Cafe 225’s seasonally changing menu is a tour of California. Fresh seafood evokes the state’s scenic coastline, and chicken breasts hot from the oak-charcoal grill come with drizzles of cream sauce and slices of avocado that call to mind the state’s lush avocado groves. Crowned in fire-roasted chilies and chipotle aioli, the eatery’s burgers mimic the spiciness of the Mexican food just across the border; with bacon and locally sourced cheddar, meanwhile, they become a tastier American classic than a baseball on a pie tin. An array of personal pizzas and pastas rounds out the menu, and the wooden bar’s selection of 70 wines and artisanal beers complements meals.
The restaurant’s proprietor got his start in the industry at the age of 12, when he helped make sandwiches during the lunchtime rush at his father’s San Francisco eatery. In the ensuing decades, he has cultivated the know-how and taste to construct Cafe 225’s menu, along with its exposed kitchen and rotisserie grill. Today, he even makes a point of sourcing as many ingredients as possible from environmentally sustainable companies.
Roasting fresh coffee daily, this independent shop distributes a variety of premium beans that range from smooth to bold, as well as specialty bags of organic and flavored coffees like chocolate macadamia nut, cinnamon nut cream, pumpkin spice, and Irish cream. Mavericks Roasting Company's leading roast, Midnight Ride ($12.95/pound), embodies the company's signature style, with 100% pure Arabica beans slow roasted to bold, bitterness-free, aromatic bliss. On the lighter side, try Peru Organic—certified by the Organic Crop Improvement Association—which is roasted with the same pure Arabica beans to a smooth finish, or the indulgent Mudslide, which is so satisfyingly rich, you might find Scrooge McDuck swimming in it.
At Zen Asian Diner, chefs are versed in cuisine ranging from traditional Chinese to American-style dishes. They sear and fry fresh ingredients to create egg foo young tossed with vegetables or barbecue pork, chop suey with meats such as chicken and shrimp. Additionally, the menu includes mouth-watering Asian fusion dishes such as curry-drizzled chicken and Mongolian-style spicy beef. Zen Asian Diner also serves aromatic cuisine beyond its doors—they have a catering team that assembles party platters for off-site events.
Blossom Trail Cafe's head chef, Peppino Caracciolo, whips up piquant, Italian-inspired cuisine in a charming, casual café setting perched among the Blossom Trail's picturesque orange and plum orchards. Delve into the creative concoctions and fresh ingredients peppering the dinner menu with the fried calamari ($8.99) or the bruschetta ($5.99). Entreewise, the Salmon Fantasia ($15.99) arrives baked and adorned with fresh tomatoes, capers, and kalamata olives, and 16 ounces of capital-lettered flavor lumbers in each T-bone steak ($19.99). Sip a frothy domestic beer ($3) and take in the view from the outdoor patio as you nosh the half-pound Italian burger and fries ($8.99), or let pasta pirouette around your fork with an order of spaghetti ($8.99), served with fresh marinara or meat sauce.
Since 1999, when Pete A. Cisneros Sr. opened Pappy's Coffee Shop, the rustic, homestyle eatery has attracted locals with generous portions of classic American diner food. From 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day, chefs sizzle eggs alongside chicken-fried steak, jumbo cuts of ham, or fried bologna, and pile plates with seven-grain pancakes and waffles. Their 8-ounce burgers can arrive with Freedom fries or fried okra, and charming, 1-quart mason jars of cold soft drinks. The walls boast American and oil-rig-inspired memorabilia, creating an ambiance more down-home and eclectic than the vintage furniture-juggling contest at the state fair.
A smiling sunflower beams from Lollicup’s walls, menus, and cups. It’s an appropriate emblem for a teashop that specializes in whimsical drinks flavored with cotton candy, bubblegum, and passion fruit. Drink slingers pour more than 170 tea- and milk-based beverages and anchor them with tapioca, pudding, jelly, and tiny anvils. Though the drinks may be kid-friendly and colorful, Lollicup’s curators take the ingredients seriously: they select only the freshest cassava root for their boba and brew green and black teas from high-quality leaves.