Capitola, California is about as charming of a beach town as you will ever find. It is nestled near Santa Cruz in the beautiful Monterey Bay and has something for everyone. It is a place I love to visit, explore, and of course photograph! On a recent trip up there, I came across a new favorite coffee shop.
Translated from French, Bouchees literally means mouthful. Stop by this lovely coffee shop, and you quickly discover that this place is so much more than that. First off, the theme is French with a definite connection to Capitola. The shop itself is crisp and clean that has a French feel to it. In the display there is a gorgeous collection of pastries. Each pastry is a work of art and is generally bitesize…. sometimes a large bite but… the name of the place IS Bouchees so it works out. A fancy espresso machine shines on the back wall. On the other walls, there are some pictures of Capitola and Santa Cruz by local photographers. Three tables and two bars invite people to enjoy fantastic coffee, food, and a wonderful ambiance. Behind the counter, warm smiles and greetings are offered as guests enter.
The coffee at Bouchees is simply delicious. Quality is clearly important to this coffee shop. In the course of a couple of days visiting Capitola, I stopped by Bouchees multiple times. I found my drinks to be delicious each time. The espresso was wonderfully roasted and masterfully brewed. This led to a very enjoyable coffee drinking experience. Sometimes espresso drinks can have a bitterness or burnt flavor to them. I’m pleased to report that I did not experience this but instead found my drinks to be smooth and satisfying.
Bouchees offers more than just sweet pastry delights to eat. There are also some savory offerings. The pastries were absolutely delicious and my pictures really don’t do them justice. Whoever the pastry chef is there really knows what he is doing. Great care is clearly put into creating each treat and the result is very apparent. I have had offerings from other places that look similar but the taste that came from these was from a whole different ballpark. The savory offerings that I consumed transported my tastebuds back to my trips to France. My first day in Capitola I devoured a pastrami sandwich on a baguette while sitting at the beach. It was absolutely delicious and while not exactly what I ate in France, it definitely took me on a culinary journey there. Others that were with me tried salads and other sandwiches and proclaimed that they were also very satisfied by their choices.
If you are looking for a friend, you walk into Bouchees and immediately you have found one… or two… or three. The staff at this coffee shop are incredibly welcoming and warm. They aim to please and take genuine delight in seeing customers enjoying all that Bouchees has to offer. The atmosphere the staff creates is warm and relaxed.
Bouchees is found on Stockton Avenue in Capitola. This is one of the main drives in the small town. It is within walking distance to pretty much anything you’d want to do in Capitola. Want to walk to the beach? No problem. Want a morning stroll with your coffee out onto a foggy wharf? Also no issue. Everything is literally that close. If you’d rather sit inside and enjoy your coffee and breakfast in the store, this is lovely as well.
There are several things that make for a successful coffee shop in my world. This is basically what I evaluate coffee shops on in no particular order as they are all important:
- Coffee – The coffee has to be good. If it isn’t, what’s the point!?
- Location – The store needs to be easy to access and also be in a safe/clean/nice location.
- The Shop – Both the exterior and interior of the coffee shop should be welcoming, clean, and comfortable.
- Staff – The staff should be inviting and positive…and be able to make good coffee*. I want to leave the coffee shop even happier than when I entered!
Bouchees passed my criteria with flying colors on all fronts. It was easily one of my favorite stops on this most recent trip. It is the coffee shop I never knew I missed. Now that I know, you can bet I am eagerly looking forward to my next stop there!
You can connect with Bouchees on the following social media platforms:
*Bonus points if they can remember my name after the first visit! Yes, Bouchees got bonus points.