When visiting any area, you usually avoid the tourist traps and go for the local suggestions, right? In Paso Robles, it’s even easier to make sure you’re getting the real scoop on “what’s good” because the locals are so notoriously friendly. Stop most folks on the street, and you’ll see: Paso Roblans are pretty much always ready and willing to tell you about their favorite longstanding watering holes, dining spots, and must-see destinations hiding in plain sight. Looking to experience the “real” Paso Robles of your dreams? Take it from the people who call Paso home. These humble spots are beloved for their authenticity, charm, and local appeal.
The Wine Boss
This old fashioned speakeasy-inspired bar is ground zero for small lot releases, boutique bottles, and the most unique sippers this side of the Cuesta grade. With an ever-changing tasting wine menu that reflects exactly what’s hot in Paso vineyards and barrels, you can’t go wrong here. Just stop in and ask what’s new—the barkeep is always excited to share new offerings or set up a tasting flight. Try a Summer-worthy splash of Lusso Della Terra 2015 Central Coast Pinot Grisio or grab a glass of local cider or craft beer produced right here in Paso Robles. It’s up to you. Just know that if it’s delicious and of-the-moment, you can bet it’s on tap at The Wine Boss. Consider this your one-stop tasting stop, no reservations required (ever).
Pappy McGregor’s Irish Pub
White tablecloth? Farm-to-table? Flickering candlelight? Not quite. Still, this longstanding bar and restaurant has won over locals thanks to consistently filling pub grub, a good selection of cocktails, local beer, and wine, and a totally casual atmosphere(cowboy boots and flip-flops are the only dress code at this joint). Sometimes you just want a plate of something comforting (lobster mac n cheese, please) or fried (crispy jalapeño rings for the win). What local hasn’t craved Pappy’s spicy wings or pretzel fondue (with creamy pepper jack for dipping, of course) after a long night out on the town? Local tip: Paso Robles is not a “late night” town by any means. Still, if you find yourself partying till the wee hours, you can bet that Pappy’s will keep the light on for ya. Open Sunday through Thursday till midnight and Friday and Saturday till 2 a.m., this chill hangout is always jumping.
Find out why locals know Rendarrio Vineyards as a “classy yet gangster” joint. Located in an industrial area with a view of the Ford Dealership, this sweet modern tasting room is not exactlynestled within a location that screams “tourists!” That’s a very good thing. With upscale Rhone offerings crafted with a mix of Old World skill and new world ethos, this tasting room might be one of Paso’s best-kept secrets. Plus—and here’s the real deal scoop—Rendarrio is now home to burlesque events as classy (and edgy) as their tagline suggests. The latest burlesque event is scheduled for Aug. 26 and features a host of trained dancers-turned-burlesque performers with names like “Rouge de Sang,” “Stormy Merryweather,” and “Galaxy”. You won’t find that in the tour guide!
When Paso Roblans head for the coast, they don’t just hit the beach—they hit the best culinary spots out there. None is more unique or relaxing than Cambria’s Centrally Grown, located about 40 minutes from Paso Robles (via a gorgeous drive through the wineries of Highway 46 West). With a breathtaking view of the coast, a scenic garden filled with California native plants, and the freshest farm-to-table food and drink under the sun, this is where the locals flock when summer temps soar.
Dubost Vineyard and Winery
This old school Paso Robles tasting room is proud to be rural. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and located off dusty Chimney Rock Road, you’ll see your fair share of cows and horses on your way out to taste (keep an eye out for deer, too!). With bold barrel aged estate red wines, elegant whites, and buttery olive oils that reflect their Paso ranching heritage, Dubost Vineyard and Winery offers up traditional taste with rustic charm to spare.
This blog was written by Hayley Thomas Cain, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at [email protected] or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.
If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers.
Majestically set among vineyards, olive groves and fruit baring orchards, the 20-acre Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a world unto itself, offering breathtaking settings that inspire and bring joy to all who choose this memorable wine country haven. Featuring 171 rooms and suites, on-site spa, grand ballroom, wine tasting room, and inspired culinary creations at Cello, the resort’s full service restaurant.
La Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping.
Enjoy the elegance, style and natural beauty of California’s Central Coast at the JUST Inn®. Surrounded by vineyards, our JUST Inn Suites offer luxurious appointments like fireplaces, Tempur-Pedic®mattresses, Frette linens, hydro-spa tubs, and range in size from 600–1,200 square feet. An overnight stay includes breakfast and a tour of the winery and caves.