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FOOD & DRINK

BAGEL

A warm, fluffy bagel with melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese is a popular combination at Posh Bagel, which Readers' Choice voters have elected their favorite bagel shop. If it seems more crowded than usual, it could be because customers of the Menlo Park Posh Bagel location are making a longer trip for a bagel fix, since that store was damaged by a June 16 fire that started in a neighboring business. 444 Castro St. Suite 120, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; 968-5308

BAKERY, SANDWICH

Founded in 1981, Le Boulanger offers award-winning sourdough as well as 20 other varieties of other bread and pastries. According to store manager Andre Teerlet, the bakery in Mountain View also features "the best meat and cheese." Diners can also choose from healthier options like the new summer salad. 650 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Sat. 6 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; 961-1787

BAR, HAPPY HOUR, FINE DINING, BUSINESS LUNCH, MEDITERRANEAN

Cascal is clearly one of Mountain View's favorite restaurants, winning in five categories this year. With Spanish hospitality and Latin flavor, Cascal caters to most dining desires. Enjoy a wide variety of tapas paired with an extensive wine list and "sexy" cocktails in a vibrant setting. The restaurant also offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights. A close second in the bar category is St. Stephen's. 400 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Sun. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; 650-940-9500

BARBECUE

When you see an armadillo wearing cowboy boots, you know you're in Armadillo Willy's and you know you're in the right place for good barbecue. The BBQ joint has served Mountain View, as well as other Bay Area locations, with authentic Texas barbecue since 1983. Three different types of ribs and nearly everything else are cooked over a wood fire, Armadillo Willy's barbecue sauce will stick to your insides, in a good way. 1031 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat.11 a.m.-10 p.m.; 941-2922

BREAKFAST

When yet another bowl of cereal makes you want to skip the morning meal, locals recommend Hobee's. The Bay Area chain of homey, no-frills cafes serves a range of lunch and dinner items, but it's best known for its omelets and scrambles, hashbrowns and coffeecake, with breakfast served all day. Joanie's Cafe came in a close second with readers. 2312 Central Expressway, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 650-968-6050; 4424 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-856-6124; 67 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto, 650-327-4111 hobees.com

BURGER

Clarke's Charcoal Burger is famous for "good service and good food," owner James Blach says. The burgers weigh 1/3 of a pound and are cooked over charcoal, which makes for an authentic grilled taste. Clarke's now offers delivery and take-out. 615 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; Sat.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; 967-0851

BURRITO

Besides holding several Best of Mountain View awards, La Costena holds a Guinness Book record for the largest burrito, built in Rengstorff Park. A favorite in the southern end of the Peninsula, the custom-built burritos are sure to fill you up and loyal patrons say they taste great. 2078 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View; Mon.-Sun. 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.; 967-0507

CHINESE

At Chef Chu's, diners can order such timeless favorites as Mongolian beef, Kung Pao chicken and chow mein. But also hidden on the huge menu are delicacies not found at every neighborhood Chinese restaurant -- Eight-Treasure Squab, anyone? It's this commitment to Chinese cuisine at its best that has made Chef Chu's a favorite for Peninsula residents, who also chose it as their favorite take-out spot. A close second for Chinese restaurant: Su Hong in Palo Alto. 1067 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. noon-10 p.m.; 948-2696.

COFFEE HOUSE

This year's winner for Best Coffee House, Red Rock Coffee on Castro, has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. Assistant Manager John Dustman said Red Rock is popular not only because of its coffee (though he said customers are partial to the cappuccino), but also because of its community-oriented focus. The cafe showcases local art, hosts book clubs and three different knitting groups and features live music on Fridays and Saturdays and an open-mic night on Mondays. 201 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Thurs. 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Fri. 7 a.m.-11p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; 967-4473

DELI

Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus is the go-to place for an extensive selection of hand-crafted meat, which include both the typical sausages and beef, and rarities such as bison. In addition to the meat, Dittmer's also has a good sandwich area, with offerings like garlic sausage and Dutch crunch bread, and it sells a selection of European goodies. 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; 941-3800

FRESH PRODUCE

With the recent explosion of farmers market's popularity, Mountain View is proud to host the fourth-largest in the state. Located at the Mountain View train station, the market offers an extensive selection of organic produce, baked goods and fresh flowers. Open year round, the market makes a great Sunday morning excursion. 600 W Evelyn Ave., Mountain View; Sun. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; (800) 806-3276

