Pixie Deli in Aptos is located in the Rio del Mar Beach Flats. It’s a great spot to grab a quick bite and maybe a beer as you soak up the rays on the beach. They have a good number of tables outside in the sunshine, and a few indoors for when it’s cold and foggy. It’s called the Pixie Deli but it really isn’t much of a deli, it’s more of a casual restaurant where a lot of diners no doubt take their food to go, back to the beach. Their menu is typical California/American cuisine, featuring French Toast, wraps, breakfast burritos, burgers, pesto chicken sandwiches, and good beer.
Eats and Drinks
Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant, located in the Seacliff neighborhood of Aptos, is practically an institution. They first opened their doors in 1965, and have been family owned and busy ever since. They have a traditional Mexican menu with a full bar, beer, and wine. Every meal is of course served with bottomless chips and Manuel’s salsa, the ingredient list for which is a trade secret. They have a lunch special every weekday from 11:30 AM until 3:00 PM, and they’re open seven days per week.
When going to Manuel’s, you have the opportunity to really make a day (or night!) of it. The restaurant is located in the heart of Seacliff Village, just steps from the entrance to Seacliff Beach. It’s right across the street from Marianne’s Ice Cream in Aptos, and located right next door to the Mediterranean, the fabled Aptos watering hole.
The Hideout in Aptos is located along Soquel Drive, just past Aptos Village as you are heading south towards Rio del Mar. It is appropriately named, because unless you know where to find it, it’s an easy spot to miss. The Hideout opened in January of 2015 and it became an overnight sensation. The restaurant is routinely packed for both lunch and dinner, and locals have taken to raving about the place on Facebook and Yelp.
They feature American bistro style cuisine – soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches, an array of tasty appetizers, and a full cocktail bar with a dozen or more beers on tap. The interior is divided up in to several distinct areas, which makes it good for groups. There’s also an outdoor seating area, which surprisingly isn’t too loud given its proximity to both Soquel Drive and the freeway.
The building that the Hideout calls home was originally a home, built in 1927 by some early Aptos residents. Over the years since it stopped being a house it’s been used by several different restaurants, but has been thoroughly renovated and updated by the owners of the The Hideout. Today it’s a chic and fun place to go for lunch or dinner.
The Cantine Wine Pub in Aptos opened in August 2014 in the Aptos Village Plaza Shopping center, in the heart of Aptos Village. It has a stunning layout and decor with a modern but very comfortable feeling, created by noted Aptos designer Karrie Franks. There’s a sunny back deck overlooking a verdant greenbelt, making for a great spot to while away the hours on a sunny day with a glass or two.
The wine pub offers a large selection of distinctive wines, and also offers wine on tap, which is perhaps unique in all of Santa Cruz county. Serving wine from a tap offers several benefits over bottled wine, such as no oxidation, spoilage, or change in flavor. They also offer more than a dozen beers on tap from distinguished west coast micro-breweries.
They also serve a number of delicious Tapas dishes to go along with all the wine and beer, making it a perfect place to come for a little light nosh in the afternoon or evening.
See also: Cantine Wine Pub Web Site
Lucy’s Hot Dog Stand in Aptos serves the best hot dogs in Santa Cruz county. They are truly gourmet! They also sell soup and fresh tamales as well, and offer a gluten free bun! They also have catering services available for private parties and groups.
Norma Jean’s Coffee in Aptos, near the Bayview Hotel, is an independently-owned coffee shop in the heart of Aptos Village. They serve a wide range of coffees and teas, and also feature an array of baked goods that are actually made on-site in their own kitchen. It’s clean, comfortable, cozy, and quiet.
Tip: They have free wi-fi – bring your laptop and stay awhile!
Marianne’s Ice Cream is a Santa Cruz institution, having been a family run business with a single location for over 50 years. In 2014, Marianne’s had the good taste to open their second location in Aptos, in the Seacliff neighborhood, just outside of Seacliff Beach. Marianne’s Ice Cream in Aptos is yet another welcome addition to the Aptos experience.
Tip: They also offer coffee and espresso, and they’ll offer a variety of beach-type items also for sale.
We interviewed Roberto Córdoba, owner of Sofia’s Taqueria, about the business. View the YouTube video below!
Sofia’s Taqueria, located in the Rancho del Mar shopping center, is owned by Roberto Córdoba. Sofia’s is the oldest taqueria in Aptos, going way back to 1987. They pride themselves on a distinct, unique type of Mexican food you won’t find at most taquerias, with its authentic Jalisco style.
Unlike most Mexican taquerias, cabbage forms one of their primary ingredients instead of lettuce, and it lends an earthy flavor to their cuisine which is delightful and unexpected. All their dishes are homemade using fresh ingredients and combinations of herbs you won’t find anywhere else.
When you go to Sofia’s, you’d better come hungry – their portions are large, and it’s a rare guest who walks away hungry. They have special deals on Fajitas on Sundays, and make sure you also try one the signature Burrito Sofia’s . Also, try their soups and tortas for a little something special you may not find anywhere else. They feature a variety of meats, including chile verde, al pastor, carne asada, chicken (pollo), tilapia, and camarones (shrimp).
Tip: Try the carnitas burrito! It’s epic.
Pacific Coffee Roasting Company in Aptos is located in the Aptos Center shopping center along Soquel Drive, near the State Park Drive freeway exit. They have a big roasting machine right in the store and the aromas fill the air.