7 Places to Eavesdrop in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is the new Hollywood. Search out the tech heavyweights changing the world.

The stars today are names like Sergey Brin of Google, Tim Cook of Apple, Sean Parker or Napster, and, of course, Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan. Whether you’re looking to spot famous faces or overhear some tech talk, grab a coffee and perk up your ears.

Atherton may be the country’s most expensive ZIP code, but it’s also neighbor to the town of Woodside and its kitschy Buck’s Restaurant. A plate of pancakes will set you back $10.50, but it’s a small price to pay for a front-row seat to the Valley’s important wheeling and dealing. Elon Musk of Tesla has been seen here.

Closer to Stanford University in Palo Alto is Coupa Café, where start-ups go to test their not-yet-launched products. You can come for the Venezuelan coffee. Also on the coffee front is Café Venetia, with a more Italian bent. The talk though? That’s all Silicon Valley.

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Sure, you came to Fraiche Yogurt for the original tart froyo topped with fresh strawberries. Sit down at a table, though, and you’ll soon hear the techno-babble floating around you.

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The Epiphany Hotel neighbors Fraiche, and because of its cutting-edge lobby and restaurant, Lure + Till, it too has been hosting some of the Valley’s royalty. Handshakes happen over breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Calafia Café opened in Town & Country Village in Palo Alto in 2010 with its tech connections firmly in place. The chef, Charlie Ayers, was executive chef at Google. To be expected, his former eaters are now stopping by for his vegetarian and vegan specialties.

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