegan restaurant Cafe Gratitude. Here are a couple highlights:

Closings: Asana Teahouse and Coldwater Grill (formerly Hawg’s) are no longer open.

Although the physical venue isn’t open anymore, Asana does still have tea and teaware available for purchase. Email to request the company’s current inventory and price list.

Openings: Organic, vegan Café Gratitude is now open in the former downtown Santa Cruz Asana site at 103 Lincoln (near Pacific). Look for a review in the coming weeks after I try their food, but for now I can tell you several details about the restaurant. It’s part of an eight-restaurant chain that includes two locations inside Whole Foods Markets. I look forward to tasting the food from Café Gratitude; I saw owners Terces and Matthew Engelhart speak three or four years ago at the now-closed bookstore Gateways. Even then, they spoke of wanting to open a Santa Cruz location of Café Gratitude and mentioned they have family here (Matthew Manzo, who serves as general manager of the new branch).

Santa Cruz’s Café Gratitude is open daily from 10am-10pm. There are other locations in San Francisco (the first branch, it opened in 2004), Oakland, Healdsburg, San Rafael, Cupertino, and Los Angeles (the most recent branch before Santa Cruz). The organic, vegan food it serves is free of refined sugar, flour, and additives.  View the restaurant’s menu; not all selections are available at every location. As you’ll notice when perusing the menu, items have unusual names that are affirmations. To receive a dish with almond hummus, olive tapenade, live falafels and more, you have to say “I am complete.” If you want Gratitude’s version of Macaroni and Cheese (zucchini noodles and sun-dried tomatoes in a cashew cheese sauce), say “I am comforted.”

Café Gratitude has long been known for a raw (or “live”) foods menu and has expanded to offer cooked foods in some locations.  Over 45% of Café Gratitude’s produce comes from its Be Love Farm. To learn more, visit the restaurant at 103 Lincoln Street, call (831) 427-9583, or visit

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