Category Archives: Restaurants

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 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 Six: Zameen Cuisine

Red chili chicken salad at Zameen, photo courtesy of restaurant

Zameen Cuisine is today’s partner for the “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway” with a $50 gift card prize. Keep reading for how to enter.

There are three locations to enjoy Zameen’s amazing food:

The Point (851 41st Ave.) Open Tues-Sun from noon-7:30 p.m.

Aptos (7528 Soquel Ave.) Thurs-Sun from noon-7:30 p.m.

The Hangar (45 Aviation Way #3, Watsonville) Tues-Thurs 11:30a.m.-3:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Owner Ed Watson, who opened the first Zameen in Aptos in 2007, refers to the food as “A Californian twist on Mediterranean street food.” There are dishes to satisfy both carnivores and vegetarians, and several kids’ selections for your little ones.

You can choose a protein like falafel, red chili chicken (the harissa has a flavorful kick), gyros or lamb and then have it as a salad, wrap or bowl. Select delicious pearl couscous with cranberries and almonds or perfectly seasoned saffron rice for your bowl’s base. I have a hard time ordering anything but the salads, since the combination of ingredients work so well together: they include pickled red onions, olives, garbanzo beans, feta, and a refreshing lemony vinaigrette. But the bread Zameen uses for the wraps is really good, so you can’t go wrong no matter what you get!

Popular appetizers include Greek-style garlic fries topped with feta, fried calamari with green onion yogurt dipping sauce, and Moroccan Madness soup. The latter is an addicting, very comforting vegan creation with ingredients including chickpeas, curry, coconut milk and garlic.

Need a gift for a Mediterranean food-loving friend or loved one? They sell gift cards in any amount, either online or in person.

More Information, IG @zameencuisine



One lucky reader will win a Zameen gift card worth $50.

To enter, email your name to by Sunday Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. with the word “Zameen” in the subject line. The winner will be notified via email.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Four: Jack O’Neill Restaurant

Appetizers from Jack O’Neill Restaurant including Kennebec potato chips and crab cakes, photo courtesy of restaurant

Jack O’Neill Restaurant & Lounge at Dream Inn Santa Cruz is today’s partner for the “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway” with a $50 gift card prize. Keep reading for how to enter.

Gus Trejo, who currently serves as executive chef for Jack O’Neill and all of Dream Inn’s culinary operations, is very talented and creative. Plus, he sources many ingredients—from seasonings to seafood—from our local community. To name a few: the housemade Kennebec potato chips feature Big Sur Salts diablo sea salt, the cured meat and cheese board includes jam from Friend in Cheese Jam Co., and select entrees include mushrooms from Far West Fungi, produce from Sea to Sky Farm, or chicken from Fogline Farm.

During a recent dinnertime visit, my family enjoyed a delectable flatbread with Kuri squash and Burrata and perfectly flakey Dungeness crab cakes with a scrumptious Remoulade (we fought a little over the last bites). The wonderful entrees included Chef Trejo’s signature Prawns & Pasta with ravioli, prawn bisque, and pea shoots. The variety of ravioli rotates depending on the season.

Jack O’Neill is serving prix fixe multi-course dinners on Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31. Featured Christmas dishes that guests will choose from include Scallop Crudo, Warm Chicories, Wedge Salad, Rib “Eye” of Beef, Gnudi & Lobster, and Death by Chocolate.  For New Year’s Eve, Chef Trejo will prepare dishes such as Celeriac Root Bisque, Lobster Toast, Fillet of Beef, and Vanilla Crème Brulee. That night, there will be live music from 5–7 p.m. & 7:30 –10:30 p.m. Christmas is $85 per person & New Year’s Eve is $110 per person (the latter includes champagne). Reservations are required at or 831.460.5012.

Contact Information, IG @jack_oneill_restaurant, 175 West Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz



One lucky reader will win a Jack O’Neill gift card worth $50.

To enter, email your name to by Friday Dec. 17 at 10 p.m. with the words “Jack O’Neill” in the subject line. The drawing will take place the next morning and the winner will be notified via email.

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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day Three: Shadowbrook Restaurant

Shadowbrook Restaurant’s main dining room, photo courtesy of Shadowbrook

Capitola restaurant Shadowbrook has graciously donated a $75 gift card for Day 3 of my “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.” Keep reading for how to enter.

