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Restaurants in San Luis Obispo, California

What suggestions do you have for good restaurants in San Luis Obispo, California?

Posted by
2261 posts

nancy, we were just in the area for a couple nights two weeks ago, and while there are a few notable places to eat we wound up having dinner up in Templeton one night at a great seafood market/restaurant called Pier 46, which was very good if a bit pricey. We had gone north to the Paso Robles area and checked out two of the excellent wineries in the region-if you're into wines at all, there are a ton of great places to check out. My best advice for finding food in town is to cross reference Yelp with Trip Advisor ratings. There are a couple of standout coffee-pastry spots worth noting in SLO, have fun!

Posted by
3392 posts

We lived in SLO for a year when we were in graduate school and there are some great places to eat! A lot of places have changed hands over the years but these are the ones we keep going back to that continue to be very good!
If you want quality but casual then Mo's Smokehouse has my favorite BBQ anywhere in California - it's right downtown.
If you like quaint and a little old fashioned 80s vibe, then lots of folks love The Apple Farm. On the north edge of the main part of town.
For campy history and quirkiness then go to the Madonna's pretty hard to describe but it was built as a love-letter to the owners wife. 50's style pink, clubby, garish restaurant and copper-clad cafe next door. Right off the 101 freeway southwest of town. Amazing pie!
Del Monte Cafe is a cute little place near the railroad station east of's built in a old flat-front mom and pop grocery store and has great diner food.
It's worth driving out to Morro Bay to eat at Bayside Cafe. It's a little place just south of town tucked in right by the water and the estuary with views of the sand dunes across the bay. Seafood - casual but very good food. Expect to wait on weekends.
Those are just a few that we like!

Posted by
3992 posts

Also there is the Thursday evening farmer's market with food booths, Santa Maria style tri-tip i.e. Very popular.

Posted by
33299 posts

I'm glad to see that the apple tree is still going, but as far as the Madonna Inn, I'm not so sure.

Pink is the only possible definition.

Posted by
3941 posts

Man - if you want trucker sized portions - we ate at Margie's Diner when we were there in 2013. It was right beside our hotel. There was enough food to choke a horse. I think I had enough potatoes and gravy to feed half of Africa. And hubby had about 2 lbs of French fries. If you want homestyle huge portions, this is the place for you. (And yes, I know it's wasteful to be served such huge portions that will just get thrown out - but the potatoes and gravy and turkey sandwich hit the spot!). And I took a nice piece of apple pie back to the hotel room to enjoy later.