Visit to Santa Cruz - Beach Street Cafe

I recently visited Santa Cruz with my boyfriend and it was a wonderful day trip. We started the da...













I recently visited Santa Cruz with my boyfriend and it was a wonderful day trip. We started the day early and drove down from downtown San Jose over the Santa Cruz mountains. It took about an hour and was pleasant drive. I suggest you leave early or will be sitting in beach traffic and it can be very tedious. If you get there early you can also find street parking and use the parking app, Parkmobile. It's cheaper than parking lots and better than the other option of parking in a neighborhood and walking for miles to get to the beach.

Once we arrived we had breakfast at a quaint little breakfast spot, Beach Street Cafe. It is located directly across from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Cocoanut Grove. We didn't realize it at the time but it's a very popular local breakfast and lunch spot and is a landmark of Santa Cruz. It was one of the original buildings in the town at the turn of the century and has a lot of character and signs of its history. There is a tiny sliver of ocean view, depending where you sit. The food was fine, nothing especially exciting. However, their wonderful orange juice and mimosas are something to indulge in! I mostly enjoyed the cafe because most of the Santa Cruz spots seemed very commercial and "beach town" themed and, to be frank, a little kitschy. It is a small oasis in the madness of beach and boardwalk hustle and bustle.

Tip: Make sure you write your name and party size on the clipboard at the front of the building where the doorway is outside. They will call your name twice and if you aren't there they will cross you off and let the next people on the list in, so make sure you are within hearing distance of the doorway.

The cafe features one of the largest Maxfield Parrish print collections in the United States. I loved the antique, simple touches and art. Maxfield Parrish, born in Philadelphia in 1870, was one of the most well known artists at the end of the 1800's/early 1900s. His illustrations were featured in numerous magazines at the time. Parrish's successful career continued until his retirement at ninety one. He died only four years later, at ninety five in 1966.

Fun story: Half way through breakfast we ran into one of our really good friends from the Bay Area that I was going to hang out with that evening. She was there for a day trip as well with her infant son to meet friends for brunch at the cafe. They ended up joining our table because the wait was so long and we got to have an impromptu friends brunch. It was such a pleasant, serendipitous surprise.

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