For Daniel Castagnola, buying a local deli was an opportunity that kept “biting at his ankles.” He took the plunge even though he had no experience in restaurants or food service. But he felt he had a good business background and fell in love with the beachside location, describing it as his destiny. The menu is deli fare with an emphasis on quality and affordability—everything on the menu is under $10.
One signature grab-and-go offering for kids is the Beach Bucket Meal Deal, complete with pale, shovel, P.B.&J. or grilled cheese, juice box, cookie and chips. Other hits include the chicken apple brie sandwich and the clam chowder in a buttered garlic top bread bowl. Breakfast favorites include avocado toast, breakfast sandwiches and steel-cut oats. Desserts like banana bread and baklava round out the menu.
The shop is open 8am-6pm daily (closed Tuesdays) with indoor and outdoor seating. GT asked Castagnola about the deli’s mission and the moment he knew it was meant to be.
What moved you about the location?
DANIEL CASTAGNOLA: I fell in love with the vibe and energy of the space, as well as the ocean view from the front stoop. And right when I got the keys, and we started painting inside, my grandpa pointed across the street and told me that was where he met my grandma. It gave me chills and the confirmation I was doing the right thing and fulfilling my calling. It all just felt so right.
What’s your motto?
Fresh, fast and friendly. And that we have something for everyone. We always say, “You dream it; we make it.” We have a great variety and are happy to customize; guests often order off-menu items and combinations. We’ve always listened intently to customer feedback and constantly strive to dial in our menu to local tastes and preferences. And we always try to be consistent and affordable.
Castagnola’s Deli & Café, 201 Monterey Ave., Capitola, 831-515-7979; order.castagnoladeli.com
this little gem is just that — a little gem. don’t be fooled by its size. Anything you’d like from salad to fresh made sandwiches, to cookies, cakes, and eggs is here. and Dan keeps it super clean and friendly. I’m happy to see his dream be noticed.
Any relation to the family that ran the Castagnola’s restaurant by the UA theatre on River? Probably fanciest place in town in the 70s
Beach bucket meal deal with “ pale”? Ale or “ pail”( bucket) you decide!