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Family weekend in Aptos

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. re: ML8000

      Thanks -- I missed those posts somehow :-(

    2. 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

        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

          Toodie,
          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

            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

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

      2. Hi,

        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

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

          1. re: jersey girl

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

          1. 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

              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

                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. 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.

              http://www.yelp.com/biz/corralitos-ma...

              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.

              http://local.yahoo.com/details?id=215...

              http://www.californianprepress.com/th...

              For pie and other goodies:

              http://www.gizdich-ranch.com/

                1. re: Matt of Aptos

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

                  1. re: Matt of Aptos

                    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. 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. 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

                        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.