Arroyo Grande offers a wide array of dining options for every mood, preference, and budget. After a day of wine tasting in the Edna Valley, maybe farm-to-table dining fits the bill. Or, if the family spent a day at the beach, burritos, tacos and nachos at a great Mexican restaurant might work. Pizza and burgers provide terrific casual options, and authentic global cuisines are represented in Arroyo Grande as well. Looking to dine with the local ranchers? Several steakhouses keep the BBQ fires burning here. Or maybe you’re seeking a good cup of coffee before golfing, or a tasty dessert while shopping in the Village. Any one of these — and much more — can be found in Arroyo Grande. Plus: nearby Edna Valley offers options of its own. So whether you’re embarking on a romantic getaway, a family vacation, a girls’ trip or a reunion, Arroyo Grande will keep you satisfied.
Discover Dining in Arroyo Grande and Edna Valley
Best Farm to Table
Chef Brian Collins opened this beloved eatery in his hometown after a career in fine dining, including Chez Panisse in Berkeley. The name of his restaurant refers to the wood burning oven that fires dishes from steaks and poultry to pizzas and even desserts. Despite having been in business for many years, the interest in Ember has never quite died down, probably because the food is just that good. Head to the bar for craft cocktails, or choose from a robust beer and wine list with local and imported bottles. The menu changes every month, but some dishes rotate through pretty often. Steak lovers will adore the ribeye that Brian cycles in, with garlic confit and avocado chimichurri. All pizzas and pastas on the menu are customer favorites; don’t hesitate to try more than one. And if the dessert menu offers the housemade toasted marshmallow? Get your order in right away. But while the flavors at Ember are over-the-top good, the style is casual and neighborly. No need to dust off the tuxedo.
Best Pizza in Arroyo Grande
Palo Mesa Pizza
Since 2007 Palo Mesa has turned out artisan pizzas to rave reviews. The restaurant is an Arroyo Grande original, having started here and spread out to five locations. Owner Michael Stevens has a passion for “old world” pizza made from fresh ingredients, full of flavor. He guards his pizza dough recipe closely, blending and hand rolling it for each pizza. The original location on the Arroyo Grande mesa serves the southern part of the area, while the Rancho location on Grand Avenue serves northern Arroyo Grande. These focus on delicious pizza, calzones, appetizers, pasta, salads and sandwiches. In the Village of Arroyo Grande location, the focus is wood-fired pizza in a quaint atmosphere. Build your own pie, or choose from Palo Mesa’s signature pizzas, including favorites like the Hot Hawaiian and Ken’s Favorite. Dine in at any Palo Mesa location, and enjoy a glass of wine or beer with your meal. Palo Mesa also offers takeout.
The ultimate family-friendly pizza parlor, Klondike Pizza has been slinging their signature pies since 1988. Owners Mike and Pam Dennis opened Klondike after having lived in Alaska, and they missed the flavors and quirkiness of The Last Frontier. The restaurant is decked out in Alaska memorabilia, from skis, snowshoes and dogsleds to sports jerseys, rusty musical instruments, and license plates. And because Klondike Pizza is located below street-level, the feel is cozy, funky and fun. The pizza here has its own signature Alaskan style, with tangy red sauce or garlicky white sauce, and two types of cheese on top. Toppings can be as traditional or as wild as you like, but at least consider trying Klondike’s famous reindeer sausage, flown in from Alaska. Come in for a whole pizza (no slices), salads, sandwiches, burgers, fountain drinks, beer and wine. Notice anything funny about the floors? Klondike gives you peanuts with your order, and encourages you to toss the shells on the floor. Be sure to bring quarters for the player piano and mini arcade.
Arroyo Grande’s Steakhouses
F. McLintocks Saloon
Fans of barbecue and ranch-style dining will love this popular spot, a sister-property to the famous F. McLintocks Steakhouse in Shell Beach. The Arroyo Grande Saloon sits perched above the pretty Arroyo Grande Creek, with a comfortable patio in addition to indoor dining. The restaurant serves hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner, with an emphasis on quality beef, pork, poultry and fish dishes. Morning starters include bone-in ham steaks, chicken fried steak, skillet breakfasts and biscuits and gravy. While the lunch and dinner menu centers on steaks, burgers, ribs and chili, McLintocks’ barbecued artichokes are definitely a specialty. (These are the same artichokes McLintocks famously serves at the San Luis Obispo Downtown Farmers Market.) Served with grill marks and a side of housemade chipotle aioli, this is a dish you don’t want to miss. Plan to wear your best boots, order a cocktail, a glass of local wine or craft beer, and settle in for a delicious meal in a relaxed setting.
The wild west calls! AJ Spurs Saloon & Dining Hall offers oak-pit barbecued specialties in a fun and lively atmosphere. Settle in by the fireplace and order yourself a cocktail, glass of wine or beer, and enjoy the steakhouse coziness. AJ Spurs is popular with families for its relaxed vibe and dinners with all the fixins. (Note to self: come with an appetite.) Several cuts of steaks, pork chops, ribs, lobster, chicken, fish and burgers make up the majority of the menu. All oak pit dinners come with Vaquero Soup, Tequila Beans, homemade salsa, salad, potatoes, rice pilaf, garlic bread, and a root beer float. Lighter eaters and vegetarians can find hearty salads, pasta, and more. Take a spin around the dining room and enjoy looking at all the photos and memorabilia of Western days gone by. (Don’t miss the opportunity to take a selfie with the buffalo in the lobby!)
