Village Grill & Creamery serves a broad menu of American favorites peppered with international eats. During the early hours of the day, diners can grab coffee alongside a signature breakfast burrito, loaded with a choice of meat, including bacon, chorizo, or veggie sausage. Lunch and dinner options range from 1/3-pound sirloin-beef or turkey burgers to philly cheesesteaks and gyros. And for dessert, 48 types of locally made frozen treats from Polar Bear Ice Cream and Marianne's Ice Cream cap off meals, in flavors such as burgundy cherry, banana and honey, and Mexican chocolate.
There's meticulous attention to detail in every flakey layer of Capitola Coffee Roasters and Patisserie's baked goods. The team creates their pastries by hand each morning, but the process starts even earlier. They first source real butter, unbleached flour, and other organic ingredients when possible. Then they mix the dough, which in some cases chills for 20 hours. Each passing minute infuses the future treat with more texture and flavor. Only then is it ready to turn into a breakfast bun, croissant, or danish. As the day goes on, the oven welcomes other desserts: bread pudding, apple pies made with organic fruit, or perhaps a flour-less chocolate cake. Oftentimes, the deservedly proud bakers post photos of their current creation on Facebook.
Outside this kitchen, aromas of tea and fresh-roasted coffee dance their way through the air. Baristas mix and pour all sorts of caffeinated drinks, including cappuccino, lattes, and chai tea. They often add house made whipped cream or flavored syrups for extra flavor. While Capitola Coffee Roasters and Patisserie still emphasizes breakfast, the shop serves sandwiches and soup, also known as liquid sandwiches.
Lisa Brighton baked her first treat—a peach cobbler—when she was just 4 years old. She had some help, of course, from her great-grandmother, Hazel, who taught her which spices to use and which spices to throw over her shoulder. Hazel also handed down several generations of family recipes and a passion for baking that’s been in the family genes for more than 100 years. Lisa puts it to good use at Starz Cupcakes, which she co-owns with her daughter Connie.
Lisa and Connie estimate that they make 220 different kinds of cupcakes, including 17 velvets—a new take on the classic red velvet—in ultra-bright colors such as coral, teal, and purple. They also bake gluten-free cupcakes for customers with gluten allergies, and sugar-free versions for sweets lovers on low-sugar diets. And the tiny cakes are as beautiful as they are delicious; each one is topped with a dollop of frosting and decorative trimmings such as sprinkles, chocolate chips, or coconut flakes.
After a decade of researching and perfecting cookie recipes, Larry and Shelly Pearson opened Pacific Cookie Company in 1980. Their cookie operation has expanded since those early days, when they focused on just five flavors. They now whip together 13 flavors of cookies, each consisting of simple, quality ingredients, such as Guittard chocolate, pure vanilla extract, cane sugar, and unbleached flour. Cookies are dished out alongside scoops of locally-sourced favorite, Marianne's Ice Cream. If you can't make it to Pacific Cookie Company's Berkeley or Santa Cruz shops, don't fret. The company ships its cookies—along with gift baskets, cookie tins, and gift boxes—to customers around the solar system.
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Café Iveta's gourmet bakery slings award-winning scones ($2 each) into Santa Cruz's sustenance receptacles, with scone mixes blended in-house and crafted from artisan flour, organic sugar, Tahitian vanilla, and Belgian chocolate. Sconic scions include apple, blueberry, and raspberry. For those desiring something other than British quick-bread, Café Iveta also offers a menu of other fresh-baked favorites. Reach a truce with your taste buds by partaking of pastries ($1.65–$3.50) or the frittata of the day ($3.50), or launch into the lunch layer of the appetitosphere with sandwiches ($4.95–$5.50), pasta salad ($4.50), or soup du jour ($4.50). Guests can celebrate a valiant victory over victuals by toasting with a warm Lavazza espresso drink ($1.50–$4), a fresh-mulled lemonade ($2.75), or a lime-mint spritzer ($3.50).