Cafe in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Corkscrew Cafe

Just possibly Carmel Valley's coziest eatery, the Corkscrew Cafe combines a rustic wine-country vibe and a Mediterranean-influenced menu – think wood-fired salmon, pizza, and mushroom and lamb pasta – with a stellar…
Cafe in San Juan Bautista

Vertigo Coffee

Rich espresso and pour-over brews, wood-fired pizzas and garden salads make this coffee-roaster's shop a real find. Rotating exhibitions from local artists often fill the whitewashed walls, and seven taps of craft b…
Deli in Big Sur

Big Sur Deli & General Store

With the most reasonable prices in Big Sur, this family-owned deli slices custom-made sandwiches and piles up tortillas with carne asada, pork carnitas, veggies or beans and cheese. The small market carries camping …
Cafe in Santa Cruz

Buttercup Cakes

Vegan and organic ingredients all feature, but there's absolutely no trade-off in flavor with Buttercup's cupcakes and desserts. The downtown location is a handy coffee stop, too.
Deli in Santa Cruz

Picnic Basket

Across the street from the beach boardwalk, this locavorian kitchen puts together creative sandwiches such as beet with lemony couscous or 'fancy pants' grilled cheese with fruit chutney, plus homemade soups, breakf…
Cafe in Pacific Grove

Red House Cafe

Crowded with locals, this shingled late-19th-century house dishes up comfort food with haute touches, like cinnamon-brioche French toast, grilled eggplant-fontina sandwiches or spinach-cheese ravioli in lemon beurre…
Deli in Big Sur

Big Sur Burrito Bar & General Store

Order a San Francisco–sized burrito or wrap sandwich with a fresh-fruit smoothie from the back of the Big Sur River Inn's well-stocked general store, which carries snacks, drinks and camping supplies.
Deli in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Bruno's Market & Deli

Small supermarket deli counter makes a saucy sandwich of oakwood-grilled tri-tip beef and stocks all the accoutrements for a beach picnic, including Sparkys root beer from Pacific Grove.
Deli in Santa Cruz


The bagels here are twice-cooked (boiled, then baked), and come with fantastic spreads like crunchy 'Tofu del Fuego' or hummus with sprouts.