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Jul 19, 2006 05:14 PM

Cambria (and Central Coast) for kids? (breakfast/lunch/dinner)

I realize Cambria has been covered silly by this board, however all the recommendations seem a bit upscale... Sow's Ear, Robin's, etc.

Any nice, but casual, restaurants where a child would feel comfortable? I have a very well-behaved 6 1/2 year old daughter who we are taking on her first trip to the Central Coast next weekend. We appreciate all types of food; cost under $18 a plate.

- a hearty lunch (more entrees than sandwiches)
- early Sunday breakfast
- light dinner, snack-ish kind of place

Also, any "must stop" place for late lunch/dinner between San Simeon and Ventura?

(Again, I realize a majority of this has been covered but I thought a refresher course with the child angle added would be okay.)


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  1. Well for Cambria there is not much that is ethnic and not much that is cheap (tourist town). However, after living there a few years, here are some suggestions for places I would take my little sisters (7 and 2 years old):

    Lunch: Main Street Grill--not fancy, but good food and a lot of it. They do ribs, burgers, chicken, and fish. The fries are delicious and so are the chocolate shakes. My husband loves the ABC burger, avocado, bacon and cheese burger. I really like the grilled chicken sandwich. All meat is cooked outdoors on a huge grill that you will be able to smell if you are on the west side of town. You order at the counter and pick up your own food. You will easily escape at under $18 a plate. They also have chicken strips and a small kids' meal. They also have beer and some wine for the adults.
    Main Street Grill
    4059 West Street,
    Cambria, CA 93428, 805-927-3194

    JBJ's Roundup Pizza and Grub
    This was my favorite pizza place in town. Located in a small western themed place, it is cute and very cozy. The pizza crust is great and so are the toppings. They have a nice salad bar with homemade dressings for lighter fare. There is a kids' menu with smaller sized pizzas and pasta. I always had a tough time deciding between pizza or the jalapeno poppers and a grilled cheese sandwich. The staff is very friendly and accomodating and fast. A nice lunch stop well under $18 per person.
    JBJ's Roundup Pizza & Grub
    815 Main St, West Village, 805-927-4115.


    Creekside Gardens Cafe
    I couldn't imagine eating breakfast anywhere else in Cambria! This small, but charming cafe has a lot of outdoor seating in the back, so don't be discouraged when you roll up for breakfast. There is a sign up sheet right when you walk in the door and the staff is great about finding you a table quickly. It is very casual, patio furniture seating outdoors, but the food is great! They have traditional American breakfast, along with some Swedish influence, but the real winner here is the Mexican breakfast! Great flavor with fresh ingredients. I love the Santa Rosa Breakfast Burrito with guacamole on the side. The coffee here is excellent. Try to sit outside in the garden, it is much nicer than inside. Also, just like every other breakfast place, the later you go, the longer wait you will probably have. But I have never waited more than 15 minutes and that was on a holiday weekend.

    Creekside Gardens Cafe
    2114 Main St. / 927-8646 / 7am - 2pm
    P.S. At night it turns into a Mexican resturant which I think is called Creekside de Noche. Great Mexican food at a decent price.

    As far as light dinner or snacks, there are several light sandwiches/cheese plate places, but not sure about how kid-friendly they might be. I will list them here and you can decide:

    Indigo Moon
    I ate here a few times for a light salad and half a sandwich. Everything tasted great, but the prices were a little high. However, the quality was excellent. They also do wine tasting in the evening accompanied by a light tasting menu. Casual atmosphere and a cute little patio.

    1940 Main Street
    Lunch 7days 10-6

    French Corner Bakery
    A small bakery with yummy pastries and some savory items like quiche. They have an espresso stand with house-roasted coffee which is strong but flavorful. You can sit indoors or out and it is a very popular place. The owner of this bakery is Robin of Robin's also in Cambria. They have a great selectin of pastries and it is a nice place for a break.

    French Corner Bakery
    2214 Main St. Cambria CA 93428
    805 927-8227

    The Tea Cozy
    I don't know if your daughter would enjoy a real tea experience, but if she is at all interested in princesses and stuff like that, I think a visit to the Tea Cozy is in order. It is located in a renovated Victorian style house and the proprieters are very friendly to children. They have a staggering array of teas and other non-tea beverages and you can have light fare such as scones, tea sandwiches, and fruits, all exquistely prepared and served. You can also have a more hearty meal with soup, salad, and english pastys (which are pretty filling). The owner is very friendly and quite British and will be glad to explain the different menu options.
    They do have limited hours, though. A lovely treat! Check out their website for pictures and full menu

    The Tea Cozy
    4286 Bridge Street
    Cambria, CA 93428
    805-927-8765 Phone & Fax
    Business Hours: Wednesday through Sunday 10:00AM to 5:00PM

    I hope this helps!

    P.S. I don't know if you will be in town on Friday afternoon, but the Farmer's Market takes place Friday afternoons in the Veteran's Parking Lot from 2:30 to 5pm. It is fun to mingle with the locals and other tourists and maybe pick up some pastries or cheese. The Veteran's Building is located between the East and West Village on Main Street.

    1. Robin's is actually not high-end, but comfortable and cozy in a converted 30's-40's home. Even at dinner, there should be menu choices under $18. I try to get the small table in the niche with the stained glass window, or a table near the craftsman-style fireplace. Dress is nice casual.

      The Grill mentioned above can be noisy (interior is rather cavernous) but the patio on a sunny day is delightful. Heck, anyplace in Cambria on a sunny day is delightful! T-shirts and flip flop type of place as are the following:

      Avila Valley Barn just south of San Luis Obispo, has produce, ice cream parlour, animals and some u-pick produce. Fun for kids, I'd say during the week rather than the crowded weekend.
      Take the Avila Beach Rd exit from 101 north or southbound, go west 1/4 mile.

      Continue west on AB Rd. to the small historic fishing port of Avila Beach. A promenade across from the beach has several casual cafes and a deli or two. Picnic on the beach! Directly across from the pier and swing sets.

      At the far end of AB Rd. is the historic working Harford Pier whch serves the small fishing fleet. A sit-down restaurant, and a fish & chips place with patio seating only, are the perfect spots to enjoy lunch while watching the seals lol on the tie-up docks below. Aruugh! Aruugh!

      Please report back because there are numerous requests for family-friendly spots for this area. Maybe your dtr could start a chow-pup discussion on what she enjoyed best!? Be aware the evenings are cool also if it's foggy. Have fun!!

      1. Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill has outdoor seating and squirt bottles for scaring away sea gulls

        Ragged Point gives you a taste of Big Sur without too harrowing a drive, has a lawn for running around on (my son was entranced by a gopher popping out of its hole when he was about 2 1/2) and sit down lunchy dishes, esp. pasta.

        My kids wouldn't touch anything there, but if yours have more cosmopolitan tastes, then Wild Ginger Cafe is very, very friendly and welcoming.

        And what do my kids eat in Cambria? Giant bowls of pasta and heaping plates of garlic bread at Lombardi's 4158 Bridge St, Cambria, CA (805) 927-0777

        If you get a babysitter, try the Black Cat or Chenoa.