El Granada, known by old-timers as “A Synonym for Paradise” with its banana-belt climate and close proximity to Pillar Point Harbor, can be warmer and sunnier than its neighboring towns, making it a great spot to retreat to on a coast that is notorious for spring winds and summer fogs.
The town is also home to some eclectic and fun businesses, offering goods, services and tasty eats right across the street from Pillar Point Harbor, from Café Classique (107 Sevilla Avenue) and Harbor Pizza (65 Avenue Alahambra) to Café Gibraltar (425 Avenue Alahambra), making this destination a perfect day-trip diversion.
Start out at Art Attack (106 Francisco Street, across from the El Granada Market) and lose yourself in this cozy little roadside shop browsing eclectic antiques and art deco furniture, art and décor. From vases, lamps and outdoor fixtures to wicker and cane furniture and stained glass windows and art pieces, there’s always something special here to set your sights on.
Around the corner is Creekside Smokehouse (280 Avenue Alhambra), selling some of the best tasting smoked salmon, albacore, sturgeon, and cheese and butter, all smoked on the premises. Try the samples. The smoked salmon cream cheese spread and salmon salad are very popular. Take it to go; they’ll bag it up in an ice pack to keep it fresh.
Just a few blocks away is Café Gibraltar, serving authentic Mediterranean cuisine and using only organic free-range meat and fowl, organic produce and flour and fresh seafood. Enjoy views of the ocean from this locals favorite restaurant, which is open for Sunday brunch and dinner every night except on Mondays.
Next, stroll over to El Granada’s center, encompassing the town’s post office, thrift store, liquor and video store, fire department and hardware store, which doubles as a café and serves up some of the tastiest sandwiches and smoothies around. El Granada Hardware & Cafe (85 Avenue Portola) sells Dreyer’s ice cream, too, and offers 14 different bagel sandwich options as well as eight different milk shakes. Eat at the tables outside the café or take your order to go and have a picnic at Surfer’s Beach to wind down your day in El Granada.
Wind your day down and sip handcrafted beers at the local brewery Hop Dogma Brewing Co. (30 Avenue Portola) run by Dan Littlefield and Ethan Martini who opened up a tasting room location in El Granada’s center to brew onsite and sell craft beer made with passion and creativity.
By Christa Bigue