WINTER 2018 DINE LOCAL GUIDE

All of these restaurants emphasize local ingredients, and they also advertise in Edible Monterey Bay! Stop by for a free issue, and tell them that we sent you!


In tune with nature, the Butterfly Effect cocktail at Lucia Restaurant & Bar at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley is made with Empress gin, Clear Creek Slivovitz blue plum brandy, Luxardo and lemon. Photo by Rob Fisher.

APTOS

Persephone
7945 Soquel Drive
831.612.6511
persephonerestaurant.com

With a namesake like the mythic Persephone, this restaurant in Aptos proclaims its deep reverence for seasonal cooking. Themes central to harvest, winter and spring are core to Persephone’s story, and are reflected in the changing menu at this fine dining destination, where chef Cori Goudge-Ayer presents inventive, ingredient-driven creations. The restaurant is a family-run passion project, bringing together parents, siblings and a long history of culinary arts in a beautifully redesigned space overlooking Aptos Creek. Open W–Su 4:30–9pm.

BIG SUR

Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn
47900 Highway 1
831.667.2800
postranchinn.com

Executive chef Elizabeth Murray uses exceptional ingredients, many grown on site, to deliver a unique gastronomic take on the Big Sur experience. Lunch offers a 3-course prix fixe menu, while dinner features a 4-course prix fixe menu. Choose from almost 3,000 different wines from the Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning wine list. Arrive before sunset for breathtaking views from this iconic restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows and cliffside terrace. Open daily for lunch noon–2:30pm, dinner 5:30–9pm. Advanced reservations required. Please note that dinner guests will not be admitted before 5pm.

CAPITOLA

East End Gastropub
1501 41st Avenue
831.475.8010
eastendpub.com

East End Gastropub is the newer baby sister to the popular West End Tap & Kitchen, but aside from sharing owners and chefs, East End’s beautiful, recently renovated modern interior is entirely different from West End and offers its own robust, sophisticated, beer-friendly menu. Chef Geoffrey Hargrave has created dishes that are familiar yet innovative, such as crispy gigante beans with smoked creme fraiche and coq au vin. Share plates, pizzas and salads come in generous portions for a family-style meal. The restaurant also offers its own brews, along with local rotating taps and a strong wine list. Open Su–Th 11:30am– 9:30pm, F–Sa 11:30am–10pm. Weekend brunch 10:30am–2:30pm. Happy hour M–F 4–6pm.

The Penny Ice Creamery
820 41st Avenue
831.204.2523
thepennyicecreamery.com

Open Su–Th noon–9pm, F–Sa noon–10pm

See The Penny description under Santa Cruz for more.

Shadowbrook
1750 Wharf Road
831.475.1511
shadowbrook-capitola.com

A Santa Cruz County landmark since 1947, the world-famous Shadowbrook continues to be an overwhelming favorite with locals and visitors alike. Its fine food, extensive wine list and unparalleled setting and ambiance have earned it numerous awards, including Northern California’s “Most Romantic Restaurant” and “Best Date Night Restaurant.” Gift cards and reservations available online. Open M–F 5–8:45pm, Sa 4:30–9:45pm, Su 4:30–8:45pm.

CARMEL

Aubergine
Monte Verde Street at Seventh Avenue
831.624.8578
auberginecarmel.com

Located within the romantic L’Auberge Carmel, a visit to Aubergine feels like a trip to Europe. Executive chef Justin Cogley was named one of Food & Wine’s best new chefs of 2013. He has been nominated multiple times for a James Beard award and it’s no wonder—he’s an eloquent and imaginative interpreter of ne seasonal ingredients. Executive pastry chef Yulanda Santos delights with stunning and inventive desserts. Open daily 6–9:30pm.

