Resty Gossip 5.6 2023 BEST OF SLO

I fixed it for you. I can’t believe we’ve gone from a curt, fun, one-pager to six separate lists with email addresses SERIOUSLY WHO EMAILS A RESTAURANT??? and the gold-star everyone’s-a-winner mentality intense gerrymandering where two “best restaurants” are literally 20 blocks apart. We’ve always been able to pick out the paid-for spots (Woodstock… Novo… Firestone… I can go on…) but now it’s chopped up into pedantic micro-sections blurringly pointless. I’m staying in my lane and sticking to food & wine. I did keep the BEST RESTAURANT divided among major regions, but we’re NOT choppin up 5-Cities.  And no, nobody voted on this… this is all my opinion because I know best. I’ve added a couple catagories where I thought specificities demanded and included asterisks where High Times and I agreed–which is quite a few, honestly. Did I leave a few out? Sure, but that’s the nature of lists. BTW this was the fastest, easiest, funnest Resty Gossip I have ever written in my life. Just like BEST OF SLO used to be:

Best SLO Coast Restaurant  Black Cat Bistro Cambria

Best NoCo Restaurant  In Bloom Paso Robles

*Best SoCo Restaurant  Ember Arroyo Grande

Best SLO Resty??? sorry, gotta skip this one. There’s nothing. I love lots of restaurants in SLO and eat at them regularly, but nothing rises above the others enough–like the above 3 do–to call a winner. Blue is not it. Granada is not it. Giuseppe’s is not it. Luna is not it. Novo is not it. Just can’t do it. Drive 10 mins over the hill and go to Range.

Best Hangover/Brunch  Pig Iron Templeton

Best Breakfast   Celia’s Garden Cafe Los Osos

Best Family-Friendly Resty  SLO Brew Rock

Best Restaurant when your sister’s a vegetarian  Big Sky SLO

*Best Mac & Cheese/RedBull & Vodkas   Black Sheep SLO

Best *round table* Pizza   Sam’s Giant Manhattan Grover City

Best *real* pizza   Palo Mesa Wood-Fired Arroyo Grande Village

Best Hotdog   Costco

Best Sandwich   SLO Delicious Garden Street

Best Dessert   Monika’s Macarons SLO

*Best Chinese Food   Mei’s Shell Beach

Best Dimsum   Oki Kohi San Luis Obispo

Best Italian Food   Il Cortile Paso Robles

Best Sushi   Yamato Grover Beach

Best Ramen  Momotaro Paso Robles Market Walk

Best Pho   @Bites SLO

Best Seafood   Galley Morro Bay

Best Savory Bakery  Wayward Los Osos

Best Sweet Bakery   La Parisienne Morro Bay

Best Pie   Bramble Atascadero

Best Bread   Back of Food-4-Less You don’t believe me and that’s your loss. Baked fresh EVERY DAY right there. If you are a restaurant with any sort of panini or hoagie and are NOT using their bolillo, you are failing your customers. Better baguette than 90% of them out there.

Best Tacos   13th Street La Tapatia purposely not putting a link because most of the people reading this deserve to go to Ephren’s & Fish Gaucho and be sad forever.

Best Mexican Food   Taqueria Jalisco Paso Robles

Best White-people Mexican Food   Finca

Best Cubano   Luna Llena

Best Banh-Mi  Lincoln Deli

Best Indian Food   Taj Palace

Best Thai   Divine because BYOB no corkage and I can drink Riesling and Gewurstraminer with my Thai as god intended.

Best Poke There is no fuckin poke in SLO.  It’s all college-girl rice-bowl junk. Go to Hawaii if you don’t believe me.

Best Weirdly Ethnic   Mistura

Best BBQ   G-Bros because BRISKET. Tri-tip is evil and BBQ is SMOKEHOUSE, not grill.

Best Steak  Hitching Post in Casmalia. Yes it’s in SBC. Stop complaining and just do it. And the Sideways one in Buellton is a pro-move, but just not the same. 5 years ago this would have easily been Jocko’s, but not anymore.

Best Deli   Di Raimondo’s

Best Olive Oil   The Kalamata at Trader Joe’s for $8 when they have it

Best Food Truck   Wicked Garden at SLO Wine & Beer

Best Halfway Station Halfway Station

Best Caterer   Julie Simon

Best Chef   Paul Kwong

*Best Butcher  AG Meat Co

*Best Fish Market   Giovanni’s

Best Fried Chicken   Popeye’s PROVE ME WRONG

Best Chowder   Hoagies (yes you can get it in SLO on NOMO too)

Best Fish & Chips   Bayside Cafe DUH

Best Vegan  Nobody cares

Best GF   Nobody cares

Best Salad  Nobody cares

Best Froyo   Grow up

Best Donut   DK’S Arroyo Grande because monkey-poop coffee

Best Ice Cream   Nobody cares

Best Continental   Harbor Hut Morro Bay

Best Mediterranean   Dar Wish Grover City

Best Smashburger   Mutiny Paso

Best Hamburger  Sally Loo’s

Best Non-Hamburger Hamburger   The HIZENBURGER High St. Deli (NOT served in LO, btw)

Best Diner Burger   Lil’ Bits Grover Beach

Best Restaurant with a Cause The Bridge Cafe SLO

Best Place to take a First Date   Granada

Best Place to take a Second Date   Robin’s

Best Place to take a Third date   Sycamore

Best place to take sidebae Pismo Coast Village Grill

Best Place to get Married   Harmony Chapel

Best Winebar   StaXXX

Best Winelist  Lido

Best wine-shop   WineSneak

Best “Natural” Wine-shop  BottleCraft

Best Paso Robles Winery   Dunning

Best Edna Valley Winery   Timbre

Best Sparkling Wine   Sinor-Lavallee

Best-priced Resty list   Cafe Della Via

Best Place to Buy Booze  Third Base Grover & Paso

Best place to drink Secondary-Market Alcohol for bottle prices  Luna Red

Best Bar   Nate’s on Marsh

Best Speakeasy   The Remedy

Best Dive-bar   Legends Morro Bay

Best Watering Hole   Rosalina Santa Margarita

Best Roof-Top Bar   Piccolo Paso Robles

Best Brewery   Three Stacks & A Rock

*Best Distillery   Rod & Hammer at SLO Stills

Best Brewpub   The Olde Alehouse Los Osos

Best Happy Hour   Martini Monday at like I would tell you because there’s only, like, 5 stools.

Best Drinks with a View   Spirit of San Luis

Best Bartender   Tony Bennett

Best Sports Bar    Beda’s Biergarten

Best Coffee Drinks  Kreuzberg

Best Actual Coffee  Field Day

*Best Herb Shop   Secret Garden

Best Juice Place   Sandy’s Deli (in Cambria West Village NOT the liquor store in SLO)

Best Smoothie   What are we NINE???

Best DJ   Matty Mayhem

Best Band    Ray Chang

Best Large Live Music Venue   SLO Brew Rock Event Center

Best locals-only music hang-out Puffer’s of Pismo

Best Place for Karaoke   Please don’t

Best Place for Trivia   WHAT????  No

*Best Record Shop   Boo Boo I mean is there literally any other in the county?

Best Book Store   No, it’s not Phoenix, it’s MYLR Gallery & Books you’re welcome.

Ok, this list is degenerating   I’m done

Tell me a CLASSIC catagory I missed and I’ll add it. Maybe.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lee Ann Vermeulen says:

    Hey hey thanks for your personal Best Of list! Like you, nobody pays for a Best Of spot

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marci Imes says:

    Well done. Thanks. Truly a good list.

    Liked by 1 person

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