HOME > Chowhound > California >


Far Western vs. Hitching Post -- What's the best?

I will be in the Santa Maria area in a few weeks and wish to know which restaurant is better (and why) -- the Far Western Tavern or the Hitching Post. Also, if there are any other worthy restaurants in the area, please let me know.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Which HP are you considering? Buellton or Casmalia? I prefer Buellton but the Sideways factor may make it difficult to get into.

    1. We're going up on Saturday and I made reservations at the HP2 in Buellton at 6:00 via OpenTable.com. I noticed they had available reservations at pretty much any time (this was as of last Monday) - do you know if they are pretty good about honoring reservation times? We're headed to the PCPA theater afterwards and I don't want to be late.

      2 Replies
      1. re: monkuboy

        I think the HP has slightly better food, but if your'e staying in Santa Maria, the Far Western is lots closer and is not bad. Not sure where the theater is that you refer to.

        1. re: judybird

          We're staying in Buellton. The theater I was referring to was the PCPA outdoor amphitheatre in Solvang where the show begins at 8:00. So I wanted to make sure that HP2 is good about honoring the actual reservation time as opposed to shuffling people off to the bar for a while.

      2. The 2 HP's, FWT and Jocko's in Nipomo are the best to consider IMHO. Jocko's for dinner only as the oak pit is only fired up then. All 4 places are experiences with great food in a pretty special atmosphere. I think the Sideways thing has HP2 a little too trendy, but I still can't knock it. I'd choose between FWT if I wanted a more "back in time" sit-down place or Jocko's for convenience to the 101 and the most unique "fun" atmosphere.

        1. Not a steak house person myself, but here's for other meals:

          Good sushi at Atari Ya on the back side in the Stowell Center, behind Cafe Monet(good coffee and desserts). Between Battles and Stowell sts. on the west side of So. Broadway, the main shopping street. Closed Monday.

          Mexican snack foods at Carniceria Su Mesa at the Blosser location, at Blosser and West Main, next to Farm Supply. make your order, pay at checkstand, pick up order.

          For a real treat at fine dining, Chef Rick's or Wine Cottage in Orcutt, just 10 min south (take Broadway to Clark Rd--go right to Wine Cotage, left to Rick's.)

          1. Recently at the Far Western in Guadalupe - the original and worth the extra drive through the verdant country hills to get there - about 20 minutes from Santa Maria.

            Stick to basics like the sirloin (***) here and you will not be disappointed at all, and the side dishes and desserts have gone more upscale so there is far more to enjoy. Funky, classic old "Italin-American" style dinner house in a historic setting and a very local watering hole at its long antique bar.

            1. I am headed up to that area this coming weekend and have the same dilemma myself. I know tons of people who love Jockos but I've never been. I adore HP 1 (far more than HP 2) especially the off the beaten path factor.

              It is a true chowhound dilemmahard, proven tastyness vs. potential deliciousness!

              Anyone else have any must-eat breakfast or lunch spots between SB and SLO?

              1 Reply
              1. re: bodie

                Jocko's has one of the best steaks I've ever had, but that's all it's got. If you enjoy a good glass of wine with your grilled flesh, choose either of the HPs or the Far Western.

              2. If you are staying in Buellton, you sure as heck don't want to go to Jocko's or Santa Maria or Guadalupe for dinner. It is quite a haul, especially if you have a show to make. Hitching Post in Buellton should do you just fine. Or find somewhere in Los Olivos. It is close.

                1. HP2 for me, however I found that if one of the cable channels is showing SIDEWAYS, they tend to get busy again. For the most part it has calmed down.
                  My favourite waitress there tries so hard not to roll her eyes and for the X to the second power time explain that, no she was not in the movie and yes, they really do have a great wine selection.
                  I only would like to see them bring back the Ostrich, which they dropped.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: SwissMiss

                    I live in North Carolina and I recently visited that area. I had two excellent experiences that I will never forget. Dinner at the Far Western Tavern was one and seeing Jalama Beach was the other.
                    I had the 8oz filet classic dinner. Everything was wonderful. The vegetables were fresh and crisp, the salsa was the best I have ever tasted, the shrimp cocktail was fresh and each tiny shrimp was deveined, the bread was perfect, the beans were delicious, the baked potato was just right and most of all the steak was perfectly grilled and incredibly good. The service was warm, friendly and professional. The decor was fun! After years of world traveling this place easily makes my top 5!
                    Jalama Beach should not be missed. Breath taking view, clean, not crowed. Do not miss!!!

                        1. re: Hershey Bomar

                          So what did you have, HB? I see from your profile that you're a fellow Boiling Crab fan! Go Little Saigon! If they added another Cajun staple to their menu they could be the Garden Grove Gators.

                          1. re: PolarBear

                            Just the burger. Good. Nice not to have to cook every meal if you are there for a few days.

                            Love BC -- need to go again soon.

                    1. My friend from Arroyo Grande said he heard the the FWT is or is about to close. Hope this is a false rumor.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: PolarBear

                        If the FWT is closing, they are not yet telling anyone about it here: http://www.farwesterntavern.com/index...

                        Maybe I need to stop sending so many people down the street to La Simpatia???
                        Save the FWT - go there now. I thought I heard Jalama Beach was one of the state parks to be closed which would close down their burger shack. No help on that rumor either.

                        La Simpatia Cafe
                        827 Guadalupe St, Guadalupe, CA 93434

                        Jalama Beach Cafe
                        404 E Ocean Ave, Lompoc, CA 93436

                        1. re: glbtrtr

                          yo- get your facts right before reporting- Jalama is a COUNTY PARK.

                          Far Western Tavern, if your asking.

                          Far Western Tavern
                          899 Guadalupe St, Guadalupe, CA