Basil Seasonal Dining
San Carlos street between Ocean and Seventh avenues
(Paseo Courtyard)
831.626.8226
www.basilcarmel.com

“Organic, local and seasonal” are not just buzzwords at Basil. This cozy restaurant in the Paseo Courtyard was awarded three stars from the national Green Restaurant Association. New chef, Mary Lester, and owner, Denis Boaro, continue to provide a full bar and great selection of California and Italian wines, including Old and New World. Check website for information on monthly winemaker dinners and other events. Many vegan and vegetarian entrées available. Heated, dog-friendly outdoor seating. Open daily for lunch and dinner from 11:30am, Sa–Su brunch 11am–2pm.

Covey Breakfast Restaurant
8000 Valley Greens Drive
831.620.8910
quaillodge.com

Overlooking a pond and manicured grounds, the newly remodeled Covey Breakfast Restaurant includes motorcycles from the Moto Talbott Museum in Carmel Valley in a nod to Quail’s annual motorsports event, while chef Brian Kearns captures the essence of a home-cooked Carmel Valley meal. The weekday à la carte menu includes nourishing skillets, eggs benedict and huevos rancheros; on weekends, enjoy an enhanced American breakfast buffet. Both indoor and outdoor seating come with beautiful views. Open daily 6:30–11am.

Earthbound Farm’s Farm Stand Organic Kitchen
7250 Carmel Valley Road
831.625.6219
earthboundfarm.com

At its newly renovated Carmel Valley Farm Stand, Earthbound Farm’s 100% certified organic kitchen delights with housemade soups, sandwiches, a newly expanded salad bar, baked goods and fresh juices and smoothies. Food is available to be enjoyed on our beautiful grounds or for takeaway. Experience picturesque Carmel Valley as you stroll through Earthbound’s organic gardens and learn about its pioneering local heritage and commitment to organic integrity. And as always, pick up some fresh, local organic fruits and veggies. Visit our website or check out Facebook for hours, special events and classes!

Edgar’s at Quail
8000 Valley Greens Drive
831.620.8910
quaillodge.com

Taste the fresh ingredients harvested from local organic farms that are hand selected by Edgar’s executive chef Brian Kearns and exquisitely prepared by his culinary team into the savory dishes available on its new menus. Set in the clubhouse of Quail Lodge & Golf Club, Edgar’s restaurant and bar features a casual elegance with its indoor and outdoor reside dining located alongside the natural backdrop of the golf course and Santa Lucia Mountains. Edgar’s at Quail is proudly guided in the principles of sustainability by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and focuses on local farm-to- table options. Open daily 11am–9pm.

États-Unis French-American Bistro
Dolores Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues
831.238.6010
etatsuniscarmel.com

French comfort food made with locally sourced organic ingredients is a winning combination for États-Unis, helmed by award-winning chef Soerke Peters. The cozy, casual restaurant in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea features favorites like quiche Lorraine, sweet or savory crêpes, escargot, bouillabaisse and beef cheek bourguignon, as well as housemade pâtés, charcuterie and hearty hors d’oeuvres, perfect for enjoying with a glass of wine. Open daily 7am–3pm, –Su 5–9pm.

Il Grillo
Mission Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues
831.238.9608
ilgrillocarmel.com

A more casual yet equally outstanding sister to Carmel’s La Balena, Il Grillo is staking out its own creative culinary personality with the addition of longtime local chef Brandon Miller. Homemade desserts are by Emily Garcia. Both Miller and Garcia share a wealth of local food knowledge and traditions shine through their cooking. Dinner menus are driven by local and sustainably raised ingredients, with beautiful and delicious results. Garden seating available. Open M–Sa 4–9pm.

La Balena
Junipero Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues
831.250.6295
labalenacarmel.com

Winner of EMB’s 2014 Local Heroes award for Best Chef/Best Restaurant, La Balena has a seasonal menu that changes daily but always expresses an inventive take on the rustic food of a Tuscan trattoria. The outstanding culinary team sources ingredients from local organic farms and prepares the restaurant’s pastas and slow-cooked meats from scratch daily. Owners Anna and Emanuele Bartolini have created an excellent Italian wine list and a warm, inviting atmosphere, complete with back garden seating. Open Tu-Su 11:30am- 3:30pm, 5-10pm.

