We stayed in Aptos for the NYE weekend. i did a search on the SF board for places to eat and found a recommendation for a bbq spot - Aptos Street BBQ, which apparently has a sister restaurant in Morgan Hill (Trail Dust). The BBQ was fantastic. We ordered the 5 Meat Bonanaza - split between two - ribs, chicken pulled pork, tri tip, and a hot link, and a choice of 2 sides. we got the cole slaw and potato salad, both of which were very mediocre. the meat, however, was perfect, each having a completely different smokey bbq taste. our favorite was the tri tip - incredibly tender and juicy. the chicken, never my choice in a bbq place - was the smokiest of them all - wonderful. the ribs were my 2nd favorite, and the hot link was actually hot. we loved the tri-tip so much that we ordered a pound of it for the next night, to take back to our friend's condo, and it was just as good reheated - even for breakfast this morning. i was sorry we didn't take any home with us. http://www.aptosstbbq.com/
we had breakfast at The Hole in the Wall Cafe. we used to go to the restaurant next to the Windjammer Bar for breakfast, which had the best hashed browns I've ever had, and the requisite 60-year old waitresses, but, sadly, they closed six months ago. Hole in the Wall would have been fine but my salmon and spinach benedict was so salty as to be inedible (and i'm known to be a salt-lick kinda gal). it was ok once i took all the salmon off. decent hashed browns, fresh squeezed orange juice. service was very efficient and friendly. this place is tiny, and it's not a destination place by any means, but it did the job. http://theholeinthewallcafe.com/
we had dinner one night at Manuel's Mexican Restaurant. i love their homemade salsa, very cuminy, but that was probably the best thing we had. The rice was good too. Guac was a bit watery. i liked my crispy shredded beef taco, and my chile relleno, but the BF's tamale and cheese quesadilla were very regular. Decent margarita. This place seems to be always packed, probably due to the warm staff and fast service (and that it's the only sit-down Mexican place around, as far as I know). http://www.manuelsrestaurant.com/
Finally, on our way out of town, we stopped at Burger. i really wanted to like this place. it's really cute and the menu is a bit wacky (every burger is named after someone famous - ex., the Luther - a bacon and american cheese burger sandwiched between GLAZED DONUTS; the Snooki - chili burger on two grilled cheese sandwiches; the Johnny Marzetti - a burger topped with mac-n-cheese). you order at the counter and they hand you a photo card to put on your table so they can find you - celebrity mug shots (we got Keanu Reeves). decor was nice, dark wood floors and beautiful wood paneled walls, nice booths. The prices seemed very decent, and the beef is grass fed.
we split the Johnny Cash - a burger topped with fries, bleu cheese and bacon, with bleu cheese and bacon fries on the side. unfortunately, the burger was the thinnest patty i've seen since my elementary school cafeteria's. it was tender enough, but had no flavor of its own. the bacon was chewy and hard. the fries were decent but really didn't need the bleu cheese, which was in fat chunks. i had a nice cab with my half, which made it all palatable. it seems that they have a very nice and ample beer selection, and the shakes looked great. But i don't think i'd go back. http://burgeraptos.com/
So, Aptos is not a foodie town, from what i can tell, but at least they have the BBQ place - a place to which i'd definitely return.
Last October before heading back over the hill to Oakland, a friend recommended Zameem Mediterranean Cuisine on Soquel Drive, just north of Cabrillo College. (It's quite near her home so she & her daughter frequent this place.)
We split a mezze sampler and still have leftovers to take home. Tasty & quick (they had a full house on an early Friday night). The portions on the tables around us seemed quite generous and geared towards sharing. While not destination dining, this place more than filled our needs for tasty, well-prepared food in a pleasant space at reasonable prices.
re: Stephanie Wong
when visiting with my pal in Aptos, we always hit the Saturday Farmer's Mkt at Cabrillo College for fixins, and we always go to Zameem. Also like the tiny deli near the Outside In at the oppposite end of the center. Very good freshly made salads, sanwiches, soups, etc., for lunch or snacks.
Also personally like Sushi on The Run on Soquel across from the Safeway center (theater end). Take out with one or two small tables for lunch through afternoon. Sushi Master in the kitchen.