Serving local and tourist fans since 1947, Shadowbrook is an icon. Some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes include bacon-wrapped prawns, baked brie, and clam chowder (in the menu’s appetizer section) and entrees like ‘Pacific Rim’ salmon (featured in Bon Appetit magazine) and slow-roasted Angus prime rib. Vegetarians enjoy dishes such as the soba noodle medley with tofu and shiitakes or black truffle gnocchi. Favorite desserts include a famous “Chocolate Meltdown” (molten cake served with vanilla bean ice cream).

The Rock Room Bar & Lounge features a few options from the main dining room menu plus sandwiches and burgers and specialty wood-fired pizzas. Shadowbrook also has one of the best kids’ menus in town, in my humble opinion. Lots of variety for diners 12 and under!

Many people enjoy dining at Shadowbrook all year long, and during the holidays. They are already fully booked for “dining room seating” on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but they accept walk-ins for the Rock Room and for patio seating. For New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, some reservations are still available. Visit the holiday section of Shadowbrook’s website for more information.  

An easy gift for foodies is Shadowbrook gift cards. You can order virtual cards online or shop by phone or in person at the restaurant.

Regular (non-holiday) hours:

Rock Room Bar & Lounge: Mon-Thurs 3:30-10 p.m., Fri-Sun Noon-10 p.m.

Dining Rooms:  Mon-Fri 4-8:45 p.m., Sat 2-9:45 p.m., Sun 2-8:45 p.m.

Information:, IG @shadowbrook_restaurant

Location: 1750 Wharf Road, Capitola, 831-475-1511



One lucky reader will win a Shadowbrook gift card worth $75.

To enter, email your name to by Friday Dec. 17 at 10 p.m. with the word “Shadowbrook” in the subject line. The drawing will take place the next morning and 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 One: Pono Hawaiian Kitchen & Tap in Santa Cruz

Teriyaki tofu bowl at Pono Hawaiian Kitchen & Tap

Pono Hawaiian Kitchen & Tap on Capitola Road consistently serves happy customers with its Aloha spirit, so I thought it fitting for them to be the first participant in Santa Cruz Foodie’s “12 Days of Christmas Giveaways” with prizes from wonderful local businesses.

Pono Hawaiian Kitchen & Tap currently offers indoor dining, patio dining, takeout, and delivery.

Hours are 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Upcoming holiday hours: Open Dec. 24 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; closed Dec. 25, open Dec. 26 4-8 p.m., Jan 1. closed.

The menu is diverse and can satisfy people with varying tastes. There are teriyaki bowls, poke plates, Hawaiian-style tacos, burgers, made-in-house Kalua pork dishes, and more. With the delicious fresh poke, you can choose from 10 varieties like Braddah Timmy’s with chili flakes, avocado, cucumber, sesame oil, Alaea sea salt, sweet onion, green onion, and housemade kimchee.

As the name suggests, Pono Hawaiian Kitchen & Tap has lots of drinks on tap including Maui Brewing draft beer and hard seltzer, Corralitos beer, Tanuki cider, and Kombucha.  

Pono Gift card special through 12/31: a $25 card costs $20 or buy a $100 card & get a $20 bonus card.

Located in Silicon Valley? Owner Timmy Hunt opened Pono Hawaiian Grill San Jose one year ago. It’s a cloud kitchen that does takeout and delivery; there is no on-site dining. Visit or IG @ponosanjose.

Contact Information for main Santa Cruz location:

Pono Hawaiian Kitchen & Tap, 3744 Capitola Rd., 831-476-7458, IG @ponokitchenandtap



One lucky reader will win a Pono gift card worth $50, valid at the Capitola location.

To enter, email your name to by Wednesday Dec. 15 at 10 p.m. with the word “Pono” in the subject line. The drawing will take place the next morning and 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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A little more time to catch Pacific Catch’s Endless Summer menu

Endless Summer menu highlights, photo courtesy of Pacific Catch

Fabulous restaurant Pacific Catch, known for its sustainably sourced seafood and other delicious dishes, has a great ‘bonus menu’ going on through the end of October. “Endless Summer” features dishes like Ahi Poke Bombs, Pupu Platter, Korean Poke Bibimbap, and Passionfruit Pot De Crème. Suggested cocktails to accompany the limited-time food menu include Shark’s Tooth and Lilikoi Mai Tai.

