Old West Cinnamon Rolls

Bakery
excellent
Worth a detour
Save

Old West Cinnamon Rolls is one of the most famous cinnamon roll bakeries in the country. This is due to Betty Clemens’s decades of selling on the State Fair circuit. The famous rolls are available at Downtown Disney in Disneyland and at dozens of festivals around the West. But they are at their best in the the home bakery in Pismo Beach, right off of the Pacific Coast Highway.

Betty opened the bakery in 1981 after a decade of baking at local events and fairs. She has since become a culinary preservationist, writing cookbooks about historic Central Coast recipes.

Her plain cinnamon roll is a sticky bun with a gooey caramel sauce soaked into the bread. Variations include several kinds of nuts, raisins, a crumb topping, and a fruit compote finish. Of course, there are icing-topped rolls too. Crucially, Old West cinnamon rolls are iced fresh throughout the day. This means that the icing is a sauce rather than a set sugar coating. It makes them extra sloppy and extra delicious.

Both the rolls and the icing are mouthwatering, but a sweet enough combo to cause sugar-induced delirium. Unless you add sugar to your root beer, consider getting icing on the side. We prefer the original or nut-topped versions, especially the one with slivered almonds. It celebrates California’s signature nut (technically a drupe pit). Every roll has intense flavors of cinnamon, something lesser rolls are missing.

The bakery also has a separate espresso counter. The coffee is unremarkable, but the selection of Torani syrups is one of the most exhaustive that we’ve seen in years.

If you aren’t going to be in Pismo again soon, pick up a pack of dry mix to bake cinnamon rolls at home. 

What to Eat
Old West Cinnamon Rolls, Original Cinnamon Roll
Original Cinnamon Roll
Must-Try
Big, dense and delicious cinnamon rolls.
Old West Cinnamon Rolls, Iced Cinnamon Roll
Iced Cinnamon Roll
Must-Try
Frosting is excessive, but irresistible.
Old West Cinnamon Rolls, Almond Cinnamon Roll
Almond Cinnamon Roll
Must-Try
Toasted slivers of almond provide welcome crunch.
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Dessert
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Lotus

    San Luis Obispo, California

    When Banh Mi craving hits in San Luis Obispo, find Lotus, a hidden Vietnamese restaurant amidst the shops and eateries of a busy downtown.

  • Tognazzini’s Dockside Too

    Morro Bay, California

    Tognazzini’s Dockside Too is the place to be in Morro Bay, California, for a casual seafood meal in a dog-friendly environment with a view of Morro Rock.

  • Bijou Bakery

    Cayucos, California

    One bite of a pastry from Bijou Bakery is all you need to understand why this special spot is considered a Central Coast gem by locals and visitors.

  • Taco Temple

    Morro Bay, California

    In Morro Bay, California, Taco Temple puts a special twist on tacos and other familiar Mexican-American restaurant favorites.

  • Cavalier Coastal Kitchen

    San Simeon, California

    For a casual, comforting meal with the Pacific Ocean in view, swing into the Cavalier Coastal Kitchen on your drive through California’s Central Coast.

  • Hitching Post

    Casmalia, California

    Hitching Post steaks, cooked over fire of live oak wood, come with a full dinner of Santa Maria side dishes that are an old California ranch country tradition.