Kinds of Food San Luis Obispo Is Recognized For

September 16, 2021

Seafood is featured on many menus in the San Luis Obispo area, which you may have already guessed even if you haven’t yet visited this inviting California destination. But there are some other foods equally favored here, especially by locals and frequent visitors, that may surprise you in a good and tasty way. Keep reading to discover the types of food San Luis Obispo is known for, brought to you 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.


If you’re scratching your head right now, you’re in for a palate-pleasing treat when you get here. SLO-area restaurants like Jocko’s in nearby Nipomo and Old Slo BBQ Co. on Higuera Street know there’s something special about classic Santa Maria–style tri-tip. It’s so named because it’s made from a bottom sirloin subprimal cut that has a triangular shape.


Oysters have been farmed in this area since the 1930s. Today, many SLO eateries and high-end restaurants serve up dishes prepared with locally sourced oysters. With this particular seafood alone, options available in San Luis Obispo range from oyster cocktails to complete dinners rounded out with other fresh goodies and savory sides.

Clam Chowder

Clam chowder is an equally mouthwatering part of the SLO culinary experience. This classic California food is available at many eateries throughout the area, but you’ll definitely want to try the award-winning clam chowder at Splash Café during your visit.

Deli Goodies

San Luis Obispo is also known for its robust and appetizing deli culture. If you want to come off as a local, make sure to ask for a “grinder” instead of a “sub” when you order. High Street Market & Deli is a local fave, but you’ll have no problem finding other spots offering equally delicious deli delights during your visit.

Tip: Order online before you arrive at any of the highly recommended local deli spots, since lines can get long.

Jerky & Sausage

Many locals prefer to take in a game, enjoy a movie, or even sample local wines while noshing on jerky and sausage. Cattaneo Brothers is by far the most popular local spot to pick up some jerky and sausage in SLO, although it won’t be hard to find other places in town offering either one of these treats.

Fish Tacos & Burgers

Fish tacos aren’t unique to San Luis Obispo, but they’re prepared in a very unique way here. In fact, some locals claim you haven’t truly lived until you’ve tried the smoked salmon fish tacos available in the SLO area. Burgers also have a unique flavor and style here. For instance, Firestone Grill serves up a Monster Burger that will linger on your palate for days.

No matter what kind of cuisine you prefer, you’re sure to find food that suits your tastes perfectly in San Luis Obispo. If you’re planning to stay in the city and want the perfect destination 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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