The restaurant invited me to sample the Endless Summer menu, and I am so glad that I took them up on this opportunity. Here are some highlights from my recent lunch at the Campbell location, where I dined on the outdoor patio: I tried an Ahi Poke Bomb (Inari tofu pocket filled with sushi rice and choice of original, Korean, or serrano yellowfin tuna pokes; 1 for $5 or 3 for $13). I chose original – it was extremely fresh fish and the seasonings and textures worked beautifully together.

Next, I enjoyed a Ceviche Taco (fresh jicama shells filled with shredded lettuce and choice of three ceviches: Baja shrimp, sea bass, or spicy yellowtail; 1 for $5 or 3 for $13). I picked sea bass. The flavor was mild and satisfying, the fish very tender. This was a perfect snack-sized treat that got my mouth primed for my entree.

I almost chose the Endless Summer Rainbow Sushi Bowl ($25) for my entrée; with a variety of sashimi plus crab salad and more, it was very tempting. In the end I decided on Korean Poke Bibimbap ($19). What an exquisite combination of ingredients! The large platter came with Korean ahi poke, spicy cucumber banchan, kimchi, pickled carrot, shiitake, edamame, and sushi rice, plus a gochujang soy-chili sauce that adds savory heat. You can also add on a sunny-side egg ($2) or Korean-style steak ($6); I was in the mood for steak and was very happy I ordered this ‘extra.’ If you’re unfamiliar with banchan, like the cucumber in this entrée, these are usually cold “side dishes of vegetables” served alongside rice in Korean cuisine.

My dining companion selected a dish off the regular menu: the restaurant’s immensely popular Lobster Roll ($27). Picture this: a butter-toasted King’s® Hawaiian roll overflowing with tarragon-and-dill-seasoned lobster salad, avocado, radish, romaine, and chives. Pacific Catch is generous with both the lobster and the fabulously fresh avocado. Not only did my lunch partner devour the sandwich down to the wonderful roll’s last crumb, but he also savored every bite of the addictive sesame slaw that comes on the side.

A couple more notes about our visit: during the meal, we received attentive service. The diners at the patio’s other tables all looked well-fed and well-cared-for. In addition, I have to mention the high-quality, nice-looking dinnerware that our food was served on. It was impressive enough that I turned over one of my plates to look up the brand in case I wanted to buy some for myself at a future date. It’s England-based Dudson and through online research I discovered the company only makes tableware for the hospitality market. Ah well, I will just enjoy it when dining at Pacific Catch.   

Speaking of visiting PC, I recommend doing that as soon as possible—or at least by the end of October! That way, you can try some of these limited-time goodies, and sprinkle in a few selections from the regular menu as well.

If you’re a Pacific Catch rookie, I have a tip: peruse the menu ahead of time at or you might be overwhelmed. It’s giant and has something for everyone, including influences from a range of cuisines. Over the three times I’ve been there I have not been disappointed with anything I’ve tasted. The diverse menu includes appetizers like shiitake miso soup, and dishes like sushi rolls, shrimp tacos, a Wagyu beef cheeseburger, and fish and chips (with the aforementioned sesame slaw). There are sides like Thai brussels sprouts, turmeric tahini cauliflower, Mexican-style corn on the cob, and Kimchi fried rice. There are also kids’ dishes for your little ones.

A Bowls & Greens section has tantalizing pre-designed combinations but if these aren’t to your liking, you can substitute a different base or protein (the latter includes salmon, grilled tofu, skirt steak, chicken breast, and more). Last, but by no means least, check out the Fresh Catch section. First you pick a fish from three choices including Hawaiian yellowtail. Then you select a style from four choices including Golden Turmeric or Asian Herb Chimichurri. Finish by picking a side and you’ll be served a filling, tasty large meal. 

