Favorite Paso Wine & Beer Scene:
"When I have friends come to town I like to wow them with beauty and experience, plus the drinks have to be good! I like to start them off by heading out to Halter Ranch Vineyard or Villa San Juliette Vineyard for lunch and wine (2 of my favorite properties), then we head up to Law Estate Winery or Calcareous Vineyards for the view and of course, more wine! Finally, we will head over to Tin City's Barrelhouse Brewery to take in the crowd, music and good beers."
Foodies know food. With years of experience thanks to "Research and Development" trips spent sampling the world's best cuisine and creating their own menus, it's no surprise that everyone wants to know where Donovan is dining when he's not at one of his own restaurants. For Donovan, good food means a hidden gem so good it hurts to share.
Favorite New Hot Spot:
"I'm scared to say this because I like to keep it my secret, but it is Hubba Wines. Located in the way back of Tin City tucked in a cul-de-sac. The wine is great, the staff is great and the pizza is great — oh and the atmosphere (also) great! How could you go wrong... pair it with a visit to Tin City Cider and Negranti Creamery just down the street."
Best Breakfast and Best Coffee:
"For breakfast: Joe's Place on Spring Street. Super casual and always good. Staff knows everyone and they make you feel at home. Go early before there is a line! For coffee: AMSTRDM Coffee House | Piano Lounge on 13th Street. It's close to our businesses downtown, run by a great couple and their coffee is top notch!"
Where to Eat Besides Troy & Donovan's:
"It's tough not to recommend our businesses for lunch and dinner since they are all so good and staples in downtown Paso Robles. But some secret spots I like to sneak away to outside of downtown are Finca next to the Paso Market Walk, McPhee's Canteen in Tin City and Cello at the Allegretto Resort."
Favorite Local Event:
"Pioneer Day. I am a sucker for traditions and there is nothing like sitting down with all the locals of Paso in the downtown park and watching the tractors and kids in the parade. Super fun day for all ages!"
Where To Stay:
"There are amazing hotels around town, but when I travel I enjoy staying in a vacation rental or Airbnb and there are several awesome ones located in the downtown area that make it really easy to walk to and from your rental home."
Best Time of Year to Visit:
"I love the shoulder season of November through to April. Less tourists, mild weather and much easier to get reservations at the wineries and restaurants." But Donovan is also biased towards the summertime... His favorite thing to do in Paso, is to be outside on a summer night when the breeze picks up. "Maybe our backyard with family, somewhere downtown or at a spot with live music. Summer nights are the most underrated thing about living here in Paso."
How to Spend a Weekend on the Central Coast:
"We love to picnic at different wineries when we are not heading over to the coast with the kids to do a hike and have lunch. So when we stay in town, we pack a lunch and head out to our favorite winery, Tablas Creek. Here we buy a bottle (or two) and enjoy lunch in the vineyard and visit with other folks who are visiting Paso. Another fun escape for us is heading out to the LongBranch Saloon in Creston for a fun lunch or dinner with the kids, letting them run around the large patio space. It's like a reunion every time we go out there, definitely a local hangout."