Where to eat

San Luis Obispo may be a small town, but the selection of cuisine and restaurants is not. It's not uncommon to see local chefs wandering around the famous Thursday Night Farmer's Market in downtown SLO buying up fresh produce and meats from our local farmers for their menus. There have been several new restaurants opening their doors in the County and Marathon weekend is a great time to take advantage of the farm fresh produce, local meats and seafoods, unique baked goods and ice creams made right here in SLO. Here are a few restaurants we really like, and are sure you will too!

Kreuzberg Cafe

On Higuera Street, Kruzeberg is a funky cafe (decor like Side Car, but comfy couches and chairs) that is a local hangout/study place for Cal Poly students, artists and the late night crowd. They have any kind of coffee you can think of and rich pastries. They also serve lunch. Sit at the curbside tables and people watch. 685 Higuera St., SLO

MO'S Smokehouse BBQ

was born more than 20 years ago from a 3500-mile trip through the barbecue belt of the South and Mid-West, visiting 10 states and 80 restaurants, finding the best recipes and cooking methods and bringing it all back to the West Coast. Remnants and antiques from the trip adorn each location in San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach and Chico, CA. Mo’s slow cooks using hickory for its authentic southern taste. For a look at their menus, their catering services or to order their signature BBQ sauces, visit www.smokinmosbbq.com. Mo's is located at 1005 Monterey Street.

Del Monte Cafe

For breakfast and that true, authentic diner experience, the Del Monte Cafe is the place to go. They have signature egg dishes, Huevos Rancheros, Pancakes, Bagels and just about anything you might want after a great run. They are located in the old Railroad District and you can see the diner from the Jennifer Street Bridge, part of the Marathon + Half course. It's fun to eat at the counter or outside on the patio. 1901 Santa Barbara Ave., SLO

Splash Cafe

Splash Cafe, with the original location in Pismo Beach and a second location in SLO (just down the street from the start line), has the best clam chowder in the world! No really. People order the creamy concoction from all over the US and internationally. Central Valley folks drive over an hour and a half just to have dinner at the cafe. They also have fantastic seafood, burgers, sandwiches, breakfast items and they feature Sweet Earth Chocolates and fresh baked items every day.If you're a chowderhead, this is a must stop while you are in town. 1491 Monterey St., SLO and 197 Pomeroy St., Pismo Beach


Novo has a great mix of fresh, organic, local ingredients with a sophistication that is top notch and so tasty. They have a superb wine list and sitting on the back porch overlooking the creek is a great experience. Novo is great for lunch and dinner. 726 Higuera St., SLO

Big Sky Café

The “Market Fresh Cuisine” of Big Sky Café is a favorite whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Seasonal, farm-fresh specials join menu stalwarts such as Red Flannel Turkey Hash, Buttermilk Fried Chicken Salad, and Ancho-Glazed Salmon. Local wines are available and don’t forget about dessert! 1121 Broad St., SLO

Lincoln Market & Deli

Lincoln Market & Deli is a hidden gem with easy access off the Broad Street exit of Southbound Highway 101. This neighborhood spot has a vintage vibe, plus hearty made-to-order hot and cold sandwiches, Peet’s coffee and iced tea, and an impressive selection of premium bottled microbrews. 496 Broad St., SLO


Meze, pronounced (meh-zay), is a small portion dish that is served to complement and enhance the taste of the drink (great wines) and to provide the backdrop for a social gathering. Meze is located in the Railroad district in the restored red brick building on Santa Barbara Street. They offer soups, sandwiches, but their signatures are their Country Boards, Butcher Block or Cheesemonger Boards with select meats and cheeses from all over the world. Paired with either local or International wines, it's a foodie's dream. 1880 Santa Barbara St., SLO

Side Car

On Broad Street, Side Car has an eclectic menu with fantastic pairings of food. We think the chef is back in the kitchen saying, "I wonder if beef goes with bacon maple syrup?" Walk through the door you think you're in someones garage sale - fun furniture from mid-Century. They have a fantastic bar - great local microbrews and wines. 1127 Broad St., SLO

Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House located at the Madonna Inn Resort & Spa

There is nothing like eating at the Madonna Inn. Pink everywhere. The Gold Rush Steakhouse has fantastic steaks, just melt in your mouth. Sitting in the pink booths you are surrounding by the history of the Inn. The Copper Cafe is the place for breakfast and lunch, great egg dishes, fabulous sandwiches and a to-die-for hot fudge sundae. You will never walk away feeling hungry. 100 Madonna Rd., SLO

Jamba Juice

Hey, this is a SLO original. Yep, first one right here in SLO. Jamba Juice's first store is on Chorro Street near the Cal Poly campus. Jamba is good any time of the day.17 Chorro St., SLO

Sally Lou's

Sally Lou's is the cutest place in the Railroad District. Their baked goods (scones and cupcakes) are awesome. Sally Lou's is also right on the Marathon + Half course, so if your friends and family get there early, they will see you run by at Mile 23 and cheer you on to the finish. 1804 Osos St., SLO


batch is a new dessert place. Fresh baked, homemade cookies, fresh locally made Doc Burnstein's ice cream, put them together as a sandwich and wow!! 1108 Broad St., SLO

Rocket Fizz

Rocket Fizz opened recently, but walk through the door and it's a blast from the past (pun intended) with a selection of candies from mid-century. Every candy or soda you see will bring back a childhood memory. They have just about anything you can think of and a big selection of European candies too. Watch out, if you walk in, it will be hard to leave empty handed. 699 Higuera St., SLO

McCarthy's Irish Pub

We couldn't leave this page without mentioning McCarthy's Pub. It has the distinction of selling the most Irish Whiskey in a year in the nation. Yes, our little town sells more more than Boston or New York City (go figure). The busiest day of the year is, of course, St. Patrick's Day where the revelry begins at midnight and doesn't stop all day long. They have an outdoor patio where most hang out to drink their Jameson's. 600 Marsh St., SLO