San Carlos Between 5th & 6th Carmel, CA 93921 carmelcalifornia.org Description Downtown Carmel is chockablock full of tasting rooms and gourmet food shops serving up the best of varietals from the Central Coast’s finest vineyards and farms, and the Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea Passport ($50) is a fabulous way to sample and save. The pass grants you free tastings (usually $10-12 each) at seven tasting rooms. What’s more, participating restaurants (ask at
Ocean Avenue at Lincoln Street Carmel, CA 93921 (831) 622-7766 dametracafe.com Description There’s a reason this cozy Greek spot often has a line out the door. Not only is the menu of Mediterranean eats excellent, but the spot has a friendly, magical, anything-can-happen (from spontaneous jam sessions to dancing between tables) atmosphere. Read about more things to do in Sacramento. Directions It’s just a short (less than 10-minute) walk from La
Dad’s Donut & Bakery 318 Marine Avenue Newport Beach, CA 92662 (949) 673-88686 Sugar ‘N Spice, 310 Marine Avenue Newport Beach, CA 92662 (949) 673-8907 Local legend has it that the decadent balboa bar was first served in Balboa Island. The foundation of this tasty treat is a rectangle-shaped chunk of vanilla ice cream dunked in chocolate and dipped in your choice of sprinkles, cookies, or other sugary delights. Balboa
259 E. 17th St. Costa Mesa, CA 92627 949-548-2224 avantinatural.com Avanti Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and nearly all their ingredients are organic and locally sourced. The Bakin’ BBQ sandwich on the lunch menu ($8) and a scoop of their house made ice cream ($6) make for a delicious meal. The purely vegetarian menu is complemented by a selection of delicious organic wines. Read about more things to
703 East Balboa Blvd. Newport Beach, CA 92661 (949) 675-0808 greatmexgrill.com Description Great Mex is a small restaurant with a big reputation. There are great taco deals (for around $1) on Tuesdays and Fridays, but since crowds flood the place on these days, it’s best to go on a regular day—the taco is worth the full price after all. Try the shrimp burrito or taco salad. Honestly, you can’t go
506 31st St. Newport Beach, CA 92663 949-675-0233 altacoffeeshop.com Description In 1985, an old bookstore became Alta Coffee Warehouse & Restaurant, but much of its vintage ambiance remained. Nowadays, locals gather in this cozy spot for brunch on the weekends and poetry readings and music in the evenings. Alta folks post a monthly calendar with performances on the weekends and a few nights of the week. On any Tuesday, stop
328 Lomita Drive, Stanford, CA Description All that artwork can really work up an appetite! So grab a bite at the Cool Café, an entirely local, sustainable and organic restaurant. Whether it’s the lack of growth hormones, or the fact that the food is locally grown, but the ingredients Cool Café uses are phenomenal. I ordered the grilled chicken sandwich and was amazed by the quality of the chicken meat.
689 Bridgeway Boulevard Sausalito, CA 94965 (415) 331-3035 lapperts.com Description There’s ice cream and then there’s ice cream. Lappert’s is definitely the latter. Walter Lappert started dabbling in ice cream making during his retirement on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. His son Michael brought the tropical goodness to the mainland, and today makes his “super-premium” ice cream (the secret is 16-18 percent butterfat) in Richmond, CA. Tropical flavors, like Guava Cheesecake