Whether you’re on an Edna Valley wine tour, on your way to hit the beaches, or are just plain hungry, you’re in luck. San Luis Obispo is a foodies paradise! (It’s the real reason San Luis Obispo was named the happiest city in the United States by National Geographic.) Keep reading for suggestions on some of the tastiest restaurants, eateries, and hidden local favorites that you can visit this summer in San Luis Obispo, California.
*Warning reading on an empty stomach is not advised. Throughout the rest of this guide, you may experience stomach growling, drooling, and an overwhelming desire to drop everything and run to a San Luis Obispo restaurant.
Tastes Of A Classic Summer
Looking for that classic summer meal? Well, buckle up! Here are the two must-try places in San Luis Obispo for that mouthwatering summer lunch and dinner. (They also make the perfect picnic meal when you’re out wine tasting in Edna Valley.)
Old San Luis BBQ
670 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, California
Picture this… hand-trimmed Angus Beef, grilled over a red oak BBQ. It’s paired with locally farmed vegetables and artisan sausages, all washed down with a cold glass of craft beer – welcome to Old San Luis BBQ. Founded by a Cal Poly University graduate, this popular establishment in downtown San Luis Obispo grew from a hole in the wall to a full-sized restaurant within just a couple of years. Needless to say, this spot is a favorite of college students and visitors looking for phenomenal BBQ.
1001 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, California
On the opposite side of downtown San Luis Obispo, located in what used to be a Firestone Tire shop, is now Firestone Grill. With Handmade BBQ sauce made from scratch to the oak wood grills, there’s a good reason it’s one of the highest-reviewed restaurants on Yelp. With a line to order food that can stretch a good distance outside it’s a restaurant, it’s obvious that it’s a local favorite! Don’t just take our word for it, they have over 1500 customer reviews on Yelp! Their servings are massive and are perfect for those looking for a hearty burger or tri-tip; you can even dig into an entire rack of pork ribs – yum!
Maybe you’ve just gotten back from a day of wine tasting in Edna Valley, or are just finished getting settled into your hotel; if you’re ready for a classy, luxurious dining experience, these are the restaurants for you.
Novo Restaurant & Lounge
726 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, California
Born out of an old cigar factory in the heart of San Luis Obispo, Novo Restaurant & Lounge has been crafting worldwide flavors into their dishes for locals and visitors. Their delectable dinners paired with the ambiance of the nearby gurgling creek makes it one of our favorite stops downtown.
1037 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, California
Since 1992 Buona Tavola has been delighting guests with flavorful Northern Italian cuisine. The San Luis Obispo restaurant was the realization of a dream of an apprentice working in restaurants in Italy. They pride themselves on offering an unmatched level of cuisine. (Trust us, their pasta dishes are out of this world!)
If you have a sweet tooth – you’re in luck! The next couple of stops will solve that quickly.
Nite Creamery SLO
570 Higuera St #103, San Luis Obispo, California
Introducing the only ice cream shop in town that uses Liquid Nitrogen to create their delicious ice cream! You quite literally won’t find anything else like this in San Luis Obispo. They believe that by using Liquid Nitrogen, they can create the ultimate creamy ice cream. Boy, is it tasty! (Did we mention they’re right across from a coffee shop, Active Coffee, that serves cotton candy in their coffee? Talk about a sugar rush!)
SLO Delicious Bake Shop
1129 Garden St, San Luis Obispo, California
Located in Garden Street in downtown San Luis Obispo right next to Hotel Cerro, is SLO Delicious Bake Shop. They’re serving up fresh-baked pastries, custom cakes, handmade truffles, and more daily! Founded, in part by a pastry chef, they pride themselves on focusing on high-quality, fresh-baked goods and sweets. Easily one of the tastiest stops around.
Embark On A San Luis Obispo Adventure!
Hungry yet? Give us a call! We’re happy to help you coordinate reservations for lunches in between your wine tour, arrangements or get you set up with an incredible restaurant for a dinner charter and more! Give our team a call at (805) 620-7233, email Info@SLOSafeRide.com, or fill out the form below for a free transportation quote.