Ask A Local About Mountain View
What brought you to the neighborhood? Originally, in 2000, to get out of SF to somewhere more affordable and sunny. The affordable part no longer really applies, but it's close to work and it's a nice community to live and have children in.
What do you like best about your neighborhood? It's quiet, nice and suburban. And it’s so close to two great downtown areas: Mountain View and Los Altos! Both have great shops and restaurants and their own character.
What do you like least about your neighborhood? It’s gotten really expensive to live in Mountain View.
How has it changed since you moved there? Houses have, and continue to, get nicer. Many original homes have been remodeled or rebuilt. It seems like there’s always some construction going on as you drive around the neighborhood streets. As the area becomes more affluent, it has also attracted new restaurants to the downtown areas.
Do you need a car to get around? No, but yes. Downtown areas are easily walkable, as are parks and schools. However, they are a bit of a walk to get to and kids aren't always amenable so sometimes it’s easier to have a car to get around. There are also so many places to go just a short drive away for kids and adults alike.
What's the neighborhood housing stock like? I would say I often see homes for sale and for rent. There’s a good variety including single family homes, townhouses, condos and apartments.
Better for buyers or renters? Hard to say - rent just may be less than mortgage for what houses seem to go for around here, there is such fierce competition that they seem to all sell far above their asking price.
Tell us something we don't know about the neighborhood: I live in Mountain View, but am in the Los Altos School District - which is a major plus. So depending on where your home is located you can be in a different school district. Both Mountain View and Los Altos have great schools. But the Los Altos seem to have higher ratings...not that ratings are everything.
Any hidden gems? I have lived in the area so long, I don't think there are many secrets anymore. But one of my favorite spots I found recently is a tiny coffee shop in downtown Mountain View called 1oz Coffee. It’s incredibly minimalist in decor and menu options. But they serve a great cup of coffee if you’re willing to wait for the pour over.
Nearest grocery store (and why you like it)? Safeway - but don't typically shop there. It’s a great stable to have close by in case I forget anything though! Whole Foods is not too far down the road. I usually prefer to do my shopping there for the variety of organic produce and snacks available. And now they have discounts for Amazon prime members.
Good for kids? Yes, it’s really kid friendly. The neighborhood streets are wide and have speed bumps to make sure traffic doesn’t go too fast in the area. Schools and parks are also within close proximity which makes it easy for families and kids. I see a lot of families with kids in the area. And I find that neighbors are friendly and kids will often play together in the afternoons and weekends.
Best place to get a coffee? Alexander's Patisserie has great coffee and you can always treat yourself to one of their beautiful pastries or cakes. I like to order the chocolate-banana croissant and a coffee. They also have delightful truffles! I almost feel guilty eating these little masterpieces. My go-to are the early grey, coconut rum, and cassis.
Best park? Marymeade, Shoup, and Cuesta. Marymeade is located just a few minutes away in Los Altos. There’s plenty of shade for a lovely picnic under the trees and a fun playground for the kids. It even has a rocky water fountain area for the summer, which is so much fun! Shoup’s also in Los Altos but just a stone’s throw away. It has two great playgrounds, lots of grass, BBQ areas, picnic tables, and is incredibly clean. And Cuesta is located in Mountain View. It’s a great little park with rolling paths, BBQ areas, and abundant playgrounds that are filled with sandboxes, slides, and swings. Nearby there’s also tennis courts and a large grassy field for dogs to play!
Beloved neighborhood joints? Vive Sol, Morsey's Farmhouse, and Cascal. Vive Sol, in Mountain View, combines a classy vibe with an authentic Mexican feel. Morsey’s, of Los Altos, on the other hand offers excellent American style food, cheese, and brunch. I really love to try their wide range of water buffalo products. Apparently the owner has about 400 water buffalo on a farm just south of Sacramento. I always like to try something new when I am there! On top of the option of indoor/outdoor seating and friendly staff, I really love their chocolate cake! It tastes like heaven. And then, there’s Cascal. A lovely tapas bar with fantastic Happy Hour deals. Their cocktails are quite tasty, roasted cauliflower is to die for, ceviche is impeccable, offer outdoor seating, and host live music on the weekends.
Where are the best places to experience the outdoors? Rancho San Antonio, otherwise, you can easily head out of town. It offers trails that feature all sorts of elevation; farms that house cows, ducks, rabbits, goats, pigs, sheep, and chickens; an abundance of wildlife; number of vista points; and perfect picnic areas. It’s great for hiking, running, biking, or even a walk with your kids in their stroller. There’s nothing that quite takes your breath away like the rolling hills and sweeping views of the bay from there.
Stereotypical residents? Tech families or ones in which both parents working full-time, with children typically having a nanny or in preschool until school-age. And a fair amount of older residents around retirement age.
Are the stereotypes true? About the silicon valley? ABSOLUTELY!