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San Luis Obispo -- A friend joked that the dining scene is San Luis Obispo is SLO food, meaning you won't find Michelin stars but you will encounter wonderful comfort food, locally sourced ingredients, fun servers and some eye-catching locations.

Even during busy periods - think Cal Poly parents' weekend - it's relatively painless to get a nice table at an acceptable hour.

Downtown is a great bet for visitors, but outlying locations also offer intriguing options.

A warning for those accustomed the Bay Area dining scene: You're no longer in the land of small portions. Think splits.


You're staying on Monterey Street's motel row and have a desire for a more substantial morning repast than your lodging's continental breakfast. Voila! The Apple Farm is an easy walk.

The cowboy sausage, a spicy grilled link, is served with fried potatoes, onion, green and red peppers and two eggs ($12.50). It'll supercharge a long day of walking and hiking, and it comes with a large yet light house-made biscuit and preserves.

The Apple Farm is also a hotel, and serves lunch and dinner, too.

2015 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo; (805) 544-2040. . Wine and beer. Reservations and credit cards accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.


The owner had a Cajun restaurant in Los Angeles, and the staff says that influence is here, too. I'll grant a sliver of that, but for me the bottom line is an eclectic mix of comfort food, some of which is totally luxe.

The lobster mac and cheese ($18.50) with smoked bacon and peas is creamy decadence. If you're worried that the stern person at the next table is a cardiologist, try the Italian tuna, basil and cannellini bean salad ($12.95), a refreshing yet filling dish with a lemony zing.

1121 Broad St., San Luis Obispo; (805) 545-5401. . Wine and beer. Credit cards accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.


You have found it. This small chain (10 outlets in California and one in Seattle) specializes in converting tired, old spaces into hip, upscale joints. The San Luis Obispo location is a smart-looking former bank. Although Eureka prides itself on its whiskey selection, the secrets are the local beers and fab burgers.

The original burger - a 7-ounce patty on a soft bun with traditional garnish ($9.75) - is a great choice. You can balance the fat with a kale salad ($8.95), which combines the ubiquitous greens with toasted garlic and walnuts in a lemony vinaigrette. If you want to go for a touch more gusto, lasso the cowboy burger ($11.95), which adds bacon, shoestring fried onions and a knock-your-socks-off beer barbecue sauce.

1141 Chorro St., San Luis Obispo; (805) 903-1141. . Full bar. Credit cards accepted. Lunch and dinner daily.


This restaurant is one of the most charming places in town - especially the front patio. It's a delight, with comfy cushions and pillows on the perimeter benches. Yet it's also an ironic blend of old school and hip - "bitchy" is used on the wine list. Good choices for food include the rock fish ceviche ($13) and a wonderful Cuban panini ($14 ) with braised pork, cheddar and peppers.

1126 Morro St., San Luis Obispo; (805) 544-9110. . Full bar. Reservations and credit cards accepted. Lunch Monday-Saturday; brunch Sunday; dinner nightly.


This converted space in a historic downtown building specializes in locally sourced fare with a twist on American tradition.

The duck sausage flatbread ($10) is a savory, almost pizza-esque, appetizer that's big enough to share. I was in heaven to find sauteed veal liver ($28) with bacon and a hearty Cabernet reduction and mashed potatoes with crème fraîche. On the other hand, the seared ahi ($32) offers a lighter choice.

998 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo; (805) 783-1135. . Full bar. Reservations and credit cards accepted. Dinner nightly.

Gardens of Avila Restaurant at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort
1215 Avila Beach Rd.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Toll-Free: (800) 234-5831
Phone: (805) 595-7365
Great dining in a lush, romantic setting, with a menu ranging from classical dishes to international flavors. A wonderful place to dine after relaxing in our private natural...

Custom House / Mr. Rick's
404 Front St.
Avila Beach, CA 93424
Phone: (805) 595-7425
While dining with us you are just steps away from the ocean in Avila Beach. Our Central Coast beach-side location holds beautiful views with a casual atmosphere. Your dining...

Cafe Roma
1020 Railroad Avenue
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 541-6800

450 Marsh Street
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 541-5393

Cambria Pines Lodge Restaurant
2905 Burton Drive
Phone: (805) 927-4200

Carlton Restaurant & Grill
6005 El Camino Real
Phone: (805) 461-5100

Cavalier Restaurant
7415 Hearst Drive Highway 1
San Simeon
Toll-Free: (800) 826-8168
Phone: (805) 927-3276

Chablis Cruises / Big Rock Charters
1215 W. Embarcadero
Morro Bay
Phone: (805) 772-2128

Enjoy our two-story riverboat for harbor cruises, dinners, brunches and private charters. Weekly Sunday brunch cruises.

