With Great Wine Comes Great Food (and Michelin Stars)
Thanks to its world-class wines and family farms, Paso is a mecca for delicious dining – including The Restaurant at Justin and the famous chef’s menu at Six Test Kitchen, which were awarded a Michelin Star in 2022.
The Michelin Guide also recently announced its "2023 New Additions to the California Guide", of which Paso was home to three — including The Hatch Rotisserie, Les Petites Canailles, and In Bloom. These "new" culinary gems are now officially recognized and in the running for Bib Gourmands or Stars in the future.
Best Breakfast in Paso
You won’t find a Paso Robles breakfast place that’s more fun than Brunch. Set in the heart of downtown, this indoor-outdoor venue puts a creative spin on the classics with dishes like chorizo breakfast pizza and s’mores French toast topped with chocolate ganache. There are benedicts, scrambles and avocado toast, too, plus vegan and gluten-free options. You can also pair the best breakfast in Paso Robles with coffee, kombucha or build-your-own mimosa flights.
Brunch is one of several breakfast restaurants in downtown Paso. Grab some coffee and fresh pastries before exploring local attractions. Opt for a family-friendly diner or weekend buffet. Or head to a leisurely spot where brunch extends into the afternoon, complete with sun-soaked patio seats, tableside service and free-flowing bubbly.
Best Lunch in Paso
TASTE! Craft Eatery serves the best lunch in Paso Robles, starting daily at 11 a.m. Overlooking the Downtown City Park, this family-owned favorite dishes up the biggest slider lineup around – including your choice of beef, pork, chicken, lamb and vegetarian bases with an incredible variety of toppings. There’s an extensive build-your-own mac and cheese menu, along with salads, soups, shareable starters, and special deals that let you sample a little of everything. Planning a leisurely lunch date? Round out your meal with a seasonal craft cocktail.
The wider Paso Robles lunch scene promises more than burgers and American bites. You’ll find upscale Italian food and fine wine lists, low-key taprooms with locally sourced pub fare, hearty BBQ joints, diners and seafood-focused cafes. If you’re outlining a day in wine country, stock up on gourmet picnic fare before you set off to explore.
Best Dinner in Paso
Tucked in the historic Grangers Union Building, The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar brings a buzzy dining destination to downtown Paso Robles. This is one of the top restaurants in town, and it's the local go-to for wood-fired entrees featuring pork shoulder, shrimp with grits, burgers, meatloaf and more, followed by delectable cream pies. You'll find great cocktails here, plus local wines, beers and small-batch whiskies. Check the website for nightly specials, too.
If you’ve already tried the best dinner spot in Paso Robles, explore the neighboring downtown restaurants or head into wine country for innovative menus by talented chefs. Thanks to farm-fresh ingredients and pioneering winemakers, you’ll experience only-in-California flavor no matter where you choose to dine.
Best Steakhouse in Paso
The Steakhouse at Paso Robles Inn has treated guests to fine dining off the downtown square since 1964. This well-respected mainstay plates up local produce and premium, cooked-to-order beef. Signature steaks come with an impressive selection of sides and sauces, and the prime rib special on Wednesdays and Sundays is a favorite of locals and travelers, alike. Whether you order filet mignon or wild Atlantic salmon, your server pair it with the perfect local wine. And, you’ll choose from indoor fireside seating or tables on the dog-friendly garden patio.
Several other standout Paso Robles restaurants specialize in steak, which means you can choose a laid-back, saloon-style atmosphere or a sophisticated wine country setting. Either way, expect fresh flavor, delightful desserts, and a range of unforgettable California wines.
Best Sushi in Paso
The story behind Paso Robles’ best sushi spot is almost as good as its food. Takeshi Goshi Yamada grew up in a prestigious Tokyo restaurant family that fed politicians and prime ministers, and he opened his own Tokyo restaurant in 1969. Twenty years later, Yamada and his family moved to the U.S., where he treated Southern California residents to his authentic recipes. Yamada opened Goshi in Paso Robles in 2002, and today, his legacy lives on through the sushi, sashimi, sake and other traditional Japanese flavors served in a cozy renovated train depot.
Sushi restaurants in Paso Robles benefit from proximity to the Pacific, as well as close ties with local producers. Chefs here put a California stamp on rolls, ramen bowls and other well-known Japanese dishes, offering casual, family-style meals and more refined options for special nights out.
Best Italian Restaurant in Paso
Chef Santos MacDonal and his wife, Carole, opened Il Cortile Ristorante more than a decade ago. Since then, the downtown fine dining spot has earned a reputation as one of the best restaurants in Paso Robles. Named for the Italian translation of “the courtyard,” this Wine Spectator award winner features made-from-scratch pastas, braised osso bucco, grilled seafood, a delightful mozzarella sampler, and much more.
Il Cortile is one of a handful of Italian restaurants in Paso Robles, each as exciting as the next. Some sling pizzas and traditional pasta combinations, while others serve regional Italian recipes accompanied by diverse red and white wines from local producers.
