The gateway city to Pinot Noir country offers tasting rooms to visit by bike, late-night street food and an affordable, artist-designed motel.


The young husband-and-wife team behind this 40-seater serves an adventurous seasonal menu of dishes, like ricotta ravioli with sweetbreads and braised pig tongue on grilled sourdough.

Olio Pizzeria

© Kevin Steele

Olio Pizzeria

The wood-gas hybrid oven cranks out thin, blistered pies. All wines are available by the glass, quartino, half liter and bottle.

The Blue Owl

© Stacey Millett

The Blue Owl

Three nights a week, from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Thai restaurant Zen Yai becomes the Blue Owl, a spot for Asian-style street food like tri-tip sandwiches with chili mayo.

Municipal Winemakers

© Dave Potter

Municipal Winemakers

Fess Parker's Dave Potter is the man behind this tasting room, where the wine is on tap, info is on iPads and visitors who come by bike get free wine delivery.

French Press Coffee

© Cara Robbins Photography

French Press

Jen's Pick: Coffee Stop The French Press, an artisanal coffee shop, is the place to try Fair Trade beans from Santa Cruz's Verve Roasters and blueberry buckle.

Presidio Motel

Jen's Pick: Motel Chic The Presidio Motel's 16 whimsical rooms were designed by local art students. Bikes are available for tooling around the city.