Good baked goods AND good coffee, Southbay-- impossible?
I actually returned a donut the other day.
I was at the Starbucks near Good Sam in Los Gatos. I know many people hate the Starbucks ... well, everything, but I am fine with their lattes. The old fashioned donut however, made me gag. It was soggy. The cake part was infused with a grease taste and was stale and oil soaked at the same time. I went back in line and said the donut was "stale" (as that was the nicest word I could say about it )and I'd like to exchange it for a fresh pastry. The cashier noted that ALL the pastries were fresh today, but she kindly gave me a pumpkin scone (like orange colored styrofoam with sugar icing) and sent me on my way.
I've had this problem before of not being able to get a decent baked good and coffee in the same place and have resolved it by making two trips. One to Great Bear Coffee in Los Gatos (vegan pastries) and the another to Fleur de Cocoa (burns their espresso) for croissants. One to Bell Tower (weak coffee) for apricot danish and the other to Starbucks next door. One to Peet's and then to Happy Donuts in Cupertino. However, I'd really like one stop preferable in Cupertino, Los Gatos, Saratoga or thereabouts.
Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View has pretty good pastries and good coffee and Flower Flour in San Jose has better pastry than coffee but both are good. I don't like the coffee or pastries at Panera. Haven't found any pastries of note at Whole Foods. Do you have any suggestions for one place that has both?
100 Bush St # 101, San Francisco, CA
20807 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014
Great Bear Coffee
19 N Santa Cruz Ave Ste Frnt, Los Gatos, CA 95030
20490 Saratoga Los Gatos Rd, Saratoga, CA 95070
Red Rock Coffee
201 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
I hear your pain, Tumkers. The only place I know for certain that is safe and all good is Barefoot. They have exceptionally good coffees and very good croissants + other baked goods.
I've been to Red Berry for Coffee only. Haven't tried the baked goods but as they are very dedicated to quality coffees, I expect them to also have very good baked goods.
Top Nosh is on my list of places to try because they're now serving ECCO Caffe. Maybe someone has been recently and can report?
Barefoot Coffee Roasters
5237 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051
Top Nosh Cafe
1167 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125
Tumkers, you really do need to try the Kouign Amann (from Starter Bakery, sold at Barefoot). What lovely butteriness, sweetness, and texture! Also, the plain croissants are buttery, flaky flowers that you'll want to eat petal-layer by petal-layer. If there are better croissants in the South Bay, I'd like to know where.
Barefoot is making some of the best coffee in the bay area: under Local 123 and BlueBottle's syphon, but that's about it . I think it's a touch above Red Rock's hand-made cups. And, it's actually in your request area.
Red Rock Cafe
1010 Lincoln Ave, Napa, CA 94558
2049 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702
Second the Palo Alto Town&Country pastry places mentioned (Mayfield + that unique cupcakes place) and there are other notable unique _general_ eateries there (Calafia, Howie's Artisan Pizza) so I would expect to find good coffee _somewhere_ within short walk.
But what about Sugar Butter Flour? The western-Sunnyvale location off ECR was going strong when I last checked, it had quite decent coffee and superlative creative pastries, and we touched on that in a previous discussion you contributed to, Tumkers:
Sugar Butter Flour
669 S Bernardo Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA
Howie's Artisan Pizza
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Town and Country has Peet's.
I've only gone to the SBF in the Pruneyard in Campbell. I haven't hit the right pastry there, I think. I am under-wowed. But clearly in the minority, since everyone I know raves about it. I will slowly make my way through their line up until I find the magic!