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up the 101 to santa cruz

Heading up to Santa Cruz area wondering of any suggestions along the way that would be a good stop for lunch.
Usually stop in San Luis Obispo or Paso Robles at whatever is near the exit.
Dive to Nice it will be a weekday
Always stop at the Madonna Inn for a glass of wine and to use the fabulous bathrooms but not sure about the food as the main room is never serving when we stop.
Santa Cruz area recs welcome as well
thanks folks

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  1. I'm heading up to Santa Cruz with the family next week. I posted on the "California" Board and had some choice responses:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7256...

    Been really busy but hoping to properly respond to the SC Hounds soon...

    1. Johnnyshungry...I have been making that trip for fifteen years and, like you, typically stopped around SLO...If you like pizza and or an excellent Italian deli I would stop at Giuseppe's Express on Price ST(the main drag) in Pismo...great slices, the crust is a bit thicker than i prefer but its excellent..you can order pies thin crust,though....excellent sandwiches,salads,desserts etc...You can use the bathroom at Madonna Inn afterwards...Giuseppe's, the full restaurant is across the street...WFO, good crusty bread, Italian food...but the deli is excellent!

      1. when in santa cruz, i love Saturn Cafe on Laurel.
        they serve terrific vegetarian food.
        open all day and they stay open very late.

        1. I LOVE Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing!!

          http://www.philsfishmarket.com/

          Great specials and huge portions!

          1. If you like steak please check out Jocko's in Nipomo, just north of Santa Maria. Take the Tefft Rd. exit and head right. They specialize in Santa Maria beef, a subtle spice rub grilled over oak logs served with salsa and pinquitoes. There will be a line at dinnertime, but lunch and off hours shouldn't be too bad. Definitely worth it for carnivores.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ebethsdad

              Definitely agree with Jocko's.
              But they don't fire up the oak grill until dinner time around 4:30pm.
              No spice rub--black pepper and garlic salt is all.
              They specialize in Santa Maria style BBQ. If you're referring to Santa Maria beef as tri-tip...Jocko's does not serve tri-tip.