I found so much to see and do during my time living in Silicon Valley. Here's my pick of the top spots for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks.
If all you have is a day in the Valley, you can't go wrong with these.
For breakfast: Coupa Cafe
Palo Alto is where the “old tech" resides: the people and companies who made their fortunes in the first waves of the Silicon revolution.
The friendly streets lined with blossoming trees have an old world charm that the rest of Silicon Valley lacks. This is where you could run into Steve Jobs on your visit to the local Apple store (and I actually did). Wheeling and dealing are going on everywhere in Silicon Valley. At every Starbucks - you can overhear people discussing valuations and term sheets - but Coupa Cafe, a friendly but unassuming Venezuelan cafe in downtown Los Altos, has special status.
Coupa Cafe is where you can end up sitting next to a tech billionaire without realizing it, or a startup pitching a venture capitalist over breakfast.
It's a great place to start your day; to get a feel for life in the Valley.
Top tip: Order the omelet with avocado and cream. Top notch.
For lunch: Buck's
Where ever you are in the Valley, the area's beautiful hills, separating the valley from the Ocean, never leave you.
The perfect antidote to the beehive of world domination-seeking startups, Silicon Valley residents love the hills and often go there to cycle or hike. And to have lunch at Bucks. Buck's is filled with souvenirs and memorabilia of the history of Silicon Valley; just walking around and taking it all in could take you an hour or more. Companies are conceived here, deals are made here and every single famous Silicon Valley entrepreneur has visited Buck’s.
Make sure you're next on the list.
Top tip: Order the lobster with baked artichoke dip. It's bliss.
For happy hour: Rosewood Hotel
It’s a well-kept secret that insiders love to share with you: at the end (or the beginning: it depends on how you look at it) of Sandhill Road, famous for housing all the triple-A venture capital firms and the billions of dollars they represent, lies the Rosewood Hotel.
Other than on Thursday evenings, I wouldn't recommend going to the Rosewood. But on Thursday, at happy hour, I wouldn't recommend going anywhere else.
As the locals will tell you, that's when the venture capitalists and their portfolio companies come down to the Rosewood to celebrate their newly closed rounds or exits, and let their hair down.
This attracts an interesting flock of gold diggers, hangers-on, and wannabe entrepreneurs: it's great people watching. On top of it all the terrace of the Rosewood, where all the action is, has the most amazing view of the sun setting over the golden hills of the Valley.
Top tip: Go for Thursday happy hour, or don't go.
For music, dinner, drinks: Mountain Winery
The Mountain Winery is really unique; to get into this one, you're going to need to plan ahead to get tickets.
Quite simply, the Mountain Wintery is the most special concert venue and restaurant in both California and beyond.
The winery is situated high in the mountains at the end of a winding road and it’s like entering a different world altogether.
Only the sea of twinkling lights of the valley below reminds you of where you are. It features a medium sized amphitheater, tucked away in a mountain site, where for six months in a row America’s greatest artists come to perform.
Before the concerts, the Winery opens its kitchen. The food is good, the wine is excellent and the whole package is unforgettable.
Top tip: Check the schedule now. Book in advance.