A Foodie’s Guide to Pismo Beach
The Central Coast is well known as a paradise for wine enthusiasts. And the Pismo Beach food scene is just as phenomenal. Food-lovers visiting our coastal town can expect exceptional eats including seafood and comfort dishes that feature local ingredients.
Caution: This list may cause a sudden appetite for delicious, local food in Pismo Beach. Read at your own risk.
Located across the parking lot from the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel, Willow offers crowd favorites for brunch, lunch, dinner, and happy hour. Arrive thirsty: Willow offers a wide variety of delicious margaritas and other house cocktails. For live music, stop by Friday and Saturday nights between 9pm-11pm.
Try something new: Step up your brunch game with Willow’s Hawaiian French Toast. The specialty dish comes with a coconut-battered brioche, seared pineapple, sweet cream cheese, and toasted coconut.
You can’t visit Pismo Beach without thinking about clam chowder. Splash Cafe is one of the city’s oldest restaurants, known for its award-winning clam chowder and wide selection of other fresh seafood menu items. A true Pismo Beach landmark, be prepared to wait in line for this artisanal experience.
This low-key beachy stop specializes in gourmet sandwiches and kettle-cooked chips (“chipwrecks”).
Try something new: Dessert potato chips. Ever had birthday cake chips? This sweet twist on the classic kettle-cooked chips offers toppings ranging from maple syrup, caramel sauce, and sweet cheesecake dip.
This Pismo Beach favorite features seafood fare with a traditional crab boil for those looking for a true seaside experience.
Try something new: Seafood Buckets (single bucket or big bucket for two). The house specialty is served with your choice of shellfish, including local Dungeness crab, wild gulf shrimp, clams, and snow crab.
This crowd-pleaser offers guests an amazing view of the beach and ocean while they dine. Food includes comfort options and local seafood dishes, such as clam chowder and fish tacos.
Try something new: Carne Asada Fries. Fries meet nachos to make this Pismo favorite. Fries are topped with refried black beans, cheese, jalapenos, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, and lime.
The Shell Beach Brewhouse is a great stop for comfort food with a twist. If you’re feeling thirsty, enjoy one of the 30 rotating beer handles on tap. The flash-fried brussel sprouts with granny smith apples are a local favorite.
Try something new: Elvis Lives Burger. This burger pays homage to the legendary rockstar with an 8 oz beef patty topped with a slab of bacon, caramelized bananas, creamy peanut butter, and aged cheddar.
Just a ten minute drive from downtown Pismo, Ember offers an exquisite dining experience in a more formal setting. Their Italian-inspired rotating menu offers handcrafted food cooked over a wood fire.
Try something new: Oven toasted marshmallow ice cream cake. Top off your meal with this dessert that leaves customers raving. Enjoy the cocoa sponge cakes with sea salt caramel, chocolate hazelnut crunch and vanilla bean ice cream.
So, have you worked up an appetite yet? Get started with planning a food-filled Pismo Beach holiday that will leave your taste buds hungry for more.