The one true restaurant in Pescadero is Duarte’s Tavern (202 Stage Rd., 650/879-0464, www.duartestavern.com, daily 7 a.m.–9 p.m., $10–20). The rambling building features sloping floors and age-darkened wooden walls. The food is excellent, the service friendly, and the coffee plentiful. Almost everybody in the Bay Area comes to Duarte’s eventually—whether it’s for a bowl of artichoke soup, some great local fish, a slice of olallieberry pie, or just a drink at the dimly lit, often-crowded bar.
To enjoy the best of Coastside food, hit a local farm or two and put together your own picnic lunch (or dinner). Harley Farms (205 North St., 650/879-0480, www.harleyfarms.com, call for tour information) boasts of being the last working dairy on the San Mateo coast. Their goat cheese is locally famous, sold at high-end grocery stores and offered in restaurants around the Bay Area. Look for the small wheels with colorful edible flower petals pressed into pretty patterns—a Harley Farms trademark. You can even assist in the cheese-making process, taking a tour that teaches you how to milk a goat, then create fresh artisan cheese.
For scrumptious homemade bread and pastries, stop in at Arcangeli Grocery (287 Stage Rd., 650/879-0147, www.normsmarket.com/store) across the street from Duarte’s. All breads are homemade and delicious, and the pastries (especially the raspberry twists) are to die for. The store also carries many grocery staples and plenty of cold drinks and California wines.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition