Non-GMO Meals at Restaurants in Santa Cruz and surrounding areas and towns:

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



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.


Farm to Fork – locally grown mostly organic – most everything made from scratch and they cook with rice bran oil

Their roasted artichokes, with aioli made from scratch with olive oil,
are just wonderful.
sotola 3


sotola burger

231 Esplanade Suite 102
Capitola, CA 95010

Open Everyday 11:30am to 10:00pm

​Be sure to call for reservation because they are usually booked up on the weekends


La Posta

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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


Ristorante Avanti

Italian restaurant – Locally sourced seasonal organic ingredients beautiful atmosphere.  Make sure to get reservations on the weekends because they will book up.

avantiavanti 2avanti 3


5p-9p Sunday through Thursday

5p-930p Friday and Saturday


1130a-2p Monday through Friday



Local organic ingredients. They cook with rice bran oil. Be sure to call for reservations because this place will book up.

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COCKTAIL HOUR TUESDAYS-SATURDAYS 4:30-6pm at the bar & in the lounge.


Au Midi

Local organic – they do not use canola oil or GMO oil

Au midi2

Daube Provencale – one of my favorites Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 1.15.05 AM

Our Hours:

Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday
5:30 PM to 9:00 PM
closed Sunday – Monday

Catering and Private Parties
available 7 days a week. Contact us for more information.

For Reservations/information
call: 831-685-2600

Contact us by email

Visit Us at:
Au Midi Restaurant & Bistrot
Aptos Village Square
7960 Soquel Drive, Suite E
Aptos, CA 95003


Oyunaa’s Mongolian Cuisine

All meals mostly local organic and made from scratch.  They do not use oils to cook their food. The main oil they do use is olive oil. They use organic flour and their beef is grass-fed and grass-finished.

They have only one dish  (the Khuushuur) that they use a little canola oil on but will gladly make it without canola oil at your request. Otherwise, they do not use canola oil.

The owner, Oyunna, is very sweet and spoke with me for awhile about the quality of her restaurant and the love and care that she puts into it everyday. She told me that she is always there to make sure that everything is up to her quality standards. She is so concerned about the quality of her restaurant that when she isn’t able to come in, she closes the restaurant.

Oyunna was raised in Mongolia and was always the cook in her family. She moved to Santa Cruz in 2005 and got married. She started this restaurant around 5 years ago.

We have now been to her restaurant twice and had a lovely time and enjoyed our meals both times.
(Pictured below) My son had the Khuushuur (we asked for it without canola) and he loved it.  A fun treat.


I had the Gulyash (a dish my mom used to make) and it was lovely.  Oyunna told me about where she obtained many of her ingredients in the dish. Much of what she orders is organic from Staff of Life.


Oyunaa’s is open for Dinner

Mon, Wed, Thurs & Sun 5pm – 10pm

Friday and Saturday 5pm – 11pm

​Closed Tuesdays
Oyunna’s does not take reservations and seating is on a walk-in basis. If their are no tables available, give them your name and they will seat you when the next table is available.
1209 Soquel Ave
Santa Cruz, CA

Parking is available at the Big O Tire parking lot.

Ristorante Casa Nostra

Located in Ben Lomond – they cook with olive oil – Local and mostly organic

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Come to Ristorante Casa Nostra for the live music in the latter part of most weeks, stay for the fresh seafood, local and Italian wines & beers, and daily food specials.

Hang out in the Tap Room or schedule a private-party for your upcoming occasion. With talented chefs and a dedicated wait staff, Casa Nostra suits most any occasion, is very family friendly AND the Tap Room & redwood dining grove are dog-friendly.

Also, if you are interested in baked goods, gelato, or other sweet & savory snacks, then cross the street to the Ben Lomond Baking Company for an expansive variety to choose from – plus the Baking Company is open until 8pm daily.

