Memorable food stops with meals that are California’s alone … sophisticated wineries and wine-tasting rooms: these are the pleasures of an oceanside drive through SLO CAL, named for its easy-going pace, part of California that retains Golden State allure. Much of it is still wide-open country, with a legacy of cattle ranches as well as restaurants and taverns that reflect that heritage in great steakhouse meals and the Santa Barbara favorite, tri-tip beef.
Jocko's is an historic, rough and tumble steak house where choice cuts are grilled over live red oak, Santa Maria BBQ style.
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.
Bob's is a bakery using fresh artisan bread in elegant but hearty breakfast dishes. Sweet pastries also are wonderful.
Floriano's is a Santa Barbara County taqueria and butcher using prime beef to cook masterful carne asada. Its salsa bar is a treasure.
Cold Spring Tavern is a 19th century stagecoach station that serves stand-out Santa Maria style tri-tip and thick, meaty chili.
Shalhoob's is a decades old Santa Barbara butcher shop that has recently expanded into a full outdoor bar and grill serving great burgers and tri-tip.
Corrales is an exceptional Mexican roadside patio offering true examples of Ventura’s town snack, little known to outsiders: corn burritos.
Spencer MacKenzie's is a little surf shack fish taco place that serves big portions, fiery sauces, and ocean fresh grilled fish and shrimp.