San Luis Obispo’s Top Budget-Friendly Restaurants

April 12, 2021

When you visit San Luis Obispo, you’ll be amazed by the opportunities to enjoy tantalizing culinary variety without busting your budget. Since SLO is in one of the nation’s leading agricultural regions as well as near the ocean, restaurants in the area have easy access to the freshest local produce and seafood. Keeping reading to learn about some of the best inexpensive restaurants in San Luis Obispo, recommended by the people who know SLO best, the friendly staff at Sands Inn & Suites, a AAA Three-Diamond hotel. San Luis Obispo visitors return to our hotel again and again to enjoy our comfortable accommodations, friendly atmosphere, and idyllic location within walking distance of California Polytechnic University and downtown San Luis Obispo.

Splash Café

This bright, cheery bakery and café is a favorite among the locals, and it’s known for its mouth-watering baked goods and fresh seafood. Splash Café has its own authentic artisan bakery, and you’ll be hard-pressed to make a selection from its freshly baked handmade pastries, desserts, and breads. You’ll also find a selection of pizzas, specialty sandwiches, and salads on the menu. Don’t miss their famous award-winning clam chowder (order it in their homemade bread bowl), which is made from scratch every day with fresh clams and plenty of butter to create a broth that’s not too thick. You’ll love the café’s casual atmosphere, which is due in no small part to the stunning original murals decorating the walls.

Woodstock’s Pizza

The mouthwatering pizzas served by the welcoming team at this local favorite hotspot have won a ton of awards. In fact, it’s ranked as Cal Poly’s Favorite Pizza since 2005. Woodstock’s uses only the freshest, most tasty ingredients, and diners revel in the cheerful, fun-filled ambience as they savor delectable appetizers, refreshing salads, and incredible pizza. A favorite among the Cal Poly crowd is the Mustang, which features pepperoni, linguica, bell peppers, white onions, and juicy pineapple. Complement your pizza with a selection from Woodstock’s rotating selection of craft beers. 

Linnaea’s Café

The SoCal groove is solid in this organic and vegetarian bistro, which locals laud for its scrumptious chilled carrot cake. Get there early so you can grab a table in the garden dining area by the beautiful koi pond.

Sally Loo’s Wholesome Café

Sally Loo’s, a wholesome cafe close to SLO’s historic district, lovingly makes all their dishes with local seasonal ingredients. The baked goods are straight from the oven, and every item on the menu features a gourmet touch. Try the BLT breakfast sandwich, which is served on rosemary sourdough bread and features sweetened peppery bacon, tomato jam, and Swiss cheese. 

Old San Luis BBQ

SLO is known for its fine wines and fresh-from-the-farm produce, but it’s also a top-notch place to get some fantastic BBQ, especially Santa Maria-style (tri-tip smoked over native red oak wood), which reigns supreme in SLO. If you’re looking for the best version, avoid the tourists and college crowds and head down to Old San Luis BBQ. This local favorite serves amazing tri-tip and tasty beer in a relaxed atmosphere you’ll definitely want to hang out in.

High St. Deli

This historic deli and market, situated in a residential neighborhood about a 10-minute stroll from downtown, has been in business since 1927, and it almost seems as if the whole town gathers here every afternoon. You’ll find big, delicious sandwiches (the Dutch Punch and Cal Turkey with hot sauce are special favorites) and welcoming patios where you can enjoy your sandwich with an ice-cold beer.

No matter what kind of cuisine you prefer, you’re sure to find a restaurant that suits both your tastes and your budget in San Luis Obispo. If you’re planning to stay in the city and want the perfect accommodations for a family vacation or a relaxing getaway, reserve a room at Sands Inn & Suites. At our hotel, SLO visitors will find all the amenities they need for a comfortable stay. To reserve your room or learn more about our amenities, which include microwaves, refrigerators, flat-screen TVs with digital cable, and complimentary high-speed WiFi, call us today at (800) 441-4657.

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