SLO might be known for its wine and farm-fresh everything, but at its core, it’s a BBQ town. Santa Maria-style (tri-tip smoked in native Red Oak wood) is king around here, and when it comes to tracking down the best version, skip the hoards of brochure tourists and drunk college kids at Firestone Grill and head a few blocks down to Old San Luis BBQ instead. This locally-run spot has better tri-tip, better beer, a fraction of the crowds, and a relaxed space you actually want to hang out in.
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Scout Coffee is our favorite coffee shop in San Luis Obispo, and they serve great pastries as well.
Ember in Arroyo Grande has an excellent patio, fantastic Californian food, and is one of the most exciting places to eat on the Central Coast.
Sidecar is a low-key cocktail bar in San Luis Obispo, and a nice spot to escape the Cal Poly fake ID crowd.
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Max City BBQ
Max City BBQ in Eagle Rock has good all-around BBQ - particularly their St. Louis-style ribs.
Soot Bull Jeep
One of the only barbecue spots in Koreatown that still only uses coal, Soot Bull Jeep specializes in baby back ribs that are sweet and tender.
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