.Westside Coffee Shop Classics

The cup runneth, with a side of fried chicken and good advice.

Perhaps the real reason weekends are two days long is so it’s possible to go to two great coffee shops for a leisurely breakfast.

At least that feels like the case on the Westside.

A recent Saturday meant basking in a welcome break from yucky weather at a great AM spot that provides: indoor-outdoor airiness, big city-grade coffees, robust salads, sandwiches and wraps and, yes, an apricot scone up to the legend that precedes it.

Ivéta Westside—with a sister bistro on Pacific’s west end, and UCSC campus spots also brewing good things—does a memorable latticed spinach-feta croissant bar and fire smoothies too.

Sunday translated to 11th Hour’s greenery-graced backdrop and another challenge deciding what to order. The winner there: queen-of-the-jungle biscuit sandwich with wonderfully slender-but-substantial house biscuit with ample avocado, poached egg and spicy mayo.

Sometimes the most helpful news can be ol’ reliables remain great.


Pretty Good Advice #2 (1319 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz) is finding traction, figuratively and foot-traffic wise.

General Manager Page Traeger reports eaters, compared to their loyal regulars in Soquel (3070 Porter St.), are less familiar and more adventurous with the menu. She notes the top sellers are the spicy-crispy chick’n sandwich, Mike’s Good Morning Deluxe and the California ranch “burger.”

Traeger also adds, “Don’t sleep on the salads.” Two to flag: the kale and roasted delicata squash with golden raisins, shaved fennel, pepitas, and a date-balsamic dressing and the mandarin arugula with braised beet, feta, hazelnut and mint in a yuzu vinaigrette.

Hours are 9am-6pm, with PGA2 hoping to expand them soon. Soquel PGA hours remain 8am-5pm. prettygoodadvicerestaurant.com.


Flashbird Chicken’s third location (830 41st Ave., Santa Cruz) is now open 11am-9pm daily, in the former Pink Godzilla Sushi, which is now a vibrant yellow.

Here comes FBC’s signature house-brined and -battered fried chicken sandwiches, hen-of-the-woods mushroom number, and local wine on tap. Meanwhile the OG location at Abbott Square Market and the second location in Scotts Valley keep clucking.



Family-owned Upper Crust Pizza & Pasta (2415 Mission St. and 2501 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz) wins points for a stacked menu—thick-crust Sicilian pies and muffulettas, wings, salads, meatballs, house-made spaghetti—and now has a creation that 1) merges those first two; and 2) felt like a must-do.

The muffaletta pizza rocks dough kissed with sesame seeds, olive oil and Italian spices and layered with thin-sliced ham, shredded carrots, pesto, Monterey Jack, mozzarella and provolone cheese, all toasted in the brick oven, at a nice $6 price per slice (house ranch recommended).



The Midway (1209 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz) and chef-owner Katherine Stern are now doing dinner, with a $75 three-course prix fixe menu Thursday-Saturday. The menu shifts weekly, with recent plates including braised lamb with lentil and beet salad, and grilled asparagus in a roasted onion-walnut sauce, themidwaysantacruz.com…Bonny Doon Vineyards is on course to debut a wildly lighter and fully-recyclable Frugalpac paper wine bottle, bonnydoonvineyard.com.


  1. paper as a container for wine? curious…
    might be best to not call it a ‘bottle’, though, since that connotes glass

    • Please sign me up for the newsletter - No


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Good Times E-edition Good Times E-edition