Martha's Pastries will turn 28 years old this October. The story behind the shop's name says a lot about its ethos: the bakery's owner, Martha Merz, previously worked at a bakery in Woodside with a hard-to-spell French name that people got lost trying to find. Her bakery, she decided, would be simple and straightforward: Martha's Pastries, offering old world delicacies, sans extra frills. Today, visitors to the bakery enjoy coming for breakfast to linger over a pastry and coffee, she said. Popular offerings are the cinnamon bread and old-fashioned European tarts. The bakery has also employed many local youth over the years, she said.
325 Sharon Park Drive, Menlo Park | (650) 854-6207 | marthaspastries.com
The Stacks motto is "comfortable food," and customers agree that Stacks is the place to go for a casual family breakfast where everyone leaves satisfied. The long line of Sunday brunch customers waiting for a seat attest to its popularity. Manager Jon Pristavok says customers return because Stacks "is consistent, fast, and you get a lot of food for your dollar." From the coveted macadamia nut, banana and coconut pancakes to the turkey club loaded with sides of salad, fruit and fries, customers never leave with an empty stomach.
600 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park | (650) 838-0066 | stacksrestaurant.com
Jeffrey's Hamburgers is Menlo Park's go-to destination for the classic, fresh American hamburger. Voted this year as favorite place for a hamburger, Jeffrey's is most well known for it fresh meat, grinded on-site daily. According to manager Steve Friedel, customers return time and again because the "hamburgers are fresh, never frozen, and hand-made." In addition, the burgers are highly customizable. Customer receive exactly what they want: whether it's how the meat is cooked or which toppings they want.
888 El Camino Real, Menlo Park | (650) 322-1959 | jeffreyshamburgers.com
ICE CREAM/FROZEN YOGURT
Baskin-Robbins has been selected as the favorite ice cream/frozen yogurt shop in Menlo Park. Whether you eat it in a waffle cone, cup, as a sundae, or in a milkshake, the ice cream is consistently high quality. The shop has almost every flavor imaginable from the traditional chocolate to summer breeze cheesecake ice cream and watermelon splash ice, available only in the summer.
863 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park | (650) 323-9335 | baskinrobbins.com
Applewood Pizza is known around Menlo Park for it's crunchy crust and wide selection of high quality toppings, such as avocado and bay shrimp. With a relaxed, family atmosphere and consistently fresh pizza, locals continue to agree that Applewood is their favorite pizza place. Applewood offers highly customizable pizzas, with the customer choosing the size, toppings and sauce. Recently added to the menu are shrimp risotto, garden risotto, and penne with grilled chicken. Applewood Pizza sometimes has special offers, so keep your eyes open for those.
1001 El Camino Real, Menlo Park | (650) 324-3486 | applewoodpizza.com
PLACE TO BUY MEAT, GROCERY STORE
Shopping at Draeger's has become a way of life for generations of local residents dating from 1955 when the market opened in a Quonset hut at 1010 University Drive. The family-owned store features a vast selection of everything from caviar to corn flakes. "Shoppers keep returning to the store because of the freshness and high quality of the products. Because the store is a small, locally owned and operated company, we are probably best connected with the local producers," says Richard Draeger, one of founder Frank Draeger's 10 children. "There are five of us who work here on an everyday basis." Some of the fourth-generation of the family are now working in the business. The meat and fish department is staffed with trained butchers, who are happy to give extra service, such as cubing beef for a stew or splitting ham hocks. "That's something you don't see much of these days," says Mr. Draeger.
1010 University Drive, Menlo Park | (650) 324-7700 | draegers.com
For the past 48 years, the Woodside Deli has been selling imported Italian foods, including olive oils, cookies and wine, along with homemade products, such as pasta sauces, raviolis and meatloaf. The varieties of meats and cheeses lend themselves to delicious sandwiches, piled high with toppings and situated in a crunchy roll or soft sliced bread. This year, the Woodside Deli has won again for favorite sandwich place. Owner Dan Galinetti says that "love and care" makes the difference in its sandwiches along with the resolve to "get nothing but the best ingredients imported from Italy."
1453 Woodside Road, Redwood City | (650) 369 4235 | woodsidedeli.com
Lulu's on the Alameda, where its takeout menu is as complete as its regular menu, won this year for favorite place to order takeout. Lulu's online ordering system, enabling a quick pickup in the store, makes its takeout process faster than most, with a wait time of about 20 minutes from order to pickup. Customers say they like ordering ahead and picking up their meals in a separate line dedicated to takeout orders. They also appreciate Lulu's use of recyclable plastic containers. Owner Natalie Richardson attributes the restaurant's success to the use of recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation, and the friendly staff, who learn customers' names and favorite orders. The food is made from scratch from fresh, local ingredients. Customers say they enjoy eating delicious, authentic, fresh Mexican food in the comfort of their homes.
3539 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park. | (650) 854-8226 | lulusmexicanfood.com