Favorite Restaurants in
San Luis Obispo County

Here's my Top 13 restaurant picks for Special occasions in San Luis Obispo County:

Tip: Make a reservation online from the restaurant's website or Open Table/Tock, if the restaurant uses any of those services, so that you're not scrambling last minute and to avoid a long wait!

Local Restaurants 

1865 Craft House & Kitchen

This restaurant is one of the most creative restaurants in all of San Luis Obispo County. Conveniently located in downtown San Luis Obispo and next door to La Quinta, they have an amazing ambiance and everything that I've tasted there tasted different and top quality.
They are very stroller and wheelchair accessible with a lot of outdoor patio space. Our table even came with fire pit.
The food menu has diverse options. They have a kid's section with several options and you really can't go wrong with any appetizer or entree here. 
We ordered wings, risotto, steak, a kid's mac and cheese and a side of sweet potato fries.
I also ordered a special cocktail for my myself called the Unicorn Paloma that had blue ice!
Read about my staycation at La Quinta in downtown SLO, which is located right next door to this very restaurant. 
Address of 1865 Craft House & Kitchen: 1865 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Madonna Inn's Copper Cafe

There are two main dining rooms at the famous Madonna Inn: Goldrush Steak House and Copper Cafe. Goldrush Steak House is a bit more upscale and although kids are allowed there, I feel that Copper Cafe is a bit easier to manage with little ones and you won't feel as bad if they start misbehaving and screaming. The food is still excellent and the ambiance is cute with all the pretty dinnerware. Address: 100 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
They take reservations. Come here for special occasions like Valentine's Day, anniversaries, birthdays or bringing guests in town. See more pictures of desserts and food we've ordered from the restaurants of Madonna Inn on this blog post.


Located right by the Pismo Beach Outlets, Huckleberry's serve southern favorites and breakfast food. They have a kid's menu that includes a kid's drink and has breakfast and lunch options.

They are not open for dinner. I really enjoy their breakfast options because they give you big portions and the servers there are very personable! I really feel like the decor of the place inside makes you feel like you're really on vacation, visiting somewhere different.

Address: 300 5 Cities Dr, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

SloDoCo Donuts

This donut shop is your dream donut shop! Located in downtown San Luis Obispo, this donut shop is creative with their selection and open 24 hours! Pick from out of this world flavors like green tea coconut toppings or your traditional favorites. Address: 793 E Foothill Blvd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405


With an outdoor space to eat and located just several minutes (drive) from the beach, your children can stretch their legs while waiting for your food to be ready. Known for their ginormous tortas and tacos, many locals come here for amazing Mexican food.
It's only a 6 or 7 minute drive from Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. Address: 803 E Grand Ave, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Firestone Walker Brewing Company Taproom

It's not often that I get wowed by a brewery, but Firestone Walker Brewing Taproom really did wow me! They are famous for their 805 beer. You may notice many cars with bumper sticks with the number 805 on it. I always thought that it was the city's doing but when you read the smaller print, it is the Firestone Walker Brewing Company's. They also had a nice kid's menu that included ice cream. Address: 1400 Ramada Dr, Paso Robles, CA 93446

Restaurants with a Kid's Play Area

Pismo Bowl

Located in Pismo Beach and near the pier, Pismo Bowl has a bowling alley area, arcade, food and local beer. It's a great place to bring the family together on special occasions. Address: 277 Pomeroy Ave., Pismo Beach, CA 93449

HotShots Billiards & Family Entertainment Center

Located in Pismo Beach and near the pier, HotShots Billiards & Family Entertainment Center has a lot of arcade games for the little ones and pool tables for the biggers kids and adults.

It's very family friendly with food and drinks available for purchase in the the back.

The kids can eat or run around while everyone else gets a bite to eat. Address: 250 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 

SLO Public Market

The SLO Public Market located in San Luis Obispo has a kids play area on the second story of their main building. They have many great restaurants you can dine at and with this kids play area, you can enjoy your meal while the little ones play.

