This one is close to my heart! After attending school at Stanford, I fell in love with the town of Palo Alto. Just walking down University Avenue at night, lined by trees wrapped in string lights and populated with restaurants and coffee shops, made me feel at home. But what really drew me to the area was the incredible riding and the adventures that it encouraged. Oh yeah - and the tacos :)
There are so many epic rides that have ended at our favorite local taco shop! One of my favorite adventures took place on gravel bikes this past winter. With a long day on tap and talk of a long fire road climb I had never ridden, it was bound to be epic. We actually decided to drive to Pescadero to start out, head to the Butano fire road and hit plenty of single track before we went back. Butano is just over an eight miles long with 2000 feet of climbing and plenty of fun dirt. It ends at the boundary of the Butano State Park where we ventured into the Big Basin State Park and began the long climb back up Highway 9. It was a long ride - which calls for a big meal to refuel. We got back in the car and headed home to our favorite spot - Sancho's!
The Taco Shop: My favorite taco shop in the area is called Sancho's. It is located just one street over from Palo Alto's bustling University Avenue and would be easy to miss if you didn't have the local pro tip. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and a very welcoming vibe. There is a bike rack in front with tables and chairs next to it. I recommend leaning your trusty steeds on the racks, going in to order, and returning to the table outside with a variety of tasty salsas from the salsa bar.
First of all - it is important to note that Sancho's only takes CASH. Being able to eat the tasty food at this restaurant is pretty much the only reason I ever go to the ATM anymore - and I promise it's worth it.
While I have heard great things about their burritos, my order at Sancho's over the past few years has remained the same - two fish tacos with corn tortillas. I can't recommend these tacos enough! Personally, I think the corn tortillas make a big difference. Regardless of what they are wrapped in - these tacos are something special. They come with homemade salsa and some kind of secret sauce that I really can't put into words but absolutely love. I also highly recommend squeezing a lime over the top!
Finally, it is worth mentioning that Sancho's has great salsa. On particularly long rides, I have been known to finish a basket of chips and cup full of salsa even before our tacos arrive. My favorites are the green salsa or the extra spicy red option! Whatever your preference, you are in for a real treat.
Nearby Rides: Personally, I think the peninsula has some of the best road riding in the world! There are incredible loops with few cars and infinite opportunities to string together new routes and big adventure rides. Below I have provided a few of my favorite loops, including this adventure route starting from Pescadero. These are road and cross bike loops, but if you are looking for mountain biking - I recommend Arastradero and Skaggs! They are both beautiful and very fun. Happy riding :)
Adventure loop on gravel bikes from Pescadero: https://www.strava.com/activities/1426519649
Classic road loop (one of my regulars & favorites!): https://www.strava.com/activities/1649812094
Fun, extra long road loop: https://www.strava.com/activities/1407889162 (Note: started with a group in Los Altos - added a bit to the beginning of the ride!)