Waypoint Bar & Deck
8205 Valley Greens Drive
831.620.8910
quaillodge.com

Locals and visitors alike have an exciting and beautiful new spot to stop for a whiskey flight, local craft beer, creative cocktails, wines by the glass or bottle, and contemporary small bites and appetizers made with local, sustainable ingredients. The new Waypoint Bar & Deck offers monthly chef specials like “Bubbles & Birdies” (fried chicken and Champagne) and a tantalizing regular menu featuring such items as chef Brian Kearns’ beef Shortrib Nachos with Charred Avocado, Roasted Heirloom Carrots, burgers, flatbreads and duck fat fries. Also available for private events, rental fees apply. Open W–Su 5–10pm.

CARMEL VALLEY

Jerome’s Carmel Valley Market
2 Chambers Lane
831.659.2472
jeromescarmelvalleymarket.com

Already known for its specialty groceries, meats and fresh local produce, this beloved market is now serving classically French-trained chef Jerome Viel’s delicious hot prepared foods, sandwiches and mostly organic salad bar for eating at comfortable outdoor seating or takeaway. The offerings start with breakfast burritos, croissants and other French pastries in the morning, followed by favorites such as coq au vin, spaghetti carbonara and chicken enchiladas for lunch. On Friday afternoon, the big paella pan appears just in time to take some home for dinner. Open M–Sa 7am–7pm, Su 7am–6pm.

Lucia Restaurant & Bar
Bernardus Lodge & Spa
415 W. Carmel Valley Road
831.658.3400
www.bernarduslodge.com

Indulge in artisanal California country cuisine, award-winning wines and an expansive heated outdoor terrace with the finest restaurant view in Carmel Valley. Named for the Santa Lucia mountain range and wine appellation that beckons to the south, renowned chef Cal Stamenov serves both his signature tasting menu and dishes à la carte. Wine list is equally notable. A private chef’s table and wine cellar are also available. Enjoy live music Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings and at Saturday and Sunday brunch. Open daily 7am–10pm.

Trailside Café and Beer Garden
3 Del Fino Place
831.298.7453
www.trailsidecafecv.com

Those needing to refuel after a day on the trail can head to Trailside Café for home-cooked meals in Carmel Valley. Beer lovers get to choose from 50+ draft and bottle choices, and sports fans can watch games on the HDTVs. Locals are treated to specials on Mondays and Tuesdays. On the weekends enjoy live music in the beer garden. Check out the calendar on its website for more details. Dog friendly in outdoor areas. Open daily 8am–9pm.

DAVENPORT

Whale City Bakery
490 Highway 1
831.423.9009
whalecitybakery.com

Davenport’s artistic charm and oceanside location make it hard not to slow when you pass through on Highway 1. Those in the know always stop at the historic Whale City Bakery. The bakery tempts with housemade breads, pastries, muffins and pies—and that’s only the beginning! Whale City also offers a full restaurant that serves up comfort classics and other hearty dishes. The bar and live music every Thursday attract a loyal local following. Open daily 6:30am–8pm.

FELTON

The Cremer House
6256 Highway 9
831.335.3976
cremerhouse.com

Housed in the oldest building in Felton, The Cremer House showcases progressive, made-from-scratch food and drinks with a nod to its historic mountain surroundings. This alehouse has filled a niche in the San Lorenzo Valley, bringing to this restored and revered property craft beer, cider and wine on tap, and combining it with organic and sustainable fare made with local ingredients. Open Tu–Th, Su 11:30am–9pm, F– Sa 11:30am–9:30pm.

Wild Roots Market
6240 Highway 9
831.335.7322 (Felton)
13159 Highway 9
831.338.7211 (Boulder Creek)
www.wildrootsmarket.com

Wild Roots’ 100% organic produce, natural groceries, organic meats and FishWise-certified seafood all go into the prepared foods offered by the store’s full-service deli, salad and soup bar and juice bar. Open daily 9am–9pm. Enjoy on the patio or take home.

