(Last Updated On: February 13, 2024)

One of my favorite pastimes is to spend time in a cafe with a cool atmosphere and delicious coffee, either working, chatting with friends or just enjoying life! I decided to make it my quest to find the coolest cafes in Silicon Valley (aka Santa Clara County).

This list is purely my subjective opinion. I considered what’s important to me in a cafe at which I’d like to spend a lot of time. Yes, “Chandelier” is included in my ranking criteria. 😀

Note: I did not look at chains for this list, though few of these do have a couple of locations.


Croissante Bakery – Santa Clara

  • Coffee Experience – 3. There was no menu to be seen in the bakery nor online. They do have an espresso machine behind the counter. They also offer a high tea service.
  • Sweets – 9. Large selection of baked goods and tarts! I didn’t give it a 10 because my chocolate croissant was a little burnt and didn’t have much chocolate inside.
  • Actual Food – 4. Several savory croissants and ciabattas were on the menu.
  • Chit chat seating – 6. Wooden chairs and benches. A long community table in the middle.
  • Remote work – 6. Plenty of table and chairs. I could only see 2 outlets.
  • Noise Level – 6. Nice Christmas music during my visit, plus rather loud crowd noise due to all the hard surfaces.
  • Parking – 10. Bakery is in a strip mall, so lots of parking nearby.
  • Chandeliers – 2. No chandeliers. 2 points for at least some hanging lights.
  • Solo people watching experience – 5. Lots of people going through. Not cozy seating though where you’d want to hang out and pass time on your own.
  • Hours – 8. Open every day 7am to 6PM-ish.
  • Overall Atmosphere – 7. Loved the branding. The pastries look amazing. It isn’t really a place I’d look forward to spending much time in. More of a “food to go place” for me.
  • Final Sue Score (average of all scores above) – 6

*Note: I get the impression this place may be pretty new and that’s why they don’t have menus, and it felt a little bit “tossed together”. I will be sure to return and update my review in a few months.


  • Coffee Experience – 10. Full coffee offerings. Delicious coffee served in pottery made and sold at the cafe.
  • Sweets – 6. Small selection of pastries.
  • Actual Food – 4. A couple of toast options. (ie. avocado toast)
  • Chit chat seating – 6. Outdoor seating at tables with chairs is a good option if the weather is nice. The indoor seating is in a separate room which also features pottery for sale on the shelves. This room has about 6 tables with chairs.
  • Remote work – 9. Indoor seating has mostly remote workers happily sipping and typing away.
  • Noise Level – 7. Not noisy at all. Indoor seating may feel too quiet for chit chat, depending on if it’s full of people doing remote work on their own.
  • Parking – 6. Located at the end of the downtown Saratoga Main Street. You need to find street parking. So, you could luck out or you might have to park a ways away.
  • Chandeliers – 0. Just track lighting.
  • Solo people watching experience – 5. Not much foot traffic other than the people coming to the cafe.
  • Hours – 7. Mon to Thurs 8 AM – 4PM. Fri to Sun: 8AM – 6PM
  • Overall Atmosphere – 7.5. Lovely to sit outside and see the beautiful hills surrounding you in nice weather. Fun to browse the pottery for sale, and to “sample” it as they serve their food and drinks on their homemade pottery.
  • Final Sue Score (average of all scores above) – 6.1

Mademoiselle Colette – Palo Alto

  • Coffee Experience – 8. Full coffee offerings, but they did not have my favorite lavender flavor for my cappuccino.
  • Sweets – 7. Small selection of baked goods.
  • Actual Food – 8. Delicious looking menu for breakfast and lunch items. I plan to come back to try their Salmon Tartine for lunch!
  • Chit chat seating – 6. A couple of tables and counters with seating. Outdoor seating is also available.
  • Remote work – 5. This is a very small space. I’d only feel comfortable “staking out” a table if it was very slow. I did notice an outlet available.
  • Noise Level – 8. It is a tiny place, so noise did not seem to be an issue. I might worry about everyone hearing my conversation if I was there for a chit chat 🙂
  • Parking – 7. Located in downtown Palo Alto on a bit of a side street. Finding street parking nearby does not seem to be a big issue.
  • Chandeliers – 4. Though one of the hanging lights over the display case was missing its cover, if both of them were covered it would be kind of cute. Some nice hanging lights over the seating areas.
  • Solo people watching experience – 7. Some foot traffic people watching if you sit at the window counter or outside.
  • Hours – 5. Monday to Saturday 8 am to 4 pm. Sunday from 8 am to 1 pm.
  • Overall Atmosphere – 6. Tiny place which kind of felt like someone turned their living room and dining room into a coffee shop (not in a bad way). I think if you were a Rockefeller and lived in the neighborhood it would be a wonderful place to frequent.
  • Final Sue Score (average of all scores above) – 6.5