Spaghetti and meatballs – gluten free options available

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Eggs Benedict – Gluten free options available – casa nostra5

9217 Highway Nine
Ben Lomond, California 95005
(831) 609 – 6132
Open Daily


Cafe Gratitude

Vegan – plant based food – they use olive oil to cook but they do use canola oil in their vegan cheese as well as some other items.

cafe gratitude 2103 Lincoln St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone number (831) 427-9583


Mostly organic and vegan and they do not use canola oil or GMO oils to cook with.

Natural Vegetarian Organic Food

Dharma’s Restaurant is a natural & organic vegetarian restaurant in Santa Cruz, California. Founded in 1982, Dharma’s has been serving quality vegetarian food to the community near and far, offering a wide variety of organic vegetarian and vegan dishes. Our menu includes dishes from Classic American cuisine, Authentic Thai dishes, Home-style Mexican foods and Japanese Miso Soups.

Santa Cruz Community Restaurant

Dharma’s restaurant is known worldwide for its healthy, fresh, organic vegetarian foods. We are family friendly and have a community-oriented environment. We are dedicated to providing quality vegetarian meals in genrous portions.

Natural Organic Ingredients

We attempt to use the best quality ingredients available, a large majority of them being organic, such as flours, veggies, some fruits, lentils, beans, soy products, grains & pastas. We use expeller pressed extra virgin olive oil and safflower oils, and of course, we use no preservatives!

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Open 7-days a week, from 8am to 9pm, serving breakfast until noon, lunch and dinner from 11am on. We offer outdoor seating are close to the beach, serve beer and wine and are available for take out orders. We look forward to seeing you soon, so please come and visit.

4250 Capitola Rd
Capitola, CA, 95010

(831) 462-1717

Open every day
8am – 9pm




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Located in Sequel Village.
HOME is serving local, seasonal veggies to accompany, or not, even more local, nose to tail animals hand butchered by the talented Chef Brad Briske.


find us at: 3101 N. Main St. Soquel, Ca 95073




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!



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
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



River Street Cafe

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A good 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


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.
I also really like their salads. I get mine without the carrots though. 🙂

200 Monterey Ave
Capitola, California

Call (831) 464-3328
11:30AM – 9:00PM


Café Delmarette



Olitas Cantina and Grille

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Only order from the specials menu  – with the exception of their organic salad with prawns, their regular menu is full of canola and other types of GMOs.
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 because there.
On the good side, they buy from the local farmer’s market (found only on 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.

We do love their organic salad with prawns and strawberry margaritas

49B Municipal Wharf , Santa Cruz, CA
(831) 458-9393

Sunday Noon-Close
Monday Noon-Close
Tuesday Noon-Close
Wednesday Noon-Close
Thursday Noon-Close
Friday Noon-Close
Saturday Noon-Close

Jerk House

My favorite thing they offer is their prawn tacos (gluten free). I order them with mixed greens instead of cabbage and they are fabulous. (see below)
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I also am a fan of their beef jerk patties. 🙂
(See below)
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The coconut prawns are really delicious too! (See below)
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Outdoor Patio • Organic Produce • Locally Sourced Ingredients
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Thoughtful decor inside as well
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The Jerk House offers traditional and fusion Jamaican cuisine. They use organic and locally sourced ingredients.
From the website: “Come enjoy our relaxing patio and amazing boat bar! Dog friendly patio and flip flop friendly dining room. We look forward to meeting and yours! Bless & much love!”
Tuesday-Thursday, Sunday 11 – 9
Friday & Saturday 11 – 9:30
Closed Monday
Happy Hour 2 – 5 Tuesday – Friday

The Jerk House
2525 Soquel Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95065-1950
(831) 316-7575



New and popular non-GMO Mexican restaurant
You must get a reservation on weekends because they are completely booked.
All meals are prepared with only locally grown organic produce. Hand made tortillas with no oil, all made to order, salsas and sauces are also all made in house. They cook with non-GMO corn oil. They use local and organic farms, choosing to purchase everything from produce, meats, and cheeses from family-owned farms.Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.53.09 PM

My son’s favorite thing here is there prawn ceviche 


Open 6 days a week! Closed on Tuesdays.

