The Ultimate Food Trip at the Best Restaurants in San Luis Obispo – Downtown and Beyond

July 6, 2022

Want to know why SLO is celebrated as one of America’s Happiest Places? It’s not just the pristine beaches down the pacific coast nearby or the miles of hiking trails with stunning views that bring smiles to the faces and content to the hearts of SLO locals – it’s the good food! Good food, good mood, right? 


Known for its farm-fresh ingredients grown on fertile lands and fresh seafood too straight from the Pacific coast, SLO proves to be a budding destination in the gastro scene. So, break that diet and get ready for one of the best gastronomic experiences you’ll ever have at the best restaurants in San Luis Obispo! 


Discover hole-in-the-wall gems and Michelin-star restaurants in our curated list of best restaurants in San Luis Obispo:


High Street Market & Deli at 350 High St, SLO


The hype is real! It’s number one on trip advisor because they have, without doubt, the best sandwiches in SLO. How good can a sandwich be? Well, pretty darn good at High Street Deli. Every bite is an explosion of flavor in your mouth. So, if you’re in SLO for vacation or on a road trip at Highway 101, this is a must-stop. Get the Dutch Punch or Cal Turkey!


Goshi | Japanese Restaurant at 570 Higuera St #155, SLO


Right in the heart of downtown SLO is Goshi – a Japanese restaurant serving fresh and authentic (for real!) Japanese dishes such as fresh sushi rolls, nigiri, tempura, rice bowls, and more! The line is long, and you’ll have to wait to get in, but it’s super worth it. 


Bear & The Wren at The Creamery Marketplace, 570 Higuera St #2


With plenty of downtown SLO restaurants serving pizza, Bear & The Wren stands out with their Detroit-style pizza. What’s a Detroit-style pizza? Drop by Bear & The Wren to find out. Try the Wood-fire ricotta and honey pizza too!


Ember at 1200 E Grand Ave UNIT 101, Arroyo Grande


Much like most of the restaurants in SLO County, Ember serves fresh and authentic hand-crafted food cooked in well… ember. They’re famous for their wood fire pizzas, but their appetizers and steaks are also incredible. The food is perfectly cooked, and the cocktails are just as delicious. You can’t fault anything at Ember. 


SLO Donut Co at 793F Foothill Blvd, 


Fresh donuts in different colors, flavors, variations, and fresh coffee too! SLO Donut Co has got their donut game on. Everything is tasty and creative. They have a good selection of vegan options too.


Jocko’s at 125 N Thompson Ave, Nipomo, CA


Get your meat fix at this roadside diner that’s all about meat – Jocko’s! They offer a variety of food, including steak cuts, ribs, burgers, chicken, and more. The steaks are cooked to perfection in red oak coals. Don’t expect fine dining here, though. 


Brasserie SLO at 1119 Garden St, SLO


This restaurant located in Hotel Cerro has a very cool and chic vibe. They serve modern California coastal cuisine with international influences. The restaurant has an edible garden, and the Chef sources their ingredients from here and across the SLO county. 


Novo Restaurant & Lounge


Voted as San Luis Obispo’s Best Restaurant 2021 and Best Outdoor Dining 2021, everything at Novo is spot-on. From the ambiance to the food and the service… it’s all top-notch. There’s not much to say.. Just Go!


Six Test Kitchen at 3075 Blue Rock Rd Unit B, Paso Robles


There’s only one Michelin star restaurant in San Luis Obispo, and they’re the first ever to get it in the county – and that’s Six Test Kitchen. An ingredient-driven restaurant led by Chef Ricky Odbert, Six Test Kitchen offers a unique culinary experience with an ever-changing tasting menu. Reservations are required, and the wait list goes for months ahead! 


Splash Cafe at 197 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA


You can’t leave SLO without trying Splash Cafe’s famous clam chowder. It’s famous for a good reason; it’s exceptionally good. They also offer artisan bread, burgers, seafood, tacos, and everything with chips. 


There are so many amazing restaurants in San Luis Obispo to try and explore. Don’t limit yourself with this list. Go out and try something new every day. 

For an even more unforgettable trip in SLO, stay at Sands Inn and Suites! It’s only a 5-minute walk to downtown SLO restaurants from the hotel, making it a prime location for an exciting food trip in SLO county. 

Subscribe Now For Our Latest Offers

Receive updates on our latest hotel offers and deals.