I’ve lived in San Luis Obispo for about three years now, and we even had a mini Whimsy Soul retreat here last year so I think I’ve made the cut to call myself a local.
And for such a small town, it has some great eats. If you’re still not sure where exactly SLO is… it’s on the Central Coast of California, almost exactly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
All of which are less than an hour’s drive from SLO, and SLO county was actually named one of Travel & Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023.
Coffee, Breakfast & Brunch
Let’s start with what might be my favorite category: coffee, breakfast and brunch. There’s so many good coffee shops in the area, but I stuck with a few of my favorites so this list isn’t too overwhelming.
More Coffee, Breakfast & Brunch Spots
Cafes & Casual Eats
To be honest, I’m a casual diner. I will choose a casual sit down restaurant over fine dining every day. These are some of my personal local staples that are good for lunch of dinner plus some that I’ve been meaning to get to!
More Cafes & Casual Eats
Less Casual Lunch & Dinner Spots
As I mentioned before, I’m more of a casual gal, but these are some of the more upscale-ish San Luis Obispo restaurants that are perfect for lunch or dinner. I say less casual because these spots aren’t exactly fine dining (or not all at least), but it’s a step up from casual.
Other Less Casual Lunch & Dinner Spots
- Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica (SLO and Pismo)
- Ada’s Fish House in Pismo Beach
- Ventana Grill in Pismo Beach
- The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar in Paso Robles (make a reservation and get the cornbread!)
- Mistura (Peruvian)
Cocktails, Sweet Treats, Baked Goods & More
Another disclaimer, I’m not a big drinker, so I combined cocktails with sweet treats and baked goods which I would eat everyday.
Do you have a favorite spot in SLO that I missed? Let us know in the comments!