FUSION

Bright neon signs, cutting edge design, and new spins on classic Vietnamese recipes, Xahn exemplifies the hip, modern restaurant. Thanks to Chef Thuy Pham's direction, Xahn caters to Mountain View's clientele with a variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. Now opened for buffet lunch, the restaurant offers family-style dining during the day and an exciting, nightlife experience after the sun goes down. 110 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30-Close; Sat.-Sun. 5 p.m.-Close; 964-1888

GROCERY STORE

Owner Steve Rasmussen says shoppers come to the Milk Pail Market for "one of the largest cheese selections in California and incredible produce prices." You don't have to be Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to find something to like at Milk Pail, which sells a wide variety of gourmet and specialty foods. 2585 California St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.; 941-2505

ICE CREAM

Uncompromising and unforgettable, Gelato Classico offers a taste of La Dolce Vita. Known for its long lines and customer service, Gelato Classico gets people coming back for one reason -- taste. With classic Italian flavors such as pistachio or tiramisu, the ice cream shop is tops with our readers. 241-B Castro St., Mountain View; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; 969-2900

INDIAN

Owner Vijay Bist opened Amber India 16 years ago, and he says, "Our chef has been passionate about cooking since day one." Amber India has since expanded to four locations, but Mountain View diners can still find great service and delicious dishes at its El Camino Real restaurant. 2290 El Camino Real, Mountain View; daily, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; 968-7511

ITALIAN

Frankie, Johnnie and Luigi's does home-style Italian food, and does it well. You won't find the Godfather here, but in addition to traditional pastas and garlic bread, there's a wide selection of pizzas (try the margherita) and wine. Open until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends, it's also perfect for after-hours late-night cravings. 939 El Camino Real; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sat. 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun. 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m.; 967-5384

MEXICAN

Known throughout Mountain View for its authentic Mexican cuisine, Fiesta del Mar takes the prize again this year. Enjoy unique Mexican camarones (shrimp) dishes and select from 200 tequilas. Its margaritas are said to be unsurpassed. Online take-out ordering is newly available through the restaurant's website. A close second in this category is Taqueria Los Charros. 1005 N Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sat. noon-9:30 p.m.; Sun. noon-9 p.m.; 965-9354

MIDDLE EASTERN

Offering traditional Turkish food since 2005, Cafe Baklava wins the best Middle Eastern cuisine again. With many traditional Middle Eastern/Mediterrean classics like Doner Kebap and Moussaka, Cafe Baklava embodies authenticity. Diners can drink Turkish beer and smoke hookahs in an elegant setting; it's no wonder Cafe Baklava has customers returning again and again. 341 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun. noon-9:30 p.m.; 969-3835

NOODLES

Toru Hagiwara, store manager, says Maru Ichi is proud of its "Japanese traditional noodles." Customers appreciate the noodle house for the steaming bowls of tasty ramen in rich broth, as well as the low prices, quick service and casual atmosphere. 368 Castro St. Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m.-9 pm.; 564-9931

PEARL TEA

Few drink venues offer as much variety as Tapioca Express, affectionately known as TapEx. In addition to selling the ubiquitous pearl milk tea, it also has teas, snow bubbles and icies in flavors like green bean, red bean and lychee (and also more common flavors for those less adventurous). It also doubles as a lunch place: try something from the pan-Asian snack menu like the Vietnamese spring rolls or Chinese pork buns. 740 Villa St., Mountain View; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; 965-3093

PIZZA

Mamma Mia! Amici's East Coast Pizzeria has Mountain View in love again. With thin-crust New York-style pizza, Amiciís offers a taste of the East Coast in the Bay Area. The pizza margherita is a must have, and Amici's combo with pepperoni, meatball, bacon, sauteed mushrooms and black olives is a close second. 790 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat. 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; 961-6666

SEAFOOD

Customers stop by the Cantankerous Fish for its selection of fresh calamari, mahi mahi and more, but also notable is the restaurant's Happy Hour deals. Drop in Monday to Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. to try the bar menu, which includes sliders, nachos and tempura for $5 per item, and well drinks, beers on tap and house wines for only $3. 420 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m..; Sat.-Sun. 4:30 p.m.-1 a.m.; 966-8124

SUSHI/JAPANESE

Sushi Tomi is known for its fresh fish and wide variety of very traditional sushi. The restaurant has become popular over the years through word of mouth, and customers come back again and again. Though there is often a wait during busy hours, the Japanese delicacies are well worth it. 635 W. Dana St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat. 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun. 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; 968-3227

THAI

For the ninth year in a row Amarin Thai takes the prize. With over 80 dishes, Amarin provides high quality Thai favorites while managing to stay affordable. Try the forest curry in the seafood hot pot for an authentic Thai cuisine experience. 174-176 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; 988-9323

— Mountain View Voice staff

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by The Eye
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Amici's? You have to be joking. The first and only time we ever tried their alleged "New York Pizza", what we got was a flat, uninspired, uninteresting offering that looked and tasted like something out of a frozen pizza box. Never again. Blech!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Im with The Eye. We live in pizza MECCA! Greasy Amici's isnt even the best pizza on Castro Street!

