Off-Campus Dining

San Luis Obispo, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$19,071 ($8,043)
Admission Difficulty
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5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Many locally owned options with a focus on high quality and healthy options

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Downtown slo is close to school and there are tons of places to eat

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: MUCH better than on-campus dining. It's just not ideal because it costs money!

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I love going into the local town and trying out all of the restaurants.

1 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Campus dining is possibly the worst part of freshman year. VGs is the most convenient and most frequented place to get food, but is horrendous quality. Metro is buffet style, decent food at times. Einstein is far away from the dorms, but easily the best quality.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 175th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Variety
  • 634th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Cost

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Amy Herman
Burbank CA
Liberal Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

San Luis Obispo's restaurants attract many people, from hungry college students to tourists on vacation. As a result, its culinary options are extremely broad. Anyone can find something they like, especially when walking through the restaurants of downtown SLO. Some restaurants can be extremely pricey, but there is still a good amount of affordable places to dine. Two of the more popular and affordable restaurants are Firestone Grill and Woodstock Pizza. There are no drive-thru restaurants in San Luis Obispo, but the closest In-N-Out Burger is only about 20 minutes away. 

There is a wide array of ethnic food options. There's a popular Thai restaurant in Los Osos (a neighboring town) called Noi's, lots of sushi places, a few Mediterranean restaurants, and so much more. There are a lot of independent (read: non-chain) restaurants, too. The food in San Luis Obispo is a welcome break from always dining on campus, as well as a great treat for anyone and everyone!

Facts & Statistics

Student Favorites
  • Cabo San Luis
  • Firestone Grill
  • Linnea's
  • Mondeo
  • Woodstock Pizza
24-Hour Dining
Best Asian
Golden Gong
Best Breakfast
  • Linnaea's Café
  • Louisa's Place
Best Coffee
Kreuzberg Café
Best Dessert
Yogurt Creations
Best Healthy
  • Mondeo
  • The Natural Café
Best Late-Night
Taco Bell
Best Mexican
Chilie Peppers
Best Pizza
Woodstock's Pizza
Best Wings
Firestone Grill
Best Place to Take a Date
Novo Restaurant & Lounge
Best Place to Take Your Parents
Firestone Grill
Other Places to Check Out
  • Apple Farm
  • Applebee's Neighborhood Grill
  • Bali's Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt
  • Ben Franklin's Sandwiches
  • Blackhorse Espresso & Bakery
  • Bon Temps Creole Café
  • Breakfast Buzz
  • Café Roma
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Chino's Rock & Tacos
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Ciao!
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Cowboy Cookie & Grub
  • Cowgirl Café
  • Cracked Crab
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels
  • El Neibor Mexican Food
  • El Pollo Loco
  • Enzo's East Coast Eatery
  • Eureka Burger
  • F. McLintocks Saloon & Dining House
  • Farmer's Market
  • Fat Cat's Café
  • Fatte's Pizza
  • Foster's Freeze
  • Franks Famous Hot Dogs
  • French Quarter
  • Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market
  • Frog & Peach Pub
  • Giuseppe's Cucina Italiana
  • Goshi
  • Granada Bistro & Lounge
  • Gus's Grocery
  • The Habit Burger Grill
  • Hanabi Japanese Restaurant
  • High Street Market & Deli
  • IHOP
  • Jack in the Box
  • Jamba Juice
  • Laguna Grill
  • Lotus Asia's Best
  • Luna Red
  • The Madonna Inn
  • Mama's Meatball
  • Mandarin Gourmet
  • McDonald's
  • Mo's Smokehouse BBQ
  • Mother's Tavern
  • Nautical Bean
  • New Frontiers
  • Oasis Restaurant
  • Olive Garden
  • Palazzo Giuseppe
  • Pancho's Mexican Food
  • Panda Express
  • Peet's Coffee & Tea
  • Pepe Delgado's Mexican Restaurant
  • Petra Mediterranean Pizza & Grill
  • Pita Pit
  • Pizza Hut
  • Powell's Sweet Shoppe
  • Raku Japanese Fusion
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • Round Table Pizza
  • Royal Thai Restaurant
  • Ruddell's Smokehouse
  • Sally Loo's Wholesome Café
  • Shin's Sushi Bar
  • SLO Brewing Co.
  • SLO Donut Co.
  • Starbucks
  • Subway
  • Sushiya Restaurant
  • Taco Roco
  • Tacos de Acapulco
  • Tacos To-Go
  • Taj Palace Cuisine of India
  • Teaberry Yogurt
  • Thai Boat
  • Thai Classic
  • Thai Palace
  • Tiki Hut
  • Tio Alberto's Restaurant
  • Tonita's Mexican Food
  • Urbane Café
  • Vallarta's
  • Vieni Vai Trattoria
  • Yanagi Sushi

