Every day 3-6 p.m.
All draft beers: $2.50
House Wine and Wells: $4.00
House Margaritas: $5.00
Shrimp Taco- $3.50
Garlic Cheese Bread and Tostada de Ceviche: $3.50
Nacho specials: $4.50
Buffalo wings, Calamari, Guacamole with chips: $4.95
The Capitola Diner Sport Bar is not easy to find. It was recommended by a friend who eats breakfast there regularly. She had texted me a photo of the Capitola Cantina Happy Hour menu, which looked good. I had tried yelping and looking for their website without luck. Jo and my friend both texted me directions – across from the Capitola Mall and next to the Dollar Store on 41st and I still couldn’t find it. I didn’t even know there was a dollar store on 41st avenue and I am all about the Dollar Stores!!
I finally found it – on the same side as Whole Foods but heading towards the freeway. Part of the confusion is over the name of the place. It is Capitola Diner or Cantina or Sports Bar? I was looking up Capitola Café, which is why I couldn’t find it. When I finally arrived, I realized it was the old Lyons restaurant. The ambience is definitely that of a diner with windows all the way around and a small bar area with sports playing on TV. What else would you expect at a Sports Bar?
Capitola Diner has happy hours seven days a week from 3-6. I love a weekend happy hour, so we arrived on a Sunday afternoon at 3:00. There wasn’t much activity in the place and the bartender Geoff was also serving as waiter and host.
We sat at the bar and perused the happy hour menu. All draft beers are $2.50, so Josephine ordered a Pale Ale. I decided to splurge and try the $5.00 margarita. Geoff, how has worked at Capitola Diner for many years made the margarita with a whole fresh squeezed lime. It was one of the best margaritas, I’ve had in years. After wetting our whistles, we turned to the food menu.
Jo wanted to try the garlic cheese toast $2.50 and the chicken wings $4.95; I decided to give the shrimp taco $3.00 and tostada de ceviche $3.50 a try. I loved that there were so many healthy choices on the happy hour menu. That is a rare thing indeed.
The garlic cheese toast arrived first. Not something I would usually order, I took one bite and was hooked. It was delicious! The cheese spread just melted in your mouth and the bread was toasted perfectly. I really enjoyed the chicken wings, but there were only five on the plate.
I was pleasantly surprised when my shrimp taco arrived. I was expecting bay shrimp, but instead there were three large prawns. The tostada de ceviche arrived topped with fresh avocado.
I was ready for another margarita. The diner seemed a bit short staffed. Geoff was both covering the bar and the restaurant. Another patron came in to meet his family and watch the game and we told him about the great happy hour deals. We had polished off all the food by now. It was great way to while away a Sunday afternoon.
After we finished planning our upcoming camping trip, I was ready to try their well drinks, so I ordered a rum and diet coke. There wasn’t any diet coke, so I settled on a regular bottled coke. The service was a bit slow, because Geoff was wearing so many hats.
In sum, Capitola Diner has good drinks, good prices and good food and happy hour seven days a week! So next time you’re at the Capitola Mall and want some quick refreshment – skip Chili’s and hop on over to the Capitola Diner. After some garlic cheese toast and a nice drink you can check out the dollar store!
Julie’s rating: 4 shots
So it’s a Sunday afternoon, I just got done filling in for someone at work and happy hour is calling my name. It seems that Julie and I are having a harder time finding time to go to happy hour. Most of them are during the week and ending around 6 or 6:30 and Julie is coming from work from over the hill. So when we saw that the Capitola Diner had happy hour every day it was easier to try and get there on a weekend. I got there first and started taking the usual pictures and Julie who mentioned this place was having a hard time finding it. Kind of funny since it’s right across from the Capitola mall.
This is a quaint little place, a typical diner setting, with a counter for single seating, a pretty good handful of tables and a couple of booths around the edges of the place. At the far end is a small bar with 2 or 3 large TV’s above it. Obviously the sports bar part of the diner. Very cute inside, the place was pretty empty so we took our rightful places at the bar and checked out the menu. Our host for the day was Geoff (with a G). Very nice gentleman who has worked at the diner for quite some time, before it was the Capitola Diner which is at least 11 or 12 years ago.
So happy hour is 3-6 every day with $2.50 drafts, $4.00 house wine and well drinks, and $5.00 house Margaritas. For food we have a number of items, chicken wings, calamari, guacamole and chips, shrimp tacos, garlic cheese bread, nachos (regular, chicken or steak) and Tostadas de Ceviche. I was surprised at the large menu, you usually only get a few items and the prices ranged from $3.00(shrimp tacos) to $7.99(skirt steak nachos). With such a wide variety of items Julie and I decide to get the chicken wings, shrimp tacos, cheesy garlic bread and the ceviche. As for drinks I decided to get a Sierra Nevada Pale ale (remember all drafts are $2.50) and Julie goes for the house margarita.
So I’m watching Geoff make the margarita and fresh squeezed limes are going in the mix, wow home made with fresh limes!!!!! Julie said it was the best margarita she has had in a long time. Next time I will have to try one. My beer was great of course, came in a mug and Geoff was quick to make sure we both had water as well.
Here comes the food trickling in first the Cheesy garlic bread. Yummy, not sure what spices they put on it along with the garlic and cheese but that bread just melted in your mouth, can’t say I have experienced that before with bread but it was very yummy. The wings came next and they were lightly breaded with a nice tangy sauce on them. Geoff brought both ranch and blue cheese for dipping. They were tasty with a light crunch to them. Good wings, I’m not much for breading on my wings but Julie really enjoyed them.
Next, the fish dishes. It was nice to see lighter fare on the menu, usually everything is always fried for appetizers especially for happy hour so seeing tacos and ceviche was refreshing. And refresher they were.
The taco came with 3 nice sized prawns on it, cooked just right with salsa, cabbage and some hot sauce, it could use more hot sauce which we asked for so the taco was good. The ceviche was a real surprise. Made with Tilapia the fish had just the right lemon limey marinade on it. With the fresh tomatoes and avocado to top it off we were enjoying it very much. We were munching up all the tasty treats and added another round to the mix and the party was in full swing. Some more people started coming in and they saw our food saw that it was still happy hour and were quick to test out the menu as well. I think music in the background instead of the numerous games on the TV’s would have been nice but if you’re a sports fan you have good seating to see the games all around the place.
Well I have to say I was surprised at the happy hour at The Capitola Diner and Sports Bar. The bartender was very friendly and attentive; the food was quite good and the drinks definitely worth it. I have no doubt I will be passing this way again.
Jo’s rating: 4 shots!