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Pilot Light Cafe: A Welcome Beacon at Half Moon Bay Airport

Pilot Light Cafe, an appropriate name for the popular restaurant at Half Moon Bay Airport, is a welcoming beacon for pilots and community members alike. Owned and operated by Shoshana Wolff and Sachin Chopra, a wife and husband team who live in the coastal community, Pilot Light has far exceeded their expectations since its opening in January 2022.

“We anticipated that Pilot Light would primarily serve the aviation community, with locals and tourists occasionally dining here,” said Shoshana. “However, all of these groups have embraced and supported our cafe since we opened.”

An example of this support is during the restaurant’s soft opening. The owners wanted to keep things quiet to be able to effectively and efficiently manage their new operation within the first few weeks.

Davi Howard, Airport Communications Specialist for Half Moon Bay and San Carlos airports, told hundreds of people, and they showed up in droves,” said Shoshana. “I was at the register for two days straight, and it was the best kind of madness. It was such a wonderful welcome to and from the community.”

The busy operation has continued, including supporting its first Dream Machines event in April 2023. “Without much data to help us prepare, we made the right decision to transform our operation to quick-service only,” Shoshana recalled. “We learned a lot from supporting this annual community event for the first time, and now have experience and data to be better prepared for future public events at the airport.”

Despite the Half Moon Bay runway being closed for pavement rehabilitation for a week in summer 2023, Pilot Light was busier than usual. “The contractors working on the airfield ate at our cafe, and the community showed up, too. We are so thankful for their support.”

Pilot Light is casual, inclusive and welcoming to all customers. “Being at Half Moon Bay Airport is a huge draw for our aviation and local community, and families with young children are regulars on weekends,” said Shoshana.

“Great hospitality, delicious food, and consistency cut across all demographics, and has been key to our success,” she continued.  

On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Pilot Light offers a special menu, and is considering extending its opening hours to include dinner service in the future. The cafe team is comprised of seasoned restaurateurs, with the manager having worked alongside Shoshana and Sachin for 13 years.

They also own and operate All Spice in San Mateo, but Shoshana says the two restaurants are polar opposites of each other as All Spice offers a fine-dining experience.

As to when and how they find time to relax given operating two restaurants, which combined offer breakfast, lunch and dinner service, Shoshana says they love walking their dog at the beach and around their coastal neighborhood, and spending time with family members who live nearby.

“We love being in this community, as living along the coast is like being on vacation twenty-four seven. We often bring our family members to dine at Pilot Light, and also love to try other restaurants to have a better understanding of what’s happening in the culinary world.”

Pilot Light is open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day), serving its full breakfast and lunch menu all day. A great idea for year-round gifting, gift cards can be purchased in person or on the restaurant’s website. Customers are encouraged to share feedback and suggestions about their dining experiences at, and follow Pilot Light Cafe on Instagram.


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