Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria


My wife and I were on a 7 day vacation in Pacific Grove early in October. One of the first ( and most important things ) to do on our bucket list was a lunch visit to Gayle’s Bakery . . and yes it had been 10 years since our lone visit here in late 2010. Everything we bought back then was exceptional and we never forgot it. On Saturday we made the 45 minute drive to Santa Cruz or more specifically Capitola and arrived here just before midday. There was a long line of customers hugging the side of the building.

Everyone incl us was wearing facial masks & standing apart on the 6 feet social distancing marks. After about 20 minutes we made it inside where there were social distancing lines every 6 feet and staff in attendance to make you did the right thing. Of course being our first visit in 10 years we were trying to take it all in again. There is so much fantastic stuff such as fresh made sandwiches, unique artisan bread, fabulous cookies, amazing cakes, mouth watering apple pies & much more !

My wife and I wanted to loiter a bit but the watchful staff ( to their credit ) kept the line moving. We selected a Raisin Walnut loaf, a Green Olive Sourdough, a Caprese Sandwich, a whole Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, a bunch of different cookies ( Toll House Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Strawberry Shortcake Cookies & Peanut Butter Cookies which my wife picked out ) and finally a Latte for me. A guy behind the counter named Kurt . . probably the manager was very helpful answering our questions.

At the end of the counter we paid and I waited for my Latte. A barista named Sheena did an astounding job as my latte ( in a paper cup ) looked incredible ( Gayle’s Bakery has their own Dark Roast blend of whole roasted coffee beans specially made by the Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Co ). I have never been served a latte made with a dark roast over the counter anywhere. Now Gayle’s Bakery have added a huge enclosed dining room patio since we were last here 10 years ago.

We planted ourselves at a table in the huge dining room to enjoy our lunch. Our shared Caprese Sandwich on a fresh baked baguette tasted perfect and my rich dark roast latte was totally satisfying ( the best latte on our vacation ). My wife broke out a scrumptious Toll House Brownie for our dessert fix. We didn’t run into Gayle the inspirational owner but we felt her presence everywhere ! After lunch we jumped in the car and headed over to Natural Bridges Monarch Trail to see some butterflies.

Back at our rental house in Pacific Grove we enjoyed our purchases from Gayle’s Bakery over the next few days. The Chocolate Hazelnut ( Mousse ) Cake was fantastic for dessert. One evening we enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches using the Green Olive Sourdough loaf. Probably the most flavorsome grilled cheese sandwich ever ! The Raisin Walnut loaf was enjoyed with breakfast every morning and was the best. And we loved all the fabulous cookies !

Restaurant Details


504 Bay Ave. Capitola, CA 95010

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About the Author

Picture of Michael Burke

Michael Burke

I'm an expat Aussie ( now a naturalized American citizen ) who moved to Southern California in 2006 with my American born wife Sherri. I like to write reviews about the most memorable restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, brew pubs and anything new that we find in our travels. I particularly look for excellent food & beverage consistency, good value for money plus friendly service.

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