Day Trip: Benicia
Just 20 minutes from Walnut Creek lies Benicia, a picturesque waterfront town oozing with rustic allure and historic charm. Amid Victorian facades and refreshing salty air, this dog-friendly town is turning into a foodie destination.
First Street has given way to a coffee and pastry boom. A
standout is One House Bakery where pastry chef Hannalee Pervan—once part of the
illustrious team at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery and French Laundry—whips up
delectable croissants, chocolate cruffins, and baguette sandwiches.
One House has also generated buzz for its zombie creations in the annual October Downtown Benicia Main Street Scarecrow Contest. This year their “Last of Crust” mushroom monster joins 30 other spooky business displays along First Street. Other solid options include States Coffee for its artisan brews and fresh sourdough bread, or Drift Coffee for cappuccinos, matcha teas, and pastries.
Restaurant and bar choices range from simple-casual to more
upscale. The Workshop serves a hearty chicken pot pie and shrimp po boy, and at Elvia Ritas, crispy flautas and chimichangas take center stage. Another local favorite is Bella Siena where fabulous views are paired with Italian classics.
Housed in a building from the 1890s (with a storied past life as a bordello), First Street Taphouse by Mare Island Brewing Co. is a good spot for craft beers and sliders. A visit to Benicia is not complete without a walk along the pristine waterfront followed by a cup of chowder and fish-n-chips at Sailor Jack’s.