Learn more about Pacific Catch—with 11 Bay Area locations such as Santa Clara and San Francisco—at

Pacific Catch Campbell location & hours:

1875 S Bascom Ave. 550, Campbell,  (408) 879-9091

Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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A few Bay Area Father’s Day meals

Father’s Day Box from Teleferic

Need last-minute Father’s Day plans and want to venture outside Santa Cruz County? Here are a few choices, including ones in San Jose, with menu highlights. Happy Father’s Day weekend!

Winner Winner Chicken (San Mateo)  Located in San Mateo’s Hillsdale Mall, Winner Winner Chicken is known for their hot chicken, gourmet salads and nostalgic desserts.  Just in time for Father’s Day, it’s launching ‘Champange Wishes & Hot Chicken Dreams’ brunch service this weekend. This menu is available until 3pm:

  • COASTAL BERRIES & GREEK YOGURT $6.95 house granola & maple syrup
  • CHARRED AVOCADO TOAST $9.95 artisan achiote sourdough, old school egg salad, Haas avocado, wild arugula, lemon oil, everything bagel seasoning
  • CHICKEN & WAFFLE $14.95
    Belgian cheddar waffle, Maldon sea salt butter, maple syrup
  • THE VARSITY SANDWICH $13.95 applewood bacon, maple ham, fried cage free eggs, American cheese,
    artisan sourdough, comeback sauce, served w/ side or fries or tots
  • GRIDDLED CUSTARD FRENCH TOAST $9.95 coastal berries, maple syrup, balsamic sugar
  • WINNER WINNER BRUNCH BURRITO $12.95 crispy chicken, scrambled cage free eggs, applewood bacon, tater tots, house pico, queso, salsa rojo

Pacific Catch (Over 11 locations throughout the Bay Area, including San Jose)   Enjoy laid back aloha vibes with a fun food menu and a full bar. Pacific Catch, best known for their sustainable seafood, has many offerings for dads and families to choose from. From their Livin’ Aloha menu featuring musubis, poke tostadas and the moco loco burger, to fish burgers, tacos, ceviches and poke bowls, Pacific Catch is a perfect spot for seafood-loving dads.  

Teleferic Barcelona (Palo Alto and Walnut Creek)   For dads looking to celebrate with a Spanish twist, head to Teleferic Barcelona which is known for its menu featuring Spanish tapas and paellas (seven choices such as Mediterranean Crab, Paella Truffle or Negro). Several sangrias include signature Sangria Teleferic with red wine, gin and brandy.  A special Father’s Day Dinner box comes with an assortment of tapas, paella and dessert for two; order here.

1) Choice of: Sangria (32 Oz – Serves 3 glasses) Wine (Red/White/Rose)

2) Gazpacho: Traditional cold tomato soup made of raw, blended vegetables,8oz (gf, v)

3) Tuna Tacos: Marinated ahi tuna with mashed avocado & wonton shells

4) Jamón Ibérico (38 months cured): Iberian pata negra ham 38 months cured (gf)

5) Aged Mahón Cheese: Hard white cheese made from cows’ milk, named after the town and natural port of Maó, on the island of Menorca off the Mediterranean coast of Spain. 

6) Choice of Paella (serves 2):

Mixta: Pork, mushrooms chicken, gulf shrimp, calamari, & octopus (gf) (serves 2)

Carne:Wild mushrooms, chicken & pork (gf) (serves 2)

Vegetarian: Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans & mushrooms (gf, v) (serves 2)

7) Torrija: French toast with Catalan cream & vanilla dressing (v)

King’s Fish House (San Jose)  Dads can have a meal “fit for a king.” Selections include Prime Steaks, Surf & Turf as well as items from the raw bar, shellfish platters and fish house favorites. Drinks include beer and 10 specialty cocktails.  

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Santa Cruz Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Local gifts, part 6

Aptos Apiary honey, one of many gift options at local farmers markets
Photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Community Farmers Markets

Here is part 6 of my holiday foodie gift guide—with some ideas for bakeries, Italian groceries, farmers markets and more. Let’s shop local and support small businesses as much as we can this season (and beyond)!

Also see:

Gift guide part 1

Gift guide part 2

Gift guide part 3

Gift guide part 4

Gift guide part 5

Note: some past installments include events that have taken place, but they also mention local businesses you can still support!

