New Santa Cruz foodie holiday discounts: Barceloneta (ends soon) & Pizza My Heart

Attention all Santa Cruz foodies: There are a couple promotions going on, and they are both time-sensitive.

Barceloneta: The popular tapas and paella restaurant in downtown Santa Cruz is currently offering a deal on E-gift cards. Shoppers receive a 15% discount through Nov. 28. You have to use the code THANKS23 at checkout. You can buy a $50 gift card for $42.50, a $100 gift card for $85, etc. This holiday season, your gift card recipient (or maybe yourself?) will undoubtedly enjoy some Jamón Croquetas, Patatas Bravas, signature Ibiza Hippie Salad, and/or seafood paella, and don’t forget the scrumptious churros with hot TCHO chocolate for dipping! Plus, the restaurant has a renowned cocktail and wine selection. Visit Barceloneta’s site and click on gift cards.

Pizza My Heart: Go to this special Pizza My Heart link to order gift cards and receive a bonus. If you buy $50 in cards, you get a free $10 gift card; if you spend $100 you get a free $25 card. These sound like great stocking stuffers. Who doesn’t love a giant, savory slice of Big Sur or Little Sur, or the pizzeria’s always-satisfying salads and fresh-baked Kook-ies? This promotion was originally supposed to last until Dec. 15 (which, according to a staff member, gives PMH enough time to process and mail orders so people have them by Christmas). However, they have gotten more orders than anticipated, so there’s a chance it could end sooner. Better get some now if you’re interested! Note: this promotion is only valid online. Although you can buy gift cards at brick-and-mortar PMH locations, you won’t get the free bonus cards.

If you missed my recent post about other local promotions, check it out here.

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A couple of seasonal Santa Cruz discounts & promotions

This Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, it’s Small Business Saturday. At Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar, customers can pay $20 and receive $25 worth of gift cards. You can call 831-469-4400 or stop in to purchase these cards.

Starting this Saturday, and going through the following Saturday (Dec. 2), there is a fun promotion/contest through the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz: The Golden Envelope. And there are lots of retailers participating including several related to food or drink.

There are 500 Golden Envelopes scattered throughout various downtown businesses, so if you do some holiday shopping or enjoy some pizza, wine, cookies, or ice cream, you have the chance to win a prize. Each envelope contains something different: it could be a $10 gift card to one of the businesses, or a voucher for a free hot chocolate, or even $100 in Downtown Dollars. The Association has gathered thousands of dollars of prizes.

Here are the current retailers participating, as of 11/21:

  • Artisans & agency
  • Atlantis Fantasyworld
  • Botanic & Luxe
  • Bunny’s Shoes
  • Childish Toy Shop
  • Comicopolis
  • Dell Williams
  • Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar
  • Level Up Video Games
  • Penny Ice Creamery
  • Pacific Cookie Company
  • Birichino Winery & Tasting Room
  • Cognito Clothing
  • Luz De Luna Jewelry
  • Super Silver
  • Nectar Creations
  • Om Gallery
  • Pacific Wave Surf Shop
  • So Fresh Clothing
  • Sockshop & Shoe Company
  • Toque Blanche
  • Virgo SC
  • Woodstock’s Pizza

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Giving Thanks for the Live Oak Farmers Market

As I mentioned last month, I truly appreciate living in a place that has several farmers’ markets to choose from. With rare exceptions, I shop at the Live Oak farmers’ market—only a mile away from my home—every week. It’s open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. all year round. The location is the parking lot of the East Cliff Village Shopping Center (the one with a Dollar Tree).

Santa Cruz Community Farmers Markets (SCCFM) runs the Live Oak market, in addition to the Tuesday Felton, Wednesday downtown, and Saturday Scotts Valley and westside locations. They operate an information table where you can use your credit card to purchase tokens if you didn’t bring cash (there’s a small fee for this). This table is also where you can redeem EBT/SNAP funds for tokens.

During a recent visit, I got quite a bounty of fresh food. I stopped at Happy Boy Farms and bought a delicious lettuce mix (it comes in pre-bagged bunches) and zucchini. By the way, this farm accepts Venmo for payment in addition to cash or tokens.

