Food & Drink

Soquel’s Sunrise Café Offers Good Eats and Good Tunes

Popular breakfast and lunch fare pairs nicely with side of jazz

MORNING RITUALS Roberto Diaz prepares a Greek Omelet at Sunrise Café in Soquel. PHOTO: TARMO HANNULA

Sunrise Café is a community cornerstone in downtown Soquel that pairs classic breakfast and lunch diner fare with an ambiance invigorated by jazz music fluttering in the background. Lynn Zhomg has been co-owner for the last 25 years, and describes the place as a homey gathering spot with an energized staff. Some popular breakfast choices are their scrambles, the Sunnyside Home Fries with different toppings, and a thin traditional waffle piled with yogurt and fresh fruit. The lunch menu is highlighted by a Philly cheesesteak, a classic turkey melt and their Village Chicken with mushrooms and homemade bacon dressing. Hours are 8am-2pm Monday-Friday and 8am-3pm Saturday/Sunday for indoor and outdoor dining and takeout. Zhomg not only has a deep love for the Soquel community, but also for music, and spoke to GT recently about how these two passions come together at the Sunrise Café.

Tell me about your love for music and its role at your restaurant?
LYNN ZHOMG: I think music and food are a great pairing, because they both bring a livelihood into the soul. I mostly play jazz music, which really energizes my spirit and has a very rooted and rich tradition and culture that’s great to keep going. Food nurtures you, and the music is part of that nurturing process as well. I have many posters of jazz musicians in the restaurant, and although not alive anymore physically, their spirit is alive forever and it inspires not only me, but also the staff and guests.

Can you talk about Soquel and the restaurant’s setting?
I graduated from UCSC with an economics major and was working in San Jose, but I loved the Soquel community and it was a major draw to be able to own a part of it. The people here really help and support each other, especially during these difficult pandemic times. So many customers have thanked us for staying in business and providing a place to come in and eat and chat, and that this brings them so much peace and comfort. The Heart of Soquel Park is also right behind the restaurant. It has nice trails that pass along the Soquel creek, and has picnic tables where people can get their food to-go and eat outside in nature with the sunshine.

4718 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 831-462-0466; sunrisecafesoquel.com

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