Silicon Valley / South Bay Travel Guide
For a place that prides itself on innovation and being at the cutting edge, Silicon Valley lags behind in the quantity and diversity of all things we love. It’s a big area, too. Anyway, we were able to still come up with a few places to recommend.
Tucked away in a nondescript strip mall along Woodside Rd, this multi-roaster features Santa Cruz-based Cat and Cloud coffees as well as Klatch and some Dandelion chocolates. Friendly staff that knows their stuff, it’s an oasis in an otherwise craft-desolate area.
Another hidden strip mall gem, this time in Santa Clara, is Chromatic Coffee. The South Bay’s premier roaster, Chromatic serves us single-origin coffees, as well as specialty drinks and even local craft beer. They have another location in downtown San Jose, as well.
Smack in the middle of downtown Mountain View on Castro Street is the institution known as Red Rock. A fixture of Mountain View since well before Google, Red Rock is a non-profit and boasts complete with a single-origin bar. Careful, because the single-origin bar has limited hours, but there’s always something good like nitro cold brew and a selection of high quality brews of both the coffee and tea sort.
Fun fact – this is also the Craft Sense team’s go-to meeting spot because they have top notch coffee.
Tucked away in the sleepy “village” of Los Altos (between Palo Alto and Mountain View) is Honcho Bar. Owner Rod always keeps a great local selection of beers, wines and ciders. Honcho also does its part for sustainability by using paper and compostable straws and other green products.
This small bottle shop just off Castro street in Mountain View is a great place to pick up a few beers to go. Friendly staff is juxtaposed with often-loud heavy metal music to create a unique ambiance. Good selection of local brews and special releases.
There’s no sign outside to mark this dispensary. Just some green lights around the windows. Inside there is a wide range of products, particularly flower. Helpful staff can guide you to the right one for you.
Just over the hill from San Jose is the otherworldly, Santa Cruz. If you’re looking for a day of trying new beers, coffees and dispensaries it may be worth the short trip over Highway 17 to the coast.
Proprietor, Sunita de Tourreil, is an expert guide leading folks on a journey to the best craft chocolate from producers with excellent environmental and labor practices. She also offers small-group tours to different cacao growing regions like Cuba, Hawaii and India, as well as an interactive educational retail experience on the Chocolate Garage website and at her downtown Palo Alto location. Her Palo Alto location is only open Saturday mornings, so be sure to plan ahead!