One of my favorite things in Santa Cruz is a little (but well known) ice cream shop: The Penny Ice Creamery. It opened several years ago and makes classic favorites like Vanilla and the most amazing chocolate sorbet anyone has ever tasted (that is not hyperbole). But they also make crazy, delicious flavors partnering with local farms and businesses such as Verve and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery. One of my favorite flavors is Hazelnut Marscarpone. So good! Anyway, the Penny has ventured out to create other yummy spots (all of which I am sure I will eventually write about), including a cute little breakfast and lunch spot on the Boardwalk: the Picnic Basket.
The Picnic Basket continues the Penny’s philosophy of using local and sustainable foods (and yes they also serve ice cream!). They have delicious sandwiches for lunch (even good veggie ones for me!). But I am extremely partial to their breakfasts. Some of my faves include their breakfast burritos (huge! not your typical Mexican breakfast burrito, but full of delicious eggs, veggies, and potatoes), yogurt fresh fruit with homemade granola (it’s really good when they have it with lemon, yum!) and the Goldilocks oatmeal (oatmeal, with brown sugar and candied walnuts and cream… you can choose to have with ice cream – a decadent but delicious option!). The Picnic Basket can be a little pricey for what it has but unlike some other pricey spots in Santa Cruz, it’s totally worth it. Plus, let’s be real it (along with a couple of other recent shops and restaurants) has really helped bring a new identity to what can be a bit of a sketchy street (albeit a tourist hotspot) in Santa Cruz. And they serve Verve coffee… yum!
We tend to visit the Picnic Basket after a run or when cheering on races at one of the many local races that finish at or near Cowell’s Beach. In fact, tomorrow Santa Cruz Endurance members (and those who want to try us out… you know you do!) will be tackling our Saturday long run from the Dream Inn on West Cliff so we can finish our run with treats from the Picnic Basket. Come join us! SCE posts our runs at our website and tomorrow we’re starting at 7:30am and including distances from 10-17 miles (we’ll be looping back to Dream Inn at about 8:45am if you just want to get in about 5 miles).
Have you tried Picnic Basket? What’s your favorite spot on the Boardwalk to eat?