HOME > Chowhound > California >
Nov 12, 2010 09:44 AM

Thanksgiving Day PCH to SF Road Trip Meal

I am driving from Los Angeles to San Fran on Thanksgiving Day. We are taking the PCH. We are looking to stop for Thanksgiving meal on the way up. First concern is what will be open. Secondly, we are looking for something fun, lodge-like, family-style meals, comfort food, picnic, something either traditional or something totally off the wall...but delicious.

Any suggestions or even places you know will be open would be of help!

Am looking for a place to stop North of Santa Barbara, closer to SF on the route.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. North of SB about midway on Highway One is the Guadalupe Far Western Tavern and that is about as historic, funky, homey and out of the way as you might find midway - check to see if they are open for Thanksgiving - think they might be: http://www.farwesterntavern.com/

    Cambria is another Highway One midpoint place to explore for openings.

    Far Western Tavern
    899 Guadalupe St, Guadalupe, CA

    1. Window's on the Water in Morro Bay, CA has a traditional TG meal from 2PM to 7PM. Most of the food is locally sourced. It's a beautiful place with fine food and great views but I'm not sure it meets your particular needs.

      Big Sur Lodge will serve a TG meal from 4 PM to 8 PM. Rocky Point might be your best bet. They serve their regular dinner menu from Noon to 8 PM as well as a 5 course TG menu. Call now and get a window table. Good luck.

      Window's on the Water @ 699 Embarcadero # 7, Morro Bay, CA 805 - 772 - 0677.

      Big Sur Lodge @ Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, 47225 California 1, Big Sur, CA 831 - 667 - 3100.

      Rocky Point Restaurant @ 36700 California 1, Carmel, CA 831 - 624 - 2933.

      1. Hoppe's in Cayucos should be open. Lovely meals there, just across the highway from the beach. About 10 miinutes north of Morro Bay.

        Wherever you decide to stop, you'll need a reservation. So few places are open, it's a real crapshoot if you don't have one.

        HIghway 1 (which you call PCH) does not run all the way up ON the coast. In several places, it goes inland. Skip the portion that leaves Highway 101 just north of Gaviota. It's dangerous and there are no towns until it meets Guadalupe. It'll just slow you down. Stay on 101 till you reach either Santa Maria (take Main Street out to Highway 1 at Guadalupe); or San Luis Obispo, then follow the signs (Santa Rosa St exit from 101) through town out to Morro Bay, where you'll find Windows on the Water.

        Robin's in Cambria would also be a nice meal; in an old house in the downtown area.

        Robin's Restaurant
        4095 Burton Dr, Cambria, CA 93428

        1 Reply
        1. re: toodie jane

          Good suggestion about leaving Highway One/101 north of SB should they join it again at Guadalupe instead, and if they want to leave it a bit more and take the "short cut" over the San Marcos Pass at Highway 154, though it means leaving some lovely coastal scenery north of SB, but there is nothing better in these parts than Thanksgiving Dinner in the very cozy Cold Springs Tavern, and yes reservations would be a must on this day for any of the smaller and special places: http://www.santabarbara.com/dining/re...

        2. We are also heading down form the Bay Area for the holiday weekend. Our final destination is Cambria. We are looking for a place to dine on Thanksgiving and possibly some good wine tasting. Any ideas on wineries that might be open?
          Thank you.

          5 Replies
          1. re: gailegirl

            ALERT--This area really rolls up the sidewalks on Major Holidays, so be prepared to entertain yourself with our Great Outdoors, which never closes.

            Here's a link to Paso wineries on Tday--NOT much open! As for dinner, if you don't already have reservations somewhere now, you might be out of luck. Not many places are open so plan accordingly for breakfast! Ask your innkeeper NOW for suggestions!! I'd try Robin's, Black Cat Bistro, Wild Ginger and Sow's Ear first (in Cambria) then Hoppe's Or the Cass House in Cayucos.

            For winetasting on T-day, you might find some of the tasting rooms open on the Square in downtown Paso. I'd call head to make sure before driving to town. Note: the Albertson's in Paso has a huge local wine selection. So does the one in Morro Bay, about 15 min south of Cambria. You might stock up there; pretty decent prices.

            Good luck! It's been getting cold lately so bring your longjohns or other outdoor underlayers. AND a hat to keep noggins warm.

            here is another thread on Tday dinner in the area. I can't stress enough to get on the horn now for reservations. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7381...

            Wild Ginger
            2380 Main St Ste G, Cambria, CA 93428

            Black Cat Bistro
            1602 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428

            Cass House
            222 N Ocean Ave, Cayucos, CA

            Sow's Ear
            2248 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428

            1. re: gailegirl

              I would suggest Brother's Restaurant at Matthei's Tavern. It is right on Highway 154 in Los Olivos just 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara. The food is excellent, they have a great selection of Santa Barbara County wines and it will take you about 90 minutes to drive from there to Cambria. I know they are open for Thanksgiving and will be serving a traditional thanksgiving feast - call to make a reservation in advance as it will be all booked up soon.

              Brothers Restaurant At Mattei's Tavern
              2350 Railwy Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441

              1. re: sbwino

                My mom and I had one of the most memorable meals of our lives at Mattei's Tavern. The very best steak and delightful ambiance .; it was all very suited to the area. The meal and experience made for a perfect ending to an uneventful trip back from San Diego and was the highlight of our trip. I hope it is still as good as it was many years ago.


                Mattei's Tavern
                2350 Railwy Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441

              2. re: gailegirl

                Winetasting from Cambria - the best bet is to take Highway 46 (it kicks from PCH off just south of Cambria) over into the West Paso Robles area, turn left when you hit Vineyard Drive (you will be going north). We love tasting at Denner, Opolo, Halter Ranch, Tablas Creek, Carmody McKnight (great picnic grounds) and finishing at Justin - they are all out that way and it is a beautiful drive.

                1. re: sbwino

                  We stopped off at Carmody McKnight yesterday. Too bad we missed their Olio Nuovo pressing, but they have a great Brut Cuvee they just released (2003).