KING CITY

The Cork & Plough
200 Broadway Street
831.386.9491
www.thecorkandplough.com

It’s no wonder that The Cork & Plough is a favorite stop for travelers on the Hwy. 101 corridor and Salinas Valley locals alike. The downtown location is convenient; the hip, airy room and its massive tinted concrete bar are inviting; and the terrific food is prepared by chef/proprietor Travis Childers and sous chef Will Bergeron with super-fresh ingredients direct from local farms. And if you’re not the designated driver, don’t miss the cocktails crafted with housemade infusions by head bartender Rob Marshall or the wines and beers carefully curated by co-proprietor Anna Childers. Open Su–Th 11am–9pm, F–Sa 11am–10pm.

MONTEREY

The Club Room
2 Portola Plaza
831.649.2698
portolahotel.com/dining/the-club-room

The Club Room inside the Portola Hotel & Spa offers a fresh, seasonal, breakfast buffet featuring made-to-order omelets, assorted housemade pastries and muffins, sliced cold cuts, fine artisan cheeses, bottomless mimosas and much more all for $19.95. Dine in the cozy fireside dining room, or breathe in the fresh coastal air on the outdoor, pet-friendly, heated patio. Open for breakfast daily 6–11am.

the C restaurant + bar
InterContinental The Clement Monterey
750 Cannery Row
831.375.4500
www.ictheclementmonterey.com

Step into the C restaurant + bar, and the bustle of Cannery Row will seem like a world away. Elegant yet relaxed, the C offers stunning ocean views from its floor-to-ceiling windows and oceanside deck. Executive chef Matt Bolton provides equally gorgeous food, imaginatively prepared from sustainably sourced seafood, meats and produce. Creative cocktails include international specialties, as well as sparkling wine flights from around the world. Open daily 6:30am– 10pm, Happy Hour 4–7pm Su–Th. Live Music F–Su noon–3pm, Th–Sa 6–9pm.

Jacks Monterey
2 Portola Plaza
831.649.7830
jacksatportola.com

Jacks Monterey offers “California Cultural Cuisine” and seats guests beneath the trees in a glass-topped atrium where they can enjoy the sun by day and the stars at night. Reflecting the palette of the Monterey Peninsula, the new space is decorated with ocean blues, driftwood browns and the greens of coastal flora. Chef Danny Abbruzzese’s new seasonal menu provides a melting pot of flavor profiles from the entire California coastline and other exotic locales. Open for lunch daily 11:30am–4pm, dinner daily 4–11pm, Sunday brunch with live music 11:30am–3pm.

Peter B’s Brewpub
2 Portola Plaza
831.649.2699
peterbsbrewpub.com

Experience Monterey’s original craft brewery, Peter B’s Brewpub, located behind the Portola Hotel & Spa. Enjoy great food and award-winning handcrafted beers. Watch your favorite game on one of 18 HDTVs or enjoy the pet-friendly heated patio with fire pits. Peter B’s is open daily with nightly Happy Hour from 4–6:30pm, as well as late night happy hour Su– 9:30–10:30pm. Open Su 11am–11pm, M–Th 4–11pm, F 4pm–12am, Sa 11am–12am. Sunday breakfast and football 9:30–11am (Sept.–Dec.).

Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
400 Cannery Row
831.372.2628
schoonersmonterey.com

Sit out on the newly remodeled oceanside patio if you can, but it’s still considered seaside dining if you are seated inside the dining room, where polished wood, bay windows and seafaring décor seem like the interior of a sailing ship. Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar serves sustainable seafood and prime steaks. The restaurant takes a creative Californian approach to soups, fresh salads, sandwiches and wood-fired flatbreads, paired with a diverse wine list featuring local favorites. Open daily 6:30am–11pm.

PACIFIC GROVE

Happy Girl Kitchen Co.
173 Central Avenue
831.373.4475
www.happygirlkitchen.com

The menu changes daily at Happy Girl’s airy and bright Pacific Grove café, but the food is always delicious, organic and reasonably priced. The sandwich of the day is $6.50, and a bowl of the soup of the day is $6. To drink, you’ll find kombucha on tap and freshly roasted Verve coffee brewed to perfection. Homemade baked goods include a daily scone, cookies and turnovers. Check the website for information on seasonal workshops. Open daily 7:30am–3pm, coffee and tea served until 5pm.

