Calafia Cafe Restaurant Review, Palo Alto


Calafia Cafe

858 El Camino Real (At Embarcadero in Town and Country Village)

Palo Alto, CA 94301


Calafia Cafe Website

Calafia Cafe Palo Alto Exterior

Calafia Cafe is Charlie Ayers’ new restaurant in Palo Alto’s Town and Country Village shopping center. He was Google’s founding chef and is now ‘going public’ with the concept he created at Google. Trying to appeal to a wide audience with wholesome, locally sourced, affordable food. Yelp reviews are not great, but the food was far better than we expected. Last visit was in the Summer of 2014.

Their wide ranging menu has everything from Drumettes to Pork Wrap to Pizza to Rice Bowls. Lots of vegetarian and vegan options that are clearly labelled.

Calafia Cafe Palo Alto Interior

Calafia Decor, Vibe – Modern high tech interior with a kitchen and bar counter seating, Big communal table. Lots of local techies in their 20’s to 40’s were eating lunch.

Calafia Menu Pictures

Calafia Cafe Palo Alto Menu 4

Drink Menu

Calafia Cafe Palo Alto Menu 1

Website Menu

Calafia Food Picks:
Guanciale Burrata Pizza ($15) Zoe’s cured pork cheek, burrata cheese,
tomato sauce, fresh oregano was a nice personal sized pizza with soft center and better edge.

Shaking Beef Salad (DF) ($20) grilled flat iron steak marinated in Chinese five spice, watercress, sunflower sprouts, daikon radish, fennel, red miso aioli, crispy shallots surprised us. High quality and plentiful steak with an airy salad on top.

Calafia Cafe Palo Alto Salad Bohemia

Salad Bohemia ($8.50) Warm braised pork shoulder, citrus segments, baby spinach, jicama, jalapenos, basil vinaigrette & toasted walnuts was a good refreshing and light salad with a balanced topping of pork. Dressing was not too heavy.

Calafia Cafe Palo Alto Crouching Chicken Pizza

Crouching Chicken Pizza ($9) Five spice chicken, tiger sauce, mushrooms, white sesame seeds & green onions was extremely thin and very crispy. No heavy cheeses or topping. No sogginess. The size was good enough as an entree if you added a small salad.

Calafia Cafe Palo Alto Five Spice Chicken Fideo

Five Spice Chicken Fideo ($9) Roasted five spice chicken tossed with toasted vermicelli noodles, mushrooms, mint, cilantro, tomato, basil, chicken broth & pea shoots had lots of raw pea shoots on top of the noodles, veggies and meat. Pretty good quantity and a nice healthy mixture of flavors.

Calafia Cafe Palo Alto Sticky Buns

Vegan Sticky Bun with Maple Syrup ($7) was pretty big. Hot, sticky, and fresh out of the oven. Not too sweet, just right. Expensive though. They should add some ice cream and charge $8!


Calafia Cafe Palo Alto Cola

Cola ($3) with agave based sweetener and no refined or corn syrup was expensive and just fair.

Vegan wheat germ chocolate chip cookie (From the Market) was mushy and inconsistent.

Calafia Cafe serves up quick and decent healthy food in Palo Alto. Their service was good, but one person was a little too pro active in wanting to clear our table.
They have their next door Market A-Go Go with prepared and to go food.

Book available:

Calafia Cafe on Urbanspoon

Calafia Cafe Overall Rating: (Very Good 2.5)

Come Back?

Food Rating: (Good)
Service Rating: (Good)
Atmosphere Rating: (Very Good)
Value Rating: (Very Good)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Beer, Wine
Hours:Mon-Fri 11am - 10pm, Sat-Sun 10am-10pm
Parking:Free Lot
Prices:$8.50 - $16

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  • Thomas
    November 8, 2009 at 9:40 am

    My wife and I went there for the first time. I had the Mucho Macho Taco and she had the Veggie burger. They were probably the worst soft shell tacos I have ever had and I am not one prone to superlatives. They consisted of meat, lettuce and onion. The meat was incredibly dry and didn’t have much flavor. I barely ate one and passed on the other two. My wife said the Veggie Burger had good flavor but was also very dry and that the Veggie Burger at The Counter was much better. French fries were passable but apparently had not been cooked recently (same could be said of the taco meat). That being said the décor is very nice and staff exceedingly friendly.

  • Mayfield Bakery and Cafe, Palo Alto |
    May 17, 2010 at 10:23 am

    […] restaurant located in Palo Alto’s Town and Country Village shopping center next door to the new Calafia Cafe and right near Howie’s Artisan Pizza. They have a bakery next […]

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