Over the holidays, we spent some time along the coast and enjoyed some dining adventures. The one stop that we needed to be sure to make was at Duarte’s Tavern. It was crab season, and Momma needs some cioppino.
Duarte’s is located in the small town of Pescadero, about 30 minutes south of Half Moon Bay on Highway 1 (that is, 30 minutes if you do not make any stops). Duarte’s has been there and family-run since 1894, and was a recipient of the 2003 James Beard Foundation America’s Classic Award, and a local favorite!
We usually trek to Duarte’s to enjoy some of their cioppino whenever we’re in Half Moon Bay. We think that they have the best crab cioppino in the Bay Area – maybe anywhere, and is well worth the trip.
We may need to wait for a spot especially during the weekends, but we’ve always had good luck in the bar area. If we do need to wait, we can take a nice stroll on Pescadero’s main drag, check out the local merchants, and maybe buy local jams, honey, breads, or some excellent produce.
The place may look a bit run-down, but that is part of the charm. It is after all over a hundred years old and I think the only thing that changed (in the bar at least) is the TV. Do not expect a fancy restaurant – expect rustic and lots of local color. The service is very friendly, and the food is well worth it – trust us!
As always, this trip did not disappoint: the cioppino was filled with fresh crab and enough for my Hubby and I. Your meal is served with WARM bread – WARM! And the bread is baked in their own kitchen each morning. I was a bit hungry, so I also ordered a calamari appetizer. It was a big portion and I did my best to finish it. With the cioppino, it was a very big lunch!
At Duarte’s, locals usually get soup, but stay for the pie. The pies at Duarte’s are all made in house and are as famous as the cioppino. They have different types of pie: apple, cherry, pumpkin, key lime, strawberry-rhubarb, and of course my favorite Ollalieberry pie. I have had a love affair with ollalieberry for almost twenty years - I love it!
So of course, I had to get some pie for dessert. Our long drive back home was my ‘justification’ - of course, I really did not need one. Although the strawberry-rhubarb was tempting, I did opt for ollalieberry AGAIN. Next time, I will have to try some variety.
By the way, if you have a craving for one of their pies, you can get them at your local Whole Foods (at least here in the San Francisco Bay Area) or at New Leaf Market.
For more info, check out the Duarte's Tavern website or drop by for a visit.