The Central Coast Restaurants

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Central Coast - browse our top choices for Restaurants during your stay.

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  • 1. Café Zack

    $$$ | American

    A local favorite for anniversaries and other celebrations, Zack's serves classic European dishes in an intimate, two-room 1930s cottage adorned...Read More

  • 2. Deetjen's Big Sur Inn

    $$$ | American

    The candle-lighted, creaky-floor restaurant in the main house at the historic inn of the same name is a Big Sur institution. It serves spicy...Read More

  • 3. Ember

    $$$ | American

    A barn-style restaurant with high ceilings and an open kitchen, Ember enjoys a red-hot reputation for Italian-inflected dishes prepared in an...Read More

  • 4. First & Oak

    $$$$ | American

    Create your own custom tasting menu by choosing among five different groups of eclectic California-French dishes paired with local wines at...Read More

  • 5. Giuseppe's Cucina Rustica

    $$$ | Italian

    The younger sibling of the hugely popular Guiseppe's restaurant in Pismo Beach, this lively downtown eatery serves up authentic southern Italian...Read More

  • 6. Il Cortile

    $$$$ | Italian

    One of two Paso establishments owned by chef Santos MacDonal and his wife, Carole, this Italian restaurant entices diners with complex flavors...Read More

  • 7. Madeline's

    $$$$ | French

    Dine on stellar French-American delights at a romantic, candlit table in this tiny restaurant within a tasting room and wineshop in Cambria...Read More

  • 8. Nepenthe

    $$$$ | American

    It may be that no other restaurant between San Francisco and Los Angeles has a better coastal view than Nepenthe, named for an opiate mentioned...Read More

  • 9. Nocciola

    $$$ | Italian

    Authentic northern Italian dishes with a California twist, a cozy fireplace dining room in a century-old Craftsman-style house, and a covered...Read More

  • 10. Root 246

    $$$$ | American

    This chic restaurant's chefs tap local purveyors and shop for organic ingredients at farmers' markets before deciding on the day's menu. Depending...Read More

  • 11. Sea Chest Oyster Bar and Restaurant

    $$$$ | Seafood

    Cambria's best place for seafood fills up soon after it opens at 5:30 (no reservations taken). Those in the know grab seats at the oyster bar...Read More

  • 12. Sierra Mar

    $$$$ | American

    At cliff's edge 1,200 feet above the Pacific at the ultrachic Post Ranch Inn, Sierra Mar serves cutting-edge American cuisine made from mostly...Read More

  • 13. The Lark

    $$$ | American

    Shared dining—small plates and larger—and a seasonal menu showcasing local ingredients are the focus at this urban-chic restaurant named for...Read More

  • 14. The Stonehouse

    $$$$ | American

    The elegant Stonehouse—consistently lauded as one of the nation's top restaurants—is inside a century-old granite former farmhouse at the San...Read More

  • 15. The Sur House

    $$$$ | American

    The Ventana Inn's restaurant sits high on a ridge, and magnificent terraces offer stunning ocean views and a full-service outdoor bar. Regional...Read More

  • 16. Thomas Hill Organic Kitchen

    $$$ | Fusion

    This hip eatery—the chic sibling of a much-lauded restaurant in Paso Robles—opened on the second story of a downtown building near the mission...Read More

  • 17. Thomas Hill Organics

    $$$$ | American

    The Central Coast's abundance of organic and sustainably sourced bounty—veggies, seafood, meats, and breads—are creatively woven into innovative...Read More

  • 18. Tognazzini's Dockside

    $$ | Seafood

    Captain Mark Tognazzini catches seasonal seafood and delivers the bounty to his family's collection of down-home, no-frills enterprises in the...Read More

  • 19. Toma

    $$$ | Italian

    Seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and softly lit muted-yellow walls evoke the flavors and charms of Tuscany and the Mediterranean at this...Read More

  • 20. Arigato Sushi

    $$$ | Japanese

    You might have to wait for a table at this two-story restaurant and sushi bar—locals line up early for the wildly creative combination rolls...Read More

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