Bakery Gift Cards

Your favorite local bakery can use your support right now. One idea: visit in-person and buy a gift card and one bakery item & put them together for a nice gift! Or if you prefer to shop from home, buy a gift card online. Our wonderful local bakeries include Gayle’s, The Buttery, The Farm, and Companion Bakeshop. Going to Gayle’s? You might combine it with a stop to neighboring Lyons and Melrose, which offers floral arrangements plus a variety of gifts like unique ornaments, European candles, soap, home décor, and packaged sweets. Visiting The Buttery? Its Soquel Avenue location is just four blocks down from the shop Home/Work, which features gift ideas like mugs and bowls, bamboo lunch boxes, beeswax wrap, aprons, homemade hot sauce kits, and seed ball kits like “Pizza Garden” (grow your toppings).  The Farm Bakery, Café & Gifts has its own chock-full-of-fun-items gift shop. You can pick up one of their signature fruit tarts plus things like housewares, linens, whimsical water bottles, cookbooks, candles, toys, and more. Companion Bakeshop has two locations; the Aptos one is in the same center as Outside-In, a shop that has enticing items like botanical candles, travel mugs, Talavera dishes, fleece jackets, puzzles, and ornaments.  

Farmers Markets

Your local farmers market is a wonderful place to shop for gifts. Santa Cruz Community Farmers Markets runs these markets: Wednesday downtown Santa Cruz (DT), Saturday westside Santa Cruz (WS), Sunday Live Oak (LO), and Felton and Scotts Valley (both closed for the season). Below is information on several vendors and products, and their corresponding markets. A fun gift idea to either put with these products or use on its own? Each market sells gift certificates in any amount at the information table at. These funds can be spent over time at any stand at any of the markets. For exact market locations, hours, and more info, visit

Listed alphabetically:

  • Apricot King – preserves and dried fruit – DT
  • Aptos Apiary – honey – DT
  • Ashby Confections – DT, WS
  • Bella Vista – olive oil – WS
  • Blossom’s Biodynamic Farm – DT, WS, LO
  • Blue House – dry beans and popcorn – WS
  • Copper Moon Apothecary – soaps, lotions and salves – WS, LO
  • Dirty Girl – tomato preserves – DT, LO
  • Fruition Brewing – DT weekly, LO & WS rotation
  • Good Faith Farm – olives and olive oil – DT
  • Hakouya Miso – DT, WS, LO
  • Hidden Fortress – coffee beans – DT, LO
  • Home Away – fresh pastas, sauces, charcuterie, olives – DT, WS, LO
  • Il Biscotto – traditional Italian cookies – DT weekly, WS and LO rotation
  • Pottery – DT, WS, LO
  • Prevedelli – preserves – DT
  • R & K Honey – WS, LO
  • Santa Cruz Cider – DT
  • Stocking stuffers – things like persimmons, pomegranates, kiwis – DT, WS, LO

Italian goodies

Some Italian restaurants—like Seabright’s Tramonti and midtown Santa Cruz’s Sugo—have created “miniature markets” inside their dining rooms in order to sell holiday gifts. Both are posting pics on Instagram of select offerings, so it might be a good idea to browse online before shopping. Also, Aptos-based Italian restaurant Mentone has a few items that would make good gifts. Visit Tramonti (IG @tramonti_santacruz) for pre-assembled gift baskets with artisan Italian selections or a la carte items like a package of Italian chocolates or fancy balsamic vinegar. If you can manage perishable items with your gift they have a refrigerated grab and go section with things like housemade marinated artichokes, jarred housemade Italian sauce, and packaged gnocchi. Visit Sugo (IG @sugoitalianpastabar) – for packaged pasta, sauce, and Panettone, an Italian type of sweet bread that’s traditional around Christmas. Visit Mentone (IG @MentoneCA) for tee- and sweat-shirts, beanies, wine, and cocktail kits. They are also taking pre-orders for Xmas Eve dinner with add-ons like a holiday wine pack and ManresaBread cookies and granola. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention downtown Santa Cruz’s Zoccoli’s Deli, which has been in business since 1948 and is fully stocked all year long with Italian groceries including sweets. All four of these places have gift cards that you can purchase as well, either for the entire gift or to combine with other items to make your own special gift.

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