Jeninni Kitchen + Wine Bar
542 Lighthouse Avenue
831.920.2662
www.jeninni.com

Inspired by flavors of the Mediterranean, Jeninni Kitchen + Wine Bar’s rich and decadent cuisine takes you on a journey from Morocco and Spain to the Levant, birthplace of owner and sommelier, Thamin Saleh. Don’t miss chef Matthew Zimny’s charred octopus, lamb burger with signature eggplant fries and occasional paella nights and other special events. Open every day except Wednesday, 5pm until close. Happy Hour—”sips and snacks”—4–6pm.

Passionfish
701 Lighthouse Avenue
831.655.3311
www.passionfish.net

If you’re looking for a restaurant with playful, spectacular food and a scrupulous commitment to sustainability, this green-certified restaurant is hard to rival. The elegant dining room is celebratory yet relaxed, and the award-winning wine list features many sustainable names and is priced at retail. Chef Ted Walter’s menu is ever changing with the seasons, but always includes delicious organic local produce, inventive slow-cooked meats and an array of sustainable seafood choices. Open daily 5pm.

Wild Fish
545 Lighthouse Avenue
831.373.8523
www.wild-fish.com

Owners Liz and Kelvin Jacobs welcome you to feast on the bounty of nearby waters and farms at their 100% local and organic seafood house, where chef Joshua Plesh creates exquisite dishes like crispy sablefish and swordfish au poivre, accompanied by succulent native seaweeds. Fresh oysters, innovative salads, house-baked bread and sides like fingerling potatoes with poppyseed crème fraîche or baby carrots with wild nettle pesto, make this a dining destination. Did we mention English sticky toffee pudding? Open for dinner Su–Th 5–9pm and F–Sa, 5–9:30pm, lunch F– Tu 11:30am–2:30pm.

PEBBLE BEACH

The Bench
The Lodge at Pebble Beach, 1700 17-Mile Drive
866.543.9318
pebblebeach.com/dining

Overlooking the 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links, The Bench at The Lodge at Pebble Beach delivers an eclectic menu inspired by international styles and methods, which uses the innovative technique of wood roasting and open-flame cooking. You can also enjoy one-of-a-kind craft cocktails, as well as an array of draft beers and wines by the glass. Open daily 11am–10pm.

Gallery Cafe
The Lodge at Pebble Beach, 1700 17-Mile Drive
866.543.9318
pebblebeach.com/dining

Overlooking the first tee of Pebble Beach Golf Links, Gallery Cafe offers a wide selection of breakfast choices, from light smoothies to omelets and pancakes. For a casual lunch, try the excellent burgers or choose from a delicious selection of artisan sandwiches, plus the best milkshakes this side of the 1950s. Open daily 6am–2pm.

Pèppoli at Pebble Beach
The Inn at Spanish Bay, 2700 17-Mile Drive
866.543.9318
pebblebeach.com/dining

At Pèppoli, the scents of Italian herbs and spices fill the air, and the décor transports you to a cozy Tuscan villa. The menu is big and bold, ripe with traditional pastas, seafood and meats. The extraordinary wine list is matched by equally impressive dishes, including delicious desserts, all with stunning views of Spanish Bay. Open daily 5:30–10pm.

Roy’s at Pebble Beach
The Inn at Spanish Bay, 2700 17-Mile Drive
866.543.9318
pebblebeach.com/dining

It’s all about big flavors and the gorgeous ocean view at Roy’s at Pebble Beach. Fresh seafood is front and center, where sushi, sashimi and blackened rare Ahi tuna are prepared to perfection, but many exciting meat dishes and island salads are also featured on the extensive Hawaiian- fusion menu. Add a dynamic wine list, exceptional desserts and an energetic environment, and you have one impressive dining experience, all overlooking Spanish Bay. Open daily for breakfast 6:30–11am, lunch 11:30am–5pm, dinner 5:30–10pm.

