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Central Coast culinary adventures along Highway 101 and Highway 1

glbtrtr Dec 6, 2009 08:48 AM

Toodie Jane, Polar Bear and I all seem to love exploring our beautiful central coast between Salinas and Santa Barbara and are slowly putting together an impressive list of road stops, road trips and destination restaurants.

It might be helpful for future Highway 101 and Highway 1 Central Coast travelers to find these spots all in one post so here goes the start of a thread that hopefully can be referenced by those who don't yet know this special part of still often untouched California.

I'll start with listing some of my favorites:

1. La Simpatia in Guadalupe for chile rellenos (Thanks to Toodie)
2. Mo's in Pismo Beach for ribs - Philthy Phil's my favorites
3. Chef Ricks in Orcutt - gotta have that Jack Daniel's pecan pie
4. Gopher Glen Apple Farm and others along See Canyon
5. Madonna Inn Copper Cafe, San Luis Obispo - for back to basics honest old time food
6. McLintocks in Pismo, sit at the bar for their Steak Pieces and Potato Skillet appetizers
7. Hotlix in Pismo for freshly made coffee-flavored salt water taffy

  1. PolarBear Dec 31, 2009 09:27 AM

    This subject seems to be getting more attention lately, so thought I'd take a stab at the Hwy 1 portion from the Monterey Bay area, and add in the Hwy 101 from Salinas down to Paso Robles since no updates have been forthcoming.

    HIGHWAY 1 - South of Carmel to junction w/ HIGHWAY 101 in San Luis Obispo (SLO)

    Cielo at the Ventana Resort (@ 10 mi south of Carmel)
    (800) 628-6500, (831) 667-2331

    Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Resort
    (800) 527-2200 (831) 667-2200


    Redwood Grill - reported to have great bar food, special dishes with chanterelles
    Fernwood (@ 30 mi south of Carmel
    )47200 Highway 1
    (831) 667-2129

    Big Sur Bakery
    47540 Highway 1
    (831) 667-0524

    Nepenthe - best for the view and drinks, fries, maybe an app, Cafe Kevah offers less expensive fare on the lower level
    48510 Highway One
    831 667-2345

    Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
    48865 Highway 1
    (831) 667-2377

    From this point need to pack a picnic (Partington Cove, Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP, etc). It's about 60 mi and roughly two hours to Cambria depending on traffic and how often you stop.
    If desperate there are two places before San Simeon

    Lucia Lodge (in Lucia @ 30 mi north of San Simeon
    )(866) 424-4787 or (831) 667-2391

    Ragged Point Inn (@ 15 mi north of Hearst Castle)
    (805) 927-5708

    Sebastian's General Store - market with sandwiches (currently in transition)
    442 San Simeon Rd.
    (805) 927-3307
    San Simeon


    Sow's Ear - most upscale
    2248 Main St, Cambria

    Black Cat Bistro
    602 Main St, Cambria

    Wild Ginger
    2380 Main St, Cambria

    Sea Chest - cash only, no reservations, dining at bar also
    2616 Moonstone Beach Dr

    Others that some are attracted to:

    Robin's Restaurant
    4095 Burton Dr,

    Linn's Restaurant - famous for their pies
    2277 Main St,

    Main Street Grill - meats grilled outdoors in West Village
    603 Main St,

    Boni's Tacos (and more) in the Tin Village takeout only, open for lunch and on the weekend, and their mobile location at the corner of Burton and Main (summer only?)

    Indigo Moon for wine tasting and cheese
    1980 Main St

    Creekside Gardens - breakfast, ebelskivers with danish sausage
    Creekside des Noches at night
    2114 Main St (E village)

    Village Creek Inn - breakfast

    Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill - best for view and drinks, spicy shrimp and scallop app

    Note: There is no food available in the 23 mi stretch on Hwy 46 from Hwy 1 to Paso Robles (Hwy 101)

    CAYUCOS (@ 13 mi north of Cambria)

    Hoppe's - good wine list
    78 N. Ocean Avenue

    Ruddell’s Smokehouse - fish tacos outside near the pier
    101 D Street
    (805) 995-5028

    Want to try but have yet to find open...

    Cass House Inn and Restaurant
    5-9pm Thursday thru Monday
    22 N. Ocean Ave.
    (805) 995-3669


    Bayside Cafe in the state park
    10 State Park Rd,
    (805) 772-1465

    Main just N of Taco Temple

    Taco Temple
    2680 N. Main

    Shawn's on Main
    912 Main Street

    Tognazzini's Dockside Restaurant & Mkt
    1245 Embarcadero Blvd
    805 772-8100

    Windows on the Water
    699 Embarcadero,
    805 772-1059

    Giovanni's Fish Market & Galley
    1001 Front St.

