To some, the heart of Capitola is Gayle’s Bakery.
For decades, residents have crowded the bakery counter. Sample the house-baked challah, cheesecake, and macaroons, and you’ll understand why.
It’s a common sight to see a five-year-old’s face smashed against the glass drooling over the sweets, waiting for his number to be hollered.
The savory counter is just as delightful. Gourmet sandwiches, soups, and salads. Roasted meats and rotisserie chicken. There’s even a blue plate special every day.
The coffee bar slings locally-roasted beans, teas, and hot beverages, many of them prepared non-dairy upon request.
Local tip: You can order drinks and limited pastries at the coffee bar without having to battle the crowds.
Grab a seat by the fireplace to warm up after a chilly swim in the Pacific. On Wednesday evenings jazz musicians play.
Note that there are not many gluten-free options.