Alta Bakery and Cafe

502 Munras Ave., Monterey 920-1018, altamonterey.com

There are a number of things that set Alta apart – its chic modern interior set inside a historic adobe, the inviting tables indoors and out, the fresh breakfast and lunch menu that features flower petals daintily sprinkled on toast. But on a chilly, gray Monterey Peninsula morning – and, let’s be honest, that’s most Monterey Peninsula mornings – it’s the essentials that really shine. Those essentials being perfectly frothed espresso drinks to warm the body and the soul. The bakery uses Tazzina Coffee from Santa Cruz, which roasts Italian-style espresso and coffee. The busy baristas at Alta expertly craft Tazzina’s grounds into rich and satisfying coffee drinks. No wonder the line of people waiting for their morning brew is out the door each day.