Masons Bar & Kitchen
Locals know that weekend brunch at Mason Bar & Kitchen is the best place to be for friendly service, live music, and decadent dishes. This is a very casual spot serving rustic cuisine in a rustic-industrial setting. Think: raw brick, exposed ducts and beams, mason jar light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. But if you prefer to be outdoors, the patio is lively and spacious. Favorite dishes include the Crab Cake Benedict, Steak and Eggs Quesadilla, and Pancake Fritters served with sausage, pancake batter, and honey maple syrup. If you’re interested in drinks, check out the barrel-aged cocktails, each blended and aged in a small barrel to soften the edges. Or maybe you’d like a “Mason Original,” like the Strawberry Basil Lemon Drop made with fresh strawberries, vodka, triple sec, lemon juice and basil. And of course, there’s always the brunch-friendly Bloody Mary. Otherwise, order fresh coffee, tea or juice, wake up slowly, listen to music, and take in a lazy, late weekend morning.
American food, made fabulous: that’s what you’ll find at Spoon Trade, located in nearby Grover Beach. Although not in Arroyo Grande proper, this popular gem is a must-stop for anyone traveling through the area with a grumbling stomach. Step into the modern-yet-cozy dining room or spread out on the ample sunny patio (and get ready to be wowed). This hip eatery is famous for bountiful brunch munchies that are sure to exceed your wildest expectations. In fact, a humble bologna sandwich is instantly elevated to a fantastical foodie experience! Around here, the sourdough waffles and American cheese are made in-house by Chef Jacob Towne and you can even grab a side of perfectly seasoned meatloaf or melt-in-your-mouth duck confit with your eggs benedict (a local favorite, made with house sourdough toast, poached eggs, braised bacon and an exceptional bearnaise sauce). Of course, Spoon Trade is more than just a fabulous brunch spot: lunch and dinner are just as mouthwatering. Savor farm-fresh greens paired with quality fish, beef or Chef Towne’s famously finger lickin’ fried chicken. Whether you grab a gourmet cheeseburger topped with fried farm egg or a colorful salad bursting with peak season produce, you’ll be tempted to pair your meal with Spoon Trade’s extensive selection of craft beer and wine. Go ahead, it’s what the locals do! Hint: The Dizzy Bee–made with dry vermouth, lemon, lavender and local honey is your invitation to unwind and soak it all in.
Best for Drinks & Appetizers
Rooster Creek Tavern
Named after the wandering roosters of the Arroyo Grande Village and the nearby creek, this bar and grill serves great drinks and appetizers. Sit inside the dining room for rustic ambiance, or on the comfortable patio, within view of the creek (and maybe the roosters, too!). Monday through Friday from 4 to 6pm, enjoy a generous happy hour with cocktail, beer and wine specials, plus small plates appetizers. Try several different dishes with friends, like nachos, mac n cheese, wings, sweet potato fries and chips and salsa. The beer list commands respect, including favorite California brews like Pliny the Elder, Topa Topa Brewing Co Chief Peak and Firestone-Walker’s Nitro Merlin. Wines come from across California, from Paso Robles and Napa to Santa Barbara and right around the corner in Arroyo Grande. As for cocktails, ask the bartender for your favorite classic, or order a signature Rooster Creek Tavern concoction from the cocktail list.
Best Comfort Food
Tucked away in a shopping center, The Quarterdeck Seafood Bar & Grill serves your favorite surf and turf dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The fisherman-themed restaurant is a regular meetup point for locals who love fish n chips and other comfort food dishes. But the Quarterdeck offers more than fried fish. Expect the menu to include salads, burgers, lobster tail, tacos, wraps, steaks, chicken, ribs, and cam chowder to name a few other dishes. Folks with vegetarian and/or gluten-free diets can find plenty to enjoy on the menu here, too. The restaurant also boasts a nice cocktail menu with several signature island-themed drinks. Don’t miss The Quarterdeck’s legendary daily happy hour, with 50¢ fish tacos with the purchase of a cocktail on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. In general, portions are large here, making dining at The Quarterdeck a good value that appeals to anyone looking for a familiar, friendly meal.
Craving a cold beer and a hot meal? Irresistible pork belly nachos, a crunchy chicken Cesar salad, sizzling smash burgers and a whopping three flavors of chicken wings (hot ‘n’ honey chili, fermented hot sauce and Korean barbecue) prove that Humdinger Brewing Company is a cut above your average watering hole. Sure, the craft beer is enough to write home about on its own, but the food is substantial and crowd-pleasing for the whole family, too. From the first bite of crispy dipping potatoes to the last forkful of rich mud pie, expect friendly service and a welcoming, casual atmosphere. When it comes to pairing your meal, just ask a server what’s on tap today. A rotating list of house-made brews range from the palest lager to the boldest IPA (and everything in between).
Old Village Grill
Burger fans, buckle up for one of the best burgers around. The Old Village Grill specializes in burgers made the old fashioned way: handcrafted daily with premium beef, served on a buttery brioche bun. Enter the restaurant on Branch Street and immediately notice the relaxed yet buzzy atmosphere. This is a joint that pumps food out quickly, and when it gets busy, the orders really fly! Go with a classic order of burger and fries plus a creamy milkshake, or choose any number of other items from the menu. For something a little different, order a Village Dog, a bacon-cheese chicken sandwich, or the tasty Spicy Baja Cobb Salad. