San Luis Obispo, a California coastal town that near has it all. Head west and you're driving down the cinematic Highway 1 with the Pacific Ocean glistening to your right. Head inland 15 minutes and you've reached a wine haven with sprawling vineyards. Or stay in SLO and browse the charming 5 block long downtown center, chatting with friendly locals, college students and former students who've stayed and just couldn't pull themselves away from a place that Oprah coined as, 'The Happiest City in America'.
PS: If you'd like to join and feature one of your favorite places or the city you live in, the instructions are at the bottom of the post under 'How to Join'. Would love to feature you!
TRAVELERS INSIGHT: San Luis Obispo, CA
Name: Cindy R. (my mother, former SLO/University alumni and frequent visitor)
From: San Francisco, CA
1.) Sight, sounds and taste of the local markets?
San Luis Obispo is laid back. The people are friendly and the climate mild. A creek runs down the center of town and I love walking along it. If you are lucky enough to be there on Thursday you will find a lively Farmers Market, streets packed with college students and young families.
2.) Ingredients you can't find anywhere else?
We always head to Ruddell’s Smokehouse in Cayucos. They have great smoked albacore fish tacos filled with crunchy celery and apples bites. This spot is very small and you eat on rickety plastic chairs and tables on the sidewalk but you are directly across from the ocean - my kind of roughing it. The tacos are light and not too filling - leaving enough room for a little indulgence across the street at Brown Butter Cookie Co.
3.) Eateries that do it right?
No trip to SLO is complete without dinner at Novo. We sit outside under the stars and strings of lights, the creek is on one side, people are strolling along the creek and the sounds of the restaurant and bar fill the air. The food is always delicious, especially the fresh calamari and coastal wines.
4.) Divy hangout?
Got to be Schooners Wharf. We walk right through the restaurant (still haven’t eaten there yet) and head upstairs to the bar. Great little hideout tucked into the corner with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. We always run into characters at this bar. One year we chatted up a local asking him what was his favorite bar in Cayucos, he said he had been kicked out of the other one so it had to be this one!
5.) What brought you here?
I went to school at Cal Poly and many family members have continued the tradition. We fell in love with SLO and try to make a trip back at least once a year.
6.) A moment to capture?
Getting up in the morning, walking through town to West End Café, order a cappuccino, read the paper at the round wood table near the corner, watch the table fill up with my late arriving family members who have come to join us. Heaven.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading about SLO through the eyes of my mom! My mom, two aunts, uncle and myself all went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo for University. Its a special town that just has an unspoken vibe that draws you in. With its 75F climate, endless mountains and trails to bike and climb, and delicious eateries playing with seasonal foods, it is no wonder why I escape the hustle and bustle of San Francisco and head South for a little nostalgia from a place I used to call home...
In fact, I'lll be heading back in a few weeks to visit a friend so if you'd like to see more of SLO, you can follow me on instagram (#8thandlake) for clips of this very funky town :)
HOW TO JOIN:
Want to be feature and share a tasting of your favorite place you've visited or the city you live in? All you have to do is send me (via email on my contact page) 4-6 high-quality pictures of the destination you'd like to share, answers to these same questions and thats it!
Can't wait to share more Foreign Kitchen inspiration with you guys every Wednesday!