    Papa Julio's Mexican Food,
    430 Morro Bay Blvd,

    Fred’s Grill - formerly Margie's Diner -chili-cheese omelet
    1698 Main St.
    (805) 771-9811

    LOS OSOS and BAYWOOD PARK (@ 3 mi south of Hwy 1 on S. Bay Blvd jus out of Morro Bay


    Noi's Little Thai Takeout
    1288 2nd Street
    Los Osos, CA 93402-1110
    (805) 528-664

    Lotus - Thai
    2060 9th St, R on LOV Rd, 2nd blk near Chinese rest.
    Los Osos

    Sylvester's (burgers)
    1099 Santa Ynez
    Los Osos

    2062 10th
    Los Osos

    Copa de Oro - breakfast
    (805) 528-8000
    690 Santa Maria Ave
    Baywood Park

    and just before entering southbound 101 in SLO

    Bon Temps Creole Cafe
    1000 Olive St,
    (805) 544-2100
    San Luis Obispo

    (original thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/672077



    Taqueria Hidalgo
    23477 Grant, Chualar


    Restaurante El Oaxaqueno - black mole tamales
    31 3rd
    (831) 675-2387

    Playa AZUL Restaurant
    12 7th
    (831) 675-3060

    El Rinconcito
    16 4th

    Burger Queen – best burgers in Salinas valley?
    800 Johnson Canyon Road (5th street exit then turn left. next to Exxon
    )(831) 675-2754

    La Plaza Bakery – tortas


    Cuatro Hemanos Restaurant (better than one in King City or Paso Robles?)
    137 Soledad St

    Casa de Teresa Restaurant
    185 Kidder

    La Fuente
    101 Oak

    La Plaza Bakery – tortas


    Taqueria Las Fuentes – al pastor on spit, lengua, cabeza
    331 El Camino Real
    (831) 674-5509

    La Plaza Bakery - tortas

    El Molcajete Restaurant - BURNED, status unkown
    570 Walnut Ave
    (831) 674-5000


    El Lugarcito Restaurant - shrimp tostadas, whole fried fish, green salsa, shrimp tostada with lime-cilantro dressing, whole fried fish (avoid tacos exc. for carne asada)
    128 Broadway

    taqueria that is just across Broadway from EL, large crowds

    Mercado La Mexicana - small grocery store , chicharrones guisados and cachete. The cachete was beef cheek meat, and unlike the stewed versions the crusty edges on the fine dice seemed like it was roasted or cooked by dry heat. The flavor was much more intense and beef-y. The chicharrones were stewed in a VERY spicy chili sauce
    327 Broadway

    La Poteranca – carnitas, al pastor, sopes
    201 Broadway St
    (831) 385-7500

    Cuatro Hermanos – chile verde, ceviche
    101 Bassett


    Little taqueria next door to 10th St. Vineyard Cafe

    4 Replies
    1. re: PolarBear
      glbtrtr Dec 31, 2009 10:40 AM

      I used to stop at La Fuente in Soledad and was charmed by the colorful and family atmosphere of the place but the food was never compelling enough to keep me coming back. What did you order that earns it a spot on this list? Thanks.

      1. re: glbtrtr
        PolarBear Dec 31, 2009 10:55 AM

        This was a reco from another hound, is still on my to try list. Sadly, no other details.

        1. re: PolarBear
          SIMIHOUND Jan 1, 2010 12:01 PM

          Great post. I am using it next week. Thanks!

      2. re: PolarBear
        PolarBear Jan 1, 2010 02:07 PM


        CAYUCOS is about 13 miles SOUTH of Cambria, not north... sorry 'bout that.

      3. j
        johntt Dec 16, 2009 01:39 PM

        Don't forget about about these two!

        Pismo Yogurt for great tasting frozen yogurt and fresh toppings.
        Splash Cafe for the best Clam Chowder bowls south of SF.

        Splash Cafe
        197 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

        Pismo Yogurt
        187 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

        1. l
          ljeanne Dec 9, 2009 10:14 AM

          Panolivo, Paso Robles - Sunday brunch was excellent, with a mediterranean flair. Pastries looked pretty amazing too! Will definitely be back when in the area.

          1. Shannon Dec 6, 2009 10:40 AM

            Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos... not only for pizza but for wonderful salads and an exceptional wine list that is extremely fairly priced.

            1. g
              glbtrtr Dec 6, 2009 09:17 AM

              My favorite country drive Santa Ynez Valley winery is Rancho Sisquoc.

              1. PolarBear Dec 6, 2009 09:11 AM

                Nice idea, glbtrtr. I wonder if you can edit your subject line to include Hwy 1 also, for those who aren't familiar with our coastal routes? Maybe once we have a comprehensive list together we can map it, like I've seen for some themes on the SF board.

                5 Replies
                1. re: PolarBear
                  Melanie Wong Dec 8, 2009 09:34 PM

                  No need to create a separate map. If you use the "Manage Your Links" function when you post your replies, the site software creates a map on this page.

                  Chef Rick's
                  4869 S Bradley Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93455

                  Madonna Inn
                  100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

                  La Simpatia Cafe
                  827 Guadalupe St, Guadalupe, CA 93434

                  McLintocks F Saloon & Dining House
                  750 Mattie Road, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

                  Mo's Smokehouse Bbq
                  221 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

                  Madonna Inn
                  100 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

                  Copper Cafe @ Madonna Inn
                  100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    PolarBear Dec 9, 2009 02:05 PM

                    Thanks for the tip, Melanie, that's a great feature. Is there a procedure to follow if a particular restaurant isn't in the CH database?

                    1. re: PolarBear
                      Melanie Wong Dec 9, 2009 03:12 PM

                      Right now, only those with editing powers can add something to the database. What I would suggest is that you include the particulars for the missing place (address, phone, cuisine, etc.) in your post, then use the "report" button and write some text to ask the moderators to create a new record.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        glbtrtr Dec 9, 2009 04:10 PM

                        Melanie, you are a Chowhound Chween. I follow you all over California. Thanks for making this work better for us.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          PolarBear Dec 9, 2009 05:22 PM

                          Mel's our gal! I used the "report' button to clarify the title ( i. e. ...along Hwys.., rather than "between"). We'll fill in the little crossway St. Rtes. as needed.

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