The quaint town of Aptos, just south of Capitola, is filled with beautiful beaches and forests, adorable shops, and excellent places to eat. With its expanding food scene, Aptos is earning its place on the culinary map with hip restaurants brimming with decadent fare. Here, we’ve tried out Mentone, Aptos St. BBQ, and Venus Spirits Kitchen and Cocktails: Beachside to see if they are worth the buzz. Spoiler alert: They are!
From the mind of renowned chef and Michelin-starred restauranteur David Kinch, the Aptos Village restaurant Mentone will whisk you away on a European vacation for your taste buds. Named after a city on the French-Italian border, Mentone’s colorful interior and mosaic pizza oven create the illusion that you’ve just been transported to the French Riviera. The Italian classic Aperol Spritz is the highlight of the cocktail menu – but with a Californian twist: it’s frozen! The seasonal menu always has something to delight; their house-made pastas and oven-baked pizzas are sure to have your mouth watering before you’ve even taken your first bite. Be sure to try some of their house-made gelato – it’s a must! Mentone’s fresh eats will take you on a fantastic foodie voyage that you won’t want to miss.
The smoky-sweet smell of barbecue and the folky sounds of live Blues welcome you to Aptos St. BBQ. Drawing on a variety of traditional methods hailing from California to the Carolinas, Aptos St. BBQ knows what they’re doing. After being impeccably seasoned, the high-quality meats are smoked over California Oak wood until tender and delicious. You can opt to have your barbecue served as a meal or a sandwich, paired with an assortment of classic sides like potato salad, mac and cheese, or coleslaw. Don’t miss the BBQ Chicken Sandwich, stuffed with juicy, shredded barbecue chicken that is so good you’ll be licking your fingers! As you listen to the blues, knock back a local craft beer or two from one of the 37 on rotating tap. With a live show every night of the week, Aptos St. BBQ is a place where you can come for the food and stay for the Blues!
Just steps from the beach and the sound of the waves, Venus Spirits Kitchen and Cocktails Beachside feels like walking straight into a vacation. Choose a seat on the outdoor patio, surrounded by tropical plants and under a canopy of string lights, or head inside, where bright windows provide a view of the sandy shore beyond. Be sure to try the lobster roll – with fresh lobster surrounded by a toasted, buttered brioche, it will leave you wanting more. Pair it with their Frozen Paloma Libre for a true taste escape. With a cocktail list that boasts locally made spirits and a menu offering southern-style comfort food with a seaside flair, there is something for everyone at VSCK Beachside.
Aptos’s foodie scene has certainly earned its place in the spotlight with Mentone, Aptos St. BBQ, and VSCK Beachside. Whether you’re looking for coastal comfort food, fine dining, or a twist on European cuisine, these sensational restaurants are worth checking out for yourself!