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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The Grill at Cass House
The Grill at Cass House is an almost entirely outdoor spot in Cayucos with a fantastic farm-to-table menu and a beachside setting.
SLO Donut Co.
SLO Donut Co. in San Luis Obispo always has a line in the mornings, and for a good reason: their excellent donuts.
The Libertine Pub
The Libertine Pub in Morro Bay has a divey atmosphere, house-brewed sours, and a solid bar menu.
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Willingham’s World Champion BBQ
Willingham’s BBQ in Redondo Beach serves very solid smoked classics.
The Park’s Finest BBQ
A Filipino-Southern BBQ spot worth a visit. Hit it on Wednesdays for their try-it-all $12 special.
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