Read more details and see all all of the restaurants I've tried at the SLO Pubic Market.
Address: 3845 S Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Central Coast Travel Shopping Ideas:

Wild Fields Brewhouse

Atascadero is becoming a very family-friendly town. This brewhouse has craft beers on tap and an arcade! There is also a toddler corner for kids to borrow toys to play for free! They also have a menu with difference options. Read more about my experience here at Wild Fields Brewhouse and other brewery/beer garden in Atascadero using my Passport. Address: 6907 El Camino Real, Atascadero 93422

Kochi Korean BBQ & Shabu Shabu

Located in the northern park of San Luis Obispo county is Kochi Korean BBQ & Shabu Shabu in Atascadero, California. This place is amazing! They have their own large kid's play room in the restaurant for guests who need their kids to release some energy while waiting for their food! Very smart move Kochi!

The food is also delicious and unique. Address: 6900 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422

French Fries

The restaurant is literally called French Fries! Located in Arroyo Grande that was formerly a yogurt shop, French Fries sell all types of fries where you can can customize with toppings and sizes. They also have a large arcade with tables in the arcade room so the kids can play while you're waiting for the food to arrive. Aside from French fries, they also have burgers and a few kids meal options. The first picture above is my carne asada fries in a size small that I enjoyed during my first visit. Address: 1540 E Grand Ave, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Cape Cod Eatery & Taphouse

Located in Shell Beach (part of Pismo Beach City and San Luis Obispo County), this large outdoor space is perfect to dine at when the weather is nice. They serve large portion seafood entrees and also offer a few selections under the kid's menu too.

They have a large sandbox in the corner near the larger parking lot area that is such a huge bonus for the kids while you're waiting for your food to come out. Address: 1127 Shell Beach Rd, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Klondike Pizza

This plzza place located in Arroyo Grande has a video arcade in the corner! However, I would not bring anyone with a severe peanut allergy here because there are peanut shells all over the floor and they give free peanuts to eat to every patron who orders pizza so it is surrounded by peanuts. Address: 104 Bridge St, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

For the Vegan

Y'not Organic

They have smoothies, acai bowls, other eats and great coffee. This is a vegan's dream and located in Pismo beach in SLO county! Address: 897 N Oak Park Blvd., Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Asian Cuisine in SLO

Check out recommended picks for Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Hawaiian cuisine in San Luis Obispo (SLO) county!

Other Restaurant Reviews

See detailed reviews of restaurants in San Luis Obispo County that are not featured on this page on the blog section. See several popular choices around SLO County below:

  • Oyster Loft is a seafood restaurant located on the second story with a phenomenal view of Pismo Beach Pier and   the ocean. (More of a date night place.)
  • Rooftop at Inn at the Pier Hotel has the best Pismo Beach Pier view!
  • The Galley in Morro Bay has a wonderful view of the Morro Rock.
  • Bunn Thai is my favorite Thai Restaurant in all of San Luis Obispo County. It has a fun pink wall decor, authentic food and service and located near the beach in Grover Beach.
  • Ventana Grill has an amazing view of the bluffs and a menu to impress for special occasions.
  • AJ Spurs in Grover Beach in a kid-friendly steak house.
  • Robin's Restaurant in Cambria has a beautiful spacious outdoor patio area to dine in.
  • Tropical Hawaiian BBQ has the best Hawaiian food in all of SLO County.
  • List of Boba Shops
  • List of Coffee Shops

Restaurants by the Beach

Old West Cinnamon Rolls

Not your average cinnamon roll place, Old West Cinnamon Rolls offers many different types of toppings that include: pecans, almonds and more! It's located just a block from the ocean and close to all the action in Pismo Beach! Address: 861 Dolliver St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Shin's Poke

Shin's Poke is a great place to enjoy a poke bowl by the beach in Pismo Beach. There are two sizes you can pick from. Located about 2 blocks from the water, you can walk here from the pier. It's a legit place. If you like sushi, you'd like a poke bowl. Address:  361 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Pacific Umi Sushi

Located in Grover Beach, they have the best sushi in the area and put care into their ingredients and presentation.

