Our Story & History

For decades I’ve sworn by Zachary’s as the heartland of the über breakfast. Between the endless cups of better-than-decent java, the sensuous jalapeño cornbread and the sinful sourdough pancakes, Zachary’s puts out a superior breakfast product. Recently we renewed our adoration with a post-workout visit to the home of Mike’s Mess. Jack is a devoté of the Chili & Eggs, which always amazes me with its piping hot attitude and its mammoth cumulus of sour cream. He goes in big time for the buried treasure of black bean chili, the glaze of gooey, melted cheese and the undulant expanse of moist, scrambled eggs. I continue to plow into my tart sourdough pancakes—thin and tender, as God intended. And I love the side of eggs, perfectly done over medium, along with the trio of lean bacon partners. Everything you need for life is on this plate. – Christina Waters, SantaCruz.com

Zachary’s Restaurant began its incarnation as a breakfast and lunch spot in 1985. We (Tom Watson and Cathy Kriege, at the time recent UCSC graduates eager to find a way to stay in Santa Cruz) bought the BBQ dinner house business in February, 1985 and established the breakfast menu that we had developed while subleasing the morning hours of the tiny Suzanne’s By the Sea in Capitola, with expanded brunch and lunch offerings. (We had been known then as Suzanne’s in the Morning.) At the time we bought Zachary’s it was half the physical size that it is now; we expanded into the neighboring unit in 1987, and finished with the expansion in time to hold our wedding reception in the new space. Our son was born the day before the 1989 earthquake that devastated downtown Santa Cruz; we were very lucky that our building survived, but not until after a nail-biting six week period of being “yellow-tagged” and in limbo.

Now we are happy to have been in business for 30 years (and counting!) in one of the oldest buildings still standing on Pacific Avenue, a historic site which has housed such Santa Cruz institutions as Gateway Books (the metaphysical bookstore that moved to Soquel Avenue in the late 80’s), and the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union before it moved to Front Street. Cognito Clothing, next door to us, has been in business since 1983; Integral Yoga, one of the earliest natural food stores in Santa Cruz, was here in the early 1970’s; and, way back when, this was the first location of Andy’s Auto (1949-1968, including the flood of ‘55)–still our neighbor on the corner of Pacific and Maple. (Check out the mural on the Maple side of their building to see how things looked then.)

We’ve certainly seen a lot of changes over these years, but we’ve also seen some things stay wonderfully the same: the offbeat spirit of this town, the friendly and faithful faces of so many of our regular customers, and—this remaining always our goal—the good food, good people and good prices at Zachary’s. We look forward to your next visit!

Tom Watson & Cathy Kriege