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Family weekend in Aptos

jersey girl May 13, 2008 08:02 PM

Hi all,
I am heading down to Aptos with my husband and two older daughters ( 19 and 12) for a long family oriented weekend. Any suggestions for places to go for breakfasts, dinner, ice cream; fun things to do, etc?? I think we'll be near the beach there, hopefully able to walk down to it. We like good food, although not wildly expensive. Thai or Chinese trumps Indian or japanese ( not everyone is crazy about the latter 2 in our family); fish, and the proverbial steaks, and (good) burgers are fine. There actually is a Blues Festival I just found out about, but sadly, neither girl has much interest, and since tickets per day, doesn't seem worth it for us. Any and all suggestions appreciated, thanks!

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  1. m
    ML8000 RE: jersey girl May 13, 2008 08:43 PM

    I think Aptos is part of the California board:


    1 Reply
    1. re: ML8000
      jersey girl RE: ML8000 May 13, 2008 09:35 PM

      Thanks -- I missed those posts somehow :-(

    2. p
      pattycakes71 RE: jersey girl May 13, 2008 09:23 PM

      We live nearby in a little village called Corralitos. Our fav Thai is called Sawasadee in Soquel-- try the catfish. The crowd pleaser in our area is Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria. You'll get great sandwiches, hot items and bakery of course.
      nothing is very far in Santa Cruz so going "downtown" for dinner is really just a 10 min drive. If you want to go "out for dinner" my top recommendations would be Avanti or Soif.
      Santa Cruz County has the highest concentration of organic farms in the state. We grow the best of the best here, but unfortunately most of the organic bounty grown locally ends up in a truck heading to SF restaurants, Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market. The produce that stays here is sold at our Saturday market at Cabrillo College from 7am-1 pm. You should stop by and take in the market it is small but lovely.

      don't forget your sunscreen! this weekend its going to be HOT!

      4 Replies
      1. re: pattycakes71
        toodie jane RE: pattycakes71 May 15, 2008 08:34 AM

        Yes! If in town on Saturday, the CC Farmer's Market is a do-not-miss!
        Everything from orchids to bread, mushrooms, seafood, pastries, eggs, veggies, potted plants, and.....Accordion Man! not to mention the Saturday FM Band playing for your enjoyment.

        (if this is considered a small market, I'd hate to take you to ours, lol)

        1. re: toodie jane
          jersey girl RE: toodie jane May 16, 2008 08:08 PM

          I will be going on the weekend with the Blues Festival and the buses to the festival leave from the CC parking lot. Where abouts is the farmers' market at CC? Is it hard to find??

          1. re: jersey girl
            toodie jane RE: jersey girl May 17, 2008 09:04 AM

            The FM is at the parking lot---use the north(west?) campus entrance--just follow the signs. Sweet elena's pastries, lowest level--don't miss.
            sorry if this is too late.

            1. re: toodie jane
              jersey girl RE: toodie jane May 20, 2008 08:41 AM

              Thanks, toodie, not too late at all, we're heading down this weekend! I'm very jazzed, everyone's given me great suggestions!

      2. m
        Matt of Aptos RE: jersey girl May 14, 2008 02:05 PM


        For breakfast in Aptos, the Red Apple Cafe is the best. I would also recommend The Farm Bakery.

        For regular ice cream, we have a Baskin Robbins. For soft serve, we have the Sno-White Drive-In. And believe it or not, we have a tanning salon called Sunsational that serves excellent frozen yogurt. The next closest place for ice cream would be in Capitola Village, which would be a fun place to walk around with a cone.

        There is a Thai restaurant in Aptos called Bangkok West that is popular with some us locals. I've not been there, but I highly recommend Sawasdee in Soquel.

        There are four Chinese restaurants in Aptos. The best is Panda Inn. Lucky Dragon and Hong Kong Garden are solid. Avoid Uncle Kwok's.

        Burgers: I've not tried it yet, but the Bleu Spoon is known for good burgers. Carpo's in Soquel is a good place for burgers. We also have a place called The Aptos Burger Company. I actually don't like their burgers, but I go there for their salads.

        If you want pizza, try Aptos Pizza or Pizza 1.

        Dinner places to try:

        Severino's: http://www.seacliffinn.com/severinos_...

        Manuel's: http://www.manuelsrestaurant.com/

        Bittersweet Bistro: http://www.bittersweetbistro.com/

        Cafe Rio: http://www.cafe-rio.com/

        I'll post more if I have time.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Matt of Aptos
          jersey girl RE: Matt of Aptos May 14, 2008 10:04 PM

          Many thanks, Matt! Is there a particular ice cream place in Capitola village you'd recommend?

