In my request for Pismo-area recommendations, I buried the "assistance wanted" for San Luis Obispo and I know there are some locals lurking on these boards.
We usually wander SLO for a good part of late morning to early afternoon (MRSMoggie has found a great knitting store) and would like to find a solid Mexican spot or other for a casual lunch (sans wine, we take care of that at dinner, so nothing too fancy.)
The posts I've seen have been more dinner oriented, so would appreciate the suggestions....and for Avila Beach, too for lunch.
(Speaking of which, sadly looks like Olde Port Inn has gone downhill from a few years ago, alas.)
Olde Port Inn
PO Box 40, Avila Beach, CA 93424
Toodie Jane will most likely be along shortly with her keen knowledge about this area, but I know one place she has been very happy with lately in SLO - The Neon Carrot, that just might fit that mid-day slot. Hokey as it is, I am a fan of the half BLT and chunky blu cheese salad combo at the Madonna Inn Copper Cafe. Always open for drop ins - plus some good pies.
100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
3536 S Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
I was pleasantly surprised by the food at the Nautical Bean on Chorro St (near the Mission on the other side of street) I've had sandwiches and salads and they were very good and freshly made.
A casual lunchtime favorite for me is Jaffa Cafe--good gyros etc.
Big Sky Cafe is an old favorite for lunch. On a pretty day, sitting outside at Novo is always a treat but it may not be as casual as you're looking for.
Big Sky Cafe
1121 Broad St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
240 Harbor Dr S, Oceanside, CA 92054
Mr, no great Mexican sit down in the whole town. Best bet for quality, deliciousness and friendliness got to the standby Taco de Mexico on Santa Rosa St, just north of the 101 undercrossing. I have spoken of it many times. Meats are tradionally prepared, and rich in flavor. In an old A&W building, the ambiance is spare but clean, and service is fast enough and friendly. Very busy at lunch with Poly students (the standby giant burros) and workers of all stripes. Reasonably priced. Good variety of entrees, combos and ala carte offerings.
I like Jaffa too, and its next door neighbor Petra. Both solid Mediterranean favorites, reasonably priced. Very casual table seating.
Out near the airport off Broad St, is a new favorite, def. a hole in the wall, Fiero Cafe. Behind FedX in one of the tin villages along Fiero Lane, it boasts the home of an established mail order sweets company which expanded its space to include a weekday deli from 7 to 4. Good coffee, sweet treats (check out the frozen fruit Bella Pops, too) sandwiches, soups, daily hot specials for lunch and b'fast. Watch the air traffic too! (Bonus points in my book.) Very friendly staff.
If your sweetie found the yarn shop near the Mission, you were within sniffin' distance of Sweet Earth Chocolates, fair trade artisan treats hsaring space in a cute local dress shop called Trio. Their main store is on upper Monterey, near Spalsh Cafe at the corner of M. & Calif Blvd. More selections of confections there as well as hot and cold chocolate drinks--swoon. Across the street from the Monterey St location is Outspoken, a local favorite coffe house. Illy coffee and some pre-made lunch choices along with pastries and such. The chocolate Diva drinks are...decadent.
Downtown near the center of the retail action is a favorite snack spot, Bali Isle Yogurt shop, where you self-dish and pay by the ounce --last time, I think it was 35 cents/oz. The Original, as they say; there are imitators but they lack the funky local flavor. Might as well be in big city mall with them. Corner of Morro and Higuera kitty corner from the lingerie shop with the racy window displays and hot pink awnings. Yo! Vicki!