About Café Zoë

A Brief History

In the spring of 2008, after considering a career change, owner Kathleen came upon a random shop for sale in a neighborhood location that resonated to her the idea of “community.”  After spending time with the previous owner and his staff, she purchased the café and renamed it, Café Zoë, after her daughter. The tag line for the shop became “a place for peace, hope and community.”


From the beginning, Café Zoë has always sought to be an “extension of your living room,” from the cozy environment and comfy chairs to the friendly, engaging baristas. We’re not your average modern hipster coffee shop. There is a lot of artwork and posters on the walls, eclectic jewelry on display from local artists, and a generally “at home” kind of vibe. We have always kept our prices low with quality and quantity high. 


With the café’s central location, we have been able to become a community hub where people can meet up with friends or business partners, get some work done, or spend quality time with loved ones. Parents can enjoy a latte and a little down time while their children play on the back patio in the playhouse. Kids can come hang out and wait for their rides after school. Young people can come find a quiet corner to read or study for a while. Couples can enjoy a coffee retreat.


We are also proud to have become one of few local intimate live music venues between San Francisco and San Jose. In Summer 2016, we acquired a beer and wine license for Café Zoë and we were able to extend our hours. We began to include trivia and game nights, and most importantly live music. We have hosted many local acts and watched many of our musician friends develop their sound and have hosted many touring acts. 


Ten years later, we pride ourselves on the coffee and all of the “so much more.” We hope to be a place of comfort and joy to all.

Frequently Asked Questions about Café Zoë: Our vibe, policy, and character

What is Cafe Zoe?

Cafe Zoë is a community coffee cafe serving brewed coffee, espresso drinks, quick breakfast items and a full lunch We are also open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, serving beer and wine, and featuring a variety of fun events and live music. Check out this great article that the Menlo Park Almanac wrote about us when we first opened! Though we have evolved since that time, the piece still provides good insight into what we're all about.

What's so unique about Cafe Zoe?

Everything! Cafe Zoe is the antithesis of the cookie-cutter "corporate" coffeehouses you can find in most towns. From the very beginning in 2008, Cafe owner, Kathleen Daly, envisioned her new establishment to be a comfortable and inviting gathering place for the surrounding communities. Her vision was that Cafe Zoe should be as cozy as a living room, but with ample space and an ambiance that accommodates conversation, creativity, art and music - a place for people to get to know each other and interact about things that matter to them. Cafe Zoe, named after Kathleen's daughter, has evolved into "a place for peace, hope and community" - which exactly what Kathleen envisioned. She even included that sentiment on the Cafe's sign and logo!

Can I bring my kids to Cafe Zoe?

Absolutely! Cafe Zoe is an ideal spot for parents who want to enjoy a latte and a bit of down time, while their children can play out on the back patio - which is set up for kids with a playhouse and space that's stocked with toys and comfy outside patio furniture. Cafe Zoe also a safe place for school-age kids to hang out and wait for their rides after school.

What's general vibe at Cafe Zoe?

Warmth, friendliness, community awareness. Cafe Zoe has become a community hub where people can meet up with friends or business partners, get some work done, or spend quality time with loved ones. We have upbeat, engaging baristas and the work of local artists on display -- artwork, posters, eclectic jewelry and more. We keep our prices low but our quality and quantity high.

What kind of menu does Cafe Zoe offer?

We serve strong brewed coffee and espresso drinks from local roasters, Highwire and Connoisseur Coffee, and a delicious variety of pastries, muffins and croissants from the best local bakeries. For lunch (every day) or light dinner (on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays), you can choose from savory panini sandwiches, fresh, creatively crafted salads, quiche, soup and weekly specials served with artisan bread. You can see all our menus here.

I have some dietary restrictions. Can you accommodate them?

Cafe Zoe has a good choice of options for Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-free diets. Please ask our baristas about our dietary options.

Your food sounds great! Do you cater events?

We absolutely can satisfy your catering needs! For lunch catering, just give us at least a 24-hour notice and we got your back! If you need delivery, we may need a bit more notice, but we'll do everything we can to accommodate your request. Please contact us with your request by phone.

What kind of music does Cafe Zoe host?

Cafe Zoe is one of only a few local intimate live music venues between San Francisco and San Jose. In 2016, we acquired a beer and wine license and we were able to extend our hours so that we could host a variety of events’ most importantly, live music. We have featured both local acts and have hosted many touring musicians, as well. We we book some of the best musicians of the Bay Area and beyond! Musicians who have played at the Café have offered every genre of music from mellow acoustic to fast-paced rock and roll.

I'm interested in performing at Cafe Zoe. How do I inquire about this?

We are always looking for new musicians to feature at Cafe Zoe, so please email cafezoemenlopark@gmail.com with links to your music. We'll give it a listen and let you know!

What are some of your other special events and attractions?

ooking for a place to flex your knowledge muscles on just about anything? Come down to Cafe Zoe on Wednesday evenings when we host friendly, but challenging, Trivia Nights. On Thursdays, we have $3 bottled beers and $5 draft beers all night long. And on Friday nights we offer an eclectic mix of the best live music for miles around. In general, we also host fundraisers for local causes, knitting group meet-ups, community meetings, pop-up shops, and more! You can check out our Events calendar for what is coming up next.

Anything else I should know about Cafe Zoe?

Anything else I should know about Cafe Zoe? Here are a few more good things to know about Cafe Zoe: *** We believe in supporting LOCAL: local artists, bakeries, breweries, coffee roasters, entrepreneurs, markets, musicians, non-profits, patisseries, projects, schools, wineries, and more. You will find all of our vendors are local businesses from up and down the peninsula. *** Loyalty is rewarded: for every 10 drinks, you’ll get the 11th free! Is is super easy to sign-up. You don’t even have to carry a card or download an app! *** We still offer free Wi-Fi, however we ask that if you are going to use a laptop for work at the Cafe after 5pm, that you please do so in the back area so the front can be used for socializing and special events.

From the Café Zoë Blog