Central Coast Restaurants You Don’t Want to Miss

Monterey Pacific OceanLearn 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 Paso Robles RestaurantBuona Tavola
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
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!

central coast restaurants

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 Restaurant
Gardens of Avila Restaurant in San Luis Obispo
This romantic Central Coast restaurant is part of Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort near Avila Beach. The food is fantastic and the setting is lovely. You may dine inside or outdoors on the patio.

Gardens of Avila is often voted “Most Romantic Dining” in San Luis Obispo.

Jane - A Santa Barbara Restaurant

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”!

Cambria Restaurant - Madeline's RestaurantMadeline’s Restaurant
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.

California Wine Tour - Restaurant Paso Robles

McPhee’s Grill in the Paso Robles Wine Country
McPhee’s Grill is halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Make this great restaurant a “must visit” during your next California Wine Tour. The food is beautifully presented hearty food that is delicious.

Romantic Date - Santa Cruz 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”.

Tarpy's Roadhouse Restaurant
Tarpy’s Roadhouse

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 - Livermore Restaurant 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.

Barndiva – The Place to Dine in Healdsburg

Barndiva - Healdsburg RestaurantBarndiva is the place to dine in Healdsburg. Which is saying a lot about the restaurant. Healdsburg, located in Sonoma County, is known for its many outstanding restaurants. Barndiva’s restaurant, cocktail lounge, and wine bar are truly exceptional. Chef, Mark Hopper, uses fresh local ingredients to create scrumptious seasonally inspired dishes.

From the outside the appearance resembles a rustic barn. However, the inside is an elegant but comfortable ambiance. We decided to dine at this restaurant earlier in the day and could not get reservations. They serve meals as well as drinks at the bar so we snagged seats at the bar.

Barndiva is known for the gourmet field-to-table meals they serve. What we didn’t know was that they are also famous for their artisan drinks. It was fun watching the bartenders create a large variety of spectacular drinks. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy creative and refreshing cocktails, this is the place.

Reservations are definitely recommended. If the weather is nice, ask for a table outside on the back patio. It’s lovely dining under the oak trees. There’s also a small patio in front of the restaurant.

Fillet Mignon - Barndiva
I savored every last bite of the pan seared filet mignon. This was served with an amazing “Loaded” Baked Potato, topped with caramelized onion and bacon. Delicious blue lake green beans accompanied by a tomato vinaigrette finished off the dish.

Chicken - BarndivaMy wife ordered the Crispy Free Range roasted chicken. It was served with sautéed mushrooms and bacon ragout along with egg yolk ravioli. The chicken was cooked to perfection; crispy on the outside, nice and tender on the inside. In fact, the chicken was so tender it was falling off the bone. Everything was bursting with flavor.

Chocolate Dessert - Barndiva
Our meal concluded with a dessert was a chocolate cake topped with chocolate gelato and whipped cream. A delightful end to what was truly a spectacular meal.

Barndiva offers an extensive wine list and we found their prices to be reasonable. Our server was knowledgable about wines and recommended a fabulous bottle to go with our meal. She also suggested nearby wineries to visit the following day.

Next time we visit Healdsburg, Barndiva will be on our list of “Must Do” Restaurants!

Barndiva Contact Information

Address: 231 Center Street, Healdsburg, California 95448
Telephone: (707) 431-0100
Open Wednesday through Sunday.
Lunch: Noon – 2:30 PM
Dinner: Opens at 5:30 PM
Sunday Brunch: Opens at 11:00 AM

Directions Traveling North on Highway 101
1. At exit 503, take ramp right toward Central Healdsburg.
2. Keep straight onto Healdsburg Avenue.
3. Turn right onto Mill Street.
4. Turn left onto Center. Barndiva will be on your left.

Directions Traveling South on Highway 101
1. Exit at Westside Rd toward Guerneville.
2. Turn left onto Westside Road.
3. Turn left onto Center. Barn diva will be on your left.

Park in the parking lot or on the street. Barndiva is just a block or two south of the downtown Healdsburg Plaza.

If you have dined at Barndiva, please share your experience with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Healdsburg Guide

This guide to Healdsburg has all the info you need to explore the Healdsburg area. Learn about wineries, places to stay, where to eat, and things to do. Healdsburg is centrally located in the northern part of the Sonoma Wine Country.

Healdsburg Vineyards