Bringing classical French and contemporary Californian flavors together, "there is something for everyone" at Alexander's Patisserie, according to its executive pastry chef Phuong Quach. This popular bakery makes and sells customized cakes as well as numerous different desserts that cater to each client's needs. A lunch menu polished with seasonal quiche, paninis, sandwiches and soups has recently been introduced, perfect for a summer afternoon.
209 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-864-9999. alexanderspatisserie.com
Steins Beer Garden
With more than 30 craft beers on tap, Steins Beer Garden has become a favorite in Mountain View. This destination adds an American spin on the traditional German biergarten, according to its website. Annual events hosted at this bar include a local Oktoberfest celebration with music, drinks and competitions, as well as a home brew contest in which enthusiasts create their own beers while keeping to a given theme.
895 Villa St., Mountain View; 650-963-9568. steinsbeergarden.com
Tucked away in Edgewood Plaza, the House of Bagels is the perfect pit stop for a crime fighter on the move. This popular, New York-inspired establishment features all the bagel basics — the savory spreads, the soft lox, the mouth-watering deli sandwiches — along with cookies, pastries and other baked goods. But the star of the show is the bagel itself.
House of Bagels
2190 W. Bayshore Road, Palo Alto, 650-322-5189; houseofbagels.com
Clarke's Charcoal Broiler
This year marks the 22nd time Clarke's Charcoal Broiler has been voted Mountain View's best burger. Opened in 1945, this family-owned restaurant has captured the hearts of readers with its extensive condiment bar, which includes sauerkraut, pickles, relish, onions, alfalfa sprouts and more. Cooking with charcoal instead of gasoline, manager Mila Perez says that orders such as the bacon-and-cheese burger have more of a smoky, outdoor flavor. Tater tots have also been recently introduced to the already substantial menu.
615 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-967-0851. clarkes.com
In a city with a lot of good burrito joints, it takes a lot to stand out in the crowd. La Costena has done just that, winning over readers with its chico, regular and super burritos. It also holds the Guiness World Record for the largest burrito.
235 E. Middlefield Road, Mountain View; 650-967-0507. costena.com
Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus
Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus has reeled in customers with its newly revamped sandwich menu and fresh meat selection. According to staff, the hot pastrami with provolone, as well as the smoked turkey breast with avocado and jack cheese sandwich, are among the most popular choices for its hungry patrons.
4540 El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-941-3800. dittmers.com
Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt
Gelato Classico has been awarded Mountain View's best ice cream/frozen yogurt for 18 consecutive years, thanks to its creamy gelatos and refreshing sorbettos. The bavarian mint and coconut-macadamia nut gelatos are among the options for downtown customers looking to escape the heat this summer.
241 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-969-2900
Known for its traditional Taiwanese cuisine, Queen House has been serving locals since 1988. Though the beef stew clay pot continues to be a best-seller, owner Cindy Lee encourages patrons to try the pork belly bun, which is topped with peanuts, vegetables and cilantro, and was inspired by a recipe found on a Food Network program. A dim sum menu is available on Saturdays and Sundays.
273 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-960-0580
Owner Cindy Lee accredits Tea Era's prosperity to the classic Taiwanese taste of its milk teas as well as the chewy, tender boba that is high in demand. The roasted barley milk tea is a signature drink, although taro milk tea is quickly becoming a fan favorite.
271 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-969-2899. teaeracafe.com
Bringing the East Coast to Silicon Valley, Amici's has once again grabbed readers' attention with its mouth-watering thin crust pizza that is "inspired by the traditional, Italian brick oven pizzas of New England," according to its website. This eatery offers an all-day happy hour every Monday and free delivery. There is even a robot made by Bear Robotics that works in the dining room every Tuesday night, according to president Peter Cooperstein.
790 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-961-6666. amicis.com
Mountain View Farmers Market
The Mountain View farmers market has been going since 1992, and locals cannot get enough of it. With 110 vendors, residents can browse a wide variety of produce, including hybrid fruits such as pluots (half apricot and half plum), pecotums (peach, apricot, and plum), and cherums (cherry and plum). "It doesn't get fresher than the Mountain View farmers market," says market manager Kayla Hayden of the fruits and vegetables found there. The market is open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
600 W. Evelyn Ave., Mountain View; 800-806-3276. cafarmersmkts.com/mountain-view-farmers-market
Small (Non-chain) Grocery Store
Ava's Downtown Market & Deli
A friendly neighborhood market, family-owned Ava's Downtown Market & Deli takes pride in catering to a diverse community, staff says. Having been in business for over six years, this grocery store values customer input and customer service. And with shelves stocked to the brim, this store puts the mighty in "small but mighty."
340 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-961-5652
At Asian Box diners don't need to break the bank to get a fresh and scrumptious meal. Inspired by Vietnamese street food, Asian Box offers diners comforting staples like pho and curry chicken, as well as more eclectic options such as caramel catfish and garlic-and-soy-glazed beef. Pick up one of their "signature boxes" or customize your own by choosing a base, a protein, some toppings and a sauce.
Town & Country Shopping Center, 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-391-9305; asianbox.com