Lunch: 11 am to 3 pm
Dinner: 5 pm to 9 pm

India Joze

Uses rice bran oil. Ingredients non- GMO

India JozeTuesday – Saturday 5:00 – 9:00 pm
Sunday & Monday — Closed (Special Events Fairly Common)
418 Front Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (across from the metro station)
— look for BAMBOO on the sidewok —
831-325-3633 — Please do not phone orders, if possible, use our online ordering.


They cook with rice bran oil but they do have some “organic” canola in some of their foods.. so if you want to avoid canola, you will need to let them know. 🙂
From their website:
Earthbelly is deeply committed to serving 100% non-GMO, organic food that is affordable. We believe that everybody should have access to clean, unprocessed, unmodified food that is delicious, convenient, and won’t break the bank.


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Mon-Thurs 10am – 9pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
Saturday 9am – 10pm
Sunday 9am – 9pm
call us
email us
visit us
381 Soquel Ave.
Santa Cruz, 95062 CA


Cremer House

Located in Felton – Cook with Rice Bran oilWe believe in supporting and protecting organic farmers. Better for farms, better for the environment, better for you – and it tastes better too.

cremer house2cremer house

24 craft beers and ciders on tap

cremer house 10

organic donuts

cremer house 7cremer house 5Built by Thomas Cremer in 1874, The Cremer House is the oldest building in downtown Felton. For many years it functioned as the Grand Central Hotel, a restaurant, bar, and boarding house run by Thomas and his wife, Margaret. Rich with history, the building has been preserved and restored to create the perfect setting for an American Restaurant & Alehouse. We serve bountiful lunches and hearty dinners inspired by classic American recipes: homemade and traditional. We showcase a variety of 24 craft beers and ciders on tap, as well as 10 local wines on tap, and homemade sodas. From the outdoor patio to inside at the bar, The Cremer House is the perfect spot to enjoy a handcrafted beverage and a thoughtfully prepared meal in a small town outlined by redwoods.

6256 Highway 9 Felton, California 95018 T: 831.335.3976

Tuesday – Sunday 11:30 – 2:30pm

Jars & Boards
Tuesday – Sunday 3-5pm ($1 off all draft beers and wines)

Sunday – Thursday 5-9:00 pm, Friday & Saturday 5-9:30 pm


CLOSED Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Day

Redwood Pizza

In Felton – the dough and marinara sauce and vegetable toppings is 100 % organic  –  Gluten free dough choice too. We bring our own Miyoko’s cheese (that actually melts and tastes wonderul) for them to add to our pizza. Sometimes we bring in our own grated goat or sheep cheese – (for hard cheeses, they require them to be grated first).
Redwood Pizza 5
They source most of ingredients locally, including all produce and wines.
Redwood Pizza

We love the inside. So cozy and warm and it smells amazing in there.

Redwood Pizza 2

Redwood Pizza 3Dinner
Tuesday thru Sunday 4 pm – 9 pm, except
Friday & Saturday until 10 pm
Saturday & Sunday only, starting at 1 pm
Happy Hour
All day Wednesday, and 4 pm – 5 pm every weekday
$1 off draft beers & glasses of wine
$4 off pitchers of beer
(closed Mondays — open for fundraisers and private parties only)

6205 Highway 9, Felton, CA 95018

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)


The Loving Hut

Vegan Cuisine – they cook with rice bran oil – San Jose – Palo Alto – Milpitas – Fresno – San Francisco – San Diego – Santa Clara – Orange
This is my son’s favorite place to eat and even though my husband believes that a meal must include meat, he still really likes this place.

