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 Post subject: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:58 pm 
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As I can't see an existing thread with the title: I'm disguising my "I'm visiting my work's HQ for 11 days and hope I don't starve!" plea as a general purpose thread.

I've not been to the US before. After a bit of digging I've basically decided that I'm going to need to hire a car, as opposed to relying on public transport. Is this a fair assumption?

Google claims the nearest Whole Foods Market is in Cupertino (~10 miles), Trader Joe's in Sunnyvale (~7 miles).

Is there anywhere in Santa Clara itself, in case I can't get a car arranged and have to rely on public transport / cabs? I'm staying at Hyatt Regency.

I'm guessing I won't have much free time during the day, so will be scouting for food after work. Whilst I may get to visit restaurants in the evening, I'm gonna have to find things for breakfast / lunch that won't go off before I eat them and don't require cooking / much prep.

Not ideal, I know! (I survived a week in Dubai on mostly Oreos). When I travel for pleasure I always go self catering.

Any tips would be greatly received! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:53 pm 
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Mr Flibble wrote:
As I can't see an existing thread with the title: I'm disguising my "I'm visiting my work's HQ for 11 days and hope I don't starve!" plea as a general purpose thread.

I've not been to the US before. After a bit of digging I've basically decided that I'm going to need to hire a car, as opposed to relying on public transport. Is this a fair assumption?

Google claims the nearest Whole Foods Market is in Cupertino (~10 miles), Trader Joe's in Sunnyvale (~7 miles).

Is there anywhere in Santa Clara itself, in case I can't get a car arranged and have to rely on public transport / cabs? I'm staying at Hyatt Regency.


Okay, you're actually heading to a great place for lots of potential food. The bad news is that it's hard to get around without a car. You will probably want to rent a car, yes. There are busses, but I'm not sure how actually useful they are, or if they go everywhere you'd want.

The other thing is that all those cities-- San Jose, Cupertino, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and others-- blend together into one giant smear of city.

Since California is pretty liberal when it comes to food, and the Bay Area especially, you should be able to find stuff you can (and want to!) eat almost anywhere. Most restaurants have at least a token vegan option, and many have lots of vegan stuff or are willing to make vegan substitutions for you. You're landing in the middle of a multicultural area, too, and you can find all kinds of Asian and Indian food and markets all over the place. Even Safeway (a local big supermarket) is pretty decent.

From the Hyatt Regency, you're a pretty short drive up to the Green Cafe in Milpitas, which is pretty decent vegan Asian, and a giant Chinese market.

I suspect that if you're only in the area for 10 days, the difficultly won't be so much finding food as deciding what to eat while you're here... 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Oh yeah-- check Indian markets for very cheap packaged Indian food, some of which is vegan and which can be prepared quickly in a microwave. There's a place on the corner of the Lawrence Expressway at 1165 Reed Ave, Sunnyvale, that has tons of decent stuff and very good prices.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:17 am 
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You're going to be very close to San Jose, which actually has an all-vegan deli type place called Good Karma, and quite a few other vegan places if I recall correctly, including Psycho donuts, which has a great vegan donut. You can check out the South Bay thread for more as well.

If you're in town for 11 days and have a car, I highly recommend heading up to San Francisco for a day or two if you can. It's only about an hour or so (Or you can take Caltrain, if you prefer not to drive).

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:07 pm 
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Santa Clara has some really great South Indian food!

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:08 pm 
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If you don't end up with a car, you might see if your hotel has a shuttle to Caltrain. (Your work might too-- a lot of the businesses there do an employee public transit shuttle thing.). From Caltrain you can get to some walkable vegan-able areas, like Mountain View.

The bus system is really not awful either. That's SamTrans. You can use google maps to figure out routes/costs etc pretty successfully.

I love Good Karma in SJ and there are a ton of vegan friendly Asian places close to the same area.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:09 pm 
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It looks like you're about 2.5 miles from a Safeway, which is a big chain market but they have lots of veg-friendly stuff...hummus, bagels, soy milk/yogurt, fruit, veggies, soup, etc. I think the whole foods is going to be a hassle to get to by bus.

In terms of nearby restaurants, you're limited. There's a Red Robin near the Safeway that serves Boca burgers. Nothing else at that restaurant is very veg friendly. Theres a Taco Bell 0.5 mi away and the bean burritos without cheese are safe. There's also an El Torito Mexican restaurant off Bowers that has veggie fajitas. If you have a car there are much better vegan options east of you off El Camino Real (Indian, etc). I wouldn't walk to those as some parts over there are not fun to walk through after dark.

If you can't get a car, I live in the area and could shuttle you to Whole Foods or TJs. Also it might be fun to do a PPK meetup if you have time :)

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:39 am 
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Many thanks for all your replies - they're most helpful :)

PPK meetup would be great, but unfortunately I think my schedule's going to be pretty busy. I originally thought I'd have the weekend off, but apparently not! Hopefully the trip should be a lot of fun, but I'm not sure how much time I'm going to get to myself!

I've still haven't 100% decided whether to rent a car or not yet, but I think it'd probably be a good idea and take the hassle out of things. Thank you for offering me a lift couroupita - hopefully I won't need to take you up on it, but will let you know :)

It's good to know that most restaurants have some sort of vegan option - I'll undoubtedly end up having to go somewhere at some point that I wouldn't have otherwise chosen to ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:50 pm 
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Santa Clara: I am in you!

Renting a car tomorrow and will scout the area out, starting with wholefoods market.

Thanks for all your replies - will post dumb questions here when I inevitably have them.

It's nice to be here by the way :)

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:38 am 
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Enjoy your time here! And if you find yourself with a bit of extra time for a PPK meetup let us know!

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Clara
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Will do! (unlikely unfortunately - I really need to come back on a holiday, possibly to live!)

Just been to wholefoods in cupertino. Pity it's not all veg, but holy f* is it impressively big. There's more floor space than in all healthfood stores in the north of england put together (possibly the whole of england!).

Am well stocked up on junk food and portable lunches - now to find vegan friendly eateries for evenings that my non-veg colleagues won't mind eating at....

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