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Jan 22, 2008 11:40 AM

CA Coast Trip Restaurants

I'm taking my SO for his first exploration of the CA Coast, from LA to Big Sur and am looking for advice on great places to eat.

We have 2 nights in Cambria, 3 in Big Sur, and 1 in Los Olivos (I love Los Olivos Cafe, and the market, so I think we're set there). Want both suggestions of where to drop the big dough for a great meal (Ventana? Post Ranch Inn? Nepenthe (sp??)?, and other suggestions for great eating w/o having to spend our whole budget.

We love great food and wine as well as a great diner w/homemade pie.


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  1. Well, here are some links that are pretty recent discussing some of your many options in Cambria/Los Olivos.

    A personal fave of hubby and I is Wild Ginger in Cambria, here is a write up:

    As for Big Sur, I'm no expert, here is a recent thread. I think it is slim pickings there...

    1. I'll second gbg's suggestion of Wild Ginger in Cambria, also fond of Black Cat Bistro in the West Village. Sea Chest on Moonstone Dr. has good seafood, no reso's and cash only, iirc. Sow's Ear in East Village is probably the most upscale and pricey in the area, good food though.

      Big Sur depends on where you're staying and how much driving you want to do.

      1 Reply
      1. re: PolarBear

        Second PB's rec for Black Cat Bistro. Had dinner there this weekend and loved eveything!! It is very limited on seating so make a reservation.

        January it is restaurant month in SLO county, $30 for three courses, worth checking out:

        If you feel like taking a 15 minute drive, Hoppe's in Cayucos has an amazing menu. Brunch is fantastic, so fantastic that we went to dinner that same night because we were so impressed.

      2. We just did a similar trip - SD to Big Sur, and it was amazing. Are you doing Santa Barbara at all? If so, I'd recommend the Hungry Cat - great food at pretty moderate prices. There are a few posts on here about it if you do a search, and I wrote about it on my blog here - It was my favorite meal (actually two) on the trip, and we went to the Post Ranch Inn as well. It was pretty great too, so if you're looking for a splurge I'd say go for it.

        Also in Big Sur don't miss the Big Sur Bakery or Deetjen's - and Nepenthe for the view. I wrote more about Big Sur here -

        We also really liked the food at the Madonna Inn - the coffee shop has great breakfast and all the diner with homemade pie atmosphere you're looking for. They do have their own bakery and do actually make their own pies. Our steak dinner in their crazy-fancy dining room was very good too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Alice Q

          Great tips, thanks -- here's a question though -- we are eloping in Big Sur and not staying at the Post Ranch or Ventana -- where should we eat that night? Is Big Sur Bakery nice enough for a post-nuptial feast or do we need to go to Cielo or Sireea Mar

          1. re: florwoman

            It just depends on what you want - Big Sur Bakery is casual but intimate - if you're ok with that, and don't want to spend a lot it would be fine. Post Ranch is spectacular and I'm sure Ventana is good too - but they'll run you about $500 for two if you go all out.

        2. I would reccomend Hoppes in Cayucos for a Sunday Bruch. Great restaurant with a good wine list. The Sunday Brunch specila is $20 per adult, $19 per children and is well worth tthe money. It also comes with a glass of wine.

          Here's a link

          1. We had a wonderful lunch at the big sur bakery, and we really enjoyed robins in cambria. Have a great time, its just lovely there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jennywenny

              I love the food at Robins in Cambria as well