Food / Dining

Valentine’s Day specials in San Benito County

Local restaurants serving up heart-shaped pizzas and pancakes, steaks and fancy desserts.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, bakeries, cafes, restaurants, tap houses and wineries throughout San Benito County are looking to lure customers in with special deals and delights.

Tami Castañeda-Huaracha of Doña Esther's. Photo by Robert Eliason.
Tami Castañeda-Huaracha of Doña Esther’s. Photo by Robert Eliason.

“We just have been able to reopen our outdoor seating,” said Lori Wilson, owner of Bear’s Hideaway. “People are going to want to get out in this nice weather to celebrate and we are looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces again. It will help all the businesses in town.”

Dona Esther’s Mexican Restaurant in San Juan Bautista is taking advantage of the recently lifted ban on outdoor seating to run a special for the month of February.

“We are hoping to bring everyone out to join us and for those who don’t want to come out to our parklet, they can take our special home,” said owner Tami Castaneda.

While some restaurants are offering a special dish for Valentine’s Day, others such as The Inn at Tres Pinos and Paine’s Restaurant are offering entire menus with several appetizers, entrees, and desserts for the holiday.

Hailey Kemp at The Smoke Point BBQ. Photo by Robert Eliason.
Hailey Kemp at The Smoke Point BBQ. Photo by Robert Eliason.

One restaurant, The Smoke Point BBQ, is offering a complete meal, to-go only, with salads, main course, side dishes, and desserts.

“I think our bone-in ribeye steak special will get a great reception,” said employee Hailey Kemp. “People enjoyed it and we are expecting a lot of to-go orders. Customers will be able to swoop in and get a full meal including dessert to take home to enjoy with a loved one.”

Brewery Twenty Five was inspired to offer a special Valentine’s Day discount to first responders and health care workers.

“We are offering them a discount because we love them,” said Fran Fitzharris, owner of the San Juan-based brewery. “We are also looking forward to seeing all of our old customers—I think people are ready to get out again.”

A spirit of collaboration is in the air as well. At Bear’s Hideaway, Wilson will offer her customers Chaos & Caffeine Beer, made with coffee from Vertigo Coffee Roasters. Savor San Benito Farm to Table brought together Louie’s Smokey Trails BBQ, Eden Rift Vineyards, Heavenly Bakery, and Growing Hearts Garden Center for their special offering. Lolla is also collaborating with Eden Rift in a special sandwich and wine offer, as well as a charcuterie board and flower collaboration with Sweetheart Bouquets.

Laughin' Gal Flowers at Inaka Japanese Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Inaka.
Laughin’ Gal Flowers at Inaka Japanese Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Inaka.

For those who just want something sweet to share with a loved one, several local cottage industry bakers including Black Pot Artisans, 831BakeShop, The Chaste Cupcake, Mmm Churros, and Sweet Al Amor are offering desserts and treats such as cupcakes, heart-shaped churros, decorated cookies, and chocolate cinnamon rolls.

BenitoLink has compiled a list of some of the deals and specials being offered for Valentine’s Day. Some are limited offers and subject to first-come-first-serve, some are pickup only, and some are available for pre-order. Please contact the merchants for more details.


Valentine’s Day cookies include chocolate, chocolate-dipped strawberry, velvet rose, sweetheart, and flower bouquet cookies.
Order online

The Chaste Cupcake  

Real vanilla bean cupcake with strawberry buttercream, espresso chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream, and a red velvet cupcake with vanilla buttercream, one dozen for $30.

(831) 673-1704

Cozy Cup Cafe

Apricot-stuffed French toast topped with bananas with eggs, $12.99.

380 Fourth Street

(831) 637-3730

Grillin & Chillin Alehouse
Ribeye steaks, 8 oz. and 15 oz., prices vary.

401 McCray Street

(831) 637-2337

Grillin & Chillin Roadhouse

Steak and seafood combos, with lobster tail, scallops, or shrimp, prices vary.

3650 San Juan Road

(831) 636-1010

The Heavenly Bakery

Part of a collaboration with Savor San Benito Farm to Table that includes a custom red velvet cake.

Customers can order online by going to their website.

601 San Benito Street

(831) 630-0300

Hollister Recreation Department (Cupid Express)

Eight different balloon bouquets and candy bags.

$10 apiece

Customers can order online by going to their website.

La Catrina
New York steak with chimichurri sauce, $26.
Molten cheese with flaming tequila, $22.

A bottle of Montpellier wine (red or white) and bouquet of flowers, $60-$80 (depending on arrangement).
449 San Benito Street

(831) 313-0905

La Villa De Jerez

Mole with chicken, rice, beans and tortillas—call for pricing.
905 East Street

(831) 637-2768

Metro Balderas Taqueria

Forty Tacos (pollo, asada, pastor) arranged in a heart shape, $90.

601 McCray Street

(831) 265-7544

Mmm Churros

Six super churros and six heart-shaped churros with love note $30 or $32 (flavored).

Six heart-shaped churros with love note $15 or $17 (flavored).

Pickup only.

(408) 887-8755

Mountain Mike’s Pizza
Heart-shaped pizza (one topping), $20.69.

261 McCray Street, Suite A

(831) 637-6922

Paine’s Restaurant

Valentine’s Day menu includes surf and turf, $75; prime rib, $40; chicken piccata $32; panko crusted calamari steak $28; crab crusted salmon $36; and angel hair pasta with prawns $34.

