Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria
504 Bay Ave, Capitola, CA
Saturday mornings, Gayle’s is packed with locals in the know who’ve been working
up an appetite all week for a flaky downtowner or a buttery croissant breakfast
sandwich. The gorgeous Princess cakes in the long pastry case are the stuff of
fantasy, and the coffee is just about the best in town. Gayle’s also has a phenomenal
deli with daily blue-plate specials for carryout—ribs, roast chicken and gorgonzola
pasta are the undisputed stars here. The Jewish rye, sold in half-loaves, is truly
The Wharf House
1400 Wharf Rd, Capitola, CA
Located at the end of the Capitola Wharf, The Wharf House serves up good,
fresh seafood with an unbeatable view.
200 Monterey Ave, Capitola, CA
Santa Cruz County’s first sustainable sushi restaurant is one of just a half-dozen in the
nation. Fresh, local, sustainably caught choices—including a couple of different kinds of tuna—are the stars of this inventive menu.
Paradise Beach Grille
215 Esplanade Ave, Capitola, CA
Patrons cozy up to the outdoor fireplace and enjoy island-inspired appetizers,
seafood, steaks and salads at this beachfront establishment in Capitola Village.
1750 Wharf Rd, Capitola, CA
Seafood, steak and other tastefully prepared classics grace the menu of this landmark
establishment overlooking Soquel Creek, frequently voted “Most Romantic Restaurant”
by Santa Cruz Weekly readers.
Stockton Bridge Grille
231 Esplanade #12, Capitola, CA
Sunny tables overlook Soquel Creek and Capitola Beach.
210 Monterey Ave, Ste 3, Capitola, CA
Teeny tiny (and always busy) restaurant serves up huge flavor. A favorite of many Santa Cruzans.
Zelda’s On the Beach
203 Esplande, Capitola, CA
In Capitola, the famous striped umbrellas of Zelda’s announce that summer’s
arrived. With heat lamps for nighttime revelry.
Bluewater Steak House
110 Monterey Ave, Capitola, CA
Superb grilled meats and inventive appetizers with an ocean view.
2621 41st Ave, Soquel, CA
Local fans of the rotisserie chicken and smoked pork chops flock to this cozy
landscaped patio dotted with cheerful flowerpots. A generous fireplace and plenty
of heat lamps ward off the chill.
2400 Porter St, Soquel, CA
When the namesake burger is a half-pound Angus situation on a sourdough baguette,
you know you’re in a place where they do things right. This Soquel institution is also
beloved for its French fries.
303 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA
Americana. Ribs, steaks and burgers are definitely the stars. A full bar keeps patrons fully hydrated.
2650 Soquel Dr., Santa Cruz, CA
Morning rituals make the world go around, and this one is worth getting up for.
2605 S Main St, Soquel, CA
A favorite, laid-back destination for simple Mexican food and margaritas. The atrium room overlooking Soquel Creek has large windows that are opened in warm weather.
Main Street Garden Cafe
3101 N Main St, Soquel, CA
Limited outdoor seating offers a view of organic gardens that supply the kitchen with produce year-round. Highly inventive, nonconformist menu leans heavily on local produce, meats and cheeses, with handmade charcuterie in the bargain.
Michael's on Main
2591 S Main St, Soquel, CA
Gorgeous deck, gazebo and garden area are surrounded by lush vegetation and dripping with the graceful Soquel vibe. Inside, the kitchen of chef Michael Clark turns out fresh and flavorful California cuisine built on the best local ingredients.
5050 Soquel Dr, Santa Cruz, CA
The Thai restaurant in charming Soquel village has become a serious neighborhood
favorite. Try the fish cakes.