Hwy 1 & Davenport Ave, Davenport, CA
Breakfast on a recent spectacular spring day required something a bit out of the ordinary. So we headed up the coast to Davenport, hiked around the cliffs fragrant with alyssum and salt air and took our soaring appetites back to the Roadhouse for a major morning meal.
202 Stage Road, Pescadero, CA
Like many frontier roadhouses suggesting a David Lynchean interval somewhere between the 19th century and the early 1950s, Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero, about 45 minutes north of Santa Cruz, has retained its reassuring Wild West edge, fortified by whisky, artichokes and olallieberry pie.
Emily’s Good Things to Eat
1129 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA
For decades, Santa Cruzans have made a point of stopping in the little shop on Mission Street with the comforting motto above the door (“Relax … you have plenty of time”) for a muffin or a sandwich, and it’s never disappointied. Proprietress Emily Reilly (who’s served two terms as mayor) runs a happy shop; the staff is pleasant and cheerful, and the cakes are always fresh.
Kelly’s French Bakery
402 Ingalls St, Santa Cruz, CA
Kelly’s French Bakery is a perennial Santa Cruz favorite, and no wonder. Its chewy, flavorful francese and compagnon (whole wheat sourdough) breads are regionally famous, and the kitchen turns out sandwiches, quiches and soups to die for. The olallieberry tarts and pumpkin pies in their buttery crusts are excellent as well, leaving us very pleasantly confused as to what really is Kelly’s specialty. We’ll take it all, thanks.
2332 Mission St., Santa Cruz, CA
Lunch at Santa Cruz's Taqueria La Caba-a specializes in soccer, salsa and serious tacos.
1719 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA
Mexican restaurant. A neighborhood establishment with no gimmicks, on-target cooking and authentic flavors.
2316 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA
From its astute list of locally made wines to its small plate appetizers, O’mei continues to wow the tastebuds, just as it’s done for two decades. The sleek interior rewards adventurous fans of avant garde Chinese cuisine with specialties like red oil dumplings and ma po tofu.
1711 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA
Various chefs have paved the way for Avanti's current helmsman Benjamin Sims, who continues the high standards that, once set, have never faltered. At the top of every Westsider's list of reliable luxury at moderate prices, Avanti, with its fetching wine list and warm ambience, delivers again and again.
Riva Fish House
500 Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, CA
A focus on seafood and not a bad table in the house make Riva a worthy Santa Cruz institution.
Sabieng Thai Cuisine
1218 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA
Reliable and welcoming, this Westside neighborhood treasure has delivered its weight in lemongrass and chiles over the years. Somehow there’s always room at this incredibly popular pit-stop for spicy Thai specialties and zesty take-away. The fiery tom yum soup and sensuous bean thread noodle salads share the spotlight with a kaleidoscope of curries. Fresh, colorful entrees power dial taste buds to a world of jasmine rice, coriander and garlic. It all works.
1701 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA
Japanese restaurant. Dynamite sushi and a substantial listing of Japanese culinary favorites.
1501 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA
Greek restaurant. Taverna-style specials from horiatiki salad to roast lamb. Plenty of spunk and friendly atmosphere.
Upper Crust Pizza & Pasta
2415 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
What better place for all to break bread than Upper Crust Pizza, a longstanding county favorite for over thirty years. Upper Crust offers weekday specials and a host of delicious pizza and pasta creations, all mixed with fresh ingredients and a touch of home cooking. For the health-conscious Italian lover, there is a wide array of salads and Italian-style dressings to choose from. And with weekly trivia nights, Upper Crust makes for the perfect environment for UCSC kids and westsiders to kick back and chow down. Happy hour specials are available too.