Fleur De Cocoa – Los Gatos

  • Coffee Experience – 10. Full coffee offerings. Delicious coffee served in real cups with saucers.
  • Sweets – 10. Large selection of baked goods, tarts and chocolates made from scratch! Their Chocolate Croissant was one of the best I’ve ever had!
  • Actual Food – 8. Quiche, sandwiches, salads and soup.
  • Chit chat seating – 5. 5 or 6 small tables seating 3 people max inside. Outdoor seating is also available.
  • Remote work – 1. For such a busy place with few tables I wouldn’t feel comfortable camping out here at a table to do work.
  • Noise Level – 7. Though it was very busy when I’ve been there, no blaring music or loud acoustics.
  • Parking – 5. Located in downtown Los Gatos, so depending on when you visit you may find a spot right outside, or end up walking pretty far from a parking lot.
  • Chandeliers – 10. 2 fab, glamorous chandeliers over the pastry cases, plus small chandelier sconces.
  • Solo people watching experience – 6. Lots of people lining up, but with such few tables and in such a small space not ideal to camp out and while away time.
  • Hours – 8. Open Tues – Thurs 8am to 4PM. Fri & Sat 8 am to 9PM. Sunday 8 – 5:30. So at least on the weekends you might be able to grab a dessert.
  • Overall Atmosphere – 8. Tiny but charming! Love the chandeliers and French feel.
  • Final Sue Score (average of all scores above) – 7.0

K Cafe Patisserie & Tea House – San Jose

  • Coffee Experience – 10. Full Coffee menu. They also offer a high tea service.
  • Sweets – 10. Pastries and cookies galore!
  • Actual Food – 10. Great menu, including breakfast and lunch food.
  • Chit chat seating – 10. A few velvety booths, and soft seating chairs. Shaded patio seating also.
  • Remote work – 2. Such a busy atmosphere, wouldn’t be a good location for concentrating or spending a long period of time taking up a table.
  • Noise Level – 7. Pretty good noise level for such a busy spot. If you sit outdoors they have cute fountains which help drown out the traffic noice from Bascom Ave.
  • Parking – 0. Terrible parking situation! K Cafe has a tiny parking lot. Otherwise you need to find residential street parking which is not easy or close (usually).
  • Chandeliers – 10. Many gorgeous chandeliers!!
  • Solo people watching experience – 5. Lots of people on a weekend esp. There is no other foot traffic around though so you will only see people who are dining at the cafe. Probably not an ideal solo relaxing spot since it’s so busy and festive.
  • Hours – 4. Hours are limited due to renovations as of this writing, only open Friday-Sunday for breakfast and lunch. You need to double check the hours before going as they are often closed for private parties.
  • Overall Atmosphere – 10. K Cafe is a fairytale dream! Pretty fake flowers, chandeliers, PINK, velvety seating, and a fake eyelash vending machine! Great place to go for a girly birthday celebration or bridal shower etc.
  • Final Sue Score (average of all scores above) – 7.3

Douce France Cafe & Bakery – Palo Alto

  • Coffee Experience – 9. Full coffee offerings, but they did not have my favorite lavender flavor for my cappuccino. I loved the little complementary biscotti with my coffee.
  • Sweets – 8. Large selection of baked goods. I must admit to being a bit disappointed in my chocolate croissant. Small solid pieces of chocolate inside, and the croissant itself was meh. But there were many other delicious looking offerings.
  • Actual Food – 9. Wide selection of breakfast and lunch food. I had a ham and cheese quiche, which was wonderful.
  • Chit chat seating – 8. Good number of basic tables and chairs. Outdoor seating is also available.
  • Remote work – 5. No laptops or paperwork to be seen when I was there, but perhaps if you visited at a non-busy time it would be ok.
  • Noise Level – 8. Good, even when crowded a conversation could easily be had. Very faint music in the background.
  • Parking – 9. The Cafe is in Town & Country “strip mall”, so there is plenty of parking typically available.
  • Chandeliers – 3. I’ll give some credit for cute blue and white lights hanging over the display cases.
  • Solo people watching experience – 7. Lots of people coming and going. The Cafe is in Town & Country “strip mall”, so there is foot traffic.
  • Hours – 8. Mon. – Sat. 7am to 7pm – Sun. 8am to 4pm
  • Overall Atmosphere – 7. Nice large French posters on the walls, delicious looking treats, good coffee. Nice atmosphere in the Town & Country strip mall. I haven’t focused on price during these coolest cafe visits, but I was pleasantly surprised that my order of a cappuccino, quiche and chocolate croissant came to only about $14.
  • Final Sue Score (average of all scores above) – 7.4

