Top San Luis Obispo Restaurants for a Fancy Dinner

December 16, 2021

The Southern California community of San Luis Obispo is a favorite among visitors for the location’s vintage architecture, hospitality, and vineyards. Guests also find a wide variety of fine dining options situated throughout the area. Whether you’re in the mood for ethnic cuisine, fresh seafood, or a grilled steak, the choices are plentiful. Here are just a few of the top places where you can enjoy a fancy dinner, 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.

Buona Tavola

For more than two decades, Italian-born and -trained chef Antonio Varia has been delighting guests with his expertise in Northern Italian cuisine. The wide selection of pasta meals include gnocchi, fettuccine, orecchiette, and tortellini served with authentic Italian sauces, meats, and cheeses. The lengthy list of entrées includes veal scaloppine with braised mushrooms, garlic, and marsala wine sauce, roasted chicken breast stuffed with Asiago cheese and wrapped in prosciutto, and a grilled flat-iron steak on arugula topped with Grana Padano cheese and reduction sauce. Vegan meals are also available. The venue opens at 11:30 a.m. daily for lunch and 5:30 p.m. daily for dinner.

Ox + Anchor

This upscale steakhouse is situated in the Hotel San Luis Obispo, where chef Ryan Fancher leads his team in offering a spin on American classics. Primary course offerings include Caesar salad, egg rolls, tuna tartare, and other delights. Mouthwatering main selections include an eight-ounce filet mignon, a 10-ounce Kobe flat-iron steak, a 12-ounce prime New York strip, and a seven-ounce lobster tail. Steaks can be accompanied by a choice of sauces and sides, including a baked potato, truffle fries, or roasted vegetables. The facility’s extensive wine selection ensures guests pair the best options with their meals. The restaurant opens for dinner daily at 5:00 p.m.


This restaurant combines Incan and Pre-Columbian heritage with Asian and European cuisines to provide the multicultural meals often found in Peru. Chef Nicola prepares meals with locally sourced items such as free-range, hormone-free, and organic meats and seafood. Lunch starters might include baked scallops with Parmigiano and garlic or cauliflower tempura with BBQ sauce, sesame seeds, and scallions. Lunch entrée options include spicy Ahi tuna or octopus and Alaskan King crab with whipped potatoes. Dinners might include grilled baby back ribs or a rack of lamb seasoned with Peruvian-style rub and BBQ sauce. The venue opens daily at 11:00 a.m. with the exception of Mondays.


This elegant seafood grill and oyster bar is located in downtown San Luis Obispo. Along with amazing food, the family-owned facility presents guests with the finest selection of red and white wines from around the world. Start a meal with calamari, clam, or prawn appetizers or with soup and salad. Seafood entrées include flash-fried Chilean sea bass topped with leeks and served with garlic potatoes and green beans. The clam linguini is served in a delectable butter, garlic, and white wine sauce. Or opt for Cioppino stew made with crab, clams, calamari, and prawns topped with Parmesan cheese and served with a toasted baguette. The facility opens Wednesday through Saturday at 5:00 p.m. for dinner.

No matter what kind of cuisine you prefer, you’re sure to find an upscale restaurant 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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