San Luis Obispo Basics
Deli at 350 High Street | 805-541-4738
If you’re looking for lunch like an SLOcal, grab a sandwich at the High Street Deli. This historic spot with a hippie vibe sits tucked away in one of the area’s residential neighborhoods with a line out the door. Known for its one-of-a-kind sandwiches, High Street isn’t afraid to get dirty and serve up huge sandwiches and juicy pickles. Stop by for the “420 Special” between 4:20 and 5:30 p.m. to order any sandwich for $8.50.
farmers market | 805-541-0286
If you’re in town on Thursday, check out a San Luis Obispo tradition and visit the Farmers Market. Higuera Street comes alive from 6 to 9 p.m. with live music and enthusiastic students and community members. Shoppers can get their fix of locally grown fresh produce, handmade art and jewelry, and information from local groups while strolling the streets. You can also spot vendors serving made-to-order dishes such as barbecues, quesadillas and churros. Eat and shop local while enjoying this weekly market!
Avila Valley Barn at 560 Avila Beach Dr. | 805-595-2816
Get into the fall spirit by picking pumpkins and enjoying a slice of pie at Avila Valley Barn. Throughout October, this rustic farm offers fall-themed activities for the whole family. Visitors can wander through the hay maze and sample treats such as caramel apples and roast corn. Animal lovers can visit the petting zoo and feed the goats. On your way out, grab a souvenir or fresh produce to savor the flavor of San Luis Obispo.
The Tri-Tip Challenge at 1001 Higuera St. | 805-783-1001
Try this hiking challenge as you climb three of San Luis Obispo’s most famous peaks: Cerro San Luis (Madonna Mountain), Bishop Peak, and The “P” on the Cal Poly campus. After reaching the top of each, head to Firestone Grill and order a three-point sandwich to take on the challenge!
The Madonna Inn at 100 Madonna Rd. | 805-543-3000
This historic hotel is known for its themed rooms and its famous “pink champagne cake”. Established in 1958, The Madonna Inn is a site where visitors can book a room, eat at the Copper Cafe and Gold Rush Steakhouse, and stroll through the grounds. Its elaborate decor and its bakery filled with cakes and pastries make it a place to visit.
Downtown Dining by Kitchen
Craving a big bowl of pasta after a full day of touring San Luis Obispo? The Italian selection from downtown San Luis Obispo has the power to impress the whole family. Giuseppe’s Italian cuisine is a local favorite serving handmade pastas, pizzas, desserts and more. Its original location is in Pismo Beach, but San Luis Obispo was lucky to have an open location downtown. Their fall menu includes mouth-watering dishes such as seafood risotto and Sicilian pistachio cheesecake, and their year-round offerings include classics like carbonara and a wide variety of pizzas. 849 Monterey Street | 805-541-9922
Mom’s Meatballs can also be found downtown, and they specialize in freshly baked pizza dough and bread. Homemade garlic knots are included with every meal, and they can be followed by dishes like Ravioli di Zucca (butternut squash ravioli) or Ossobuco (braised veal shank). You can also end your meal with a tiramisu or homemade ice cream. 570 Higuera Street, Suite 130 | 805-544-0861
Downtown San Luis Obispo is home to two iconic pizzerias: Woodstock’s and Flour House. Woodstock Pizza is an award-winning independent pizzeria chain with an 80s vibe. Their “hot red sauce,” or any sauce of your choice, is rolled under the edge of the crust, ensuring a little salsa with every bite. Woodstock’s is constantly running offers such as student discounts and lunch specials. 1000 Higuera Street | 805-541-4420
For an Italian pizza experience, flour house prepares authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas. Baked in clay ovens, Flour House creates fluffy crusts topped with fresh ingredients. Both restaurants have options for those with dietary restrictions and allergies, and their menu items are customizable. Grab a slice (or a whole pie for yourself) from one of these must-have SLO pizzas! 690 Higuera Street | 805-544-5282
If you’re craving classic barbecue or tavern-style cuisine, downtown San Luis Obispo has a few spots to satisfy your cravings. Old San Luis BBQ prides itself on its Santa Maria-style barbecue, specializing in chicken, pulled pork and tri-tip. Pair one of their sandwiches or sliders with a craft beer or salad, and collect it at their window. 3870-3 Broad Street | 805-242-6439
Finney’s craft has food meant to be shared, incorporating flavors from all over the world. This shows through dishes like their Moroccan salad and their poke nachos. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and you can soak up the atmosphere of the tavern while sharing a meal with your family. San Luis Obispo offers both traditional barbecues and new-age American cuisine. 857 Monterey Street | 805-439-2556
If you’re looking for quality sushi or unforgettable Thai cuisine, downtown San Luis Obispo has places for you! Notices posted on the Goshi-Sushi website raves about the restaurant’s ambiance and high-quality fish. They serve rolls, nigiri, sashimi and other main dishes for those who don’t fancy sushi. 570 Higuera Street, Suite 155 | 805-543-8942
Thai palace has a plethora of curries, noodle dishes, meat starters, and vegan and vegetarian options. They even have pineapple fried rice which is served in the pineapple! The restaurant itself is dimly lit and filled with cheering diners, and it offers the option of a casual meal or an elegant evening. Flavors and quality ingredients are favored by these two spots. 1015 Court Street | 805-594-1744
Desserts and drinks
McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream at 868 rue Monteret | 805-439-5055
has a range of flavors that can suit whatever you fancy. They have traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla, but they’re not afraid to expand the flavor horizons. You can find flavors such as “Chocolate Covered Strawberry” and “Sweet Cream Caramel Brownie”. They also create vegan flavors like “Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch” and “Passion Fruit Lemon Swirl.”
Donuts SloDoCo at 793 East Foothill Blvd. | 805-782-9766
part of the San Luis Obispo and student culture. They have a variety of over 100 types of donuts sold daily, and they serve donuts to accommodate everyone’s dietary restrictions. SloDoCo creates various flavors of one-of-a-kind traditional, vegan and gluten-free donuts. Their flavors include classics like chocolate and ice cream, but they also create unique donuts such as “Milk and Cookies” and “Chai Cream Cheese.” Their October menu features spooky designs and fall flavors. Swing by SloDoCo for an unforgettable donut experience!
Sidecar Cocktail Co. at 1040 Broad Street | 805-439-3563
Want both a drink and an experience? Sidecar mixologists create craft cocktails that are custom-made to your preferences. They have a drink menu — alcoholic and non-alcoholic — but also serve custom cocktails upon request. Customers can tell their mixologist what they like and dislike in a drink, and they can be surprised by the creation served to them! Sidecar also serves food.
What to do
Cal Poly vs. Eastern Washington Football Game
This Saturday, Cal Poly will play Eastern Washington at Alex G. Spanos Stadium at 5:05 p.m. Show your school spirit and be sure to wear your Cal Poly green. They will also be handing out cowbells to the first 4,000 fans to show up!
Battle Axe at 691 Higuera Street | 805-439-1700
Tap into your competitive side with a family ax throwing competition! After booking a session and watching a demo, let the games begin. This indoor venue is a new fun spot in downtown San Luis Obispo, and it’s a great opportunity to try a new activity with the whole family.
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