Lessons in Leisure: California’s Central Coast Nibbles, Noshes and Noms

DSC01516I spent a week last year in Morro Bay, Cambria and San Luis Obispo on California’s Central Coast. It was a great getaway and I really enjoyed some downtime.

One of the things I enjoy doing while traveling is finding great new places to eat. With all the walking we do (9 miles and 23 flights of stairs in one day at Hearst Castle!) I want good food. And I’m not looking for chain restaurants when we travel.

Here are a few of great little places that we found during that week.

Giovanni’s Fish Market & Galley

Embarcadero, 1001 Front St, Morro Bay, CA 93442

They serve the best clam chowder I can ever recall having. My husband and I split this with some garlic cheese bread and a couple of beers for lunch one afternoon. I’d be tempted to drive all the way up there just for this.

Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe

801 Market Ave, Morro Bay, CA 93442

I had the dinner special one night – Seared Ahi Spinach Salad. It was pretty damn good and they shared the recipe with me. Kind of.

  • Spinach
  • Sesame crusted Ahi seared rare
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Avocado
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Feta cheese
  • Garlic vinaigrette

Linn’s Fruit Bin Restaurant

277 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428

Remember the 9 miles and 23 flights of stairs at Hearst Castle? We skipped lunch and left there hungry, ending up at Linn’s. Again, I’m one for taking the waitstaff’s suggestions and went with the dinner special: brined bone-in thick cut grilled pork chop with an olallieberry relish. I don’t even remember what else came with it and frankly I don’t care. This and a glass of chilled white wine – after a long hot day spent walking and climbing – made me happy.

Las Cambritas

2336 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428-3404

While I don’t recall what I had, I had a bite of Mr. Rinaldi’s chicken tostadas. I spent the rest of the meal trying to get him to switch with me. Yes, they were that good.

Rick and I often comment about the fact that with all of our traveling – and eating – we’ve never had a bad meal. A lot of that comes from talking to the locals and asking questions. So the next time you’re out in a new area, check out a local restaurant, support a small business and ask your waitstaff what they recommend. You might find a place worth driving six hours to for a cup of soup.

previously: travel tips for the leisurely traveler

copyright kimberly rinaldi