A Day or Two in Mountain View

If you are in the Bay area with time to spare, and you are new to the area, you will want to see San Francisco, the redwoods, the Wine Country, and the coast highway. On the other hand, if you're here on business or on a short visit you may have neither the time or the inclination for great adventures. Maybe those adventures have already been shared with friends or family. So what is there to do in Mountain View with only a little time to spare?


Many restaurants in Mountain View (and adjacent Los Altos) have been reviewed by an eager group at Stanford.

Another set of interesting reviews is now on the web. When we last looked, they listed 197 restaurants in Mountain View. Be a little cautious considering the contributed reviews. A person who visits a place once may have a bad experience that is atypical, or the person may have narrow tastes.

Another service provides a listing of Mountain View restaurants with just their addresses and what credit cards they take.

The few restaurants pointed out here have something special reflecting the local character.

Eat lunch in Shoreline Park at one of the two restaurants there. Dinner is better for one of the restaurants in downtown Mountain View, on Castro Street and a block or two on either side. The Oriental and other ethnic restaurants are a fine collection from which you may choose with little fear of going wrong.

There is also the Tied House, a California-style brew pub. They make great beer in shiny tanks on display through a window in the dining room. Their home page has pictures and a map of how to get there.

If you are looking for a first class authentic burrito, there are two fine places, La Costeña and Taqueria La Bamba, nearly next door to each other on Old Middlefield Way near the Rengstorff intersection. La Costeña has some Silicon Valley cult status, with one burrito fan writing a series of articles on the establishment.

La Costena offers terrific take out burritos.

and so does its high energy neighbor, Taqueria La Bamba

If you're hungry and up to it, there is Fumiyoshi's on El Camino - a block or two east of Rengstorff. Fumiyoshi's is a Japanese/Chinese buffet of exceptionally high quality, with all the sushi you can eat.


For a few hours shopping, head north on El Camino (out of Mountain View, alas) about 10 minutes to the Stanford Mall. The Stanford Mall is very much upscale, with a much greater variety of shops than your average generic mall. Max's Opera Cafe is the place to eat there.

Techo-weenies can stop short of the mall, turning right from El Camino in Palo Alto at the Fry's Electronics sign. Fry's provides acres of whatever is new and high tech, with some aisles of junk food thrown in for good measure. Junk food is included on the grounds that nerds do their best work on high sugar diets. Don't be offended if the staff, speaking among themselves in a language you've never heard before, ignore you as you search desperately for a piece of exotic technology. It is nothing personal, they ignore everyone. Just wander around and be amazed.


There are a few keen amusements in Mountain View. Top of the list is Magic Edge (now known as Fightertown USA and own by Fightertown Entertainment, Inc.) , a simulator center with interactive graphics and motion platforms. Magic Edge is on the right, heading towards Shoreline Park north of Highway 101. On the left a block before Magic Edge there is a many-screen movie complex.

Magic Edge provides flight simulator style entertainment.

Depending on your luck, taste, and timing there might be an event at the Amphitheater, but that's mostly weekends. There is web site run by an enthusiast that lists the concerts in the Bay area. You might also catch an event at the downtown Performing Arts Center.

The Civic Center is on Castro Street in the downtown.

Alberto's NightClub featured the soccer playoff matches live from Uruguay. Does your town have live soccer from Uruguay? (This being the web, you might well live in Uruguay - in which case it wouldn't be so remarkable.)

Continue to "Mountain View on the Web."

Return to Mountain View Tour home page.

Updated December 23, 1995 - copyright 1995, Roy Latham, rlatham@cgsd.com