SLO might be known for its wine and farm-fresh everything, but at its core, it’s a BBQ town. Santa Maria-style (tri-tip smoked in native Red Oak wood) is king around here, and when it comes to tracking down the best version, skip the hoards of brochure tourists and drunk college kids at Firestone Grill and head a few blocks down to Old San Luis BBQ instead. This locally-run spot has better tri-tip, better beer, a fraction of the crowds, and a relaxed space you actually want to hang out in.
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High St. Deli
San Luis Obispo’s High St. Deli is a local hangout with a great day drinking-friendly patio and huge, well-made sandwiches.
Ember in Arroyo Grande has an excellent patio, fantastic Californian food, and is one of the most exciting places to eat on the Central Coast.
Sidecar is a low-key cocktail bar in San Luis Obispo, and a nice spot to escape the Cal Poly fake ID crowd.
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Beachwood Brewing & BBQ
Beachwood Brewing in Long Beach is home to some of the best craft beer in the Southern California, and serviceable BBQ, too.
Birdeye is a Venice-based bird pop-up (try saying that ten times fast) operating out of Dudley Market.
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