The town of Los Gatos has a classic atmosphere that magnificently combines old school architecture and charm with incredible stores and a moderate climate. Just south of San Jose, California and north of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Los Gatos is a beautiful town that is home to Netflix, lush hiking paths, and arguably the best breakfast food around.
Los Gatos is only 2-and-a-half hours from Sacramento (California’s capital city) and 1 hour from San Francisco. The famous downtown Los Gatos has many elegant hotels such as Hotel Los Gatos and The Toll House. During Christmas, many flock to Vasona Park for the Fantasy of Lights—a wonderland of colorful lights featuring roaring dinosaurs, Santa Claus playing basketball, and flying reindeer.
For long walks or bike rides, Los Gatos Creek trail is paved and many miles long. Lots of trees, waterways, and locals can be seen along the way! Clearly, anyone who visits Los Gatos is hard to disappoint. Los Gatos boasts awesome attractions indoors and out, but one of my must-do experiences is digging into a long, leisurely brunch in town. Here are a few of my personal picks as a hungry local!
Los Gatos Cafe: Sweet Endings and Quick Service
In a small town, it is hard to open up two successful restaurants. Los Gatos Cafe has pioneered the way for breakfast in Los Gatos with one downtown restaurant and one uptown restaurant. When we get there, the line is usually out the door, so we choose to get it to-go. However, once seated, Los Gatos Cafe has superior service too. That’s an understatement.
Whether we get it to-go or eat in, the server brings our delicious orders within five to ten minutes. The servers are all so friendly, and the food is incredibly fresh.
You cannot go wrong ordering a diced ham and cheese scramble with a side of their zesty herb potatoes. My brother orders the chorizo omelet with a side of coffee cake. The coffee cake melts in my mouth with cinnamon flavor accompanied with every sip of dark coffee.
On other occasions, my family orders the chicken apple sausage Benedict, California Benedict, or crab Benedict. All the Benedicts are so tasty, with homemade hollandaise sauce sprinkled with paprika. I eat mine within 10 minutes then try my brother’s meaty omelet.
For dessert, we all share the famous Giant Cinnamon Roll. It is what brings people into the Cafe. The buttery and savory monster treat is delectable. My brother and I used to get two—one for each of us. I started to get a bit doughy in my middle school years after inhaling massive rolls, so now I try to split it. My healthier lifestyle has pushed me to share or stick solely to the coffee cake.
Southern Kitchen: Cozy with Comfort Food
Right when my family and I walk into Southern Kitchen, it is like we are transported to the deep South—dark wooden floor, cozy setting, and comfort food pushing most customers to eat more than talk. Located in a small building with two cats on the glass windows outside, Southern Kitchen looks as swanky as its food tastes.
It is hard to get parking on the main road, so you might have to park in the parking lot or close by and walk. It’s worth it. You can order just about anything at Southern Kitchen. I usually get the Pulled Pork Benedict, and my grandpa will order the favorite Apricot French Toast. Servings are huge, and my family usually shares everything together. All meals are served with a side of country potatoes or grits. I leave completely full and ready for an afternoon nap.
My family sticks with one of the menu favorites, The Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia is a hardy smoked salmon Benedict with savory salmon topped with the fluffiest egg over a buttered English roll. I order mine without the zesty hollandaise sauce and a side of sweet fruit. My mom gets the classic hash browns and the yellow hollandaise sauce that adds a savory, buttery flavor to every heavenly bite. I will never tire of this dish. It is healthy and absolutely delicious. I can’t tell you how many times my family has already eaten at this special breakfast joint in the center of downtown.
The walls of Southern Kitchen are filled with pictures, quotes, and reviews—further proof of their diverse and delicious breakfast menu. Southern Kitchen has a choice of sides with every meal—grits, potatoes, hash browns, toast, or muffins. The menu has a plethora of pancakes, waffles, and french toast. If you do not know what you feel like for breakfast, go here without a doubt. My family drives to Southern Kitchen when we are hungry. We have nothing in mind. We just want breakfast.
Southern Kitchen, like the name suggests, serves the entire kitchen sink. I never thought sitting in the South could feel so good, or that teleportation was possible. Southern Kitchen is a must-visit in Los Gatos.
Sweet Pea’s Cafe & Catering: Rich, Sweet, and Savory
It is very rare to find a nice crepe place with a lot of options, but Sweet Pea’s Cafe is just that.
A quick drive from my house in Los Gatos, my dad and I usually drive to downtown to order some to-go crepes for our family. We walk into a small hut that is designed to look like a pea in a pod. If there are open seats, we usually sit down and have some water and get coffee. With a choice of buckwheat or regular, we always go regular. Within a few minutes, our mouth-watering crepes are ready which are thick, yet delicate wrapped around fresh fillings. I see so many couples on dates there because it is a quick spot to sit down and eat for a few minutes as you watch cars pass on Los Gatos Boulevard. If you want to take your significant other or your family out to eat for a swift and delicious brunch, Sweet Pea’s is a perfect choice.
I order Strawberry Banana Nutella and so does my brother. My parents share the Spinach and Salmon crepe which comes with rich mushroom sauce that is a must-add to every bite. My brother and I also order the Santa Fe Chicken Crepe for some protein. We all end up sharing, so we can get the best of all worlds of Sweat Pea’s crepes. The menu has two sides: Sweet and Savory. You can’t go wrong. Our Strawberry Banana Nutella crepes come with homemade whip cream that is so light and fluffy.
My Dad will occasionally order a Spinach and Cheese quiche or a Meat Lover’s quiche. The quiche is filling with scrumptious egg and a homemade, delicate crust. After visiting many farmer’s markets and chain restaurants, I can say that Sweet Pea’s cooks the most appetizing and rich crepes. I watch them make my crepes in front of me like many customers, but I can never find out the secret ingredients!
Some other breakfast spots to visit in Los Gatos:
Lou’s Cafe is a small breakfast joint with killer raspberry cream cheese or apricot french toast along with incredible egg dishes.
The Diner of Los Gatos is a classic diner with an atmosphere from the 50s: checkered floor, red ceiling, jukeboxes, and big servings.
I hope you visit Los Gatos soon! If you do, be sure to eat at the restaurants that have made me happy throughout the years!
Have you ever been to Los Gatos? Do you like California? What’s your favorite local breakfast spot?