I rather eat someones leftover crust from Tony and Albas, Kapps, Milan, Frankie Johnny & Luigis' than the best pizza ever made at Amicis


 +   Like this comment
Posted by carlo
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 27, 2010 at 12:39 am

Hmmmm... I wonder about some of these results. As with Eye and Eric...I highly doubt that Amici's is the best pizza in Mt View. There are plenty of other pizzerias in the area that would easily beat Amici's...for taste, quality, and price. IN fact, I just had a pizza from a place called Maldanado's (spelling ?) and found it to be great.
On a different note, Neto's Bakery should be mentioned as they have the most delicious pasteries and greek-style foods on Castro.

Enjoy!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 27, 2010 at 12:53 am

Agree with previous posts, Amici's doesn't have very good pizza.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Big
a resident of Jackson Park
on Aug 27, 2010 at 2:06 am

Amici's does make a good pizza with top quality ingredients and they have great customer service. The problem is they are too expensive and the type of pizza they make isn't the gourmet style we like in CA.

Tony & Alba's started trying to "copy" Amici's with the thin crust... Bad idea! They had some of the best pizza around, you can still order it the old style. Frankie, Johnnie and Luigi's is probably the best right now. Kapps & Maldonado's second. FPD for best value pizza.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ummmm
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 27, 2010 at 11:24 am

I think people voted for what is popular, not what is necessarily actually good. I think the bagel shop in the shopping center by 99 Ranch is better than Posh Bagels any day. Chef Chu's and Su Hong's (which is super greasy, btw) don't come close to Cafe Yulong, which is actually IN downtown Mountain View. Fiesta del Mar Too is also in downtown and better than Fiesta del Mar, both with food and service! And I prefer Verde any day over TapEx!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Too funny
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

Hand-crafted meats? That sounds interesting. Maybe hand-carved might have been a better choice of words or hand-crafted sausages. Regardless, Dittmers rocks. I can't say souch for the voice.

As for pizza, I'd rather have day old FPD than that Amici's crap.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by BooYah
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm

It is spelt as XANH, not XAHN! And this place is fusion alright, for anyone wants to pay so much for crappy Vietnamese food!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Is it just me, or did the Voice construct a category specific to each restaurant on Castro so that they could hang a sign proclaiming "Best of Mountain View 2010?"

Best Bagel? How many other horses were in the running?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 28, 2010 at 9:41 am

Having grown up on the east coast, I can say with confidence that Amici's circular pie-like product doesn't remotely resemble east coast pizza. Maldonado's comes much closer to the mark.

Posh Bagels is a misnomer. They sell a circular piece of bread with a hole in the middle, not a bagel. The shop on Grant Road and the one at El Monte & El Camino are much better.

When is the Voice going to stop catering to their advertisers by awarding Best of Mountain View to out of town businesses? Chef Chu's advertising budget with the Voice surely deserves some recognition. You told us the second runner in that category, also out of town. How about at least telling us which restaurant IN Mountain View came in with the most votes? Queen House and Yulong are both miles ahead of Chef Chu's if only because they're more authentic than the stuff he slings, which panders to the American perception of what Chinese food is.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Food nut
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 28, 2010 at 11:49 pm

the best restaurant in MV is Savory, just not the best location and no press coverage, but it is the best


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Litsa
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Le Boulanger? You cant be serious.

I can easily spend $35 for my family of three at lunch. Total ripoff.
Plus the place is always dirty and the tables are never clean.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LOL
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 3, 2010 at 9:30 am

Most of these selections are laughable. Particularly Amici's and Su Hong. And Le Boulanger and Posh Bagel? Come on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joseph
a resident of Whisman Station
on Aug 12, 2011 at 8:56 am

Italian restaurant ? The best is in Mountain View , problably the best in all California , very familiar , clean , big tables , good food , the owner put your plate in your table ,the price is reasonable...this restaurant call : Mario's Italiano , near to Moffett www.mariositaliano.com


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