Still Going Strong

Still Going Strong

As San Carlos sees over 97% of its eligible population vaccinated from COVID-19, restaurants in town have roared back over the last few months. Laurel Street, in particular, is constantly buzzing with activity.1 The proliferation of parklets for outdoor dining has clearly made people very comfortable dining out and has added to the festive atmosphere downtown. It certainly appears that most restaurants are busy even on weekdays, and although a few places have closed, a bunch more have opened since the beginning of the year. You can see the updated master lists of restaurants here, but here’s a summary of the changes:


  • Emergency BBQ (765 Old County Road) – they definitely seemed to struggle during the pandemic, and it was a very out-of-the way location
  • Burger King – (505 Skyway Road) – also a poor location with lots of fast food competition (including near an In-N-Out)
  • Savanna Jazz (1189 Laurel Street) – a tough business to be in during COVID – the signs on their door still advertise a performance from Feb 2020


  • Falafel Tazah (1135 Industrial Road) – opened at the beginning of the year in the Best Buy shopping center (third in a chain) — it’s got good ratings so far, and now we’re back up to four places in San Carlos to get falafel…
  • Faith & Spirits (765 Laurel Street) – opened in the winter, this is SC’s first high-end bar and has been continually packed…specializing in cocktails (food that can be ordered from next door Spasso)
  • Otra Vez (617 Laurel Street) – opened in April (as the 10th Mexican restaurant in San Carlos, shortly after the opening of Mama Coco last fall just down the street)…both restaurants started slowly, but seemed to have picked up business in the last few months
  • Lou’s Cafe (902 Laurel Street) – took over in April the sport where Gracie’s closed two years ago, part of a popular chain of SF sandwich shops
  • Chuck’s Coffee and Donuts (495 Old County Road) – Chuck’s closed right before the pandemic hit, and apparently just reopened a few months ago in the same location in the 7-11 mini mall
  • Tea Hut (711 Laurel Street) and Tea Juice (1156 Laurel Street) – both trying to capitalize on the success of Boba Guys just down the street; we’re skeptical if there’s enough capacity for three of these places (plus a few more that serve Boba or others teas) — the latter is in a worse location, part of the New Canton Chinese Restaurant toward the end of Laurel

Opening Soon

  • Drakes – This has been “coming soon” for a year now (we understand that the pandemic probably delayed the opening), but finally one can look through the glass and see the progress on the inside; it describes itself as having “Breakfast, Brunch, Bites, and Bar”


  1. One clear example is Town, always one of the most popular spots in San Carlos. It has taken over a big chunk of the block and no longer takes reservations — it clearly doesn’t need to, as it’s packed with people waiting outside every day of the week.
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