Best Mexican Food in Paso
Hungry for traditional Mexican food in Paso Robles? Head to Papi’s Tacos & Gorditas. Residents love this no-frills cafe that dishes up breakfast, lunch and dinner staples, from taquitos and tostadas to enchiladas, pozole and made-to-order burritos. The tortas are a fan favorite, and you can expect generous portions no matter what you order. There’s indoor and outdoor seating at this hole-in-the-wall, and a great location two blocks off the downtown square means you’ll rarely have to wait in line.
The full selection of Mexican restaurants in Paso Robles ranges from fast-food joints to family-friendly cafes to spirited dinner spots. Some specialize in California-influenced flavors and tequila, while others focus on memorable treats – think Mexican-style ice cream made with fresh fruit.
Best Pizza in Paso
Ask anyone about the best pizza in Paso Robles, and you’ll likely hear one answer: Della’s. Named after the niece of owners Maggie Cameron and Eric Connolly (Della says her favorite pizza features pepperoni and pineapple), this dinner spot churns out slow-fermented dough, creative flavor combinations, and fun crust dips like chile crisp, hot honey and whipped, salted butter. For dessert, there are sundaes built on house-made vanilla ice cream. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, don’t worry. Cameron and Connolly, who also own The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar, have some upscale entrees on the Della menu, as well.
In Paso Robles, pizza is always a popular choice. Kitchens here often make their own dough and top it with fresh ingredients, inspired by an array of styles: expertly crafted Napolitano, steamy Chicago deep dish, classic American slices and more. Whatever you order, you can’t go wrong.
Best Farm-to-Table Dining in Paso
For authentic, only-in-Paso Robles flavor, make a reservation at Thomas Hill Organics Bistro & Wine Bar. The culinary team here sources everything from Central Coast farms, fisheries and producers. That means you’ll enjoy organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed and free-range meats, seafood fresh from the sea, and bread crafted by local bakeries. In addition to showcasing seasonal ingredients on lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menus, Thomas Hill hosts special dinners that pair the work of well-known winemakers with farm-to-table fare.
California chefs are known for creating innovative dishes with fresh ingredients, and the Paso Robles dining landscape is no different. You’ll find plenty of vegan, vegetarian and plant-based options here, whether you’re looking for quick lunch bites or a fine dining experience.
Best BBQ in Paso
Jeffry’s Wine Country BBQ dishes up comfort food with a wine country twist. Tucked in an alley just off the Downtown City Park, this welcoming, family-owned operation specializes in dry-rubbed, house-smoked meats and a huge selection of from-scratch sauces. The Paso mac & cheesesteak is a regional award winner, and the menu also features tri-tip, pulled pork, fresh bacon, ribs, paella and more – plus some classic salads and vegetarian options. Jeffry’s offers indoor tables and one of the best outdoor patios in Paso Robles.
There’s a thriving BBQ scene in Paso Robles. This is cowboy country, after all. Several bustling spots serve generous portions of tender, smoky, sauce-smothered goodness in and around downtown. Hearty sides, happy hour specials and lively patio settings round out the authentic Wild West experience.
Best French Food in Paso
Hands down the best French restaurant in Paso Robles, Les Petites Canailles specializes in traditional French food made with seasonal Central Coast ingredients. This farm-to-table approach puts a fresh spin on dishes like steak frites and bouillabaisse, and the nightly five-course tasting menu features both classic and creative flavors. You’ll find family-style options including roasted chicken and fish for the table, along with incredible desserts like stone fruit crumble with caramel, pink peppercorn and thyme ice cream.
Best Chinese Food in Paso
Diners rave about the value and variety at Jackie’s China Gourmet, a friendly, family-run restaurant that serves dishes inspired by Mandarin and Szechuan traditions. Expect a wide menu of Hong Kong-style seafood at this low-key restaurant located not far from Highway 1010, plus plenty of health-minded Chinese classics made with fresh produce and vegetable oils. Soups and sides come standard with most entrees, and there’s beer and wine, as well.
The Chinese food options in Paso Robles include both sit-down spots like Jackie’s China Gourmet and more casual, quick-serve venues. Buffet menus and daily specials make many of these restaurants extra budget-friendly and fun for the whole family.
Paso Presents Park & Pine
Drinks and Eateries
Annual events, boutique shopping, wine tasting rooms and restaurants draw travelers to downtown Paso, and nobody here does dining like the Park & Pine Group. Cousins and business partners Troy Larkin and Donovan Schmit teamed up to create four of the best places to eat in Paso Robles.
The duo kicked off their efforts with Pappy McGregor’s, a spirited Irish pub that serves pints, seasonal cocktails and farm-to-fork comfort food. A tequila-focused, Cal-Mexican eatery called Fish Gaucho was their next downtown addition, followed by the elegant Eleven Twenty-Two Cocktail Lounge & Speakeasy. New in 2021, Cane Tiki Room spotlights Polynesian flavors and tropical frozen drinks in a sophisticated space with a palapa-style ceiling and South Pacific accents.
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