Stave Wine Cellar at Spanish Bay
The Inn at Spanish Bay, 2700 17-Mile Drive
866.543.9318
pebblebeach.com/dining

A combined wine lounge and retail shop, Stave Wine Cellar is a luxurious yet casual space that is ideal for special wine dinners or gathering with friends and colleagues. You can pair varietals by the glass with a menu of cheese and charcuterie plates. In addition to nearly 30 wines and eight craft beers by the glass, Stave has more than 200 wines for purchase by the bottle, including a wide selection of coveted bottles. A knowledgeable staff, including certified sommeliers are on-hand. Open Tu–Sa 2–10pm, Su–M 2–7pm.

Sticks
The Inn at Spanish Bay
2700 17-Mile Drive
866.543.9318
pebblebeach.com/dining

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sticks is the perfect place for seasonally diverse California cuisine in a lively sports bar atmosphere. Savor a tasty meal, a cold draft beer, specialty cocktail or one of the many appetizers, while enjoying sports on flat-screen TVs. Outside on the patio, enjoy seating next to a fire pit while soaking up gorgeous views of The Links at Spanish Bay and the Pacific Ocean along with nightly bagpiper music. Ask about specials and new menu additions. Open daily 6am–9pm.

Stillwater Bar & Grill
The Lodge at Pebble Beach, 1700 17-Mile Drive
866.543.9318
pebblebeach.com/dining

Stillwater Bar & Grill prides itself in offering the freshest and most flavorful in sustainable seafood and organic produce. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner—or Stillwater’s famous Sunday Brunch—the menus are sure to delight. Shellfish lovers will marvel at the bountiful seafood tank, while those who prefer turf to surf can choose from a variety of meaty options. Each of these delectable feasts is enhanced by fantastic views of Carmel Bay and the 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Open daily 7am–10pm.

The Tap Room
The Lodge at Pebble Beach, 1700 17-Mile Drive
866.543.9318
pebblebeach.com/dining

The Tap Room is more than a legendary 19th hole with an outstanding selection of draft and bottled beers, vintage wines and top quality spirits. It’s also a world-class steakhouse serving up hearty all-American fare, from burgers to prime rib to filet mignon. Renowned for its extensive collection of prized golf memorabilia, The Tap Room is a comfortable and inviting place for watching televised sporting events or recounting your successes on the courses of Pebble Beach. Open daily 11am–12am.

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA

Vertigo Coffee Roasters
81 Fourth Street
831.623.9533
vertigocoffee.com

Artisanal coffee roasted on site as well as fresh pastries baked in-house, brunch items, local craft beers plus wood-fired pizzas have made Vertigo a locals’ favorite as well as a great find for visitors en route to the San Juan Mission, Pinnacles or other area attractions. Open M–W 7am–3pm, Th–Su 7am–9pm.

SANTA CRUZ

515 Kitchen & Cocktails
515 Cedar Street
831.425.5051
515santacruz.com

There’s nothing quite like rooftop dining—the expanse, the view, the feeling of being high above. In Santa Cruz, there’s no better place than multi-level 515 Kitchen & Cocktails to sip on an astounding cocktail with a witty name and nosh on inventive small plates while gazing down at Cedar Street, especially following the Wednesday farmers’ market, when there is unmatched hustle and bustle. You’ll even find some of that produce on your plate, seasonally crafted by chef Paul Queen, as well as in your glass, courtesy of bar manager Ethan Samuels. But if the outdoor vantage point feels too exposed, any of the cozy nooks or barstools upstairs, or calming tablescapes downstairs are sure to suit your mood. Open M–Tu 5pm–12am, W–F 5pm–1:30am, Sa 3pm–1:30am, Su 3pm–12am.

