mom and mary

Lillian’s Italian Kitchen opened quietly on July 4, 2007. It’s a joint venture of the owners, Joe and Charlotte Moreno and their sons Chris and Matt. Chris, who has worked in the restaurant business for the last nine years, runs the kitchen and Matt manages the business end of things. Joe oversees it all.

Natives of Santa Cruz with deep roots in the Italian-American community, the Moreno’s dream was to open a neighborhood place that was an extension of their family kitchen. The inspiration was Grandma Lilly’s wonderful home cooking. Lillian was devoted to family and friends and her life was greatly fulfilled by her love and passion for cooking. Born in Yonkers, New York, Lillian was able to combine traditional Sicilian recipes learned from her parents and the many Italian influences in her neighborhood.

The marinara, Sunday gravy, lasagna, meatballs and cannoli featured on Lillian’s menu come straight out of the family recipe box. Chris adds his own creativity to the weekly specials. Lillian’s goal is to bring the richness and traditions of the past into the present for your enjoyment and satisfaction.

It’s a family place — good food, good friends, great prices and straight from the heart. Tutti a mangiare!

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1148 Soquel Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

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