Dining Destination: Soquel Village

Soquel Village dining Home restaurant

Most visitors to Santa Cruz flock to downtown when it comes time to eat out. But located just outside the most worn tourist paths, and a short trip inland from Capitola Village, lies another dining destination whose concentration of restaurants rivals downtown in their diversity and consistency of quality. On the strip of Soquel Drive…

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Mr. Toots’ Tasty Coffee, Big Cookies

Jason Webb and the view from Capitola institution Mr. Toots.

Even on a chilly winter morning, the sunny balcony of Mr. Toots—overlooking the Capitola Beach and estuary—invites coffee lovers to linger, soak up some sun (assuming it isn’t raining, of course) and nurse that double latté for a while. Amazingly, when Lisa and I met for our monthly literary reconnoiter last week at the upstairs coffeehouse, Mr. Toots seemed exactly as I had left it. Church pews, couches, cafe tables and plenty of free wi-fi make Mr. Toots a pleasant place to park that laptop and surf the web.

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Ambrosia’s Impressive Lunch Buffet

Assistant chef Uttam Maharjan of Aptos’ Ambrosia India Bistro. Photo by Chip Scheuer.

We’ve been fans of the plush and well-seasoned Indian cookery at Ambrosia India Bistro in Aptos since it opened. On the site of the former Bleu Spoon (and before that a locally beloved pancake house), Ambrosia offers a long list of tandoori classics, a wide range of naans and plenty of curries—vegan and vegetarian as well as lamb, chicken and beef.

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