Alderwood
155 Walnut Avenue
831.555.0109
alderwoodsantacruz.com

Slated to open this fall, Alderwood is a neighborhood oyster bar and restaurant for people looking for a fun and friendly night on the town. Its emphasis is on cocktails and beef, with a wide variety of steaks cooked over the wood-fired grill. Partner and chef Jeffrey Wall—an Iowa native and previously opening chef at Atlanta’s top-rated Kimball House farm-to-table restaurant—believes in local sourcing and plans to make good use of the downtown Santa Cruz farmers’ market, practically across the street. Open T–Su 4pm–close, Happy Hour 4–7pm.

an epicurious lifestyle
104 Bronson Street, Suite 13
831.588.7772
www.anepicuriouslifestyle.com

An event-based commercial kitchen and dining space in the historic Seabright Cannery building, an epicurious lifestyle is available for unique private events and hosts a monthly, seasonal family-style dinner for 20 that is open to the public. Other public events also have a limited number of tickets; check the website for future dates and to sign up for email invites.

Charlie Hong Kong
1141 Soquel Avenue
831.426.5664
charliehongkong.com

Charlie Hong Kong has been providing the Santa Cruz community with healthy, sustainable, affordable and high-quality food since 1998. The colorful, casual eatery’s delicious fusion of Southeast Asian influences and the Central Coast’s local organic produce has made it an inclusive, family-friendly, neighborhood favorite. Its slogan is “love your body, eat organic,” and its cuisine is proof that fast food can be good for you. All signature dishes are vegan with the option to add meat or fish. Gluten-free modifications available. Dog friendly. Open daily 11am–11pm.

The Crow’s Nest
2218 E. Cliff Drive
831.476.4560
www.crowsnest-santacruz.com

A perfect spot to enjoy lunch or catch a sunset over the harbor, the nautical-themed Crow’s Nest is a Santa Cruz institution that never goes out of style. There’s always something happening, from free seasonal Thursday night beach parties to comedy nights and happy hours. Famous for its salad bar and house-smoked salmon, The Crow’s Nest is a member of Seafood Watch and is a certified green business. Open daily for breakfast 7:30am–11:30am; lunch M–F 11:30am–2:30pm and Sa–Su 11:30am–3pm; dinner M–F 5pm, Sa–Su 4:30pm.

Laílí
101B Cooper Street
831.423.4545
lailirestaurant.com

Exotic flavors of the Silk Road are served in a stylish dining room decorated in eggplant and pistachio colors and on a hidden candlelit patio. Locals rave about Laílí’s homemade naan served warm from the oven with a selection of Mediterranean dips. There is a wide variety of deliciously spiced vegetable dishes and all meats are hormone free and free range. Open for lunch Tu–Su 11:30am–2:30pm, dinner 5pm–close.

La Posta
538 Seabright Avenue
831.457.2782
lapostarestaurant.com

A cozy neighborhood bistro not far from the Santa Cruz yacht harbor, La Posta chef Katherine Stern prepares Northern Italian cuisine using local ingredients—some foraged and some grown on nearby organic farms. Charcuterie is house cured; pasta, bread, and gelati are made in-house, while the balance of the menu reflects whatever produce is freshest right now. A sister restaurant of Soif Restaurant and Wine Bar, La Posta also offers a great selection of wines. Open Tu–Th 5–9pm, F–Sa 5–9:30pm, Su 5–8:30pm, M closed.

Pearl of the Ocean
736 Water Street
831.457.2350
m.mainstreethub.com/pearloftheocean

Award-winning chef/owner Ayoma Wilen goes beyond the expected traditional spice-infused dishes of Sri Lanka, creating locally inspired daily specials using fresh, organic produce from farmers’ market produce and sustainably harvested seafood. Customer favorites include butternut squash curry, crab curry and wild salmon curry. To round out the flavor experience, there is a dizzying array of sides, like coconut leek sambal and kale mallam. The warm colors, altars and blessings that decorate the space help guests get a sense of Sri Lanka’s world-class hospitality, culture and beauty. Open for lunch daily 11am– 2:30pm; dinner Su– 5–9pm and F–Sa 5–9:30pm.

