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Birthday Dinner in Paso Robles, Morro Bay, or Cambria

Hi All,
On our CA vacation, my fiance's birthday falls on a day that we'll be in Paso Robles. The next day we're heading up the coast (Rt 1), so we'll be staying the night either in Paso Robles, Morro Bay, or Cambria. Can anyone recommend an amazing restaurant for a birthday dinner in the area?

Ideally looking for an upscale restaurant, but quality of food is way more important than ambiance. Would rather stand eating knock your socks off fish tacos than go to a fancy restaurant with mediocre food. Thanks!

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  1. Paso Robles: Artisan

    Cayucos: Hoppe's Garden Bistro

    Cambria: Sow's Ear or Black Cat Bistro

    Morro Bay: Windows on the Water

    Avila: Gardens of Avila

    2 Replies
    1. re: PolarBear

      I second Hoppe's in Cayucos, and also add Robin's in Cambria.

      1. re: hbpthomas

        Thanks Polar & thomas! Hoppe's menu looks amazing. I'm off to check out the menus for your other rec's next.

    2. Artisan for sure in Paso Robles. Cass House is also quite good in Cayucos. They do pre fixe menus but always seem to be spot on.

      If you're headed to Paso- look no further than Artisan!

      1. Artisan - hands down - end of story. I keep wishing they'd open in Santa Barbara. Everything is amazingly good.
        Although I have read that Hoppe's is great, haven't been.

        1. Add my voice to the choir - Artisan. Have fun!

          1. OK, fantastic. It's settled; will make sure to dine at Artisan! ...I think we'll eat at Artisan Thurs night (the night we're staying in PR), so we can try another restaurant for the Bday dinner on Friday.

            So I guess my follow up question is:
            Hoppes or
            Cass House or
            Windows on the Water or
            Sow's Ear or
            Black Cat?

            What's your vote for best food? Thanks!

            4 Replies
            1. re: needletoofar

              I'd give Hoppe's the edge, great wine list as well.

              1. re: needletoofar

                Black Cat gets my vote..more intimate and interesting...........

                1. re: dockhl

                  I'd also vote for either Black Cat Bistro or Hoppe's, you can't really go wrong with either. Maybe just look over the menus on-line ahead of time and see what appeals to you more.

                  I'm not crazy about Windows on the Water, not consistent and you're paying a lot for the view. I've eaten at Cass House once with the 4-course pre-fixe. I really wanted to like it based on the description of each course on the menu, but our party of 7 all agreed the dishes were a bit underwhelming.

                2. re: needletoofar

                  Never been to the other places, but my husband I just got back from Morro Bay two weeks ago and had dinner at Hoppe's and it was fantastic. We splurged and did the Chef's Dinner which is exactly as it is listed on their website except for the main entree which was a filet mignon instead. Everything was delicious and the wine pairings worked well with each course.

                  Service was a little slow half way through as the place got fuller and busier, but that is just a very very minor complaint. We cannot wait to find another opportunity to drive back up and dine there again.

                3. Thanks so much to everyone!
                  Here is our plan so far. I wish we had more time to squeeze in more meals!

                  Thurs-
                  Lunch: Picnic fixin's from Di Raimondo's in Paso Robles
                  Dinner: Artisan

                  Fri-
                  Lunch: ? Maybe Tenexpa in Paso Robles for tacos al pastor. Maybe picnic again.
                  Dinner: Hoppe's.
                  Dessert: ? Dinner's early so we can make it back to our hotel for the sunset. I'm thinking if we get eat-y again we can head to the Sow's Ear for dessert.

                  Sat-
                  Breakfast: Linn's? French Corner Bakery?
                  Lunch: Big Sur Bakery
                  Dinner: Sierra Mar (Post Ranch)

                  Whatcha think? Thanks!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: needletoofar

                    Sounds like you've got a great line-up there. I agree w/ Polar Bear about Windows on the Water in Morro Bay - fab dinner choice for special occasion (or anytime)

                    1. re: needletoofar

                      sounds like you've got a great itinerary planned - if you want a full breakfast choose Linn's, if you tend to eat on the lighter side (pastry & a coffee) then pick French Corner.