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San Luis Obispo Dining

by Cathy Enns

Looking for that “just right” evening to share with someone special? When you’re planning an evening out, San Luis Obispo dining establishments can deliver just what you have in mind. Simply head downtown and you’ll find charming restaurants and cafes serving up inventive cuisine, much of it based on delicious, locally grown food.

Two Vie for “The Best”
It’s so easy to have a wonderful evening downtown in San Luis Obispo—dining, window shopping along the friendly streets and pausing at a local bar for a nightcap. When you’re with your sweetheart, consider making a reservation at Novo, a restaurant that consistently delivers not just creative, satisfying meals, but wonderful service as well. Novo’s creek side setting is a prime spot for San Luis Obispo romantic dining.

Also consistently at the top of the list of local favorites is Koberl at Blue. This busy restaurant celebrates its wine country location with a menu of fresh food designed for pairing with local wines. Koberl at Blue is also known for its hip clientele and creative cocktails.

If Sushi Is Your Goal
When you’re in the mood for sushi, you’ll not only find it downtown, you’ll have choices to boot. Goshi and Yanagi are both lauded by their patrons for wonderful Japanese cuisine, and both are just blocks from local landmarks like Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and the classic Fremont Theater. Goshi is often praised for its menu of authentic sushi; Yanagi’s patrons rave about the restaurant’s great sushi rolls.

Another great choice for sushi right downtown is Sumo Sushi. The Korean owner is known for greeting his guests personally, and patrons are especially enthusiastic about the sushi rolls here. A little further out of town is Sushiya, located on Los Osos Valley Road. This restaurant is noted for good food, attractive décor and lively atmosphere, which may have something to do with sake bombs?

How About Italian Food?
Everyone seems to love Italian food, and residents of the Central Coast are no exception. In downtown San Luis Obispo, dining choices include Buona Tavola. This Italian eatery serves up delicious pasta meals with nightly specials and a great wine list including local and Italian wines. Be sure to ask for a table in the secluded patio out back.

If you’re willing to travel a few blocks from downtown, Italian dining options multiply. Cafe Roma is located at the train station in the historic Railroad District just east of downtown. For those who live in San Luis Obispo, romantic dining occasions, family celebrations and company parties are often held at Cafe Roma. Other Italian restaurants that rate highly with locals are Nucci’s on Foothill and Upper Crust on Los Osos Valley Road.

Sit Back and Relax
Sometimes relaxation is top priority. Naturally you want a great meal, but first and foremost you want to dress casually, sit back and unwind. Most restaurants in the area fit the bill, but a few come to mind as the ultimate in relaxed San Luis Obispo dining.

At the Firestone Grill you can order a delicious tri tip sandwich or a top rated burger and fries, then head outside to enjoy your meal along with the Central Coast’s famed great weather and some people watching along Higuera Street.

At the Corner View Restaurant, you’ll find interesting entrees, fresh produce and a great selection of fine wines, served up by friendly, knowledgeable staff. Patrons love the convenient location of the Corner View: just what its name implies—at the corner of Marsh and Chorro—with plenty of windows for taking in the street scenes.

A household name among residents is Big Sky Cafe. This establishment has been going strong for more than 15 years, offering a place to sit back and enjoy fresh, locally grown produce blended into meals that are both healthy and tempting.

In San Luis Obispo and the surrounding communities, restaurants cater to a wider array of tastes and emphasize healthy, locally produced food more and more with each passing year. You can hardly go wrong when dining out in San Luis Obispo County.

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