          1. re: jersey girl
            Matt of Aptos RE: jersey girl May 14, 2008 10:40 PM

            I like Polar Bear Ice Cream. There is also a ice cream shop called Souza's, but I've not tried it yet.

        2. m
          Matt of Aptos RE: jersey girl May 14, 2008 11:02 PM

          Here are some more websites for places in Aptos:








          1. s
            Soquel_Diner RE: jersey girl May 15, 2008 10:56 AM

            Hey jersey girl!

            I agree with Matt's recommendations - "What he said!"

            I go to Gayle's Bakery for breakfast a lot, I get their scrambled egg filled croissants, available plain, with ham or (my choice) with bacon! Their menu changes throughout the day, so you can go there for any meal! (And of course their chocolate mousse cake is good anytime!)

            I have had good dinners at the Sparrow Cafe in Aptos, and I believe they also serve breakfast, but perhaps only on the week-ends? (Hey Matt - what about the Sparrow?)

            Enjoy your time in Aptos, I like to walk in the Forest of Nisene Marks, lots of nice trails and flora that makes me think of the Jurassic Era! ^L^

            - Thomas

            2 Replies
            1. re: Soquel_Diner
              Matt of Aptos RE: Soquel_Diner May 15, 2008 11:34 AM

              Yes, Cafe Sparrow would be another place to try in Aptos. They've had mixed reviews on Chowhound, but a lot of people love them. I believe they have brunch on the weekends. They used to have a website, but I can't find it anymore.

              1. re: Matt of Aptos
                Enorah RE: Matt of Aptos May 15, 2008 11:45 AM

                We ate at Cafe Sparrow a a couple of years ago and really liked it.

                Also, The Farmhouse Cafe, was one that we liked as well

                And of course - Gayle's

            2. m
              Matt of Aptos RE: jersey girl May 15, 2008 11:50 AM

              You might enjoy taking a drive through the country south of Aptos. If you do, check these places out:

              Corralitos Market. Famous for their sausage and marinated meats. Get a sandwich at the deli counter and have a picnic in the park across the street from the market.


              Freedom Meat Locker. Excellent marinated tri-tip and skirt steak sandwiches. Sausage and cold deli sandwiches too. They have picnic tables outside for you to enjoy your food.



              For pie and other goodies:


              1. m
                Matt of Aptos RE: jersey girl May 15, 2008 09:19 PM

                The little town of Soquel, located between Aptos and Santa Cruz, is known for it's restaurants and antique shops. You may want to check these out:







                2 Replies
                1. re: Matt of Aptos
                  Enorah RE: Matt of Aptos May 16, 2008 07:23 AM

                  Cafe Cruz. We had a couple of really good meals there.

                  1. re: Matt of Aptos
                    jersey girl RE: Matt of Aptos May 20, 2008 08:46 AM

                    Matt, Thanks for all your great suggestions, both of restaurants and Freedom Meat Locker and Gizdich Ranch, et. al.. Great ideas, and my mouth is watering just thinking about the possibilities. We're heading down to Aptos this weekend, I'll let you know where we end up eating/doing.

                  2. l
                    lesliemcgee RE: jersey girl May 16, 2008 11:40 AM

                    Palapas in the seascape center is excellent, Seafood with a mexican kick.
                    for quick lunces on the beach and great gelato try pixie deli on venetian rd. (very close to rio del mar beach) a great coffee place on Soquel drive in the Aptos Village is Norma Jeans,and for some fun how about heading to Watsonville to see the Road Angels Car show, it is at the Santa Cruz County Fair Grounds.

                    1. j
                      jersey girl RE: jersey girl Jun 18, 2008 07:03 PM

                      Many thanks to all who responded! We had a great weekend in Aptos, ate at the Cafe Rio on the beach, Gayles take out, and a great little cafe for lunch in Santa Cruz, Cafe Limelight. Yummy paninis, simple but tasty food. We tried to locate Red Apple, but although I was at the shopping center where it's located ( great market who's name escapes me -- really appreciated the local ice cram selections) and went upstairs, somehow I couldn't find. it. We went to Silver Spur for breakfast, and it had a lot of variety, and decent coffee. Long wait though ( Monday of a long weekend, what did I expect??;-) ). Almost forgot, we had a nice dinner at ichael's on Main -- I would have liked them to be a little ore generous with their sauces, though. Next time we're down we'll try a lot more-- there was a fire going on and I didn't feel too comfortable driving in its general direction. Freedom Meat Locker and Niscene Marks Forest for hiking will be first up on the next visit! Thanks, everybody!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jersey girl
                        Matt of Aptos RE: jersey girl Jun 26, 2008 09:29 AM

                        That Market was Deluxe Foods. To find the Red Apple Cafe, go to the upper level, turn left, and walk to the very end of the center.

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