Non-GMO Meals at Restaurants in Santa Cruz County:

(Be sure to read my previous post: How to avoid GMOs While Dining Out)


#1. Bantam
1010 Fair Ave
Open M-Saturday starting at 5pm

“Don’t panic, it’s organic” is their motto.
The pizza is marvelous!
Organic and prepared fresh using a wood burning stove.
The marinara pizza with arugula on top. The dough was so fresh and the spices tasted really fresh as well.
My husband had the pancetta pizza and added housemade sausage and was absolutely delighted with it.
I had a locally made organic grenache wine and my husband had one of their locally made beers.
For dessert my husband had a flour-less chocolate cake from HEAVEN (he shared), and I had roasted cherries with lemon ice cream (from Penny’s!)
To view their menu, go to their facebook page. Their menu changes regularly. Last night’s menu will be found in their posts.



#2 Penny’s Ice Cream





“The Penny Ice Creamery combines fresh local ingredients in small batches to create delicious artisinal ice cream. As one of the smallest dairy manufacturing plants in California, our production from all organic dairy and sustainably grown ingredients is done in the shop in full view of our visitors.”
(I love almost everything here – the only thing that I avoid is their fried foods because unfortunately, they use Canola in their fryer)




#3 La Posta
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By far one of the very best restaurants I have ever been to. Everything  on their menu is non-GMO and amazing.

At la Posta, chefs Katherine Stern and Mark Denham deliver a fresh, market-driven menu inspired by the local community of farmers, foragers and fishermen, who provide an abundance of riches to our kitchen.

Pizzas and house-made bread from our brick oven, cured meats and fresh pastas are complemented by an adventurous wine list that highlights the indigenous grapes Italy.

Neighborhood Night

Join us every Tuesday night for live music and your choice of pasta or a pizza and a glass of wine for only $15! Reservations are recommended.


Monday Closed
Tuesday 5:30 – 9:30
Wednesday 5:30 – 9:30
Thursday 5:30 – 9:30
Friday 5:30 – 10:00
Saturday 5:30 – 10:00
Sunday 5:00 – 8:00




#4 Main Street Garden Café
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This used to be my very favorite restaurant.  It is still absolutely wonderful. They cook with rice bran oil and everything on their menu will be non-GMO.
“Our Mediterranean Italian-inspired cuisine is infused with the unique personality of our region. We carefully select locally produced, organic meats, wines, and seasonal produce from farmers, wineries, and distributors on the Central Coast. We also grow specialty vegetables, fruit, herbs, and edible flowers year-round in our on-site garden, ensuring the freshest, seasonally available produce.”

Wed – Fri: 5:30pm – 9:30pm​​

Saturday: 5:30pm – 9:30pm​

Sunday: 11:30 am – 4pm


3101 N. Main St., Soquel, California 95073

Tel: 831-477-9265


#5 Pearl of the Ocean

Chef Ayoma Wilen is the owner of Pearl of the Ocean. She is such a lovely person and a fabulous cook.
In fact, she was winner of the coveted and prestigious,  “Best Chefs America Award” in 2013 .

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Absolutely no GMOs will be found here.
 Ayoma Wilen, the owner/chef, is continuing the tradition of serving delicious Sri Lankan cuisine, using fresh quality organic and locally grown ingredients, and a variety of special ingredients imported directly from Sri Lanka.
We have many vegetarian and vegan offerings that are unique to our restaurant, as well as several dishes that include meat and seafood.  In addition to all the delicious food, we have a wonderful selection of teas and exotic drinks. You’ll enjoy our cuisine in a comfortable atmosphere, at reasonable prices; once you try it, you’ll be back for more. Come savor the flavors of Sri Lanka!



#6 The Hollins House
Most everything on their menu will be non-GMO. Unfortunately, they use Canola oil in their fryer, so avoid the French fries.
My favorite thing to order on the menu is their grass-fed burger and their all organic molten cake.
Dining Room – Open to the public Tuesday through Friday (and selective Saturday’s) from 5:00pm to 9:00pm, for Dinner. Phone 831-459-9177 for reservations. Happy Hour Tuesday-Thursday from 4-6 p.m. – cannot beat the views and we throw the scenery in for free! OPEN TO THE PUBLIC



#7 River Street Cafe
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A fabulous place for breakfast or lunch. All organic, local, farm fresh.

Mostly outdoor seating:

415 River St. Suite K
Santa Cruz, Ca 95060

Mon-Sat: 8:00am-5:00pm
Sunday Brunch: 10:00am-4:00pm



# 8 Geisha Sustainable Sushi
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It can be very difficult to find a sushi place that will serve a Non-GMO meal.
And like most restaurants,  most of the items on their menu contain GMOs, but here, you can order sushi rolls without GMOs by asking for the organic soy sauce and the brown jasmine rice (white rice at other sushi places will be made with GMO sugar and vinegar made from GMO corn).
I like to order their wild Prawns caught in Canada with avocado, basil and cashews.



#9 Café Delmarette



#10 Olitas Cantina and Grille

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This is a beautiful restaurant with some amazing food out on the Santa Cruz Wharf, however, it may be a bit more difficult to find non-GMO meals here.
On the good side, they buy from the local farmer’s market (found in their specials section). They also use only rice bran oil to cook their food.  They have wonderful organic salads and homemade dressings.
Most of their meat is wild or grass-fed and their fish is mostly wild as well.
Be sure and avoid the corn chips and corn/flour tortillas.
Everything at Olitas is prepared fresh daily by Chef/Owner Steve Elb, the long-time Executive Chef of the Sea Cloud and Clouds Downtown.









About simplycookingrealfood

I love to share recipes and ideas. I love to cook, and love to eat good food! Thanks for stopping by!

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