The Penny Ice Creamery
913 Cedar Street
831.204.2523
www.thepennyicecreamery.com

Lines out the front door of its converted Spanish bungalow are evidence of Penny’s popularity. All ice cream, including bases, is made from scratch on the premises using local organic ingredients when possible. Dozens of exotic flavors rotate seasonally, but two favorites are chocolate caramel sea salt and strawberry pink peppercorn. Open daily noon– 11pm.

See also The Penny under Capitola.

The Picnic Basket
125 Beach Street
831.427.9946
thepicnicbasketsc.com

Across the street from the main beach, owners of The Penny Ice Creamery have opened an alternative to boardwalk fast food. Sandwiches, organic salads, coffee and beer, all from local food artisans, and of course Penny’s popular ice cream, are all on offer to eat in or outside with your feet in the sand. Open daily 7am–4pm. Expanded hours some weekends and holidays. Expanded hours during summer.

Soif Restaurant and Wine Bar
105 Walnut Avenue
831.423.2020
soifwine.com

Inspired by the offerings from local farmers and provisioners, Soif ’s cuisine shows California flair with super, seasonal dishes, all paired with local and exotic wines (and a great burger!). A cozy, new bar offers cocktails in addition to the best wine selection in town. The bottle shop next door provides a world-class selection of wines and a welcoming seating area for sipping and tasting. Raw oysters and live jazz every Monday. Open M–Th 5–9pm, F–Sa 5–10pm. Retail Shop & wine bar opens at noon Tu–Sa, and at 5pm Mondays.

West End Tap & Kitchen
334D Ingalls Street
831.471.8115
westendtap.com

At West End, perfect for any parent who is looking for a happy hour to satisfy the whole family, adults and kids alike can’t get enough of the duck fat popcorn, fried calamari and flatbread pizzas. A diverse, season-driven menu with offerings like seared scallops with mascarpone and lemon risotto, trumpet mushrooms, Marcona almonds and tarragon-basil vinaigrette, and a long list of craft beers, ciders and wine options make West End a Westside staple. The outdoor patio is perfect for people watching amidst the bustling Swift Street Courtyard. Open Su–Th 11:30am–9:30pm, F–Sa 11:30pm–10pm.

SCOTTS VALLEY

Kitchen Table/1440 Multiversity
800 Bethany Drive
844.544.1440
1440.org

1440 is the number of minutes in each day, and at the new learning destination in Scotts Valley, 1440 represents the many opportunities there are to be mindful in this life we live. That philosophy certainly translates to the food we choose to eat, which makes the on-site Kitchen Table a wonderful canvas for showcasing the vibrant, healthful and delicious ingredients we have available locally. Chef Kenny Woods, who came here from Arizona to be part of this unique project, brings an intensive and enthusiastic culinary background to creating plant-based menus that change with every meal, every day, for the diverse, global community that gathers here. Registration for a 1440 program, personal getaway or special event is required to dine at Kitchen Table.

SEASIDE

Gusto
1901 Fremont Boulevard
831.899.5825
gustopizzeriapasta.com

Gusto owner Denis Boaro, owner of Carmel’s Basil Seasonal Dining and a native of Northern Italy, named the restaurant for the Italian word for taste and his enthusiasm for delivering delicious authentic Italian food and great service that can be seen in the happy faces of his diners. The bright red-tiled, wood-fired oven just inside the entrance sets the restaurant’s festive tone, making you feel like you are in Italy. Gusto specializes in fresh pastas, pizzas, housemade mozzarella as well as unique desserts using the best quality ingredients and organic ours from Italy. Our team strives to support local organic farmers, foragers and shermen bringing you fresh, tasty and sustainable ingredients. Open daily 11:30am–2:30pm, 4:30–9pm.

The Meatery
1534 Fremont Boulevard
831.656.8810
themeatery.us

Meat-loving chef-owners Jason Balestrieri and Kevin Hincks have teamed up to create Monterey County’s first modern, artisanal butchery where in addition to selling cuts of sustainably and humanely raised meats and housemade charcuterie to bring home, they also offer deli sandwiches and other prepared foods to eat around a communal table right in the shop. Catering for any occasion also available. Open daily 11am–7pm.

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