A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy

patio dining

Willow Street Pizza in downtown Los Gatos

 Willow Street Pizza in downtown Los Gatos One of my favorite go-to eateries for lunch or dinner in Los Gatos is Willow Street Pizza. This casual, kid-friendly restaurant offers both indoor and patio dining, has a nicely varied menu, delicious food, good service, and decent prices for the heart of Los Gatos. It also enjoys an ideal location directly across the street from the Town Plaza Park.

Indoors

The dining area is large and provides large windows, comfortable booths as well as tables and chairs. Kids may find the TV a helpful distraction, and there is a children’s menu (though I’m not seeing it online). The room has good acoustics, so most of the time, even if the restaurant is full, the sound level is not bad. Restrooms are shared with other tenants at Lyndon Plaza, and you must go outside to access them (small warning: they can be cold in winter).

Outdoor seating

Patio dining is fun even if nothing else is going on. Should the weather get a little nippy, there are heat lamps.

In summer, many sponsors host Jazz on the Plazz on Wednesday evenings in the Town Plaza Park across the street. Smart diners arrive early enough to snag an outside table and enjoy their meal with live music.

On Sundays a year round farmer’s market takes places on the interior streets that line the park, Montebello Road and Broadway. It’s a great time to people watch, and the vantage from the patio dining area is hard to beat.

Willow Street Pizza menu

At Willow Street, pizza is king and there are many different types of pizza available. The menu is much broader, though, with some more typical dinner entrees (salmon and chicken), salads, pasta dishes, sandwiches, appetizers, and desserts. There’s also a coffee and tea service, soft drinks, craft beers, and a full bar.

While it’s most famous for its pizza, which is delicious, my favorite food there tends to be the salads, especially the warm Brussels Sprouts salad and some of the seasonal salads (in summer I’ve sometimes had steak salad with peaches or other fruits). They do mix it up a bit throughout the year.

I should mention that they also do take out, but I cannot comment on that as I haven’t tried it.

You can browse the Willow Street Pizza menu online here.

Where is Willow Street Pizza in Los Gatos?

Willow Street Pizza can be found in Lyndon Plaza, once the site of the Lyndon Hotel. It’s at the southeast corner of West Main Street and South Santa Cruz Avenue, directly across from the Town Park Plaza.  The address is 20 South Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos.

Parking is sometimes challenging in downtown Los Gatos, but there is valet parking on site and a public parking lot just across the street on West Main (behind Mountain Charlie’s). Additionally, there’s the Montebello parking lot which can be accessed from Montebello Road at Broadway (look for a driveway next to the post office).

Willow Street Pizza website (for this location and the original in Willow Glen, San Jose)

Restaurants with patio dining in Los Gatos

The Wine Cellar in Old Town, Los Gatos

In Los Gatos, it may be possible to dine out of doors year round, but it is always a popular option between March and October in the scenic town once referred to as “the gem city of the foothills”.

Today I want to highlight these establishments for diners and give a nod to a number of the Los Gatos restaurants which offer dining al fresco; we are lucky to have so many choices!

Those listed below are some which I’ve patronized and especially like. It’s not a 100% comprehensive directory of Los Gatos eateries with patio dining, only those which I have enjoyed myself with a few exceptions of some which are on my “must try soon” list.

Finally, I should mention that these restaurants with outdoor seating offer varied selection and pricing, from super casual (Happy Hound, Classic Burgers and Los Gatos Meats are all low key) to much more costly and formal. Not every one of these businesses is in downtown Los Gatos either. I’m providing links so you can check them out yourself.

Did I miss one that should be mentioned? Feel free to email me any updates!

Bon appetit!

 

Andale http://andalemexican.com/
Campo di Bocce http://www.campodibocce.com/
Chicago Steak & Fish http://www.chicagosteakandfish.com/
Classic Burgers (no website, see review) http://tinyurl.com/ClassicBurgers
Dio Deka http://diodeka.com/
Forbes Mill Steakhouse http://www.forbesmillsteakhouse.com/
Happy Hound http://www.happyhound.com/
I Gatti http://www.igattirestaurant.com/
Lexington House http://www.thelexlg.com/
Los Gatos Meats & Smokehouse http://www.losgatosmeats.com/
Oak & Rye http://www.oakandryepizza.com/
Pedro’s http://pedrosrestaurants.com/
Purple Onion http://purpleonionlg.com/
Shangri-La Chinese http://www.lgshangrila.com/
Sweet Pea’s http://www.sweetpeascrepes.com/
The Palms http://thepalmslosgatos.com/
Viva http://www.vivalosgatos.com/
Willow Street http://www.willowstreet.com/
Wine Cellar http://www.winecellarlosgatos.com/

Oak and Rye restaurant

A few days ago, I had the very pleasant experience of dining at Oak and Rye for the first time.  It was a gloriously sunny and warm winter day, so my friend and I opted for patio dining, which was ideal.

Oak and Rye is a Los Gatos restaurant well known for offering excellent pizza, but also equally tasty salads.  This made a delicious midday pairing.  We each enjoyed a  Gem Lettuce salad (with cashews, apple shavings, bleu cheese, and croutons), followed by a Young Cheezy pizza, a “white pizza”, which we shared.  Both the food and the service were wonderful.  As an added bonus, there seemed to be lots going on that afternoon along North Santa Cruz Avenue, providing ample “people watching” opportunities.

I’d go back in a heartbeat.  If you haven’t tried Oak and Rye yet, do give it a spin.  You won’t be disappointed.

Oak and Rye Pizza

303 North Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos     408 395-4441            http://www.oakandryepizza.com/

Oak and Rye pizza restaurant March 2015

 

Please note: as with all my reviews of eateries, wine bars, businesses, etc., there was no payment or benefit given to me for this online article. It was written in response to my favorable experience at this establishment only. I do not know the owners, managers, employees, or anyone there.

 

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Mary Pope-Handy

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