Last Updated on July 18, 2023
With Paso Robles wine region’s reputation as a world-class destination growing so have the number of quality restaurants. It wasn’t always that way. Not too long-ago Paso Robles had a reputation as a dusty cowboy town with only a handful of noteworthy eateries. But with good wine comes good food.
Today, Paso Robles is a mecca of culinary creativity with dining options from casual cafés to Michelin star restaurants. Paso Robles restaurants now offer farm-to-table California cuisine, Mexican, Italian, Asian, French and more throughout downtown, at the wineries and even at the farmers’ market.
Paso Robles is fast becoming one of our favorite wine regions and we visit often. Join us as we take you to the best places to eat in Paso Robles, CA.
Paso Robles Breakfast Places
Before heading out for a day of wine tasting, we like to fuel up and these are a few places to find the best breakfast in Paso Robles, California.
For a fast and easy breakfast, we love the Red Scooter Deli across from the park in the center of town. From sticky buns, bagels, avocado toast, and breakfast sandwiches, Red Scooter offers a large menu of choices. It even includes full breakfast plates and breakfast scrambles. Best of all, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, or keto, there’s something for everyone.
Pam loves the breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs and bacon. Gary’s a croissant guy and loves the Black Forrest ham and cheddar croissant sandwich.
Located in a little brick house built in 1888, Touch of Paso is also conveniently located in downtown. This welcoming restaurant provides a cozy ambience, friendly staff, and a menu with so many mouthwatering choices it can be hard to decide what to eat. Included are omelets, Mexican inspired breakfast dishes, classics like Eggs Benedict and blueberry pancakes, and breakfast sandwiches.
Our server recommended the Cowboy Omelet for a flavor of Paso’s past, and the carnitas tostadas topped with scrambled eggs. The meal was so delicious it’s easy to see why locals claim this is one of the best Paso Robles breakfast places.
Breakfast in Paso Robles, California is a popular meal because so many restaurants feature extensive breakfast menus!
Vic’s Café features a whopping three pages of breakfast dishes. It includes locally sourced, made from scratch classics like eggs your way, hash browns, and a choice of meat. Pancakes, waffles, French toast, Eggs Benedict, and a wide variety of omelets are available. But the “trainwrecks” on the menu are just too fun to pass up. This dish is a scramble with hashbrowns included in the mix.
To sample a few Gary ordered the Southern Pacific Trainwreck with country sausage, onions, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and of course, hash browns. Pam enjoyed the Miner’s Trainwreck with ham, onions, tomato, bell pepper, cheddar cheese, and hash browns. Both dishes provided a perfect meal to fuel up before a day of wine tasting.
A local farmers’ market always provides a great opportunity to sample local culture and local food. The Paso Robles farmers’ market makes a convenient venue to enjoy breakfast. It takes place Tuesday and Saturday mornings on the north side of downtown’s city park. On the day we visited, Sugar Lips was selling made to order donuts served from its turquoise and white trailer and Green Grocer was cooking breakfast burritos.
Paso Robles Brunch
Before a day of shopping, we headed to Brunch, a delightfully charming breakfast spot with an indoor-outdoor venue in the heart of downtown. Brunch’s menu includes three different breakfast pizzas, green chilaquiles (a favorite in our household), and classics like French toast and biscuits and gravy.
And yes, you can get chorizo street tacos for breakfast, a temptation that was too hard to resist. Add the “Build Your Own Mimosa Flight” and settle in for a relaxing, brunchy kind of morning.
Five Michelin Restaurants in Paso Robles
Some of us may remember the “Spanky and Our Gang” comedy series, but Les Petites Canailles (translates to “the little rascals”) is no joke. Named to honor the owner’s three children, this Paso Robles restaurant was inducted into the Michelin Guide in 2022. Appetizers include caviar, artisanal cheeses, and other chef specialties. A main dish, the signature steak au poivre, is a local favorite.
We enjoyed the leeks a la plancha and the Burgundy escargot risotto. The wines paired to the cuisine are local and French, including the owner/chef’s family wines. This was seriously a “bon appetite” dining experience!
True to Paso Roble’s historic past, the Hatch Rotisserie and Bar can be found in the Grangers Union Building in beautiful downtown just off the town square. This 13th Street restaurant offers wood-fired oven delights, small batch whiskey-based cocktails, and a lively barroom dining atmosphere.
Inducted into the 2022 Michelin Guide, this local favorite is known for roasted or fried Mary’s organic chicken, and other “comfort food” dishes. We enjoyed the meatloaf and Brussel sprouts, a down home, casual, but delicious meal.
If you’re truly wishing to sample sharing dishes available on an every-changing menu, then be sure to visit In Bloom. This Paso Robles restaurant was inducted into the Michelin Guide in 2022. Primarily known for fresh variations on vegetarian dishes, the menu does include some meaty favorites like Wagyu Beef, Kurobuta pork chops and barramundi. Ironically, however, we enjoyed the signature mustard-coated pork chops served with sauerkraut and pickled radishes, the only constant item on the menu.
Located in Paso Robles Spring Street Market Walk, In Bloom is like a flower blooming warm hospitality while serving freshly sourced food from local farms.
While three Paso Robles restaurants have recently been inducted into the Michelin Guide, two more have earned the distinction of Michelin stars for their food. Setting the pace, Six Test Kitchen was the first restaurant in Paso Robles to be awarded one star in 2021 and maintained it in 2022. Located just south of downtown Paso Robles in Tin City, this twelve-seat chef’s counter is a must dining experience for Paso Robles visitors.