Corner View Restaurant & Bar
1141 Chorro
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 546-8444

San Luis Obispo Restaurants

Cracked Crab
751 Price Street
Pismo Beach
Phone: (805) 773-2722

Deborah's Room
11680 Chimney Rock Road
Paso Robles
Toll-Free: (800) 726-0049
Phone: (805) 237-4149

Dining with André
1032 Pine Street
Paso Robles
Phone: (805) 227-4100

Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab
114 W. Branch St.
Arroyo Grande
Phone: (805) 474-4068

Premium ice cream parlor- named one of the best in California by Westways magazine! Family fun in downtown AG. Our home-made ice cream is alos sold by many other parlors inthe...

F. McLintocks Saloon - Arroyo Grande
133 Bridge
Arroyo Grande
Phone: (805) 481-1700

F. McLintocks Saloon - Paso Robles
1234 Park Street
Paso Robles
Phone: (805) 238-2233

F. McLintocks Saloon - San Luis Obispo
686 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 541-0686

F. McLintocks Saloon and Dining House
750 Mattie Road
Shell Beach
Phone: (805) 773-1892

Flying Dutchman
701 Embarcadero
Morro Bay
Phone: (805) 772-2269

Hoppe's Garden Bistro & Wine Shop
78 N. Ocean Avenue
Phone: (805) 995-1006

Klondike Pizza
104 Bridge Street
Arroyo Grande
Phone: (805) 481-5288

Koberl at Blue
998 Monterey St.
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 783-1135

Lido Restaurant
2727 Shell Beach Rd.
Pismo Beach
Phone: (805) 773-8900

Linn's Main Bin
2277 Main Street
Phone: (805) 927-0371

Temporarily closed due to fire damage. Our specialized Linn's products, baked and frozen foods are still available at our Farmstore- just 5-miles up Santa Rosa Creek, Cambria.

Madonna Inn Coffee Shop
100 Madonna Road
San Luis Obispo
Toll-Free: (800) 543-9666
Phone: (805) 543-3000

Mama's Meatball
570 Higuera Street
The Creamery
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 544-0861

Upscale fine Italian cuisine take-out. Closed Sundays.

Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery
2131 Price Street
Pismo Beach
Phone: (805) 773-0606

Marisol Restaurant at The Cliffs Resort
2757 Shell Beach Road
Shell Beach
Toll-Free: (800) 826-7827
Phone: (805) 773-3555

Marre's at Avila Beach
6460 Ana Bay Dr.
Avila Beach
Phone: (805) 595-4001

Open Wed-Sun, 5 - 9 PM only.

1215 Spring St.
Paso Robles
Phone: (805) 237-7333

Mother's Tavern
725 Higuera
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 541-8733

Murder in Mind Productions
PO Box 9
Arroyo Grande
Phone: (805) 489-3875

Interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre performed by Professional Actors at the Spyglass Inn Restaurant in Shell Beach and select locations throughout San Luis Obispo and Santa...

870 Monterey
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 543-0800

Natural Cafe - SLO
698 Higuera St.
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 546-9200

Novo Restaurant & Bakery
726 Higuera
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 543-3986

Orchid Restaurant, The
60 State Park Road
Morro Bay
Phone: (805) 772-5651

Palo Mesa Pizza
2790-C S. Halcyon
Arroyo Grande
Phone: (805) 474-9924

Park Restaurant, The
1819 Osos St.
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 545-0000

Paso Robles Inn Steakhouse
1103 Spring Street
Paso Robles
Toll-Free: (800) 676-1713
Phone: (805) 238-2660

Quarterdeck Restaurant - Arroyo Grande
1500 W. Branch St.
Arroyo Grande
Phone: (805) 481-3474

Robin's Restaurant
4095 Burton Drive
Phone: (805) 927-5007

Rose's Steak & Fishhouse
725 Embarcadero
Morro Bay
Phone: (805) 772-4441

San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill
9520 Castillo Drive
San Simeon
Phone: (805) 927-4604

SeaVenture Restaurant
100 Ocean View
Pismo Beach
Toll-Free: (800) 662-5545
Phone: (805) 773-3463

Splash Cafe - Pismo Beach
197 Pomeroy
Pismo Beach
Phone: (805) 773-4653

Splash Cafe ~ Artisan Bakery
1491 Monterey St.
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 544-7567

Spyglass Inn Restaurant
2703 Spyglass Drive
Pismo Beach
Phone: (805) 773-1222

Steamers of Pismo
1601 Price Street
Shell Beach
Phone: (805) 773-4711

Taj Palace, Cuisine of India
795 Foothill Blvd., Suite A
San Luis Obispo
Phone: (805) 543-0722

Tanner Jacks
2796 S. Halcyon Road
Arroyo Grande
Phone: (805) 473-8485

Two Blocks Off The Beach
791 Dolliver Street
Pismo Beach
Phone: (805) 773-0332

Villa Creek
1144 Pine Street
Paso Robles
Phone: (805) 238-3000

Windows On The Water
699 Embarcadero #7
Morro Bay
Phone: (805) 772-0677

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