Pizzeria Avanti opened its famed doors in the fall of 2012.  With a commitment to local organic farmers, processing local organic meats in-house, aesthetic presentation, and community, this intimate 55 seat Italian jewel is Santa Cruz’ best kept secret.  A New York Marcel oven bakes your pies and calzones to thin crust perfection.  A 12 seat wooden stool and mirrored bar greets you, with candle light ambience.  Always genuine and prompt service, Always good tunes, Always fantastic wines and equally great brew on tap…Always worth it!

Owner/Chefs are Hugo Martinez and Rene Serna, originally from Aguascalientes, Mexico, who have devoted their lives to the Culinary Arts.  Serna grew up watching his mother, Dona Estela, cook dinner 7 nights a week to a sold-out audience, and was principal chef for Aptos’ Carried Away and Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School in Santa Cruz.   Martinez was principal chef for Ristorante Avanti for over 15 years.  

Together they have created a classic Italian bistro known for the ever popular brussels sprout salad in a sherry shallot vinaigrette with squash, pumpkin seeds, and pancetta, house favorite manchego cheese lamb burger, scrumptious Italian wedding soup, oven warm bread served with garlic olive oil, and of course Santa Cruz County’s Best Pizza!  Gluten free pizza and pastas options, perfect flaky pies and flaugnardes, and our house made gelatos too!

With a wink and nod to Santa Cruz’ original Ristorante Avanti where teenage Martinez and Serna got their start, Pizzeria Avanti is a West Side local’s neighborhood restaurant with committed regulars driving over the hill, or stopping out of their way driving down from San Francisco.

Expect thin crust pizza prepared with organic wheat flours.

Expect organic local produce, meats, and wildcrafted mushrooms & nettles.

Expect a cold glass for your beer and a healthy pour for your wine.

Expect a low-key, always family friendly, warm environment.

Expect the BEST!