Although the City of Good Eating doesn’t have a lot of nostalgia for restaurants gone by — we’ve generally been excited by all of the new entries on the San Carlos culinary scene. However, there are a few former places that stood out and make us remember fondly.
Vic’s – on San Carlos Avenue, closed in 2009 after 33 years in business. The original owners sold the business a year earlier, and the new owner ran into financial difficulty. Vic’s was the consummate family breakfast spot. We especially loved the omelettes, wraps, and hash browns. It was great place to bring kids, who got crayons, puzzles, and plastic cups to take home (some of which we still have, although the Vic’s logo is long worn off). San Carlos still has classic breakfast places such as the Omelette House and My Breakfast House, but nothing matched Vic’s combination of restaurant size, menu variety and quality, and great location. It seems like Vic’s is the one place that tenured San Carlans still talk about. Its building is now home to Red Hot Chilli Pepper.
Speederia – on Laurel Street, closed in 2016 by placing a sign in their window announcing that they had shut down. The owners apparently had some issues with their lease. With reasonably authentic New York style pizza sold by the slice or the pie, Speederia was a huge lunchtime favorite, particularly for students given their good quality, reasonable prices (2 slices and a drink for $5, eventually going up to $7) and quick service. Their Brooklyn (pepperoni, sausage, meatball), Whitestone (parmesan, ricotta, basil, garlic), and Garlic Chicken Pesto pies seemed to be consistently popular. Speederia currently operates out of a location in Redwood City, and its Laurel Street spot is now taken by Just Panini.
Vanilla Moon – on Laurel Street, closed at the end of 2016 after nine years in business. Although it was a relatively small place (and it definitely got tight inside when it was full), they were known for their great coffee (including their French presses) and amazing baked goods. The scones were so good you just knew they had to be really bad for you, and their meringues and cupcakes were very popular, both for eating in and taking out. Vanilla Moon also became a nice hangout spot for many San Carlans to meet with friends. This location is now Boba Guys.
Let us know in the comment section below if there are other other places that you miss!