Next, I stopped at Dirty Girl Produce for some fresh, tasty carrots. I enjoyed these all week long—sometimes raw (either on their own or with hummus) and sometimes cooked (in a stir-fry with other vegetables, garlic and ginger, and chicken).

After that, I bought some sweet strawberries. I decided to buy one basket from Windmill Farms and one from JCG. I like supporting as many farms as I can, and these both have tasty berries! Plus, Windmill is only going to be there for the rest of this season; owner Ronald and his partner Cate are retiring and moving to Spain. JCG is run by Jose and Berenice Garcia; they also run a food business, Tia Beré, right next to their berry booth. Tia Beré offers ready-to-eat Mexican food. I’ve heard great things about the food but haven’t sampled it yet. The Garcias are unique in that they are the only ones in the entire SCCFM organization that offer products from both their farm and food business at one market.

I stopped at New Natives for some of their wonderful pea shoots—I use these on sandwiches and as a salad topping. They have so many great micro greens to choose from, including sunflower greens, wheatgrass, and micro kale.

After that, I visited the Blossom’s Farm booth which has lots of herbal health and skincare products (tinctures, salves, etc.) plus teas, salts, and fermented products like kvass and sauerkraut. Carin Fortin, who owns and runs the farm with Delmar McComb, is a wealth of knowledge and always very friendly. This time, I bought “Gobolicious” sauerkraut which I have been thoroughly enjoying. With green and red cabbage, burdock root and sesame seeds among its ingredients, it’s got a great taste and I love the purple color. I know eating fermented foods is good for me (and my gut health) and Blossom’s makes it easy.

I sometimes buy ready-to-eat hot food or drinks; during this visit I did not buy food, but I did purchase Kombucha from Living Swell, who is at the market each week. It was my first time; after sampling a few flavors I selected Mojito which includes lime, mint, ginger, and more. It’s refreshing with a very nice kick.

Food-wise, I can heartily recommend Dos Hermanos Pupuseria (they appear occasionally at the market—they also rotate in and out of the westside and downtown markets). The pupusas are delectable; I’ve had ones with spinach and cheese, and beans & cheese. Other vendors I’ve tried, and love, are The Midway (chef Katherine Stern, formerly of La Posta and Bad Animal, does wonders with seasonal farmers market produce and other local products: think chanterelle-potato-cheese sandwich like the one I had earlier this year, pictured above, or Green Gage plum crumble with almond, blackberries & maple yogurt) and Adorable French Bakery (run by a France native, and you’ll love whatever you choose—my family’s favorites include chocolate eclairs and vegetable-quinoa tarts). The Midway and AFB are at the market every Sunday.

I’ve been told that Pleasure Point Bakery makes a unique variety of gluten-free breads that are “high quality and seed heavy” but I haven’t had the chance to try them yet. Looking forward to doing that soon!

Every time I go to the market, my final stop is usually Hakouya (I included this great business when I wrote about the Sunday market at Cabrillo College, so I won’t go into details this time; their specialties include handmade miso and fermented rice drinks).

Note, there is live music at the market starting at 10 a.m. every Sunday. And be assured, even though it’s not a large market, you can find every type of food there—including meat, pasta, eggs, fish, bread, pie, and produce – plus flowers, plants (including Cavanaugh Color, a nursery run by two generations of the same family), rotating vendors with products such as handmade soap, and more. Happy shopping!


Location — East Cliff Village Shopping Center (East Cliff at 15th)

Vendors: there is a list here of all the SCCFM vendors; you can click a particular farm/vendor to see which locations they appear at each week

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Praise for the Aptos Farmers Market

Author: Tara Fatemi Walker

Lovers of delicious food—especially fresh produce—are so lucky to live in Santa Cruz County. We have a plethora of farmers’ markets; it would be impossible to go to all of them each week.

Lately, I have been going more frequently and I decided to share what I bought the last time I went to the Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo College—which is Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon all year long. I’ll talk about some of the other markets in the future, including the one closest to my home (Live Oak) where I shop most Sundays.