(My husband and son at the Milpitas, CA location- our favorite location because of the nice indoor seating and the friendly service)

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We always order way too much food when we visit. The Loving Hut has many locations throughout the USA – Click on link below –
Loving Hut Locations 


Tigelleria Organic Restaurant

Local, organic, Italian Food in Campbell, CA – They cook with olive oil


sunday: 5 – 9:30
monday: 5:30 – 10
tuesday: 11:30 – 2:00 & 5:30 – 10
wednesday: 11:30 – 2:00 & 5:30 – 10
thursday: 11:30 – 2:00 & 5:30 – 10
friday: 11:30 – 2:00 & 5:30 – 10
saturday: 5:30 – 10

76 East Campbell Avenue
Campbell, CA 95008


The Basin

In Saratoga -sustainable fish, never ever programmed meats, and local, organic, seasonal produce – they make almost everything from scratch- no canola or GMOs and they cook with rice bran oil


The Basin
14572 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070

Open daily at 5pm


In Los Gatos – the Oakland Airport and the San Francisco Airport. I haven’t actually been to the restaurant but it was recommended to me. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Mostly local organic ingredients. They use non-GMO corn for their handmade corn tortillas and corn chips. Their eggs are organic and free range. They say they work directly with local farms. They cook with olive oil at a low heat.  (I just wrote to them to ask them if they use canola or some other oil in their tortillas or chips. I will update what I find out.)


Steamer’s Grillhouse

I have not actually been to this restaurant but it was recommended to me. Check it out and let me know what you think.  They use rice brain oil, olive oil, and butter. Their fish is mostly wild and line caught. Good for salad with butterhead lettuce, roma tomatoes, green beans, roasted red potatoes and prawns.


31 University Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030


Restaurants in Half Moon Bay



Pasta Moon

Farm to Table mostly organic food.  They cook with olive oil and fry with rice bran oil. Most everything is also made in house and from scratch.
Gluten free options for almost everything on the menu including their wood fired pizzas.

(Below – organic gluten free pizza with goat cheese)
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(Wild Alaskan King Salmon)

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Pasta Moon Ristorante & Bar

CALL 650.726.5125

Lunch: M-F 11:30-2:00pm, S&S 12:00-3:00pm
Dinner: Every day from 5:30-Close

Restaurants in San Francisco

Seven Hills

Use organic only olive oil and butter. They make pastas in house with seasonal local ingredients. They also offer house made gluten free pasta (with only organic ingredients: corn, ceci bean, brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, flaxseed and grapeseed).
A small very cute restaurant that it is important to make reservations for.

(415) 775-1550
1550 Hyde, SF, CA



Organic Mexican Cuisine

They cook with rice bran oil and they use organic non gmo (no canola oil) in their tortillas. Everything is made from scratch.

Pictured below (gluten-free organic corn empanada)

Organic pitcher of margaritas


Nopalito serves lunch and dinner
seven days a week.

We have two locations:

Nopalito on Broderick St between Oak and Fell is open every day from 11:30am to 10:00pm

Nopalito on 9th Ave between Irving and Lincoln is open every day from 11:30am to 10:00pm

All seating is first‑come, first‑served. During busy hours you may call up to two hours ahead to place your name on the wait list.



They cook with rice bran oil. They cook from scratch organic ingredients and no canola oil. They are one of the more popular restaurants around and so you must get reservations (sometimes as much as a month in advance).

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Sun – Thurs 6pm – 12am, Fri – Sat 6pm – 1am (open for brunch on weekends)

560 Divisadero St. @ Hayes SF, CA 94117



Artisan Roam Burgers

They cook with rice bran oil and use local organic produce, organic dairy, grass fed beef, and make their own organic ketchup. 


1785 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
(between Octavia and Gough)

Open daily from 11:30 am – 10 pm
(415) 440 7626

1923 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(between Bush and Pine)

Open daily from 11:30 am – 10 pm
(415) 800 7801



Mostly organic and local. They cook with olive oil but fry with canola oil but most everything on the menu is not fried. They have an amazing view and ambiance however, their corn tortillas are not organic and so they will contain GMOs, so be sure and ask questions about ingredients that you are not sure of here.
The food was wonderful and the craft cocktails were the best.


Delightful, made from scratch, breakfast.



2 Marina Boulevard
Fort Mason, Building A
San Francisco, CA 94123

Tue-Fri 11:45am – 2:30pm

Mon-Thurs 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Fri-Sun 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Saturday 11:00am – 2:30pm
Sunday 10:30am – 2:00pm


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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