Ask A Local About Cupertino
What brought you to Cupertino? I grew up in Cupertino so when my husband took a job in Sunnyvale we decided it was time to move back to the area to be near family and work. It doesn’t hurt that schools are great and the Chinese food is unbeatable.
What do you like best about Cupertino? I love that it feels like a place where families settle down and also a place where innovation happens. It’s the home of Apple Computers after all! Also now home to many tech companies and startups.
What do you like least about Cupertino? There is definitely some NIMBY-ism in Cupertino, but I think this is true for most places and most suburban towns in particular. I wish people across the bay area were more open to change, especially around housing.
How has it changed since you moved there? Cupertino still feels very much the way it did when I grew up. I now take my kids to many of the same parks that I went to growing up. They are taking swim lessons at DACA where I took swim lessons. And they probably will also play tennis at the Cupertino Sports Center like I did. But, when I grew up in Cupertino there weren’t as many dining options as there are today. Just one example is the new Main Street plaza which has a great little park area and tons of great food options from 85° bakery to Oren’s Hummus to Alexander’s Steakhouse and more.
Do you need a car to get around? Yes! You definitely need a car to get around Cupertino. I wish we had better connection to public transit, but our closest Caltrain station is in Sunnyvale. We do have buses to get you around, but most people just drive.
What's the Cupertino housing stock like? The Cupertino housing stock is predominantly single family homes. There are condo complexes and apartment complexes disbursed throughout the city, but for the most part, you’ll find wonderful single family home neighborhoods.
Better for buyers or renters? It might be more affordable for renters. You can rent an older single family home for about $5,000/month and it would probably be around $2m to purchase a home, making the monthly payments about double what the rent would be.
Nearest grocery store (and why you like it)? There are so many great grocery stores in the area for all your different needs. There’s a Whole Foods on Stevens Creek. There’s also a new Sprouts Market on Stevens Creek. Then there’s a Marina Foods and a Ranch 99 if you’re looking for Chinese grocery stores. There’s a Marukai Market for Japanese grocery stores. And little local gems like Cupertino Market and Oakmont.
Good for kids? Yes, one of the big reasons people move to Cupertino is because of the great schools...that and all the nearby tech companies. There are several parks and playgrounds for all ages. And the city even offers great programs for kids and adults year-round. It’s really fun to see my daughter in the same programs I was in as a kid. Right now she’s in swim classes at DACA where I took swim classes growing up.
Notable Residents: Ronnie Lott of the 49ers famously lived in the hills of Cupertino. Actor Aaron Eckhart was born and raised in Cupertino until he was 13.
Best place to get a coffee? My favorite coffee place in Cupertino sadly closed in July of last year. But I do love me a cup of Philz coffee which you can find at Main Street. And instead of coffee I often mix it up and grab a boba drink. Happy Lemon is my current favorite. But Fantasia is the tried and true classic.
Best park? I’ve been loving Wilson Park lately for my toddler. But she also has a lot of fun at Somerset Park and loves walking around Blackberry Farms which has a pool, a playground for bigger kids, a creek, sand volleyball, bocce ball, and is part of McClellan Ranch where you can see goats, pigs, and sometimes miniature horses. I also have a soft spot for Jollyman Park. It seems so peaceful there with big trees around.
Beloved neighborhood joints? Cicero’s Pizza is a crowd favorite from when I was a kid to now! They moved locations, but they’re still one of the best pizza spots in Cupertino.
Where are the best places to experience the outdoors? Besides Blackberry Farms and McClellan Ranch you can also go for a hike at Fremont Older and see views of the Silicon Valley. And Stevens Creek Reservoir is great to hike around the water! Bring your sunscreen for both locations though because there isn’t much shade out there and it can get hot.