An actual bell tower on top of the Bell Tower Café gives this downtown Saratoga eatery a bit of a European flair. An espresso machine straight from Rome graces the countertop and goes oh so well with the hammered tin ceiling. The minimalist glass displays show off just-made Parisian-inspired pastries, and outdoor tables and chairs invite lingering over a freshly pulled cappuccino. Even dogs are invited to hang out, with water dishes and free treats at the ready.
This place may sound familiar to Saratoga regulars, but it feels brand new after a significant overhaul by the new owner. Previously known as the Bell Tower Bistro and Patisserie, the reimagined Café has lower prices, a revamped menu, bright decor, two outdoor seating areas with heaters and a big flat screen TV tucked away in the corner. A peek inside the kitchen reveals organized boxes of local organic produce, backing up their farm to table claims.
While the vibe might feel a bit foreign, the food is accessible and fresh California fare. I went with the Well Done Burrito ($11.50), a lightly seared tortilla loaded with four eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, onion, mushroom and cheese—it surprisingly managed to feel light and healthy. Next time I might be brave enough to go for the deep-fried version, which our waiter strongly encouraged.
My dining partner opted for a classic breakfast with the Bistro Express ($11.50), which serves up scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes. While it was a simple dish, it was well executed—both the pancakes and eggs were fluffy alongside crispy bacon.
While we slowly sipped on coffee ($3), we checked out the menu to ponder our next visit. The breakfast croissant ($8.95) and Persian Omelet ($10.50) with egg whites, basil, tomato and feta were both at the top of the list until we saw the weekly specials, which include Chicken and Waffles ($11.95).
Overall, this updated version of Bell Tower is a welcome addition to the downtown Saratoga scene: unpretentious breakfast and lunch options at affordable prices. Homey American touches like Mason jars for water glasses and free coffee refills complement the streamlined interior, creating a relaxed scene for savoring the morning over pastries and eggs.
Bell Tower Café
20490 Saratoga Los Gatos Road, Saratoga.