If you’re looking to savor delicious food here on the Central Coast, and learn more about its culture and history, then you’ve come to the right place. In addition to the over 14 farmers’ markets that we have in the county, we also have amazing restaurants, food-themed festivals, and specialty food shops. Here, taking a cue from stops on our “101 Reasons to Exit Highway 101 Guide” are five great places that you can learn about food and culture, and probably try something amazing you’ve never tasted before too!
33. Famous Farmers’ Market in Downtown San Luis Obispo
The Farmers’ Market is more than just produce, but also has many delicious food samplings such as desserts, pizzas, barbecue, and more. You can watch the pizza-makers at Giuseppe’s tent make your pizza right in front of you, or see sizzling beef and vegetables cooking on the grill. See, smell, and taste delicious, freshly cooked food every Thursday at the San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market.
74. Fish & Farmers’ Market on the Promenade, Avila Beach
The Avila Beach farmers’ market on Friday afternoons is similar to the one in San Luis Obispo, with the added bonus of delicious seafood due to its coastal location. Tasty options abound, from entrees to desserts, and you can usually watch live music or entertainment while eating. A great, family-friendly activity, it’s super easy to attend when you’re staying at Avila Lighthouse Suites, which is on the same street!
79. Central Coast Food Tours
For the ultimate foodie, you really can’t do anything better than attend a Central Coast Food Tour. They’re designed so that even people who don’t ordinarily like guided tours will love them, with small-groups, a dedicated and well-informed guide, and carefully selected stops. While walking through a culinary area, you’ll get an insider’s perspective complete with favorite spots, little known places, and “must-dos” that you should add to your vacation agenda. Every stop offers wonderfully tasty food, and you’ll learn about the culture and history of the area.
Visit Pasolivo, a family-run and authentic olive oil producer, in Paso Robles to sample olive oils. Once you’ve tasted an olive oil made with the finest processes and ingredients, you won’t want to go back to imported olive oil from the grocery store! At Pasolivo, you’ll do tastings of olive oil just like wine tastings, along with crackers and snacks. Learn more about the benefits of olive oil in one of our past blog articles.
101. Vivant Fine Cheese
Cheese is another fine specialty item on the Central Coast, and you can learn all about it at Vivant Fine Cheese. They offer imported cheeses, ones made by local producers, as well as their own creations! Kick back, relax, and enjoy learning more about cheese while savoring a glass of wine at their Paso Robles location, approximately three blocks from downtown.