Avilla Beach, Los Ossos, Morro Bay Recommendations
Spending a week in the Morro Bay-Cambria area. Looking for the best places to eat, shop for food, get take out, etc. Thank you!
There have been many prior discussions on the best places. Hoppe's in Cayucos remains a favorite, along with the Cass house in Cayucos. The Taco Temple remains a local choose as is
Giovanni's on the Embarcadero for fresh fish. A hidden gem is the French Bakery also on the Embarcadero. Many more selections in Cambria, just do a search.
I'll focus on shopping:
No real grocery shopping in Avila or closeby in Shell Beach. Closest would be in SLO at New Frontiers (WF wanna-be) on Los Osos Valley Rd, west of 101, or Trader Joes & FoodMaxx (food 4 less), just east of 101 on South Higuera @Los Osos Vlly Rd. South of Avila Beach on 101 there is a Trader Joes and Albertsons in a big complex west of 101 between Brisco/Halcyon exit and Oak Park Blvd exits in Pismo Beach on the highway frontage road called Branch St., to east of 101) So-so FM in Avila (summertime only) on Fri afternoon on the esplanade along the beachfront.
In Los Osos there is a small Von's, a Ralph's and the wonderful Monday afternoon Farmer's Market in Baywood (down along the back bay). The commercial shopping is pedestrian, BUT the FM is marvelous! Organic produce, fresh local fish, honey, eggs, cheese, olive oil, sprouts, breads. vegetarian prepared foods, and the best kettle corn ever. Assorted craftspeople occasionally as well. Monday 2:30 -4:30 just across from The Merry Maker bar. There are a couple of great Thai take-out places run by two sisters: Noi's is next to the FM in Baywood, and her sister's is up by Los Osos Valley Rd on 9th street in Loso Osos. Both are run independant of the other. My fav is Lotus Thai run by Nu and husband Mike. Seats 10 cozily. Reasonable, fresh and flavorful, and they serve brown rice if requested. Great Thai iced coffee for the hearty of spirit. As an example of return traffic, Mike knows 95% of clientel by name. Mike seems to know everybody!
Morro Bay has Cookie Crock Mkt.,, a smaller semi warehouse-style store--cheaper prices--and an Albertsons which is known for a very large and well priced selection of local wines. Sunshine Health Foods on Morro Bay Blvd (the one going downhill toward the bay from Highway 101 through the center of business district) has a good selection in a tiny storefront. They also have a micro vegan deli in the rear. Old school hippie health food store. Fisherman's and Farmer's Mkt on Fri afternoon downtown, and Thurs afternoon on North Main St alongside Highway 101 north of downtown. Both have lots of good vendors.
Cayucos has a very small market and Cambria has the flagship Cookie Crock (stilll small) and Soto's Market downtown, which is mostly a custom butcher counter and deli--the store is stocked like a campground convenience store. But in a cool old building with tons of history--worth a stop even if just for some Hearst Ranch or other local grass fed meat products.
Cambria's FMkt is Fri afternoon. Another very good one. I much prefer any of these coastal FM's to the circus atmosphere of the Thurs nite Downtown SLO street fair, but it has its fans too.
SLO has a very chowhound-centric market on Sat mornings at the Embassy Suites/CostPlus parking lot off Madonna Rd at 101. At 8 am, with many local catering co's and specialty ag producers selling wares beyond the basic produce-meat-dairy-seafood etc. One vendor roasts small batches of coffee for cuppa and bean sales. Doesn't get any fresher. Don't miss the beignets from Neon Carrot Catering or Tracy's muffins and scones at Stewart & Clark. If you head into town for the Sat am market, and the air is clear, turn off Los Osos Valley Rd on Perfumo Canyon Rd and go all the way to the TOP for the most incredible views of the coast through the valley past SLO to the south. You can see the Sat am SLO mkt from there--(it'll help you get your bearings ;-)
re: Melanie Wong
yes, to stop in and say hello only. Same people behind the meat counter, same selection and menu. Did not get anything to take home, and I'm not much of a sandwich person. Store itself has 40% of the selection of food and sundries they had before, but looks ok for basic picnic outfitting. Just not a grocery store type selection. Hope it flies for them.
I don’t get up to Cambria too often. But when we do, we usually wind up a Robins for a meal. We’ve tried several other places over the years, and haven’t found a reason to want to go back to most.
Between Cambria and Morro Bay is Cayucos. Cass House and Hoppes are the two options to eat here.
For Morro, I like Shawn’s on Main. Seriously good food! Windows on the Water servers great food as well and you can’t beat the view. Try the bar at Windows on Tuesdays. Its oyster night (bar only) and they have oysters for $.75. Choice of half shell, fried or shooters. For breakfast, I like Frankie and Lola’s.
In Los Osos, give Cecilia’s Garden Café a shot. Heading towards the 101, look into Et Voila. We have known the Chef, Jose, since his time in Palos Verdes. He’s usually only open during the week so you might want to call ahead.
Near Avila Beach in Shell beach, is the Dolphin Bay Hotel. There restaurant Lido’s has been very good over the years. They had a recent Chef change (again), but his resume is sound.
Had dinner last week at Robins in the little nook off the front room. Enjoyed a "semi-private" table with its stained glass window but didn't drapes. We two shared a large bowl (16 oz.) of salmon bisque, Robin's Garden salad with Pt. Reyes bleu cheese, the pan seared Morroccan duck breast served over warm Israeli couscous salad with roasted heirloom carrots.
Unfortuately, no room left for dessert! And they looked good, too.
I would highly recommend Giuseppes, either the Express(awesome pizza, ital deli) or the restaurant across Price St, or Palazzo Giuseppi in SLO!