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Our Mission

Our mission is to serve our community by providing healthy, affordable, plant-based food served quickly and with care. Our organic menu features gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based options, plus an abundance of organic locally grown greens and vegetables.


We believe in slow food, served fast! We are committed to making healthy food attainable for every busy person, parent, or overworked student, from 11 am to 10 pm, all seven days of the week.​


As one of the original certified Green Businesses, we are dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint and keeping your body and the planet healthy. Our kitchen composts as part of Santa Cruz’s local compost program. Our organic tofu is made locally and just for us. Our vegetables are sourced locally, from organic nutrient-dense soil from farms on the Central Coast of California.

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Our Story

In 1998, Charlie Hong Kong was opened on a bustling street corner in Santa Cruz, CA. The intention was to create a neighborhood eatery with a menu that offers healthy, abundant, “real” food, at a good value, served fast. Driven by the passionate vision that everyone in Santa Cruz should have access to organic and healthy food, and in an effort to support sustainably farmed and locally grown produce, Charlie Hong Kong was born. 

"Let FOOD be thy medicine,
and medicine be thy FOOD"

Charlie Hong Kong is a unique fusion, inspired by the savory flavors of Southeast Asia's street food and California's locally grown organic produce. Our diverse menu welcomes vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike and our food is prepared fresh daily. Charlie, the original chef and the "Charlie" in Charlie Hong Kong, created a restaurant that specialized in the fusion of California fresh and Southeast Asian flavors. We have preserved that vision while promoting our own belief that everyone needs to eat their “greens”. 

Sustainably raised protein toppings are offered, for those who enjoy fish, chicken & meat. Our food is prepared fresh and fast, for active and busy people who care about what they eat. Charlie Hong Kong reflects the passion of Carolyn and Rudy. The foundation of their commitment is to the organic farms of the Central Coast and to provide healthy, affordable, sustainable food for our community. They share a love for eating organic local food, wherever they find themselves. 

Charlie Hong Kong is located close to the organic farms on the central coast of California, which provide the abundance of organic greens we serve in all our Signature Bowls. Freshly harvested local organic produce is delivered early in the morning. By 6:30 am, our head cook begins the daily chopping and preparing of 500 pounds of organic produce. Sauces are prepared. Whole ginger and onion charred over an open flame to add to the huge pot of bone broth, to make our healing chicken soup. Meats braised for a slow roast in the oven. All this done, in the 600 sq. feet re-purposed 1950’s, ice cream stand with a covered patio that offers community dining. 


From The Good Times

Santa Cruz's Best Cheap Eat (2009, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2022)

Santa Cruz's Best Takeout (2022)

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz's Best Late-Night Eatery (2022)

Reader's Choice Best Bite on a Budget (2017)

From, based on reviews from travelers

Highly Recommended, Five Star Certificate (2017)

From Save Our Shores, for being of the first to get rid of plastic bags in Santa Cruz

Business of the Year (2011)

From the Go For Health Collective, a division of United Way

Golden Carrot Award (2010)

Mentions in the Press

EatUp Silicon Valley (2019)

Local restaurants stand test of time - Elaine Ingalls

Santa Cruz Sentinel (2019)

I Spy: Santa Cruz's Best Restaurants for People Watching - Jacob Pierce

Santa (2016)

Carolyn Rudolph, Santa Cruz County Stories: Charlie Hong Kong owner provides health in food - Bonnie Horgos

Santa Cruz Sentinel (2014)

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