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Central Coast Vegetarian

Hey all,

We're driving from SF to Santa Barbara down Hwy 101. I briefly checked out the posts for the Central Coast and there appears to be a lot of meat places listed. Anyone know where to find some good veggie food on the Central Coast as well as Santa Barbara. Holes in the wall, ethnic, as well as higher end restaurants rec's would be great. We're also looking for a mid to high end restaurant for a nice meal in Santa Barbara. One pure vegetarian, one fish eater, and a dog are traveling.

Thanks Chowhounds!


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  1. In Santa Barbara- there is Spiritland Bistro- I believe they have a web site. They are considered upscale! Natural Cafe in on State street - with a patio that should allow dogs- nice people watching!! At NC you can get turkey burgers, plus tempeh etc. Great, if a tad on the bland side food- but great efforts.

    1. there is a tiny cafe (a few tables) at the back of Sunshine Helath Foods on Morro Bay Blvd, downtown MB. I've not eaten there myself, but have seen many smiling faces, observed while shopping there. DEFinitley a hole in the wall, but no dogs allowed.

      Sebastian's Cafe at Sebastian's Store in San Simeon (opposite Hearst Castle on the ocean side of the road) serves fish, and veggie salads in addtion to meats. Dog friendly patio in fair weather. Gonna rain this week; & cold! check caltrans for (temp) hiway 1 closings due to storm damage. It's a long way around.

      1. Robin's in Cambria has lots of great vegetarian specials every day. Very nice indoor and outdoor dining.
        4095 Burton Drive

        1. Thanks for the rec's. Looks like we'll be driving down 101 to San Luis Obispo then on to SB. Especially with all this rain. We might take a trip up to Morro Bay coming or going. Anything in Paso Robles?

          How about a regular restaurant for dinner or lunch in SB that would serve a great vegetarian dish.

          3 Replies
          1. re: love food

            El Bajio - 100 block of Milpas- great tamales, fish stew and the like.

            1. re: JalamaMama

              We just had a wonderful lunch at Novo in SLO. They use only the freshest of produce for their salads, I loved the bright red tomato that was served with my salad. In Paso, don't miss Artisan, it's fantastic! :)

              1. re: syrahgirl

                Thanks you all. Artisan and Novo look great! Thanks for all the other suggestions.

          2. A favorite when we have Vegetarian visitors we always try to go to Big Sky on Broad St. in SLO. Check the menu at their web site. www.bigskycafe.com

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bruce in SLO

              Big Sky was highly recommend to us by The Cliff's Resort where we stayed, if you go there, let us know how you like it! :)

            2. I realize it's not far from your departure point. But, the Falaffel Hut in Santa Cruz by the beach boardwalk has been a favorite of mine for close to 20 years. Their falaffel is outstanding. Afterall, they got a sworn carnivore to love it. hehe Not to mention they've got an awesome green hotsauce too. Top it off with one of their Turkish coffees and you'll be set for the road.

              1. Thanks for all the suggestions.

                We ate at Novo on our way down. What a beautiful setting out back. I had the recommended menu with wine pairing. It was just okay. Shrimp with curry rub for an app. and then overcooked salmon. The wine was good! The veggie dish my partner had was excellent. A plus is that our dog could sit out back with us. The service was great. I would definetly give it another go.

                We tried to go to Spiritland Bistro but it was closed the night we wanted to go so we ended up at Bouchon. Very nice. Again the veggie dish was better than my over cooked scallops.

                We ended up stop at The Madonna Inn. Who knew the inside was so great! Ate there for lunch a mistake. Should have gone another exit to downtown SLO.

                All in all everything was just fine and lovely. Thanks for all the recs