Back to Cabrillo: during this particular visit, I bought more ready-to-eat foods than fresh. The fresh produce I bought included cucumbers from Borba Farms plus spicy sprouts from New Natives (I usually buy pea shoots from NN, so this was trying something new, and they were yummy—my husband enjoyed putting them on his sandwiches for the next few days with hummus—more on that later). Also, I bought delectable yellow peaches from Stackhouse Orchards. Truly some of the best I’ve ever had. One employee was handing out lots of samples: peaches, nectarines, pluots, and more. Can’t wait to return and buy some different things.

We saved the row featuring ready-to-eat and bottled/jarred/etc. products for last. First, I stopped at Wise Goat Organics. A couple months ago I bought one of its scrumptious sauerkrauts (spicy garlic); this time I was there to get a bottle of Golden Kvass fermented probiotic tonic after seeing it on Instagram. It’s a beautiful bright drink with organic baby gold beets, organic carrots, organic ginger, organic turmeric, and sea salt.

Next, I stopped at Hakouya which sells fantastic probiotic miso dressing (I use it on salads, steamed or raw veggies and more), handmade miso (several varieties), sauces, and more. I bought a couple ready-to-drink Amazake, which is a fermented rice drink: miso vanilla (my daughter’s favorite) and Horchata. Some of Hakouya’s products are sold at grocery stores, but you can only find the Amazake at farmers’ markets.

After that, I visited the booth for Bay Living Culinary, a recent addition to the market. Chef Jody Lombardo’s experience includes operating Santa Cruz-based Fresh Prep Kitchens for 18 years. She’s now based in Monterey County, so I was very excited to hear she is now at the Aptos market every Saturday. Her regular offerings at the market are ready-to-bake chicken pot pies (which I haven’t tried yet) and Boston style clam chowder. The chowder is why I was there—I’ve had it a few times in the past and it’s been absolutely amazing—and that night as part of our family’s dinner, it lived up to my memories. The last time I’d eaten it was at last October’s Grazing on the Green, where Jody had her pop-up booth “The Chowder Box” (see photo above). On the Saturday I visited the market, Jody was handing out gazpacho samples, and the soup tasted incredibly fresh, chock full of many veggies and herbs. We took a container home and devoured it the following day.

Last but not least, my husband was looking for hummus and we stumbled on what turned out to be a treasure. Zena Foods & Sprouted Hummus, based in Sacramento, makes exquisite products. They know what they are doing with the samples they hand out; we tried a bunch of different things and ended up buying way more than we planned because they were so good. I don’t regret buying so much; the containers stayed fresh for many days and were great as sandwich fillings and as snacks with cut-up veggies or crackers. We bought three hummus varieties: avocado/cilantro, classic hummus, and sun-dried tomato & basil. We also got a package of fresh pita bread, and containers of harissa chickpea salad and Prince Gabriel spread Fun fact: “Love” is listed as the first ingredient on the labels, and you can taste this! After “love,” Prince G’s other ingredients are caramelized onions, sun-dried tomato, basil, sweet bell pepper, green olives, and olive oil.

I hope everyone reading this goes to a farmers’ market very soon; maybe I’ll even run into you there! It’s so important to support farmers and other small businesses.


Location — 6500 Soquel Drive, Cabrillo College (right above a spacious, free parking structure)

See full vendor list here.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 12: Seabright Deli

Castle Beach (brisket) & Grotto (snapper) sandwiches, photo courtesy of Seabright Deli

Thank you, dear readers, for enthusiastically participating in my “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway” over the last few days; it’s been a joy to receive your emails and to reward those of you that won gift cards and other treats. The last prize is a $50 gift card from popular Seabright Deli in Santa Cruz. Read below for how to win. Best wishes for a happy new year!

Santa Cruz residents Gary and Marilee Powers opened Seabright Deli in 2019 and quickly attracted lots of fans—people of all ages, some taking their food home to enjoy, others enjoying their savory lunch in the spacious deli setting. These days, the choices are to-go food (especially popular during the winter months) or outdoor dining on the deli’s covered patio, which Gary and Marilee added during the pandemic.

