Top 5 Restaurants in San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo is on the central coast and home to Cal Poly. SLO has the best food/restaurants including Italian, Japanese, seafood, and great cafes.

Best Restaurants in San Luis Obispo

Tasty Treasures

It’s no secret that San Luis Obispo is one of the most desirable and more expensive cities in California to live in because of its close proximity to the ocean and its beautiful landscape consisting of the Santa Lucia Mountains and the green rolling hills making up the Seven Sisters. However, what many may not know are the many tasty treasures dispersed throughout the area that give San Luis Obispo residents another reason to chose this city as their home. I am referring to the various local restaurants in the San Luis Obispo area that offer a wide variety of unique cuisine ranging from Japanese to fresh seafood. You can dine outside on a patio while enjoying the view of the Pacific Ocean or cozy up next to the fireplace enjoying award-winning California wines in a small trattoria. San Luis Obispo has a large selection of restaurants that are completely unique to the area that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Upper Crust Trattoria in San Luis Obispo offers Mediterranean Italian cuisine with a selection of fine wines from the central coast. The restaurant has been established for over 20 years and is owned by a local couple who have been in the restaurant business for over 30 years. They are able to offer a large menu filled with gourmet pizzas baked in their large brick oven, seasonal fresh fish, veal, pork, chicken, and steak dishes that are uniquely prepared by their chef, Martin Gonzalez, who has been creating these dishes for 19 years. One of the other amazing characteristics about this restaurant is their large dessert selection with many of the desserts being Upper Crust’s own creations. Nonetheless, the best part about the restaurant is the warm inviting ambiance that includes two lit fireplaces surrounded by contemporary Italian décor. It’s a perfectly romantic setting and a great place to take a date.

Custom House in Avila Beach sits right above the Pacific Ocean giving its customers a breathtaking panoramic view of the ocean. You can sit outside on their stone patio and listen to the waves crash on the beach or dine inside next to one of their large windows that looks out over the Avila Beach pier stretching out into the ocean. Although the view is probably the most special part about this restaurant, they offer so much more in terms of great food and a friendly atmosphere. They offer fresh seafood daily as entrees or mixed in with one of their many great salads topped with a large variety of house made dressings. They have great sandwiches, both hot and cold, and an extensive kids menu making it a very family oriented restaurant, great for big parties. It is a beautiful place to go during the day and take a stroll on the beach and then come in for a nice lunch or just to come in later in the afternoon and watch the sun set on the ocean while enjoying one of their many great cocktails served at their large full-service bar.

Big Sky Café has a great location right downtown in San Luis Obispo and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is a huge hot spot for the college students because of its reasonable prices and funky fun atmosphere. The restaurant is always crowded with people but it is definitely worth the wait to try some of their very unique dishes always made with the most fresh and local ingredients. They pride themselves on being one of the only restaurants to cater toward a more vegetarian style cuisine, offering several different options for their dishes to be prepared vegetarian. They have food items on their menu that you can’t get anywhere else in the area such as roasted garlic potato croquettes, organic local and sustainable fresh market vegetables, and fresh beignets. It is a really fun and casual place to come dine at any time of the day when you are looking for something fresh and different.

Café Roma has been serving San Luis Obispo for over 30 years and is located in the historic Railroad Square of San Luis Obispo, near the train station. They offer one of the best fine dining restaurants you will experience in the area with fabulous service, exquisite food, fine wines, and a lovely ambiance. They are a family operated Italian restaurant which you immediately experience when being greeted by their friendly staff and sitting in the main dining room that is surrounded by an authentic Tuscan décor. The main dining room is perfect for a quiet relaxing evening for a couple or family but they also offer a large banquet room with an extensive wine cellar for big groups and special events. You can enjoy their Wine Spectator award winning wine list in either location offering California and Italian wines. The restaurant serves some of the finest foods including calamari, escargot, steamed clams, and only the best cut veal and steak entrees. Café Roma is perfect for any special occasion or when you just want to treat yourself on a night out on the town.

Sushiya is one of the many fabulous Japanese restaurants in the San Luis Obispo area. However, they set themselves above the rest with their full sushi bar, elegant yet authentic atmosphere, and their stove top tables where the chefs cook at for larger parties to sit around and enjoy. The chefs there are extremely friendly and talented which you will experience when sitting at the full-service sushi bar where you can watch the sushi chefs work their magic and turn fresh ingredients into a work of art within minutes. You can also get a similar experience if you come with a big group and request to sit at the stove top tables where the chefs bring the food to your table and cook directly in front of you. It is a great experience to see exactly how your food is prepared and watch the chef’s amazing culinary skills. Sushiya offers over 50 unique sushi rolls, some you cannot order anywhere else, and other delicious Japanese entrees. Sushiya is a great place to dine in at or order to take home.

It is no doubt that San Luis Obispo has a lot to offer its residents and tourists so next time you are in the area, or are looking for a great place to come visit, remember the many incredible food options you should be sure not to miss out on.


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