The restaurants pairs wine deliberately well with its amazing food selections. Roast duck, mochi, chicken liver, and foie gras are all on the menu along with Champagne, Riesling, and Chardonnay for pairing. The Chelsea Gem Oyster was our favorite item coupled with a refreshing Riesling.
However, if you really want to indulge in an exclusive dining experience, pick six menu items and pair six wines with them. It’s expensive, but well worth the experience. Reservations are required (months ahead of time), that’s how popular this restaurant is.
A 2022 recipient of a Michelin star as well as a Green star for sustainability practices, the restaurant at JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery, west of downtown Paso Robles, sources its food from its own 26-acre farmstead. It includes herb and vegetable gardens and an orchard lush with 150 fruit trees.
A brilliantly lit dining room, set with formal, white linen tablecloths and chartreuse accented chairs invite visitors to sit, relax, and enjoy a seasonally shifting, multicourse dinner tasting menu paired specifically to the winery’s award-winning wine list. When we were there, we enjoyed alba white truffle and Jarrahdale squash tortellini followed by Maple Leaf Farms duck and Challerhocker souffle, finishing with fig and walnut torte. This is upscale farm-to-table cooking at its best. Reservations are required.
Paso Robles Winery Restaurants
Some of the best places to eat in Paso Robles, CA include winery restaurants. Why? Because their food is top notch, often the views are stunning, and you get to taste wine with your meal. Our favorites include the restaurants at Cass Winery, Allegretto Vineyard Resort, and DAOU Vineyards. JUSTIN Winery, one of the Michelin star restaurants described earlier, is also a favorite of ours.
Cass Winery, a boutique winery on the east side of Paso, features an onsite café that opens daily from 11 am – 5 pm. Guests are welcome to combine winetasting with dining either indoors in the tasting room or outdoors with expansive views of the vineyard.
Executive Chef Charlie Paladin Wayne proudly grows his own produce and herbs in the winery’s garden. The café menu features a tempting variety of starters, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and a favorite of ours: polenta cakes. The wood fire pizza options range from the classic meat combo to pizza topped with duck egg frittata. The blackened chicken sandwich is tasty and the lamp lollipops are a favorite of Gary’s.
Allegretto Vineyard Resort, a combination resort, winery, and spa, feels magical the moment you step onto its stunning property. The onsite Cello Ristorante and Bar enjoys an upscale, yet casual Mediterranean-inspired setting. The dining room features warm wood flooring and tables with stone-covered walls reminiscent of a Tuscan villa.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinners. From antipasto to pasta fajoli soup, to Caesar salad, to pasta carbonara, the menu features a wide variety of Italian dishes. Seafood, lamb chops, and wood-grilled meats are also available. Hungry following an afternoon of wine tasting, the wedge salad and the Il Pollo Pesto pizza – with roasted chicken, caramelized onion, pancetta, pesto, topped with mixed green salad and cherry tomatoes – fit the bill.
DAOU Vineyards, one of the region’s most popular wineries, offers stunning views, seated tastings, and culinary pairings. On the day we visited, the pairing menu featured ribeye carpaccio, seared salmon and savory clams, gnocchi of kabocha squash, and onyx mezze. The mezze, a platter of produce and charcuterie from local farmers and artists, paired beautifully with our five-wine flight.
The restaurant just hired a new chef and now offers a larger menu that includes a cheese and charcuterie board, braised beef cheeks, pan seared scallops, an avocado and citrus salad, and several other small plates.
Our Favorite Places to Eat in Paso Robles, California
Now that we’ve shared where to find the best breakfast places, where to find a good meal at a winery, and more about the top-notch Michelin rated restaurants, we’d like to recommend three more. These are our favorite restaurants in Paso Robles, just off the park in the downtown area, the ones we frequently return to when we visit.
Fish Gaucho, with its fresh take on Mexican food, proves popular with locals and visitors. Always busy any day of the week, Fish Gaucho offers indoor and outdoor seating. Its extensive cocktail list, including several margarita variations of course, is impressive. Its their unique tequila Manhattan, a variation on the classic drink, that’s become one of our favorites.
The menu focuses on fresh fish and the blue mussels are always a hit. On our most recent visit early in 2023, we couldn’t pass up the Oaxaca Flocka Nachos and the carnitas tacos.
Pappy McGregor’s Irish Pub, Fish Gaucho’s sister restaurant, provides a completely different venue and cuisine. It inhabits a building built in 1887 and features a prohibition-style speakeasy in the back. This bustling gastropub focuses on high-quality comfort food including burgers, sandwiches, chili, salads, meatloaf, and fish and chips. Our favorite? A classic Reuben with sweet potato fries.
And lastly, the cozy, upscale BL Brasserie featuring classic French cuisine, a French-oriented wine list, and lots of bubbly. Popular with locals, on our last visit we sat at a table between San Luis Obispo County farmers, and a table of local winemakers. The sauteed shrimp, onion soup, and a tasty salad Lyonnaise pair nicely with the wine suggestions. With its white linen tablecloths and French portraits on the wall, this place is a long way from Paso’s cowboy roots and rustic vibe.
That’s a lot of food! But if 15 restaurant recommendations are not enough, be sure to check out the Travel Paso website for a comprehensive guide to Paso Robles restaurants including Italian, Mexican, Asian, and California cuisine.
Related: Where to stay in Paso Robles.