We’re continuing with my Paso Robles series today, covering the best Paso Robles restaurants! The Paso Robles restaurants situation is not nearly as overwhelming as the Paso Robles wineries sitch (there are over 260, so it’s tough to narrow things down!), but there are plenty of delicious gems to choose from. There’s a good chance you’re visiting Paso from LA, SF, or Santa Barbara and you’re used to endless restaurant choices. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! You’ll find several popular and delicious spots for lunch or dinner in the downtown area, as well as at some of Paso Robles’ wineries.
Since the downtown area doesn’t have a ton of restaurants, the really good ones are popular for a reason and it is definitely wise to make reservations ahead of time if the restaurant accepts them (some don’t!). For those that don’t take reservations, expect a wait on weekend nights and grab a drink at a bar, nearby tasting room, or try to come early.
Best Paso Robles Restaurants
Fish Gaucho: Ask any local for recommendations on some of their favorite Paso Robles restaurants, and Fish Gaucho will undoubtedly be on their list. And after wine tasting all day, it’s nice to be able to change things up with elevated Mexican food and margaritas—they have over 80 different kinds of mezcal and tequila! Their modern Mexican menu is focused on fresh seafood, but their meat selection is pretty great too. We kept hearing about their porkchop, and it did not disappoint!
The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar: The Hatch is another super popular restaurant in town (definitely make reservations), with a fun, low-key (and sometimes a little rowdy) atmosphere. They take their meats and their cocktails seriously, with a focus on wood-fired meats and whiskey drinks. Their cocktail bar is led by award-winning bartender (or “cocktail czar”), Robin Wolf, who’s no stranger do the San Luis Obispo County hospitality scene.
BL Brasserie: Formerly Bistro Laurent for 21 years, Chef Laurent Grangien has taken on a new challenge by bringing a Brasserie to Paso Robles wine country. The French cuisine here is delicious and perfect for a lunch or dinner in downtown. Grab an outdoor seat on a nice day and don’t miss the French onion soup.
The Restaurant at JUSTIN: We had an incredible lunch at the restaurant at JUSTIN, and this spot is definitely one to make absolutely sure is on your Paso itinerary. The restaurant itself is lovely, with plenty of outdoor seating overlooking the winery. Their pizza is fantastic paired with a glass of JUSTIFICATION. When we were there the chef was experimenting with a special that involved an insane mac & cheese dish with candied bacon and jalapenos, and I really hope they permanently add that to their menu because it was to die for!
Lunch at JUSTIN is served Thursday – Sunday, and dinner is a prix fixe situation with three seating times available Tuesday – Saturday. For dinner, they also offer a shuttle from their downtown tasting room to their winery, making transportation easy.
Tin Canteen: If you’re exploring hipster-chic Tin City, Tin Canteen is a great place to grab some delicious Italian comfort food. They make wood-fired pizzas, fresh pasta, and a delish wagyu burger. The drinks menu is beer and wine only, with a mix of local and Italian wines. This is a great spot when you’re in need of a wine tasting break and some delicious food.
Il Cortile: Il Cortile is a romantic fine-dining Italian restaurant that is known for its traditional Italian menu. They offer a reasonable corkage fee of $20, so if you want to bring one of those bottles you purchased while wine tasting earlier that day, have at it.
Thomas Hill Organics: Thomas Hill Organics is a super cute restaurant in downtown that actually started as a 10-acre organic farm (that still exists). The interior is charming and lovely, and the back patio offers an indoor/outdoor seating situation. As the name would suggest, the food is focused on organic ingredients, and the wine list highlights local wineries. We came here for lunch but it would also be a great spot for breakfast or brunch—I’m eyeing the pumpkin and pork belly hash.
Buona Tavola: Buona Tavola has some history in the California central coast—owner Antonio trained in Italy and Europe, and later opened his first restaurant in San Luis Obispo in 1992. Met with rave reviews by Zagat and locals alike, he opened a second restaurant in Paso Robles a decade later. Both feature his classic Italian dishes and pastas, and a lively and fun ambiance.
Goshi: When you think of the central coast, you might not think of sushi right away, but Goshi offers delicious Japanese food and sake, which is a nice change of pace for the area. Goshi’s founder, Takeshi Yamada trained Tokyo and Kyoto, and he’s brought his passion for Japanese cuisine to downtown Paso.
Cello: Allegretto Resort’s restaurant Cello is Mediterranean-inspired and features some really delicious dishes. The vibe is upscale while still being comfortable and inviting. We had a really great dinner here and enjoyed their calamari, rack of lamb, steak, and Allegretto’s own wines paired with our meals.
Red Scooter: Paso doesn’t have a ton of casual and quick breakfast options, so Red Scooter comes in clutch here. This little deli in downtown has great sandwiches, salads, and smoothies, but they’re especially known for their breakfast sandwiches. Grab one for a quick bite to cure your wine hangover or to prep for a long day of wine tasting ahead. Red Scooter also has gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options available. They’re open every day for breakfast and lunch.
Six Test Kitchen: Six Test Kitchen is an intimate, 12-person restaurant that is known for being Paso’s most elevated dining experience. Chef Ricky Odbert gave up a hectic life working in fancy Bay Area restaurants like Michelin star restaurant Masa’s to create something of his own—a unique tet kitchen with a creative tasting menu. Some of his ingredients are sourced locally, while others are grown by Six Test Kitchen. Their 12-course tasting menu changes throughout the season, and they also offer a wine pairing featuring local and imported wines.
The Restaurant at Niner Wine Estates: On a day when you’ll be wine tasting in the Willow Creek District, stop for lunch at the restaurant at Niner Wine Estates. The restaurant is open Thursday – Sunday, and the outdoor patio overlooks Heart Hill Vineyard, making for the perfect afternoon lunch spot. Their restaurant has received accolades from Food & Wine and USA Today, and their ingredients are locally sourced from their own gardens and local partners. If you’re looking for something decadent and delicious, try their burger.
Firestone Walker: Firestone Walker’s taproom also features a restaurant serving lunch and dinner. You’ll find things like shareable plates, burgers, and sandwiches on the menu—perfect for a hearty lunch during a beer/wine tasting day, or for a solid dinner when you’ve got the drunk munchies after drinking all day.
As you can see, Paso Robles has some really fabulous dining options, from casual and rowdy to intimate and elevated. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make myself some lunch because writing this post made me SO hungry.
Paso Robles is located in Central California, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
You don’t have to try and get fancy with the pronunciation of Paso Robles—it’s pronounced ROH-buhlz.
Paso Robles is known for its wine country and Rhone-style varietals.