If you’re a Seabright Deli newbie, let me tell you about their house specialty sandwiches to start. First, the many meat and seafood options: the Yacht Club contains 8-hour house-smoked chicken, cheddar, bacon, heirloom tomatoes, arugula, sun-dried tomato aioli, and mayo on a toasted Francese roll. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds. The Grotto features local fresh snapper which they blacken on-site, plus Chimichurri tomatoes, jalapeno/lime citrus slaw, arugula, and tarragon-basil aioli on a Francese roll. Note that I have tried to buy a Grotto later in the day and they do sell out; go early or call ahead to ensure getting one!

Seabright Deli is also renowned for their pastrami which comes from New York; you can get it on a Seabright (with Swiss cheese and coriander-mustard aioli on Marble Rye) or Beach Bum (with housemade Thousand Island, Swiss, sauerkraut on Rye). Finally, they make a super-tender brisket which they smoke for 10 hours. Choices include the fan favorite Castle Beach with a half-pound of this meat plus rosemary-garlic aioli, smoked cheddar, pickled onions, and tomatillo-Hatch chili salsa on a toasted French roll. Any sandwich can be turned into a salad, served on top of a bed of arugula instead of on bread.

Don’t fret if you’re a vegetarian or vegan—they have sandwiches, wraps, and salads to meet your needs. Even though I do eat meat, after I tried their vegetarian Route 1 wrap, I have a hard time ordering anything else. It’s an excellent combination of ingredients, creating amazing flavors. A spinach tortilla-type wrap encases roasted vegetables (butternut squash, cauliflower, and broccoli), marinated tomatoes, arugula, Brie cheese, citrus basil mayo, and herb sauce.

By the way, they make all their aiolis and sauces from scratch.

Other yummy items to be aware of: on Saturday and Sunday they serve homemade clam chowder, which sells out every weekend. Exceptional desserts include the Everything Brownie (dark chocolate brownie topped with brownie cubes, toasted pecan nuts, and caramel ganache). Drinks include local canned craft beer and sodas such as small-batch craft Boylan bottles.

For future gift-giving occasions, Seabright Deli offers gift cards in any amount.

Regular hours: Closed Mon & Tues, Open Wed-Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Holiday changes: Closed Dec. 24-28, regular hours after that (including open both New Year’s Eve AND New Year’s Day)

Information:, IG @seabrightdeli, 415 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, 831-515-7484



One lucky reader will win a $50 gift card to Seabright Deli.

To enter, email your name to by Saturday Dec. 25 at 7 p.m. with the words “Seabright Deli” in the subject line. The winner will be notified via email.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 11: Locale

A box of Locale goodies, photo courtesy of Locale

The next “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway” prize is a $50 gift card from online food delivery business Locale. Read below to learn more about Locale and to find out how to enter the prize drawing.

Locale offers weekly delivery of food, with a unique set-up: customers get to choose products from dozens of businesses all over the Bay Area when they place orders, and it all arrives in one box for a flat fee. There is everything from fresh juice, produce and meat/seafood to ready-to-heat food to frozen selections.

In the mood to plan ahead and buy a different food for every day of next week? Locale has you covered. You can get avocados from Brokaw Ranch; pastries or sweets from bakeries like Manresa Bread, Ono Bakehouse, and Fleur de Cocoa; cheese from Cowgirl Creamery and Belfiore; Middle Eastern food from Oren’s Hummus (I had never tried their products before ordering from Locale, and I can highly recommend them); pizza from San Francisco’s Pizzeria Delfina (another product that was new to me, that I loved); Indian food from Curry Up Now, or Singaporean food from Straits—just to name a few! 

Los Gatos-based Locale delivers every Saturday to customers in Santa Cruz County, San Jose and Silicon Valley, the Peninsula, San Francisco, and the Peninsula. They even recently expanded to L.A.—that’s a different site,, with L.A. county businesses providing items for sale.

Jonathan Friedland and Chris Clark co-founded Locale during the pandemic, in May 2020. They created the business after noticing that residents in their Los Gatos community were often waiting a long time for food and that people didn’t want to travel far with shelter in place, etc. The business soon expanded to nearby cities, and it’s grown exponentially since then, continuously adding more partners and products. Locale donates any extra food to Los Gatos’ Live Oaks Senior Center.

Need a gift idea? Locale offers gift cards in any amount.

Information:, IG @localemarket.



One lucky reader will win a $50 digital gift card to Locale.

To enter, email your name to by Friday Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. with the word “Locale” in the subject line. The winner will be notified via email.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 10: Kaito

Sushi and sashimi from Kaito, photo credit Tara Fatemi Walker

Kaito is today’s partner for the “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway:” the prize is $60 in gift cards. Keep reading for how to enter.

I fell in love with Kaito at its original Pleasure Point location on 41st Ave. I’m thankful that after closing that location, it has found a new home in the Capitola Mall, with all of the best menu items moving with it! The offerings include ramen, sushi, curry dishes, and drinks including Japanese Ramune bottled sodas. 

Chef/owner Koji Goto makes 10 different types of ramen. For vegetarians, there is Tofu and Vegetable Ramen with vegetarian broth, steamed veggies and tofu. Chicken lovers tend to enjoy the Ja-Ja Ramen (chicken bone broth with miso paste and other ingredients) or the Spicy Garlic Ramen (that same bone broth with other ingredients plus a slice of BBQ pork). Classic ramen lovers usually get the Tonkotsu Ramen: pork bone broth, corn, seaweed, bamboo, green onion, and a slice of BBQ pork. You can also order a half-size of the Tonkotsu if you’re not as hungry. Visit the website or the restaurant directly to see more options.

I always order some appetizers when I get dinner at Kaito. They have really good seaweed salad and Gyoza, among other things. The Gyoza is chicken or vegetable, steamed or deep-fried; my family usually gets steamed chicken Gyoza and it’s gone in a flash. Other appetizers include tuna poke and shrimp dumplings.

Onto the sushi and sashimi. Kaito has traditional nigiri choices, plus several roll options. Signature sushi rolls include the Live Oak (salmon, crab, avocado), the Hook (Unagi, crab, avocado, masago), and Pink Dragon (salmon over California roll). With sashimi, you can order one type of fish (five or eight pieces; I love the ruby-red tuna) or try the Sashimi Sampler with two slices of five different fish (10 total). No matter what you select, you will be impressed by the freshness and the generous portions.

If you’re in a rush, Kaito always has several pre-packaged items ready to go; these are made fresh daily and include sushi rolls, seaweed salad, and edamame.

Last but not least: dessert. They have a few classic Japanese treats like mochi (red bean or green tea) and green tea roll cake. 

Need a gift for a sushi or ramen lover in your life? Consider a Kaito gift certificate!

Regular hours: Tues-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for lunch, 3-8 p.m. for dinner; Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for lunch, 3-7 p.m. for dinner. Closed Mondays. Deliveries available after 3 p.m. Tues-Sun.

Holiday changes to hours: Closed Saturday-Sunday Dec. 25-26 & Jan 1-2

More Info: Kaito Ramen & Sushi, Capitola Mall, 831-464-2586,, IG @kaitosantacruz



One lucky reader will win $60 in gift certificates for Kaito.

To enter, email your name to by Thursday Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. with the word “Kaito” in the subject line. The winner will be notified via email.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Nine: Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria

Bûche de Noël (Yule log), photo courtesy of Gayle’s

The next “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway” prize is a $50 gift card from beloved Capitola institution Gayle’s Bakery and Rosticceria. Read below for how to win.

Gayle’s Bakery is popular any time of year, and during the holidays it’s especially busy. Although advance online orders have closed for Dec. 21-24, Gayle’s will have limited availability for certain popular items for walk-in customers on those days. These products include holiday appetizers like Deviled Eggs; Gayle’s Basil Torte (layers of sundried tomato & pesto, cream cheese and provolone with chopped pistachios outside—after ordering one of these tasty crowd-pleasing appetizers last year for the holidays, I am getting it again this year); and Creamy Brie Bake (Kalamata olives, sauteed mushrooms and scallions are encased in Gayle’s own Capitola Sourdough bread). Holiday dinners include Roast Turkey with housemade gravy and cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing and green beans with fresh thyme. Side dishes include scrumptious garlic bread loaves. Cakes include Mini Bûche de Noëls, Winter Princess Cake, and Flourless Snowy Forest Cake. Pies include Pumpkin, Apple Crumb, and Olallieberry.

Of course, we have to talk about Gayle’s pastries, including their amazing almond croissants, decadent cinnamon rolls, and savory ham and cheese croissants, all available year-round. They always have a variety of fantastic cookies, and during the holiday season they have specialties like red and green checkerboards (almond shortbread) which comes in individual pre-made cookies or a slice-and-bake log you can make yourself at home.

Although the pastries are a popular breakfast item, Gayle’s also makes wonderful hot breakfast foods like individual quiches (I tried the tomato & spinach one the other day and it was divine) and breakfast burritos (vegetarian option or with bacon). And of course, you can’t go wrong with one of the bakery’s many signature bread loaves, to have at home with butter and jam or whatever your heart desires. These include Joe’s Bread (wheat sourdough), Organic Old World Raisin Walnut Loaf, and Challah.

If you’re not aware of the bakery’s awesome Blue Plate offerings, here are details: every week Gayle’s creates five dinners. You can buy any of them as “cold plates” from Monday-Sunday (until they sell out). Each weekday, there is one Blue Plate special that you can purchase hot after 4 p.m. Recent ones have included Chicken Schnitzel with bacon pepper gravy, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Buttered Green Beans, and Shrimp Scampi with garlic & white wine Linguine, Fresh Asparagus and Rio Baguette. Other dinner ideas include lots of items in the cold case like their fabulous Salmon Niçoise salad. Note these salads won’t be available Dec. 23-24 when there is a limited menu.

Need a gift idea? Gayle’s offers gift cards in any amount.

Regular hours: Daily 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Holiday changes to hours: Open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 24, closed Dec. 25

Information:, IG @gaylesbakery, 504 Bay Ave., Capitola, 831-462-1200



One lucky reader will win a $50 gift card to Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria.

To enter, email your name to by Wednesday Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. with the word “Gayle’s” in the subject line. The winner will be notified via email.

Side note: Please be aware that although my website is called, I am not affiliated with the Instagram account called santacruzfoodie – that is someone else’s account. My IG is @tarafatemiwalker. I have been told many people mistakenly believe @santacruzfoodie is mine.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Eight: Soif & La Posta

Downtown Santa Cruz’s Soif is near Pearl Alley, photo courtesy of restaurant

Soif Wine Bar & Merchants and La Posta Restaurant are today’s partners for the “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway:” the prize is a $50 gift card redeemable at either restaurant. Keep reading for how to enter.

Owner Patrice Boyle, who opened Soif in 2002 and La Posta in 2006, considers herself extremely fortunate to have the current executive chefs at these restaurants. Soif’s Tom McNary joined the team in 2018 and La Posta’s Rodrigo Serna first worked for Boyle at Soif in 2002. “I really love working with both of them,” shares Boyle.

Soif has always had a separate retail wine shop that customers can visit; in 2015 they added a full bar which features handcrafted seasonal cocktails. During the pandemic, Soif expanded to offer front patio seating which is the site of occasional “winemaker takeovers” with special flights. The restaurant also has Oyster Wednesdays. Signature dishes include Little Gem Caesar Salad and a Cheese Board with rotating cheese selections plus quince paste and other goodies. Recent entrees have included Risotto with wild mushrooms, roasted Butternut squash and sage, and Duck Breast with pancetta, balsamic glazed Brassicas, sweet potato puree, and citrus marsala pan sauce. For New Year’s Eve, Chef Tom has created an a la carte menu and Soif is accepting reservations for the dining room and the patio beginning at 5 p.m. Guests dining indoors must provide proof of vaccination. Starters include Humboldt Kumamoto Oysters with Uni, Scallion, Soy, and Sudachi; Warm Crab Salad Stuffed Piquillo Peppers; and Leek and Cauliflower Soup with Gruyere. Main courses include Lobster and Scallop Ravioli with Nantua and Herbs and Squab Breast with Wild Mushroom Ragout, Farro, and Candied Citrus. Desserts include Pumpkin Fritters with Spiced Creme Anglaise, Candied Pepitas, and Chocolate Sauce. Make reservations online or by phone. 

La Posta is renowned for dishes like seasonal rotating pasta selections, specialty pizza (like popular Salsiccia with housemade sausage and Calabrian chili), and exquisite fresh seafood specials featuring fish from Ocean2Table. They are also famous for their bread made with 30-year-old sourdough starter. At the restaurant, you can enjoy White or Walnut-Rosemary Brown (the latter is my favorite) and you can even buy loaves to take home. La Posta also added patio seating during the pandemic that has proven to be very popular; it’s located behind the restaurant. In addition, they offer Neighborhood Nights every Wednesday where you get a free salad (for take-out orders) or a free glass of wine (for on-site dining) with any pizza or pasta purchase. La Posta will offer a fixed price menu to celebrate New Year’s Eve; watch the website for details coming soon.

Need a gift for a foodie or wine connoisseur in your life? Both venues sell gift cards in any amount.

More Information


105 Walnut Ave., 831-423-2020,, IG @soifwine

La Posta

538 Seabright Ave., 831-457-2782,, IG @ lapostarestaurantsc



One lucky reader will win a gift card worth $50 redeemable at either La Posta or Soif.

To enter, email your name to by Tuesday Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. with the words “Soif/La Posta” in the subject line. The winner will be notified via email.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Seven: Mutari Craft Chocolate House

Holiday gifts available at Mutari, photo courtesy of Katy Oursler

The “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway” prize from Santa Cruz’s Mutari Craft Chocolate House is very exciting: a private tour and tasting for up to 10 attendees, valued at $200! The event includes a cup of single origin sipping chocolate and tastings of Mutari’s single-origin chocolate bars for all guests plus education about cacao trees and the process Mutari uses to make their chocolate (including hand sorting and stone grinding the beans). Read below for how to win.

Katy Oursler and Stephen Beaumier own and operate downtown Santa Cruz’s Mutari. The award-winning team makes everything from scratch. They source ethically traded cacao directly from farms and make all of their small batch chocolate in house from the bean.

If you’re looking for gift ideas or want to buy yourself a sweet treat, you’re in luck. There are a la carte truffles, or beautiful ready-to-go gift boxes of truffles, made in-house from Mutari’s bean to bar chocolate. These come as four, nine or 16 to a box. There are ones with ingredients from local and regional artisans and farms such as Venus Spirits Brown Butter Milk Chocolate, Far West Fungi Candy Cap Brown Butter Milk and India Joze Chai Dark. The Mutari team can also help you curate your own Craft Chocolate Gift Boxes. And while you’re shopping, you might want to buy their soft serve ice cream (like plant-based Uganda dark chocolate, yum!).

Also available: Single Origin Chocolate Bars. In addition, they sell bottles of handcrafted craft chocolate powder for at home do-it-yourself hot chocolate (think Himalayan Pink Salt or Spicy Mexican), decadent brownies, and housemade chocolate-covered marshmallows—good on their own or to accompany the Craft Hot Chocolate. Mutari also offers gift certificates.

Regular hours: Wed-Sun Noon-6 p.m. (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

Expanded holiday hours: They will be open on Monday and Tuesday this week for extra holiday shopping. Hours from Dec. 20-Dec. 23 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 24 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Closed Dec. 25

Information:, IG @mutarichocolate, 504A Front St., Santa Cruz, 831-687-8141



One lucky reader will win a Mutari Craft Chocolate House private tour and tasting for up to 10 attendees ($200 value), which must be used by Feb. 14, 2022.

To enter, email your name to by Monday Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. with the word “Mutari” in the subject line. The winner will be notified via email.

Side note: Please be aware that although my website is called, I am not affiliated with the Instagram account called santacruzfoodie – that is someone else’s account. My IG is @tarafatemiwalker. I have been told many people mistakenly believe @santacruzfoodie is mine.

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