You don’t always have to make an advance reservation to get the best food and wine experience in Paso Robles. Try stopping into these well-loved haunts to get your fill. The best part about dining in Paso Robles—besides the obvious close proximity to tasting rooms, boutique shopping, and breathtaking natural beauty—is the fact that farm-to-table is more reality than fantasy. After all, Paso’s temperate weather grows wine grapes as well as fresh produce. Ask your server about the menu and they might even be able to tell you where that side salad was grown. Ask for the wine list and receive knowledgable and friendly advice (no shame in mispronouncing Viognier here). So, go on. What are you waiting for? Order up an entree and sit back with a selection of Paso Robles wines all in one savory sitting.
1. Cello Ristorante & Bar
Sure, staying at Allegretto Vineyards Resort sounds like a dream, but you don’t have to stay at this wine country oasis to enjoy the hotel’s elegant restaurant, Cello Ristorante & Bar. With barbecued baby Spanish Octopus and fresh pizzas topped with hand-torn basil and Roma tomatoes on the menu, you can totally pretend you’re on a European vacation (we won’t tell). The wine list helps bolster this fantasy. It includes Allegretto’s own housemade Viognier, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel served alongside a plethora of local bottles, glasses, and flights. You may never want to leave, and honestly—you don’t have to.
2. Centrally Grown
No trip to Paso Robles Wine Country is complete without a leisurely drive along Highway 46 West from the famous Templeton Gap to breezy Cambria on the coast. Do yourself a favor and stretch your legs at Centrally Grown, a unique eatery that offers up an enchanting garden as well as an enticing, farm fresh menu. Whether you seek breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, light fare, or a decent kid’s menu, you will find it here (along with a killer ocean view). On your way to Hearst Castle? Grab a quick cuban sandwich with roasted pork, jack cheese, spicy onions and pickles served on a bolillo. In the mood for a lingering lunch? Slurp down oysters on the half shell and nibble on shrimp tacos topped with jalapeño sauce while enjoying a flight of local wines.
3. Pappy McGreggor’s
An Irish pub is never “just an Irish pub” in foodie-friendly Paso Robles. Savor small bites like fried pickles or shoestring truffle potatoes or share a plate of crispy Brussels Sprouts or chef-selected charcuterie at this casual downtown Paso joint. Whether you want something nostalgic like a thick-cut slice of meatloaf or a kicky bowl of spicy cioppino, Pappy McGregor’s has a slew of time-tested recipes at the ready. Of course, this wine list has all you’d come to expect from a a wine-centric Paso hot spot as well as “Guinness blends,” which mix half of the classic Irish beer with local brews from Firestone Walker Brewing Company. That’s Paso for ya!
4. Fish Gaucho
Wine and tequila may not mix very well in your tummy, but they are both on hand at Fish Gaucho, a popular downtown Paso Robles hangout known for fiery Latin flavors and a fab wine list. Congregate with friends around a mound of house-made chips and guac or go for the nachos piled high with sushi grade ahi, tomatillo salsa, queso cotija, and roasted corn. The ceviche is divine on a hot day, but your more meaty friends will want to order the oak grilled flat iron carne asada or chorizo torta. Flights here include tequila as well as some of the best local wines around…just be sure to choose wisely; we recommend sticking to mourvedre or a marg.
5. Hearst Ranch Winery
An old general store-turned-cafe makes for a quaint, family friendly road stop when out sightseeing along the coast. Located next door to Hearst Ranch Winery’s San Simeon wine tasting room, at Sebastian’s San Simeon you get the stress-free vibe of an old school walk-up-and-order counter alongside elegant local wine, too. This all American spot is known for its sun dappled picnic tables and wood-fired pizzas (served weekends), burgers, and—of course—hot and salty french fries and yummy locally made, Leo Leo Gelato (so beloved that this artisan gelato is a staple at Google headquarters and many Four Seasons Resorts). Of course, you can also grab a world class tasting flight or glass of Hearst Ranch Winery’s award winning Chardonnay, Rosé, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Malbec or Merlot instead of a boring old Coke.
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.
Looking for a place to stay in Paso Robles?
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.
Paso Robles Vacation Rentals, also known as PasoStay.com assists guests in creating memories and wonderful experiences by providing quality privately owned vacation home rentals in Paso Robles Wine Country. With over 90 vacation homes to choose from, small enough for a couple’s romantic getaway to large homes amongst local vineyards and olive orchards, PasoStay.com has the perfect option for you. Feel free to call 805-423-9174 to talk with a local expert or book online at PasoStay.com.