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

771 E. Foothill Blvd.
(805) 541-1285
Daily 6 a.m.–11 p.m.
201 Madonna Road
(805) 546-0407
Monday–Saturday 7 a.m.–12 a.m., Sunday 8 a.m.–12 a.m.

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Big Sky Café
Food: American
1121 Broad St.
(805) 545-5401
Price: $10–$15
Cool Features: Voted best in SLO
Chilie Peppers
Food: Mexican
2121 Broad St.
(805) 541-9154
Price: $8–$15
Food: American
208 Madonna Road
(805) 543-3138
Price: $8–$15
Cool Features: Open 24 hours
Firestone Grill
Food: American
1001 Higuera St.
(805) 783-1001
Price: $10–$15
Cool Features: Busy student hangout on weekends
Golden Gong
Food: Chinese
290 Madonna Road
(805) 541-0226
Price: $10–$15
Cool Features: Free delivery
In-N-Out Burger
Food: Fast food
6000 San Anselmo Road
(800) 786-1000
Price: $3–$8
Kreuzberg Café
Food: American, coffee
685 Higuera St.
(805) 439-2060
Price: $8–$15
Linnea's Café
Food: American
1110 Garden St.
(805) 541-5888
Price: $5–$10
Cool Features: Hangout for artists and musicians, local artists' work adorns the walls, enjoy music from traveling independent musicians
Louisa's Place
Food: Breakfast
964 Higuera St.
(805) 541-0227
Price: $5–$10
Food: Fusion
893 Higuera St.
(805) 544-2956
Price: $5–$10
Cool Features: Incredible fusion bowls and wraps, courtyard seating
The Natural Café
Food: American, vegetarian
698 Higuera St.
(805) 546-9200
Price: $5–$10
Noi's Little Thai Takeout
Food: Thai
1288 Second St., Los Osos
(805) 528-6647
Price: $8–$15
Novo Restaurant & Lounge
Food: Continental
726 Higuera St.
(805) 543-3986
Price: $10–$30
Pizza Solo
Food: Pizza
891 Higuera St.
(805) 544-8786
Price: $8–$15
The Shack
Food: Burgers
763 E. Foothill Blvd.
(805) 546-8623
Price: $8–$15
Cool Features: Three big-screen TVs, peanuts while you wait, happy hour daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Splash Café
Food: Bakery, sandwiches, soups
1491 Monterey St.
(805) 544-7567
Price: $5–$10
Taco Bell
Food: Mexican fast food
397 Santa Rosa St.
(805) 544-1700
Price: $3–$8
Tahoe Joe's Famous Steakhouse
Food: American, steakhouse
485 Madonna Road
(805) 543-8383
Price: $10–$20
Cool Features: Looks like a cabin, and the menu is full of hearty eats.
Woodstock's Pizza
Food: Pizza, Italian
1000 Higuera St.
(805) 541-4420
Price: $10–$20
Cool Features: Fun hangout for college students, tons of pizza toppings
Yogurt Creations
Food: Frozen yogurt
1075 Court St.
(805) 543-2855
Price: $3–$8

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 151 responses

Very poor
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 169 responses

  • 4% An endless repetition of the same few places.
  • 7% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 43% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 46% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
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