I’ve been wanting to do a mini series like this for a while and here it is numero uno in the city I spend the most amount of time, the city I work in. The more time I spend in Los Altos the more I find and love. Los Altos is known as a sleepy town, that’s definitely what I thought when I first landed my job at a startup that opened it’s doors right on Main Street. There was not much to do, everything was closed by the time I left the office, and frankly as soon as I was off all I wanted to do was get home. But quickly, Los Altos started to change. New businesses were opening up and I was venturing farther than a block from the office. Having now been in Los Altos, for work, for over a year now I have come to have my go-to’s for eating, shopping, and doing. Here is my top list in each category, so if you are ever visiting you will know exactly where to go!
1. Voyageur du Temps: If you follow me on instagram then you will not be surprised that Voyageur du Temps is my favorite spot to eat right now. Ever since I tried Voyageur which opened back in March I have been hooked. Not only is the food delicious but the presentation is impeccable. For those who like to take pictures of food you will be pleased. Their location right on First street off of Foothill Expressway and Main Street used to be an old railway station stop. After a year long renovation there was a lot of excitement around the opening. I took me a little while to step away from my other go-to’s to try it but again once I did I was so happy. The traditional Parisian-style methods for their made-from-scratch breads and pastries are amazing! No really!! Some, I was a little hesitant to try, like their Matcha Croissant but on a recommendation from one of the staff, after having been a regular for quite a while, I gave it a go and all I can say is, life changing! I gone through the menu a couple times (minus the meats) and my favorite items are: Acai Energy Bowl, Mozzarella Tomato Tartine, Brie & Pear Sandwich w/ Corn Bisque soup, or Quinoa Salad (I swap with the Voyageur Salad sometimes) with Pommes Frites.
Location: 288 1st St, Los Altos, CA 94022.
2. Forest on First: Down the street on the opposite side of Main Street site my other two go-to’s. They are owned by the same family and are both super family friendly. So if you have a little one, and want to eat out at a healthy and nice place Forest on First is a really good option. Just like their sister restaurant, Bumble (more on that below), they have a designated place for adults only and that is out front on their patio. If I’m in the mood for a smoothie I will always go here. Their Mighty Moose smoothie is my absolute favorite. It’s surprisingly filling and I think that’s because of the almond butter. If I’m feeling like more than just a smoothie, my other forest favorites are their grain and/or garden salad and off the kids menu mac n’ cheese! Their baked goods change daily so if I’m lucky and they have the pistachio and olive oil muffin I have to have it, it’s that good.
Location: 129 1st St, Los Altos, CA 94022.
3. Bumble: As mentioned above, Bumble and Forest on First are owned by the same family. This family actually owns a lot of the DTLA shops that I love. Bumble was their only restaurant for quite a while, until Forest opened up back in February. Bumble is super kid friendly having a sandbox in the front. For adults like me who don’t have kids and go to eat lunch in-between work there is an adults only patio that is quite serene. Situated right up the street from Forest this Los Altos favorite has a seasonal menu that is always on point. My lunch favorites here are the Quinoa Salad (it comes with a soft-boiled farm egg!), Veggie Spring Rolls, or if I’m feeling bad the Three Cheese Grilled Cheese. If I’ve had a long week and it’s a late lunch I’ll spring for a grapefruit mimosa (but shhh don’t tell!).
Location: 145 1st St, Los Altos, CA 94022.
1. The Makery: This shop is intended, for the DIY’er. With in-store events teaching attendees how-to’s on different projects each month, to their perfect party decor, wall of brightly colored and printed fabric, vintage letterpress machine, do I need to continue? This shop is also great for gifts, I bought my bestie and her baby their 1-12 month onesies! With the recent merge with the Botanist, now the Makery even has pretty succulents outside for sale as well as air plants inside with other visually interesting potted foliage. I’ll be honest, I can’t get enough of this store, even if I don’t have a project in the works or party to plan, I still like walking through their shop, it’s gives me inspiration and an idea for a project I didn’t even know I wanted to do!
Location: 170 State St, Los Altos, CA 94022.
2. Alys Grace: Alys Grace most recent location is DTLA on Main Street and just down the street from my office, dangerous! I was familiar with her boutique having shopped some of her other locations. Side note, the one in Menlo Park was in walking distance to my last place. If you are looking for a new sweater for fall, cocktail dress for a party, casual weekend wear, or clothes for the work week you can probably find it here. The boutique has an assortment of contemporary designer clothing, each location carries a little different inventory with some key pieces overlapping, from notable designers new and emerging. I have been known to stop in on my way back from my lunch or on the way if there is something that I spotted in the window that I want to try on before I have my food baby 😉 Let’s just say some people are boutique people, and others are department store shoppers. I like both and for different reasons but it’s always fun to have a local boutique to go to that you know they have what you like, that’s Alys Grace.
Location: 208 Main St, Los Altos, CA 94022.
3. Present: The name gives away what this Los Altos staple specializes in and that is presents. Present has some of the cutest, specialty items to fill the best gift basket for your family, friends, coworkers, etc. You can purchased pre-selected baskets or you can create your own. Along with products for gift baskets, they have some nice home nick-nacks that are just so cute. Not to mention that the owners Jim & Jim are so friendly and helpful you just can’t help but support them one can of Funky Chunky (all three flavors are like popcorn crack in a can, soooo good and soooo addicting) at a time!
Location: 162 Main St, Los Altos, CA 94022.
1. Los Altos Art & Wine Festival: This is not your average Art & Wine Festival. Of all the Art & Wine Festivals I have been to this is probably my favorite, besides of course Capitola Art & Wine (hometown advantage). DTLA comes to life for the weekend, the streets are full of people. I think they have the best vendor selection of all the festivals, really good wine and beer booths and a whole section for the kids including roller coasters, fun house, games and activities galore. This summer was my second season and like the year before I was very impressed. I like my wine with good food and this year my mom and I took the wine with us when we went to lunch at, you guessed it, Voyageur du Temps, then after a delicious meal headed back down the street to keep shopping!
Location: Main street from 1st Street to San Antonio and State Street.
2. Helix: The Exploritorium recently, well not so recently anymore, opened up an interactive storefront on State Street. I’ll be honest I have yet to step inside but I walk by it all the time and I always see people and families enjoying what the storefront has to offer and looks like its a place people go to, to “do” things. Best explained by Helix, part science museum, part retail space, and part community center, Helix engages with local schools and neighborhood groups to develop programs and events for all ages that reflect the unique character and needs of Los Altos and its surrounding communities. I promise to step inside one day soon!
Location: 316 State St, Los Altos, CA 94022.
3. Seasonal Outdoor Events like Green day on the Green, Movie in the Park, State Street Farmers Market, First Friday’s, the list goes on and on. I hope you can now tell that Los Altos isn’t as sleepy as one might think. These outdoor events draw some pretty big crowds, with live bands, outdoor activities, family friendly activities, and the city of Los Altos caters towards these events with local businesses getting involved in the fun! This past weekend was the Fall Festival and while I missed it this year to work on our house I’m sure it was a success. Like the Art & Wine Festival the holiday events like the Festival of Lights brings people from all over not just Los Altos or the surrounding towns. Los Altos knows how to throw a party!
I hope you enjoyed my first Eat, Shop, Do post! I’d love to hear what you thought and what your experiences have been at any of these places or events.