Great Bear Coffee Roasting – Los Gatos

  • Coffee Experience – 10. Full coffee offerings. Coffee roasted onsite.
  • Sweets – 9. Large selection of baked goods.
  • Actual Food – 7. Quiche, Wraps/ breakfast burritos.
  • Chit chat seating – 8. Many basic tables and chairs. Outdoor seating is also available.
  • Remote work – 8. Lots of people tend to work and study here!
  • Noise Level – 8. Pretty good.
  • Parking – 5. Located in downtown Los Gatos, so depending on when you visit you may find a spot right outside, or end up walking pretty far from a parking lot.
  • Chandeliers – 8. 3 cute, old timey chandeliers add some ambiance.
  • Solo people watching experience – 8. Busy place. Great people watching esp if you get a window table or sit outside.
  • Hours – 7. Daily 7AM- 6:30PM. No after dinner coffee/ desserts here.
  • Overall Atmosphere – 7. Comfortable with good coffee and food options in the fun Los Gatos downtown.
  • Final Sue Score (average of all scores above) – 7.7

Big Mug Coffee Roasters – Santa Clara

  • Coffee Experience – 10. Full coffee offerings. Coffee roasted onsite. I had a delicious Lavender Latte I can’t wait to have again.
  • Sweets – 6. Decent selection of baked goods.
  • Actual Food – 4. Toast concoctions mainly.
  • Chit chat seating – 8. Many basic tables and chairs.
  • Remote work – 10. Lots of people tend to work and study here! There are a couple of long communal tables with power strips as table centerpieces.
  • Noise Level – 9. Good. Even with a full crowd the noise level wasn’t annoying. Good “coffee house music” playing in the background at a descent level.
  • Parking – 9. Located in a strip mall on the busy El Camino Real.
  • Chandeliers – 7. Fab modern “chandelier” including heart shaped lights. What’s not to like?
  • Solo people watching experience – 6. Busy place. Mainly just people to watch who come in the shop since it’s in a strip mall which doesn’t seem to have a ton of foot traffic going by.
  • Hours – 8. There are two locations. I was at the El Camino Real location which is open M-S 8-8 & Sun 9-9. So, no super early work sessions, but you could possibly get an after dinner coffee.
  • Overall Atmosphere – 8. This is a great place to work, chat or hang out!
  • Final Sue Score (average of all scores above) – 7.7

MOHI Farm – Morgan Hill

  • Coffee Experience – 10. Full Coffee menu
  • Sweets – 4. Small selection of pastries near the register, and a few desserts available to order.
  • Actual Food – 8. Full small menu of farm fresh meals.
  • Chit chat seating – 10. Couches, tables and countertops with comfortable chairs. Outdoor couch seating with fireplace tables, and tables and chairs with heat lamps nearby.
  • Remote work – 8. Plenty of table and chairs. A few outlets are available.
  • Noise Level – 6. Country music played sometimes too loud.
  • Parking – 10. Lots of street parking and a free lot nearby.
  • Chandeliers – 5. No chandeliers but nice wood beams in the ceiling, and a tree inside. Also twinkle lights and heat lamps outside.
  • Solo people watching experience – 10. Especially on a Saturday morning when the farmers market is going on nearby there is a parade of people and dogs walking by constantly.
  • Hours – 10. Open daily at 7AM, until 8PM S-Th; until 10PM F-Sat. I love being able to go there first thing in the morning to get some work done, and be able to grab a coffee after dinner at night.
  • Overall Atmosphere – 9. Very open and airy with a variety of comfortable seating options. Surrounded by windows, which open wide (like roll up garage doors) when the weather is warm. Awesome people and dog watching on Saturday mornings when the farmers market is going on nearby. Frequent live music, ie. guitar/ singer soloist.
  • Final Sue Score (average of all scores above) – 8.2

Map of Mentioned Cafes

Please let me know in the comments if you know of any other cool Silicon Valley cafes! Thanks for reading!


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