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Mar 13, 2008 12:08 PM

Breakfast in SLO

My wife and I will be passing through San Luis Obispo tomorrow on our way up the coast. I'm looking for some good recs for breakfast. In all the university towns I seem to visit, it always seems like there are some stellar breakfast spots. Names of any notable places and "specials" to order are appreciated.



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  1. Among the best locations for breakfast are:
    Louisa's Place in Higuera St,
    Del Monte Cafe on Santa Barbara St at Osos
    Bon Temp Creole Cafe on Olive St
    and Breakfast Buzz on Santa Rosa St.
    Good Luck and enjoy, they will all be busy.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Bruce in SLO

      I would pick Bon Temps Creole Cafe because the food is really good and it is fun. Also very close to the freeway, easy off, easy on.

      1. re: Snackish

        Thanks for the quick replies. Which of these places, would you say, is the most unique? Judging by the names, Bon Temps seemslike the winner. Thanks again.

        1. re: Gusto

          Most unique? Bon temps is probably your best bet. Fun is a good way to describe it. It's Cajun/Creole, of course, so it's breakfast with a New Orleans flair: pan perdu (French toast) with rum syrup; breakfasts with red beans & rice; eggs served on fried green tomatoes topped with hollandaise sauce--that sort of thing. And though it's not universally liked, generally-speaking it gets very good reviews. In fact, now I want to go there.

          Louisa's Place is an old-school-type greasy spoon located downtown. I've never had anything bad there, but I've never had anything earth-shattering there, either.

          Del Monte Cafe is a neighborhood breakfast joint with slighly upgraded food from a coffee shop. Homey atmosphere; good food; a little patio off to the side for eating outdoors; you can watch (or hear) the trains coming & going through the nearby station.

          It's been a while since I was at Breakfast Buzz. As I remember, it's a little home-spun breakfast spot with a patio out front & good fried egg sandwiches.

          I'm a little surprised that Big Sky (downtown on Broad St.) hasn't been mentioned yet. I tend not to go there anymore (too inconsistent for my tastes) but a lot of people seem to like it. Creative menu (my favorite breakfast was a black bean cake with a fried egg & tomatillo sauce) in a "progressively-funky" sort of design. Reminds me of some of the breakfast places I used to eat at in Seattle, or the kind of place you might find in an out-of-the-way neighborhood in San Francisco.

          1. re: Gusto

            Had the BTCC eggs sardou last Sunday. Two perfectly poached eggs with spinach on top of artichoke hearts (not from a jar or can), covered with a great creole style hollandaise. Comes with hash browns or grits and a biscuit or muffin. Their biscuits are excellent as is the cornbread served in a small cast iron skillet. If it wasn't 120 mi from home, I'd be back in the morning.

            1. re: PolarBear

              And if I wasn't 120 miles away, I'd be sitting at your table having the omelet with beef-wine sauce. Or the Bon Temps Breakfast with sausage, eggs, hollandaise. Or the...

              1. re: alanstotle

                Damn Alan, do you really have to go to work tomorrow? You've just added another to-try dish for me, does it ever stop? (I hope not). I see PG100 has also chimed in with a few faves, gawd, so much food... so little time.

      2. Yes! Bon Temps all the way! you will be craving their breakfast when return home,I guarantee it! The eggs sardou (benedict style on an artichoke heart w/ creamed spinach) mmm mm, the fried green tomato benedict (no ham, fgt instead) , the bon temps breakfast is a little skillet of love- red beans, rice, grits, poached eggs covered in hollandaise with a homemade biscuit to dip into the yolk- oh Lawd, do you see what we're talking about??? when will you be there, we might all join you!

        4 Replies
        1. re: paso_gurl_100

          PG100, thanks much for your reminder about the red beans and rice, had them on my prior visit about a month ago and have been flogging myself ever since for not trying them all the times I was in N'awlins. Also loved BTCC's fried green tomatos. Another fave of mine here is the biscuits and gravy, gawd... hog heaven (or should I say hound heaven?). A side note, LadyPB usually orders one of their fish dishes and has always left very happy (late mornings she's a lunch gal and I'm a breakfast freak).

          BTW, have you gone to the Hospice du Rhone? I've become intrigued with the individual varietals and the plethora of blends our illustrious vintners on the central coast are turning out. Hate to admit but I've recently attended a French Rhone tasting here in Fresno to make comparisons, but to my delight I've found the central coast wines stack up quite favorably. The reason I ask about the PR event is that the website's information was rather confusing as to what is available at what time and the pricing stucture. I would love to support this venue but came away with the feeling that myself and 4-5 other wine lovers could just score the wines offered (again, we like the small producers and unknowns) and conduct our own evaluations either here or at a location of our choice in your area. Thoughts?

          Again, great to have your input on our humble houndly forum.

