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Staff Spotlight: Matt C’s 8 Favorite Pismo Beach Restaurants


Matt is the Guest Services Manager at the Pismo Lighthouse Suites, and loves living on the Central Coast. He grew up in Grass Valley, north-west from Sacramento. When he came down to San Luis Obispo for school, he fell in love with the lifestyle! “Now I enjoy working for the best hotel company on the Central Coast and get to revel in the beauty of our area,” he says. Matt loves to hike around SLO, especially at Montana de Oro State Park, and knows all the best places to eat around town. He’s lived here for a while and is an expert in the area, especially in Pismo. We were lucky enough to have Matt share with us his 8 favorite restaurants in Pismo Beach. Take it away, Matt!

1. F. McLintocks, Shell Beach

“McLintocks always does it right. It has a great western atmosphere and wonderful ocean views. I usually go to McLintocks when family visits (it’s been a regular thing with my Dad for 19 years), and it’s great on special occasions, The service is also interesting and fun: They pour water from way above the table to fill your glass, and when it’s a special occasion, they will stand on a chair, blindfold themselves, and fill a glass on your head!”

Matt’s Favorites: Appetizer: Onion Rings & Salsa. Entree: New York Strip Steak. Dessert: Ice cream with chocolate or caramel sauce, and Tan Ferrari liqueur.

Photo: Tripadvisor.com
The exterior of the popular and fun F McLintocks. Photo: Tripadvisor.com


2. Guiseppe’s Pismo Beach

“Guiseppe’s is tops for Italian cuisine in Pismo! It has a great lively atmosphere. This is a place that I will go when family visits. It’s also a great place to take a dinner date. Being a local business that grew to something great makes it a unique place to visit that you shouldn’t miss.”

Matt’s Favorites: Gnocci Amatriciana with half Bolognese and half Cream sauce

Giuseppe's has a lovely exterior - feel like you're in Italy yet? Photo: Guiseppesrestaurant.com
Giuseppe’s has a lovely exterior – feel like you’re in Italy yet? Photo: Guiseppesrestaurant.com

3. Ventana Grill

“Ventana is one of the best as well!  Their fusion of American and Mexican culinary styles makes for a great menu. The location and views make this an ideal place to enjoy the sunset.”

Matt’s Favorites:  Entree: Ventana Burger (with an extra chorizo patty), Dos Equis Fish & Chips


Ventana's signature warm tortillas - served with three kinds of salsa and cinnamon butter. Photo: Newtimesslo.com
Ventana’s signature warm tortillas – served complimentary with three kinds of salsa and cinnamon butter. Photo: Newtimesslo.com


4. Cracked Crab

“What a place!  They steam the seafood and dump it in the middle of the table for you to eat with your hands and all of the fun crab cracking tools.  They allow you to choose between several different types of crab, whole shrimp, slipper lobster tails, and many other items.  In the bucket they always include potatoes, corn on the cob, and Louisiana sausage. You know you are in the right place when they fit you with a bib before serving dinner!”

Matt’s Favorite: Entree: Big Bucket For Two, with a Whole Wild Gulf Shrimp and some Crab Legs


Cracked Crab!! Photo: evolvingphotography.com
Cracked Crab!! Photo: evolvingphotography.com


5. Steamers of Pismo

“Steamers is another place with a fantastic ocean view!  They are the seafood arm of the McLintocks family.  They have many good choices on the menu.  It’s another great location to view the setting sun.”

Matt’s Favorite: Shrimp Ceviche


The lovely view from Steamers Pismo. Photo: evolvingphotography.com


6. Shell Beach Brew House

“This is a newer place that has just taken off in the area!  They have a very welcoming restaurant and roughly 30 beers on tap for those who like to indulge. I have to recommend choosing the regular French fries, as they are unparalleled in the area!”

Matt’s Favorite: Brewhouse Standard Burger or Esparto Cemita Pulled Pork Sandwich.


Ultimate Burger with a brioche bun. Photo: newtimesslo.com


7. Hoagies

“Hoagies is a great beach themed place  just a block up from the Pismo Pier.  They have sandwiches, salads, burgers and wraps (not to mention a great breakfast menu).  I love the Dirty Bird!  You will have to go to see what a Dirty Bird is, but it is worth the trip!”

Matt’s Favorites: Tsunami Burger & The Dirty Bird


Enjoying a wrap at Hoagies! Photo: classiccalifornia


8. Splash Café Pismo Beach

“This is the original Splash Café!  I have friends who come from all over the state to have the clam chowder in the bread bowl.  It cannot be beat!  The place is always crowded and has a line out the door, but that just means that everything is fresh!  If you are not in the mood for clam chowder, have a chili bowl!  They have many other choices on the menu, but those are two of the best.  The artwork of the Pismo Clams is something you won’t see anywhere else.”

Matt’s Favorites: Clam Chowder Bread Bowl or Chili Bread Bowl

A little bit of California coastal charm! Photo: Wikipedia
A little bit of California coastal charm! Photo: Wikipedia



We can’t wait to try out all these places! If you’re still curious about the culinary experience and lifestyle in the Central Coast, you can learn more here. And be sure to stay tuned to our blog for more Staff Spotlights in the near future!


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