Finding Food in Silicon Valley: The Best in Palo Alto Catering
- Amy Sherman
- 2 Min Read
It used to be that San Francisco was the nearest place to get a great meal but these days, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports, Silicon Valley is becoming a food destination in its own right. Palo Alto, part of the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, is home to Stanford University and the hippest technology companies ranging from Facebook to Tesla. The mixture of creative talent, investor money, and good taste have given the food scene a giant boost and now Californians are on the hunt for the best restaurant in Palo Alto. While Palo Alto has managed to keep that small town feel, the cosmopolitan atmosphere is reflected in the catering scene. Palo Alto catering is extremely diverse and includes health food, pizza, and ethnic cuisine like Mexican, Burmese, and Greek.
1. Palo Alto Catering Company Starr King Circle, Palo Alto
For a large spread and impressive presentation, try Palo Alto Catering Company. Priding themselves on “catering made simple”, their menu is packed with dishes for every occasion – breakfast alone offers almost 20 options including eggs, pancakes, breakfast burritos and pastries including biscuits, scones, muffins and Danishes. The assorted sandwich tray is perfect for a working lunch. For a hot entree try the Roasted Vegetarian Lasagna, salmon, or chicken parmesan. The popular Make-your-own Taco Bar lets everyone customize their plates exactly the way they want. And with their wide variety of fresh salads, soups, and pastas, ordering from Palo Alto Catering Company will ensure there’s something for everyone.
2. Lyfe Kitchen Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto
For lighter fare and healthful options, try Lyfe Kitchen. Lyfe’s healthy California style cuisine offers “craveable classics with a contemporary twist,” which means fresh and hearty dishes like the top selling Grilled Chicken Avocado Wraps with grilled chicken, red onions, edamame, hummus, avocado smash, sun-dried tomatoes, mixed greens, and basil aioli in a whole wheat tortilla. The popular Seasonal Market Salad works well as a side but can be bulked up to entree-status with a protein addition such as tofu, chicken or shrimp. The base salad consists of organic romaine with feta, spinach, arugula, kale, strawberry, blueberry, avocado, red onion, pecans, and strawberry vinaigrette.
3. Rangoon Ruby University Ave, Palo Alto
If you’re looking for something beyond the typical Chinese, Japanese or Thai food order, consider Burmese. Travel and Leisure magazine recently proclaimed that “Burmese food could be the next global phenomenon thanks to its “distinctively savory, funky style of cooking.” With that kind of enthusiasm, Rangoon Ruby might just be the next best restaurant in Palo Alto. You’ll find stir fried dishes, noodles, stews, curries, and savory stuffed samosas on the menu. Get the group chatting with the popular tea leaf salad which is packed with surprising ingredients like fried garlic, yellow beans, peanuts, sesame seeds, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños, and dried shrimp. Other popular catering dishes include basil and chili lamb or beef and Rangoon lemongrass chicken or pork with chili, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, green beans, red bell peppers, lemongrass, and basil. Don’t forget to add rice!
4. Gyros Gyros University Ave, Palo Alto
It’s not all gyros as Gyros Gyros. This Palo Alto catering spot is a perfect option for juggling multiple diets. Their top dishes include falafel, one of 6 Dishes That Are Friendly to All Types of Dietary Restrictions, which is served with hummus and eggplant dip and Greek salad. The Mediterranean-style menu also offers lots of vegetarian friendly options like dolma (stuffed grape leaves), hummus, spanakopita, and kebabs. The catering from Gyros Gyros wins rave reviews from customers who praise their fantastic food, generous portions and timely delivery. For a sweet finish, throw in an order of the irresistible baklava made with pistachios and honey.
5. California Pizza Kitchen Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto
California Pizza Kitchen first opened in Beverly Hills in 1985 with an original concept—pizzas with inventive toppings like barbecue chicken, Thai chicken and Jamaican jerk chicken. The California twist on global flavors proved popular far and wide. The Spinach Artichoke Dip, the Original BBQ pizza with smoked Gouda, red onions, cilantro, and BBQ sauce and Chicken Piccata are Palo Alto catering favorites. But California Pizza Kitchen keeps innovating and a new gluten-free hit on the menu is the Banh Mi Power Bowl with quinoa and baby kale with grilled chicken, cilantro, mint, watermelon radish, avocado, cucumber, carrot, bean sprout, scallions, and sesame seeds.
6. Asian Box El Camino Real, Palo Alto
Inspired by the food of Asian street stalls, Asian Box caters fresh, made to order, deeply flavored healthy food with unusual toppings. Start with the Tofu & Vegetable Spring Rolls and the Green Papaya Salad with peanuts, crispy shallots, pickled veggies, herbs, all topped with house-made citrus-soy dressing. For the main course, don’t miss the Big Box catering package which includes your choice of bases such as rice, salad or noodles and protein such as coconut curry tofu, lemongrass pork or six-spice chicken, along with tossed vegetables, herbs, house-made pickles, bean sprouts, crispy shallots, and lime.
7. Round Table Pizza University Ave, Palo Alto
Round Table Pizza is a popular Palo Alto caterer, possibly because the chain originated just next door in Menlo Park back in 1959. If you’re looking for fresh pies with scratch-made dough, Round Table Pizza might be the best restaurant in Palo Alto. “The Last Honest Pizza” features aged cheddar cheese, whole milk mozzarella and freshly cut vegetables. The most popular choices are the Twist Package which comes with a choice of specialty pizza, two 1-topping pizzas with a choice of sauce, and your choice of regular, garlic-parmesan or cinnamon twists. Signature pizzas at Round Table include the King Arthur Supreme with anchovies, pepperoni, Italian sausage, salami, linguica, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and black olives and zesty red sauce and the vegetarian Guinevere’s Garden Delight.
8. New York Pizza Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto
Forty-one percent of consumers polled say they now eat pizza once a week according to Pizza Magazine, so it’s no wonder that New York Pizza has been going strong since 1980. What sets New York Pizza apart? This Palo Alto caterer’s signature 24-inch pizza serves 12! Pizzas come with a choice of 30 different toppings and sauces such as pesto, chipotle sauce, garlic white sauce, barbecue sauce or Buffalo sauce. If you want to add a festive note to the gathering, tag on an order of Buffalo Wings.
9. Vitality Bowl, California Ave, Palo Alto
For a nutritious pick-me-up, try this superfood cafe which offers smoothies, smoothie bowls, panini, salads, and juice. The bowl trend is one of the hottest across the country right now and Vitality Bowls offers 10 different versions including their most popular Tropical Bowl, consisting of tart and refreshing acai berries that have been blended with apple juice, coconut milk, banana, mango, pineapple, and flaxseeds and finished with sweet and textured toppings like with granola, bananas, strawberries, coconut shavings, and honey. The Roasted Turkey Panini and Spinach Salad are also very popular as is the Acai Elixir Smoothie with the acai berries, house VB superfood blend, nonfat milk, banana, and strawberries.
10. LuLu’s Mexican Food El Camino Real, Palo Alto
LuLu’s prides itself on sourcing ingredients from local farmers, using all-natural meats, and opting for organic when possible. For a crowd, try their most popular Taco Bar. Another top pick is the LuLu’s Chicken Chopped Salad with lettuce, cabbage, avocado, bell peppers, corn, queso fresco (Mexican cheese), tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, tortilla chips, and cilantro dressing. Finish it all off with their cinnamon sugar-dusted fresh Churros for dessert or the perfect afternoon treat.
Ready to order a Palo Alto catering specialty?