421 East Street

(831) 637-3882

Round Table Pizza
Heart-shaped pizza (one topping), $16.99.

496 Tres Pinos Road

(831) 637-7444

Savor San Benito Farm to Table 

Dinner for two includes two smoked chicken quarters with 1/4 rack of smoked baby back ribs with scalloped potatoes and salad from Louie’s Smokey Trails BBQ. Also included is a bottle of 2016 Eden Rift Estate Pinot Noir, a custom red velvet cake from Heavenly Bakery, and a potted rosette succulent from Growing Hearts Garden Center. $70 for two.

Customers can order online by going to their website.

Seabrisa’s Eatery

Bacon wrapped filet in peppercorn sauce, with a garlic jumbo prawn, served with broccoli and fingerling potatoes, $40.

155 Skyline Drive

(831) 313-1233

Straw Hat Pizza

Individual heart-shaped pizza (with coupon available at restaurant), $1.50.
191 San Felipe Road Suite A

(831) 630-9400

Suncoast Organic 

Valentine’s Day dinner menu includes chicken pot pie, $13; Salisbury steak over jasmine rice, $15; wild cod over rice, $14; and chicken wellington, $17.

The dessert menu includes six petite s’more cake bites, $10; six petite chocolate cake bites, $10; two push-up cakes, $12; two red velvet whoopie pies, $10; apricot double crust pie, $8; and triple berry pie, $7.

Customers can order online by going to their website.

Pickups on Feb. 12
6310 Southside Road

(831) 801-0085

Sweet Al Amor

Valentine’s Day cookie package includes brownie nutella cookies, macarons, orange sugar cookies with jam, chocolates with a marshmallow filling, buttercream frosted cookies, sprinkled sugar cookies, and candy conversation hearts. $15 for 22 cookies.
Order through Facebook

To Phó

Couples ordering one drink of any size will get a second drink free.

650 San Benito Street Ste. 110

(831) 313-1900

Valley Pizzeria

A heart-shaped pizza (one topping), $12.99.

551 McCray Street

(831) 265-7880

Eden Rift

Valentine’s Day package includes a self-guided hiking map of the vineyard, one bottle of 2017 Eden Rift Estate Pinot Noir, two prosciutto and French brie sandwiches (with Lolla sauce, balsamic glaze, house-pickled red onions), and Marich chocolates. $70 picnic for two; $60 for wine club members.

1oo34 Cienega Rd. Hollister, Ca 95023

(831) 636-1991


San Juan Bautista

18th Barrel

A flight of five wines, charcuterie board and chocolate. Call for pricing.

(831) 623-4049

322 Third Street

Bear’s Hideaway
Italian prosecco with fresh berries, paired with chocolate, and Chaos & Caffeine beer from Narrative Fermentations, paired with chocolate. Call for pricing.
(831) 623-9363

402 Third Street

Black Pot Artisans
Heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies, $3; chocolate cinnamon rolls, $12; and chocolate bread boule $12.

Customers can order online by going to their website.

Brewery Twenty Five

Healthcare workers and first responders get $2 off to-go orders on Feb. 12-13.

Customers can order online by going to their  website  and entering code DEALS4HEROES. Work ID’s are required when picking up order.

(831) 636-7640

106 Third Street

Doña Esther’s Mexican Restaurant

Ten ground beef tacos and 10 cheese enchiladas with a pint each of rice and beans, $130; add a pitcher of house margaritas for $18. Offer good through February. 

25 Franklin Street

(831) 623-2518

Inaka Japanese Restaurant
Bouquets from Laughin’ Gal Floral of Aromas will be available for purchase.
313 Third Street

(831) 593-5100

Jardines de San Juan Restaurant
Mar y tierra (surf and turf) with rice and beans, $49.99 for two.

115 Third Street

(831) 623-4466


Charcuterie board and flowers from Sweetheart Bouquets, $40.

201 Third Street

(831) 593-5064

Margot’s Ice Cream Parlor
Chocolate roses, chocolate heart lollipops, and heart-printed chocolate truffles. Free Valentine’s Day balloon with a truffle gift box purchase. Call for pricing.

211 Third Street

(831) 623-9262

Mission Cafe

A pancake special with a surprise Valentine’s Day present. Call for pricing.

300 Third Street

(831) 623-2220

The Smoke Point BBQ

Dinner for two includes bone-in ribeye steak, potatoes au gratin, garlic-sauteed spinach, smoked brussel sprouts, beet salad with Russian dressing, smoked demi glace, a mini mousse and a cherry pie. $100 for two.

Customer can order online by going to their website.

206 Fourth Street

(831) 593-5009

Tres Pinos

Eva Mae’s Cafe

Two-for-one mimosas, $6; and heart-shaped pancake meal, $12.95.
6851 Airline Hwy St D

(831) 628-5009

Inn at Tres Pinos
Valentine’s Day menu includes fried avocado and shrimp cocktail, $15; New England clam chowder, $8; raspberry and arugula salad, $10; oven roasted Maine lobster, $48; Tres Pinos beef Wellington, $45.

6991 Airline Highway

(831) 628-3320


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Robert Eliason

I got my start as a photographer when my dad stuck a camera in my hand on the evening of my First Grade Open House. He taught me to observe, empathize, then finally compose the shot.  The editors at BenitoLink first approached me as a photographer. They were the ones to encourage me to write stories about things that interest me, turning me into a reporter as well.  BenitoLink is a great creative family that cares deeply about the San Benito community and I have been pleased to be a part of it.