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Scenic/memorable birthday lunch along Hwy 1 between SF and Pescadero

Hi there, my husband and I are planning a stay at Costa Noa along the PCH in Pescadero for a few days, and will be driving there from SF on my birthday. Any recommnedations for scenic/memorable lunch spots along the way? We're on a budget, just looking for something fun, relaxing and different. Only food limitations are no raw or high mercury fish.

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  1. Almost nothing is both scenic and tasty. Do a search on Half Moon Bay for recent recs there.

    I'll recommend happy hour (I know, not lunch) at La Costanera, which is Peruvian. It's located on a spectacular public beach. They have a sheltered area with a fire pit outside.

    Also a note that Highway 1 isn't called PCH north of Malibu. Have fun.

    2 Replies
    1. Probably the best foodie place in between Pescadero and San Francisco is Pasta Moon in beautiful, scenic downtown Half Moon Bay (worth a stroll).

      During a four-month job in the 'hood, I started the following thread which documents just about every restaurant in the area:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/876929

      1. Big fan of Duartes in the town of Pescadero. Very old school (from the '40's i believe) restaurant and tavern. Amazing crab melt and pie!

        4 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Yup, stick to sand dabs and ollallieberry pie. But to set expectations, no view.

            1. re: Windy

              Thumbs down on Duarte's pie from me. The filling is great, the crust is dreadful. Buy a jar of filling and make cobbler at home.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Cobbler is a great idea. I like the idea of Duarte's, and of course the building, more than the actual experience of going there.

                Last time I was in Pescadero (about a year ago) I was slightly alarmed to see that the Pescadero Country Store had gone upscale with a bar and wood-fired pizza and expensive jars of stuff for sale.

        1. We really like Cafe Gibraltar in El Granada: http://www.cafegibraltar.com/
          Some of the tastiest and most competently-prepared seafood we've had. You can also walk a block or so up the street to Creekside Smokehouse and pick up some excellent smoked fish and cheese: http://www.creeksidesmokehouse.com/

          Across the highway in Princeton Harbor is Ketch Joanne -- no charm, but some of the best fish and chips around.

          Duarte's is good for what they do, but seems pricey for the kind of food they serve, and the roadhouse setting.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Steve Green

            Cafe Gibraltar doesn't serve lunch, although I just got an email from them saying they are going to start having Sunday brunch in April. No more details than that.

            Slightly OT, but the Devil's Slide tunnel is supposed to open next week. That will make the drive from SF to HMB a little easier.

            I agree with Carrie that the nicest spot in the area for a birthday lunch would be Pasta Moon.

          2. Budget, fun, relaxing, different ... Picnic? If it's too foggy/windy on the beach, there are spots more inland.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              It's the other direction, but this is a lovely time of year to stop by Swanton's Berry Farm, on 1 in Davenport, for strawberry shortcake and other treats. You can pick organic berries and if it's nice sit outside.

            2. I really like to sit outside on the patio at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company for lunch. It's not fancy or expensive but is fun and scenic. The patio has some nice views of the bay and they have fire pits and heaters for cold days. People bring their dogs and hang out after going to the beach. I like the fish and chips and the fish sandwich. Friends have liked the burger. Good beer, good bloody marys.

              Barbara's Fish Trap is across the street so you can pick the place that looks best to you. It's good too.

              Sam’s Chowder is another fine option.

              2 Replies
              1. re: eel

                Also a fan of HMB Brewing Company. I had the fried seafood platter; delicious indeed but but perhaps a bad idea for just one person who insists on eating everything on the (huge) plate! Had to skip dinner that night.

                Their beer is quite good. I think I tried all of them.

                 
                1. re: lakemerritter

                  A million thanks for these recommendations, friends, and sorry for my tardy response. I will give a full report on where I end up eating (mid-April). Cheers!