          1. re: PolarBear

            Hi PB, sorry I JUST ran across this message. I've had a crazy week. Hospice du Rhone has really grown into this huge sort of educational event. I have an aunt and uncle worked that event until like 1999 or something. It's a wonderful event if you are just crazy about Rhone varietals and blends. It benefits the county's exceptional hospice program, so it's money well spent. I understand now they do a bunch of seminar type stuff in addition to the grand tasting. I just worked the grand tasting at the Zinfandel festival last Saturday. It seemed like a pretty good event for $60 bucks they had several local eateries and probably about 40 wineries pouring. I couldn't drink, of course, but I did sample quite a bit of food and everyone seemed to eat and drink their $60 worth. I think there are like 100 wineries at the hospice event. So I guess the answer to your question just depends on how much Rhone you can have in one night? :-) If you had 10 friends and everyone just brought a couple bottles each, you could do a great tasting and get a good idea about what the wines are all about. I have a hard time with syrahs, but I LOVE the blends! Thanks for the welcome, I didn't realize how much of a chowhound I was until I found this forum! P.S. the Cal Poly wine festival is about a month away. That one's pretty good because it's Sta. Barbara and SLO county wineries and the setting absolutely gorgeous- Santa Margarita Ranch. It's a great bargain at $50 (PR Wine fest is now $75!)

            1. re: paso_gurl_100

              Thanks PG, the Cal Poly fest looks like a great deal as well. The HdR list of member wineries is quite impressive, like you, I've become more fond of the blends and even the single varietals Grenache and Mourvedre. There are some fine Syrahs out there but damn, they're getting pricey.

              After my two recent trips (albeit short ones) it seems to be getting harder to find many of the smaller production wines at retail outlets and our local distributors here in the central valley just don't seem interested in stocking them. A friend that works for J&L over in your area has become really frustrated with the whole situation. It appears that to put together a private tasting among friends will require everyone picking up special bottles over time then planning a get together. I guess bottom line is, hit the WOPN, Zin fest and HdR (and Cal Poly) to get the best bang for the buck.

              PS, I noticed SM Ranch and SM Vineyards both mentioned as venues, the former being just to the north of the hub of Santa Margarita and the latter somewhere out on Pozo Rd., is that correct as far as you know?

              1. re: PolarBear

                No, PB, I think it's the same place- owned by four prominent SLO families. It's just a HUGE place. The entrance is on Pozo Rd.

        2. oohh...i'm late on this, but we loved fat cats in avila beach. still need try bon temps, but i'd definitely recommend fat cats, as well.

          5 Replies
          1. re: nancyhudson

            Yes, Fat Cats is another option. Located in Avila Beach, or (more accurately, if you want to get technical) at Port San Luis in the parking lot for the P.S.L. pier. Open 24 hours (I can remember, more than once, eating pancakes & French toast there at 1:00 in the morning). Food was generally good; seemed like they used their own recipes, perhaps, or maybe another way to put it is that their food didn't taste like average coffee shop fare, most things had a unique taste; not everything on the menu was outstanding however. Unique & fun location. (


            Another option back in SLO is Hobee's, which is a small chain based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chain, yes, but still tasty food. They are famous for their super-tall blueberry coffee cake, & their breakfast menu is full of scrambles & "browns" (what they call hashbrowns--though really they are cubed potatoes--mixed with all kinds of other ingredients). I'd probably prefer the Del Monte to Hobee's, & I'd definitely prefer Bon Temps, but Hobee's is not a bad choice, either. (

            1. re: alanstotle

              Hobee's has been closed for over two years.

              1. re: Bruce in SLO

                Well...that explains it. I went to the Hobee's web site & looked up their locations but the SLO location wasn't listed. Meanwhile, Google did lead me to a Hobee's web page with the SLO location mapped out, but I imagine it was a cached version or something.

                1. re: alanstotle

                  And the restaurant that it is in its spot, the Starlet Cafe, really isn't very good. We got tough omelets with the taste of cheap griddle grease...

                  1. re: Snackish

                    I'm not sure how Starlet stays open. Pretty dismal food.

          2. Just want to let other posters know my wife and I went to Bon Temps and were very pleased. It's actually just the kind of place we were looking for. Basically, a place where you could get something for breakfast you couldn't get anywhere else. The inside is definitely "fun," with a kind of Mardi Gras theme. I ordered, I believe, the FaiDoaDoa (forgive the spelling). (Actually, I'm not sure if that's the name or not? That name does stick in my head, though). It's the dish with the beans that come layered in the bottom of a skillet with the two poached eggs, sauce, a generous slice of sausage, and I substituted home fries for the grits. Man, what a whopper of a meal, especially with that Bon Temps hot sauce. WOW.

            I was surprised to only see one other couple in the whole restaurant. As we left on our way to Big Sur, we passed by Breakfast Buzz with a people waiting outside to be seated. I was pleased we were able to go to Bon Temps!

            Thanks for the recs!


            1 Reply
            1. re: Gusto

              Off season weekdays it can be quiet, the busy time is early/local--7:30 to 8:30. Weekends are a different story, with the dining tables and booths usually full.

              Glad you enjoyed your meal. Me, I lurve their coffee. (now that's caw-feh!)