By: Lauren Arendt
Downtown San Luis Obispo is bustling with local eateries of all sorts. As an entrepreneur, it only makes sense to pay patronage to small businesses in the area with their own entrepreneurial goals. Whether you’re craving a healthy bite or a hearty meal, there is a small business in San Luis Obispo serving up the perfect lunch for you.
We don’t know what to call it but we do know that if you’re in the mood for comfort food then this smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, dijon mustard, fried egg smother in between a brioche bun is what you need. Comes with your choice of side! We are waiting for you #kreuzbergcalifornia made by our chef @drockin_it
Modeled after an actual segment of Berlin, Germany, Kreuzberg offers an eclectic, vibrant atmosphere and similar food choices. Although most well-known for their espresso drinks, the cafe offers an array of fresh, delicious lunch options. Choose a crisp salad, warm sandwich, hearty breakfast burrito (available all day!), or sweet acai bowl–all jam-packed with unique flavor combinations and elements. The quirky atmosphere (can you say lamps hanging upside down from the ceiling?) will draw you in, but the delicious, unique food and drink options will keep you coming back for more.
We recommend: Breakfast Burrito
2. Firestone Grill
Touted as having the best tri tip in California, Firestone Grill makes for the perfect hearty lunch option. They offer large portions at fair prices and truly have something for everyone. For all of the meat lovers, the tri tip sandwich, jammed-packed with meat and smothered in barbecue sauce, will hit the spot. For anyone looking for a lighter, greener lunch, Firestone also offers veggie burgers and salads at the same high quality as their meat-lover offerings. Better yet? Firestone Grill is only a block away from the SLO HotHouse.
We recommend: Tri Tip Sandwich
3. Thai Palace
Located in the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo and only a few steps away from the SLO HotHouse, Thai Palace is a great lunch option for any Thai-loving entrepreneurs. Order takeout or enjoy the classic decor and friendly atmosphere at the restaurant. The service is cheerful and the food delicious. They offer all the authentic Thai options you love, plus some specials with a modern twist.
We recommend: Yellow Curry
4. Mint + Craft
repost from @genniferrose_blog: “Sneak away this weekend to the charming little town of San Luis Obispo and enjoy some of the best eats California has to offer. This open faced BLT 🥪 🥓 🍅 with avocado 🥑 from Mint + Craft was the cat's pajamas and my salad even had edible flowers on it! 🌸 🍽” Check out her amazing travel guides on her blog for super California travel inspo!
Healthy, fresh, and fun, Mint + Craft offers eclectic, unique food options suited perfectly for the adventurous entrepreneurial spirit. From a host of loaded toasts, craft sandwiches, and plates and bowls tailored for any dietary preference, Mint + Craft truly has something for everyone. Better yet? They offer an impressive espresso bar and adorable in-house gift shop full of local and sustainable goods.
We recommend: Toasties
Acai bowls are the perfect lunch for a warm Central Coast day. Seeds, located on Garden Street, serves up some of the most aesthetic, delicious and unique acai bowls around. Not in the mood for the sweet treat? Seeds has you covered with avocado toasts, kombucha, and a host of other offerings. In addition to a delicious, energizing meal, Seeds offers a quaint, relaxing back patio space perfect for unwinding from that midday funk.
We recommend: Bowl 7
6. Bliss Cafe
🥑🍋❤️ One of our most popular dishes...the Avocado Lemon Love Salad, packed with protein, good fats & greens🎉🎉🎉 🥑 🍋 ❤️ featuring fresh spring mix greens, shredded carrots, cucumber, sautéed garbanzo beans, cashew cheese, plant-protein & sprouts🌱 #blisscafeslo #followyourbliss #vegan #plantbased #healthiswealth #letthyfoodbethymedicine #slo #calpolyslo #cuestacollege #sloshare #slodta #vegansofig #goodkarmacuisine #ahimsa #avocado #lemon #love
Vegan food might be the sole offering at Bliss Cafe, but the bold flavors, large variety of options, and location right next door to the mission and creek make it perfect for anyone, no matter their dietary preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for a spicy curry, rich dessert, hearty buddha bowl, or green smoothie, Bliss Cafe serves up their many edible offerings with lots of love in the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo.
We recommend: Avocado Lemon Love Bowl
7. Aisuru Sushi Bar
Although they offer a diverse collection of mouth-watering rolls, two things differentiate this local sushi restaurant from its competitors: (1) They offer much more than just sushi: diners can choose from poke bowls, rice bowls, noodle bowls and more. (2) They have the best deals around! You can check out this link for a complete list of the thrifty specials, but a few highlights include ninja rolls for $2.50 on Mondays, California rolls for $1.99 on Tuesdays, and $5.99 poke bowls on Sundays.
We recommend: $1.99 California Roll Tuesdays
8. Big Sky Cafe
This local San Luis Obispo cafe places a huge focus on local, seasonal food items, which makes every visit a new, fun experience. Offering traditional dishes from many cultures with modern twists, Big Sky offers healthy, fun meals perfect for a longer lunch or lunch meeting in Downtown San Luis Obispo.
We recommend: Traditional New Mexican Pozole Soup
Most famous for their motto that Linnea’s is more than a coffee shop, but a community, Linneas offers a friendly environment, fully equipped with an open-air patio in the back. As far as the food, Linnea’s claim to fame tends to be fresh-made pastries and their all-day breakfast burritos, but the lunch specials change daily, making every visit something unique and special.
We recommend: All Day Breakfast Burrito or Daily Soup Special
10. Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica
Perhaps one of the most beloved restaurants in all of San Luis Obispo, this Cal Poly alumni-founded restaurant offers endless authentic Italian food options, along with an eclectic, vibrant environment. The best part? The bread and dip they serve before every meal (warning: it’s highly addictive). Choose from an array of light pasta dishes, fresh salads, and thin crust pizzas for a classic Italian sort of lunch break.
We recommend: Giuseppe Salad
Luckily for entrepreneurs living in San Luis Obispo, the local eateries offer a diverse, delicious array of meals. Whether an entrepreneur working downtown prefers a lighter lunch, or needs to find the perfect place for a lunch meeting, there is a locally owned establishment in San Luis Obispo awaiting that meets the criteria.
Trying a new place for lunch can be a fun way to break a monotonous routine, so get out of the building and visit a SLO-local establishment during your next lunch break.