Parking can be a bit tough on busy nights. During the pandemic, they were offering take-outs only and slowly allowing patrons to come in for certain days.

Food can sometimes take awhile to prepare but it's worth the wait. I usually get their bento specials and if I have room, I'll order mochi!

Pacific Umi Sushi Address:  1319 W Grand Ave, Grover Beach, CA 93433

The Spoon Trade 

Located in Grover Beach, The Spoon Trade is a great place to bring a special person or celebrate a special occasion.

They also have a brunch menu on the weekends and a patio to sit at on a beautiful day.

Address: 295 W Grand Ave, Grover Beach, CA 93433

Ventana Grill

I feel that any tourist or visitor who really wants to be wowed should go to this restaurant in Pismo Beach! They have great food with a unique location, right on the cliffs looking at the ocean! They also have a variety of options under the kid's menu. With an extensive drinking list, I highly recommend coming here for adult celebrations too. Make sure to make reservations and don't forget to come out to the balcony to take some memorable ocean views.

Address: 2575 Price Street Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Tapatia Market & Deli

Located on the corner of Trouville Ave and 13th Street is Tapatia Market & Deli in Grover Beach. As you're passing by, you can sometimes see them grilling outside, making street tacos. This is when you stop your car and grab these delicious tacos! They are authentic with all the fixings.

They don't have a lot of seating so I would recommend taking the food to-go. Address: 646 S 13th St, Grover Beach, CA 93433


This restaurant is right on the beach with an amazing view of the Pismo Beach Pier! You order at the counter first and then they give you a number to sit down. It's a very casual dining restaurant but with world class ocean view! They have a kid's menu with over 5 options. There is a large big bar in the middle of Wooly's that sure makes you feel like you're on vacation. They mainly have seafood dishes but also have burgers too. Below is a picture of the calamari and chips that I ordered at Wooly's.Wooly's Pismo Beach Review Address: 175 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Sando's Deli

Located in Shell Beach, part of Pismo Beach, they have the best sandwiches using Dutch rolls. It's a small place, next to a liquor store but all the locals know about it. They have dutch rolls that they use to make the sandwiches! See my video clip of the sandwich that I ordered here. 
Address: 1255 Shell Beach Rd, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Kanpai Sushi

Kanpai Sushi has the best vibe. Located in Shell Beach, they have an awesome sushi and kid's menu that includes: edamame, soup, salad, gyoza and an entree of choice for a great price!

Adult meals and sushi is pricey but the quality is high par! They are only open for dinner. Read my full review and everything that I ordered here at Kanpai Sushi. Address: 2665 Shell Beach Rd, Shell Beach, CA 93449

Pardon My French Bakery

Located in Grover Beach, this cute bakery creates artistic and delicious pastries and cake. Before the pandemic, you could enjoy your time and sit there as they have a few seating areas if you'd like to enjoy your dessert there. Now, you can just grab some pastries and go.

Hours are from Thurs - Mon from 8AM - 5PM. Address: 1544 W Grand Ave, Grover Beach, CA 93433

Surfside Donuts

Beautiful, fresh donuts can be found at Surfside Donuts in Pismo Beach. Come early as the line can get long.
They are open from 6AM - 1PM according to some hours posted but they are usually closed sooner than that as they can sell out quite quickly. Address: 603 Dolliver St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
List of Restaurants that Closed Down Since We Moved to SLO County:

  • Seaside Cafe and Bakery in Shell Beach (temporarily closed until 2021 or 2022)
  • The Slice Pizza & Games Arroyo Grande (closed 2020)
  • Flagship in Pismo Beach (closed 2020)
  • Dragon Palace in Grover Beach closed during the pandemic
  • Crossroads Cafe (closed 2021)
  • Mandarin Gourmet (closed end of 2021)
  • Figueroa Mountain in Arroyo Grande (closed 2021)
  • Let's Wing It in Grover Beach (closed 2021 or 2022)
  • Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab (closed 2023)
Find family-friendly events by going to the Family-friendly Events page.