Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Gathering

dining_westsidecoffecoWestside Coffee Company offers an amiable environment and tasty food with their array of Java and tea

Espresso used to be so simple. A quick stop at a Parisian Café yielded a dark, hot, aromatic beverage served in a tiny, white demitasse cup with a cube of sugar. In minutes we were back

on the sidewalk attending to remaining errands.

At Westside Coffee Company the coffee beverages are worth lingering over with neighbors or Wi-Fi-enabled laptops. The store has been in business for more than 15 years, but now has a brand new owner and friendly, efficient baristas.

Pastries ($2.25) are baked in-house every day. The one-inch thick slice of moist, nutty banana bread was dense and crumbly and not too sweet.

It paired perfectly with a 12-ounce Mexican Mocha ($3.25) made with a shot of organic espresso. It was hot, creamy, and bittersweet; rather like how I imagined Willy Wonka's chocolate river would taste, but with the addition of cinnamon and other sweet spices.

One morning I arrived early enough to snag the last blueberry muffin. Still warm, the fluffy, plump, sugar-topped cake was stuffed with healthy berries.

A popular breakfast item is the Eggy Bagel ($3.95). Eggs cooked with cheese and green onions were sandwiched between soft, hot halves of a garlic-studded bagel with thin slices of tomato and romaine lettuce. The Hummus Bagel ($3.45) was spread with spicy bean purée which was flecked with bits of sweet carrot.

In addition to lattes, chai and a brew bar, Westside Coffee offers icy summer treats. The Iced Green Tea ($1.50/$2) has a pleasant fruity flavor. Açai Supercharger is a beautiful purple smoothie, blending the flavors of three berries with soy milk and raspberry sherbet for sweet-tart refreshment. Brightly colored, freshly squeezed orange juice is mixed with Odwalla OJ ($1.75/$2.75). Italian and French Sodas are made with carbonated water and flavored syrups, some of which are sugar-free.

As the fog cleared, an overhead skylight brightly lit the room. The selection of sandwiches on the Westside lunch list was appealing, and each of them can be ordered as a half. The Smoked Salmon Special ($6.95/$4.95) featured an open-faced warm, toasted bagel with cream cheese, perfectly smoked salmon, rings of red onion, and sliced tomato.

Other choices included a bagel BLT, egg salad and tuna salad.

Westside Coffee Company, 849 Almar Ave # H in the Safeway Shopping Center, Santa Cruz, 427-1300. Open from 5:45 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays and from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekends.


Saturday, June 25is an ideal day for a nosh on the Santa Cruz wharf. Stroll around with clam chowder bread bowls from Stagnaro’s or Dolphin, sweet treats from Marini’s, or gelato at Riva Fish House, and you’ll be treated to a colorful collection of Woodies assembled for your enjoyment.

My favorite part is the finale, when a parade of vintage cars leaves the wharf. The free bicycle valet makes riding a traffic-avoidance snap.

17th Annual Woodies on the Wharf, Saturday June 25, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. Free admission. Visit

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.


Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Film, Times & Events: Week of April 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.


Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management