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Dec 16, 2011 06:26 AM

Cayucos Beach

Will be staying in private home in January for 5 days. My wife and I are from Boston. Of course we love seafood. Where can we dine or purchase seafood that is native to your area? Would love to explore local oysters either at house or dining out. I will bring my shucking knife. Roadside shacks and local favorites are what we are looking for not a tourist hangout.

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  1. Best dining in Cayucos is at Hoppe's, haven't yet been but the Cass House has been getting a lot of praise. There's also Ruddel's for smoked fish tacos, tuna sands, for takeout near the pier.

    In Morro Bay go to Giovanni's Fish Market on the waterfront in Morro Bay, about 5 miles south of Cayucos. Best high end restaurant in MB is Windows on the Water, we like the Bayside Cafe, tucked away by the boat docks inside the state park.

    A variety of fresh oysters can be found in the tanks at the beginning of the pier in Avila Beach, about 20 min south of MB. Have a great visit and please report back.

    Cass House


    Bayside Cafe


    Windows on the Water

    3 Replies
    1. re: PolarBear

      Agree, the fish market on the Avila Beach pier is about as local as one gets in these parts. And if the sea lions are barking and basking on the pier stairs to the water it is a double treat. Roadside shacks with local products are not found much in California other than for fruits and vegetables.

      Some Farmers Markets held on certain days in certain towns can include local seafood purveyors as well. There is a sustainable sea food movement out here and labeling of various restaurants which adhere to these principles. Here is their link for Santa Barbara:

      1. re: glbtrtr

        Would definitely second Hoppe's. Make sure to drive north a little past San Simeon and view Elephant Seal Beach.

      2. re: PolarBear

        to report that Cayuco's Cass House is a B&B with a small dining room; it's pricey for our area, but reportedly worth the tariff. Expect to spend 75-100 per person before wine.

        Most of the communities in SLO County sited directly ON the ocean are quite small; therefore your dining choices will be more limited than you might be used to. But the Less is More theory goes well with being able to spend more time AT the beach than on the road, looking for places to eat. Maybe spend one day touring the surrounding coastal towns, then settle in with provisions to enjoy your stay in Cayucos. For local farmer's markets, Morro Bay has an excellent year round Thursday afternoon market at Spencer's Market parking lot along North Main (east frontage road of Highway 1)

        For fresh local fish, Giovanni's and Tognazzini's fish markets on Morro Bay's Embarcadero are good sources, much closer to you than Avila. Most local fish sellers display ratings on their offerings corresponding to the Monterey Aquarium's Seafood Watch (sustainablility) program. A Don't Miss is the local Black Cod. There is an abalone farm north of Cayucos, but not open to the public. Abalone once thrived along our coast, but a wasting disease (foot shrivel), overharvesting and poaching have both made them very expensive and small sized.

        For a simple snack of Fish 'N Chips, the L'il Hut take-out shack on the Embarcadero's north end is hard to beat. Sub salad for fries and you've got a well- balanced meal.

        Much as I like the location and funky venue at Bayside Cafe, the kitchen is not dependable. I've had fine, simply prepared meals, and others have been nearly inedible--nearly raw veggies, overcooked salmon, tasteless sides, etc. Points to either an overworked or innattentive kitchen. Sad to say, I now order only a limited list of items from their extensive menu.

        No matter what you end up doing, dress in LAYERS. Pick up a free New Times tabloid paper for listings of markets and entertainment, and local points of interest. Enjoy your stay and please report back.