Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Dec 24, 2006 03:24 AM

Tasty treats up and down the coastline-

Hey CA hounds-

My fiance and I are taking a week+ to take Rte 1 from San Francisco down to San Diego. We know nothing. We're looking for suggestions of anything, particularly places that accomodate vegetarians and carnivores well. cheap, expensive, romantic, divey, uniquely CA (we're already going to in and out) anything. Good breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, bars, desserts, snacks. Any of it. All of it. please help!



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Try the Fish & Chips at Giovanni's on the Embarcadero in Morro Bay.
    Piping hot and great fresh fish.
    Dine on their patio or take it to the park nearby.
    Very short side trip off Hwy. 1.

    1. these are some places I've hit and returned to;
      In Aptos, just south of Santa Cruz, Sushi on the Run just across Soquel Rd from Safeway. Excellent quality in a to-go location.

      In Carmel, up Carmel Valley Rd about 3-4 miles in Valley Pines Center, just before Earthbound Farms (overpriced organic veggies and flowers) stop at the Wagon Wheel for a pancake breakfast. A locals place for great pancakes.

      South past Big Sur, in Cambria, the French Corner Bakery has some of the nicest baked goods on the lower central coast. Classic European style. Tres Leches cake to die for. Tables available.

      In San Luis Obispo, downtown, Linneas' coffee house on Garden St. is an institution with good coffee bar and interesting B'fast and lunch menu items. Veggie, cheap; funky local vibe.

      For early morning (hot out of the kitchen at 6:15 a.m.) pan dulces in the Arroyo Grande area--1/2 hour south of Morro Bay--from 101/1, take the Grand Ave exit and go west to 13th street. Go left on 13th to the 3rd stop. at Farrol Rd. In the center on the left corner is Panaderia Carmelita #2. They also do a fair Tres Leches cake. Simple tortas sandwiches too for a grab 'n go meal.

      At the Grand Ave exit,turn east thru the second light to Doc Burnstein's Lab and Ice Cream Parlor. The real deal: rich and inventive flavors, old fashioned place with toy trains going, etc. Try Doc's Java for a strong jolt.

      10 min farther south in Santa Maria is the Tamale Shop at Betteravia and Blosser with 7 types. Tables available. North on Blosser at Main is El Toro Deli; very good Mexican deli items, takeout only.

      Turn west from 101/1 at the Clark Ave. exit in south Santa Maria (Orcutt)to the first stoplight. Tucked in the corner of a stripmall is Chef Rick's Ultimately Fine Foods. Make it a lunch stop. Same menu items as dinner, but far cheaper. Great food and wine list.

      In Los Alamos, 15 min to the south, on FRI/SAT nites only, American Flatbread Pizza opens its facility for dining. A real kick sitting in the same room with the oven and eating wood-fired artisan cracker bread pizzas. Organic ingredients. Nice saloon-style bar with a fireplace. Locals place, not touristy. Cozy and inviting.

      1. Santa Barbara
        Breakfast - Tupelo Junction cafe on State Street. My favorite is the crab cake w. potato hash avacado salsa. you can see their menu on line.

        Like mexican ? a must is La Super Rica on Milpas st in Santa Barbara . I recommend #17 Super rica special grilled pork and die for . Tacos Rajas- grilled chillies w/ cheese add a side of guacamole
        not texmex ... trust me try it .

        Ventura marina- Andria's for lunch- great halibut and chips . very good chowder

        breakfast - Potato Shack

        San Diego

        Mexican- El Indio ...good typical mexican

        These are all very reasonable and all landmarks worth the stop.

        2 Replies
        1. re: need to eat

          Second Tupelo for breakfast, and here's a tip: you can get lunch items for breakfast, too! There must be a billion threads on each of the places you're stopping (I know there are lots of threads on Santa Barbara, and vegetarian food in various parts of the state).. You might have better luck searching for each town/topic separately.

          1. re: LBeff

            Definitely. I'm enjoying searching the town threads, but it's also a little overwhelming (I guess the answer to this is not less consolidation, though... hrm) :-)

            I think one place we're definitely looking for help with is Morro Bay/SLO, as I think that's the night we're definitely going to have completely to ourselves.

        2. In Cambria, I really like the Black Cat Bistro and Robins for dinner. . . both wonderful food and great settings. Black Cat is a little fancier, but both places are cozy and we haven't been dissappointed.

          Also, in Los Olivos (Santa Barbara wine country) -- the Los Olivos Cafe on the main street is wonderful. Great for lunch!

          You will so enjoy your trip! Have fun!

          1. I second the recommendation for Los Olivos Cafe. They always serve excellently fresh local ingredients.


            Also, Doc Burnstein's in Arroyo Grande is a great place to stop and stretch your legs and get a snack.