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Morro Bay area: good restaurants and cafes

  • t

A group of us are staying in Morro Bay over the new year holiday. I'm looking for recommendations on good restaurants (any type, variable price range) and recommendations for good cafes that might be on par with Intelligensia coffee. I like a good breakfast place too. Any suggestions would be appreciated for Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, San Luis O. area. We're just a group of adults, so special needs involving children are needed. Thanks!

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  1. The Galley is kind of "fancy" but not too stuffy. Their seafood is outstanding - I wish I could eat there more often, but Morro Bay is such a long drive. I recommend their scallops.

    The owner Dave is a great guy, too. He made his fortune in technology and retired to start the restaurant, and you can tell that he runs the place with a lot of love and care. We celebrated our anniversary at The Galley, and Dave printed a version of their daily menu just for us wishing us a happy anniversary.

    Ask for a window view of the bay!


    1. Artisan in Paso Robles is excellent altho may be too far.

      Also recommend Black Cat in Cambria


      Hoppes in Cayucas -

      My favorite SLO County restaurant is Jockos Steakhouse in Nipomo but that is pretty far from Morro Bay. No web site but lots of reviews if you google it.

      Will add some coffee/breakfast places later - need to research - my memory ain't what it used to be..

      1. Shawn's on Main is a great choice for fine dining. I'd also look at Windows on the Water.

        For good casual, try Taco Temple (cash only). Don't let the name thow you. They serve great seafood.

        Another good lunch spot is the Bayside. This is just past the Natural History museum on the south side of town.

        For berakfast, Frankie and Lola's is a good option. I also like Dorns for breakfast.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mike0989

          We were in Morro Bay last week and based on your note decided to try Taco Temple. What a find! Thanks
          Casual, fresh delicious - good place to have decent food while travelling with a kid

          We had king salmon and mahi mahi tacos - I think $16 and $14 respectively Salmonwas delicious not overcooked and served with side o mango pineapple fresh sals that was perfect foil for hte richness ofhte fish
          mahi mahi was good
          my kid had carnetias taco and they were super gracious about seperating the meat from the taco and fresh veg - he usually wont eat salad but he tucked in to mix of salad/chpped red cabbage carrots etc that top the taco. Guess he realised how good it was too
          Great on tap beers
          Desserts are enormous - we had pecan cheesecake for 2 and it really could have done 3 - little on the sweet side for me but my son loved it though he couldnt even finish his half
          Place was really busy when we arrived at 7.30 but emptied out by 8.30 and closes at 9
          Great find

        2. Splash Cafe in both SLO and Pismo Beach. GREAT clam chowder. One in SLO is also a good breakfast spot.

          Firestone grill in SLO has best tri-tip sandwich anywhere and lots of other good stuff like the pulled pork.

          Also try Rancho Nipomo - BBQ and Cal-Mex - just off the 101 (to the West) sort of in the middle of nowhere, just North of Santa Maria and the last exit before the Nipomo exit at Tefft St. Incredible pulled pork sandwich altho everything there is really good. He used to make me a dry (no sauce on top) chile relleno burrito with black beans that was to die for.

          Also, not food but, on PCH in Grover Beach (just S of Pismo) is a Monarch Butterfly preserve that is quite remarkable this time of year. Worth seeing if you are in the area.

          1. For SLO I'd look into the floowing

            Koberl at Blue - Excellent food. Advertise as wine country cusine bit I'd call it Californian
            Buona Tavola - Northern Italian. I've eaten here several times over the years and never disappointed

            A little more budget friendly would be Big Sky. Solid menu and the daily speicals are alwys worth a shot.

            Novo is nice just for the setting if nothing else. It's right over the creek\park in the middle of town. Good food and a great place to take in lunch, or breakfast on weekends.

            A nice walk-up BBQ place is OLD San Luis BBQ. Really good Santa Maria stly tritip. No table of their own per se. But there are quite a few tables and benches in front that are shared with the next door coffee shop

            1. Our favorite worth a drive trip is Mo's BBQ in downtown Pismo Beach - for the Philty Phil ribs (only). Then some post-prandial coffee flavor salt water taffy at HotLix down the street towards the pier.

              Try the steak pieces appetizers and potato skillet they can serve at the bar at McLintoks, also in Pismo and avoid the lines, wait, price and overkill portions of eating in the restaurant itself.

              Kitcsch with quality is found at the Madonna Inn - Copper Cafe is good enough for good quality comfort food items - home made. But their spectacular treat is the Toffee Crunch cake which needs two people to finish one slice. I love their half BLT with side salad with chunky, fresh homemade blue cheese dressing which is almost a meal in itself.

              For classic old steak house menus in one of the more spectacular dining room setttings on the Central coast, Madonna Inn's Silver Dollar dining room decked out floor to ceiling in twinkle lights and pink naugahyde tuck and roll booths can't be beat.

              1 Reply
              1. For lunch, drive about 1/2 hour north to San Simeon (the old village, not the town along the freeway) and have the best sandwich of your life at Sebastian's. Then go a little farther north and watch the elephant seals. The big males should be in by now, they're amazing.

                1. For great big breakfasts go to Magie's Diner in SLO at the 101 and Los Osos Valley Road. www.magiesdiner.com

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bakersfield Hound

                    Thank you Bakersfield Hound and everyone else for your recommendations! I think I've got a lot to choose from when I get down there. In particular, I'm going to try and get to Jockos Steak House. I've heard both here and elsewhere it is a good restaurant. Thanks! Toni