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May 13, 2009 09:23 AM

Driving North From San Luis Obispo

I am flying down to San Luis Obispo in June to pick up my daughter from college and drive back north to Seattle. I will probably take the 101 north from SLO to San Jose, then cut over to I-5 and head on up to Seattle. We will need breakfast lunch and dinner. Food thoughts on my trip north?

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  1. First have dinner in SLO at Novo, I eat there every time I am in the area. After that you are on your own.

    1. Can't hardly miss breakfast withour Margies Dinner with locations in SLO and up the road in Salinas
      You can easly split one breakfast for the two of you.

      Margie's Diner
      1575 Calle Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bakersfield Hound

        A better choice for breakfasts along your way would be the Black Bear Diner, more choices and higher quality. We love their corned beef hash.
        Two of Margie's have been sold.

      2. Go Mustangs.

        > We will need breakfast lunch and dinner.

        At least. What time of day will you be leaving SLO?
        That will determine where you will be for what meal.

        > I will probably take the 101 north from SLO to San Jose, then cut over to I-5

        101 -> 680 -> 580 -> 205 -> 5 .
        Once you get to 205 the dining opportunities get sparse, except for the Sacramento area. How far do you plan to go the first day?

        5 Replies
        1. re: chow_eb

          Our plan is to leave early Friday morning, so breakfast in SLO, driving north on 101 to San Jose, and cutting over (as you so kindly pointed out) to I-5. My hope is to make it to Ashland that evening for dinner. Lunch would be in Sacramento area.

          My northwest Hounds gave me some good ideas for Dinner and Breakfast in Ashland. I need breakfast in or around SLO and lunch further north.

          My wallet feels more like pure bred stallions, rather then Mustangs!

          I do have two nights in SLO before heading north, so any food thoughts for there would also be appreciated. My favorite restaurant in SLO is Novo, and I have eaten at the nice little Italian place by the theatre, although it is hard to get into. Any other thoughts?

          1. re: The Shepherd

            Regarding San Luis Obispo: in addition to any places listed in this thread, you might want to also check out these two current threads for more ideas:


            1. re: The Shepherd

              While passing through Sacto last fall I tried Crawdad's on the river and really liked it. Look for my Nov 19 post in this thread:


              Elsewhere in that thread if you're into Thai food, Tuk Tuk's would be your best bet.

              Garden Hwy W @ 1/2 mi off I-5

              1. re: The Shepherd

                The little Italian place is Buona Tavola and you should have no problem getting a table of you call them, unless it is Saturday June 13.
                Extra nice patio and superb food.

                1. re: The Shepherd

                  > breakfast in SLO

                  We like Margie's a lot. There's no Black Bear in SLO. Closest one north on 101 is in Salinas, about 2 hrs. Both serve huge portions, so it can affect your lunch time and choice.

                  > Our plan is to leave early Friday morning,

                  You really want to be past the 680/580 interchange before 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. The traffic getting out of the Bay Area on Fridays is a real problem. You can also go 101 -> 680 -> 80 -> 5. We do both when heading north. It's about the same time, just depends on traffic. Both can get backed up at commute time. You'll probably hit traffic around Sacramento also (80, 5, 99 all intersect) that might affect how far you'll get.

                  For a real diner experience in the Sacramento area there's Squeeze Inn. It's a real experience, and the burgers are great.

                  > My hope is to make it to Ashland that evening for dinner.

                  That's pretty ambitious. Keep Redding and Yreka in mind. Both have Black Bear diners BTW, if it's dinner time. They might even be the best food in town, or close to it. Great menu, lots of choices. It's not gourmet, but stick to your ribs comfort food. See yelp for details.

                  > I do have two nights in SLO before heading north

                  If you're the adventureous type:
                  Petra for Middle Eastern. And pizzas too.
                  Shalimar for Indian, especially the buffet lunch.
                  Firestone's for BBQ.
                  They aren't fancy, but the food is good.

                  If you're picking up a CP student, they can probably tell you about two of them.
                  Three if they're a real chowhound.

              2. Bon Temp Creole Cafe for breakfast in SLO - by far!

                Bon Temps Creole Cafe
                1000 Olive St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

                1. North of Sacramento I always stop at Granzella's in Williams for a sandwich and some olives. They have a good deli counter with meats, cheeses, salads, etc. They make their own brand of olives with a variety of stuffings and marinades, muffaletta, pepperoncinis, etc. The restaurant and lounge are spotty, but the deli-counter is awesome.