Learn about the top Central Coast restaurants. Experience the fine dining opportunities waiting for you along with the beautiful coastal scenery. As you explore this scenic region, be sure to enjoy a either lunch or dinner at these world class restaurants.
Learn about the best restaurants in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Cambria, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Livermore. The Central Coast is an incredible area to visit for many reasons and the choices for dining just adds to the charm. Click on the links to learn more about each restaurant.
Central Coast Restaurants
Buona Tavola is an amazing restaurant with locations in both San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. The restaurant features the cuisine of northern Italy. The food is fabulous and the service outstanding. This is a small casually elegant setting.
If you’re craving Italian, head to Buona Tyvola for either lunch or dinner!
Apple Farm Restaurant in San Luis Obispo
This San Luis Obispo restaurant is our favorite place for eating breakfast. They also serve lunch and dinner. The food is fresh, atmosphere cozy, and service friendly. Dine indoors or outside.
Our choice for a great breakfast in San Luis Obispo!
Ciopinot Seafood Grille
Well trained, friendly staff combined with fabulous food makes Ciopinot a favorite restaurant. This San Luis Obispo restaurant is a fabulous place to dine. They’re known for their seafood, but offer steak and other food as well. If you love cioppino, be sure to order their “no work” cioppino, their signature dish. Everything’s ready to eat and delicious!
A bonus for wine drinkers: there’s no corkage fee if you bring your own wine from the area.
Gardens of Avila is often voted “Most Romantic Dining” in San Luis Obispo.
Jane – A Santa Barbara Restaurant
Jane is a charming restaurant located in Santa Barbara’s popular State Street area. You’ll love the moderately priced, well prepared food.
Make reservations for a table on the balcony where you can relax and enjoy a great meal. Open for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday.
I’m not a huge fan of coconut, but highly recommend their Coconut Cake. It’s a “Must Order”!
Madelines is a wonderful restaurant located in the charming seaside town of Cambria. Cambria is on the western side of the Paso Robles Wine Country in California’s Central Coast Wine Country. Explore Cambria and enjoy the gourmet delights of this San Luis Obispo restaurant.
Make reservations because this is a very small restaurant.
A Romantic Restaurant in the Santa Cruz Wine Country
Shadowbrook is our top recommendation for a romantic restaurant in the Santa Cruz area. Take a cable car down the hill to the restaurant surrounded with beautiful landscaping overlooking Soquel Creek. This is a restaurant where you can relax and enjoy the beauties of California’s Central Coast on your Santa Cruz wine tour.
Shadowbrook has won numerous awards for being “Most Romantic Restaurant in the Santa Cruz Area”.
Dine in an historic building in Monterey Wine Country. This Monterey restaurant has an extensive menu, award-winning wine list, and marvelous food. This romantic restaurant is a great place to dine while exploring the central coast of California.
Be sure to try the their fried banana split: fried bananas covered with strawberries, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream. Fabulous!
The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards in the Livermore Wine Country
This romantic restaurant is located in the heart of Livermore Wine Country. The casual elegance welcomes you and the fabulous food keeps you coming back. Plan a visit during your next California Wine Tour.
Dine at Wente for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch. During the summer you can purchase concert tickets with a dinner option. This is always an outstanding choice!
If you have eaten at any of these Central Coast restaurants, we’d love to hear about your experiences. Scroll down and leave a comment below.