Housesitting and cat sitting once again in the wonderful beach town of Santa Cruz. I know, it’s a hard life. What’s hard to do is NOT take advantage of trying all the restaurants in the area. There are a variety of establishments and no need to try national chains. Here are a few spots you might consider going to.
Downtown Santa Cruz, you will find many options to dine at and shop on Pacific Avenue. If you are One Busy Bee, bring your laptop to this café and sit at the wooden tables inside or out. Order yourself a latte and try the vegetarian benedict. Order at the counter and pick it up when your number is called.
Pacific Cookie Company
Continue your stroll down Pacific Avenue. Pop your head into retail stores such as Rip Curl, Fybr and bhody. Sweeten the shopping experience with a stop in the Pacific Cookie Company. The smell of fresh based cookies will lure you in. You won’t be able miss it. Check in on Yelp and get a free cookie with any purchase. The Almond Joe, almonds, chocolate and coconut, and oatmeal raisin cookies came home with me. Well, my temporary home.
Hula’s Island Grill & Tiki Room
Brunch, check! Sugar, check! Cocktails…need: assistance. Monday – Saturday, take advantage of Happy Hour specials at this Polynesian bar and restaurant just off of Pacific Avenue. Enjoy the Tropical Itch and pair it with the Crispy Coconut shrimp Rolls – both for $6 each. Sit at the bar and eye your neighbor’s chicken wings served with a coconut lime cilantro sauce.
When you’ve spent more money and time than you thought you would on Pacific Avenue, it’s almost dinner time. Pick up pre-made selections at Zoccoli’s Deli. With an afternoon full of sugar, I opted for a salad out of their fridge. Grab other grocery items, cold pasta salads, deli meat and more. They have been in business since 1948 and also cater.
Before a walk along the West Cliff trail, pick up some coffee from one of three Java Junction locations. The Seabright location near the railroad tracks is its flagship location. Sit at the wooden tables, pull out a book or your laptop, sip and snack on a bagel. Or hit the pavement like I did. See my many hiking posts.
Linda’s Seabreeze Cafe
On a Sunday morning, expect a long wait. Put your name on the list with the host and grab a menu to quickly order as soon as you are sat. Choose from omelettes, French Toast and pancakes. Omelettes will come with a potatotes plus toast, a muffin or a cinnamon roll. There is a bench outside and free coffee to kill the time. Once you are finally sat, order and color to kill more time, and just for fun. Can you remember the last time you colored with Crayons? You’ll have time to think about it while you wait for your table.
Santa Cruz County has several wineries. Storrs Winery’s tasting room may be small but is covered in posters of their wine labels, bottles of their wine and awards. A friendly pourer will tell you about the wine. New wine club members from San Francisco will tell you it’s worth the drive to personally pick up their bottles. It is conveniently located close to downtown Santa Cruz. It is worth a visit.
In the same building as Java Junction, visit Seabright Brewery for locally made beer, tasty chicken wings, fish and chips, outdoor seating that is dog-friendly and televisions to watch the San Jose Sharks play off games. Try their Oatmeal Stout, a 6.8% ABV and multi-medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival. Very casual setting.
The Penny Ice Creamery
This ice cream parlor makes their ice cream from scratch with local ingredients. It landed on several lists of where to eat on blogs and vlogs so I had to see what the fuss is about. Humanely made, organic and 100% recycled will make you feel good about your purchase. My roommate loves s’mores so the fluff was recommended. Cookies and cream is my go to. Flavors change often but currently there is Green Tea, Rose Petal and Cherry Chocolate Almond. Which would you try?