Tastes of Europe
The warmth of Italian espresso. A charcuterie board passed among friends. People-watching from a sidewalk table. Handmade pasta and fresh-baked breads. You need not travel abroad to experience the magic of a European meal.
One of the newer gathering spots on El Paseo, Sottovoce is part coffee bar, part wine shop, and part café. Proprietor Natalie Silva cultivates a convivial atmosphere that reminds her of the tavernas in her native Milan. Pop in for the weekly wine tastings and a plate of prosciutto and melon. Nearby, Il Sogno presents morning and afternoon menus. Dine in, and they’ll serve your cappuccino in a wine glass. Pair it with something sweet from the pastry case.
Locals love Ristorante Mamma Gina, Il Corso, and Piero’s Pizzavino for Italian — or California Pizza Kitchen for a spin on it. If it’s French fare you’re craving, reserve a table at Café des Beaux-Arts, an El Paseo favorite for more than three decades, or Le Paon Restaurant, perfect for a special occasion.
Satisfy Any Craving
Whether you’re booking a table for brunch, lunch, or a fabulous dinner, the promenade’s eclectic eateries promise to fill you up with their fresh interpretations of eggs Benedicts, salads, sandwiches, USDA Prime steaks, and just about everything in between.
At Hotel Paseo, Larkspur Grill draws crowds for every meal of the day. The ingredient-driven menu spotlights California fare with popular options like a Niçoise salad with seared ahi tuna and a rich Maine lobster roll on a brioche bun. Porta Via similarly excels in light and refreshing California-centric offerings.
Photo by Brandon Harman
Photo by Brandon Harman
Photo courtesy Tommy Bahama Restaurant
Surf and turf is the specialty at Mastro’s Steakhouse, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Pacifica Seafood Restaurant, and Mitch’s on El Paseo. Venture to Thailand with a table at Thai Smile or experience the meticulously crafted cuisine of Japan at The Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge.
There’s so much to choose from. If you can’t decide, plan a progressive meal along the street to sample it all.
Set beneath sunshine and swaying palms, it’s hard to beat the patio service at El Paseo restaurants. Perched upstairs at The Gardens on El Paseo, Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Pacifica Seafood Restaurant serve up some of the best views in town. If you prefer people-watching on the sidewalk, settle in for a margarita at Armando’s Bar & Grill, an Aperol spritz at Daily Grill, a locally brewed draft at Kitchen 86 + Bar, a craft drink at Porta Via, or a glass of vino at Café des Beaux-Arts or Le Fe Wine Bar. For dessert, head to the Perfect Pint Airstream for frozen custard that’s made from scratch.
Photo by Mollie Kimberling