In thanks for the recommendations I found for good eating while on a business trip to the SFO area, I offer these two wonderful places to get good breakfast food in a great atmosphere:
The Buttery on Soquel at Branciforte in Santa Cruz has a small outdoor seating area and wonderful bread and pastries. I recommend the Apricot Pockets; when they run out there is sometimes a small, civilized riot. You can also get fresh juices, coffee, masala chai, and a chance to read the newspapers (local and national) lying around. Note that, IMHO, the lunch sandwiches are NOT as good as the bread and breakfast food.
The other gem is Kelly's French Pastry at the end of Pacific Avenue, across from the Clock Tower. This place is tucked back off the street past an empty lot, down a brick walk. The outdoor garden is really beautiful; last week a man was quietly practicing classical guitar while I ate breakfast and looked at the flowering vines. Kelly's morning buns (with sugar) are my favorite, but you can also find other pastries and what I have been told by my friends are excellent cinnamon rolls. The coffee and masala chai are also good. Best, however, is the housemade yogurt and fruit. You can also get granola and sometimes oatmeal. It's hard to leave this place when you are done eating.
I travel quite a bit in the summer and wish that I knew of places like this (where one can sit quietly in a garden and eat simple, delicious breakfast food) in all the towns I have to work in. I encourage you to share your favorites!
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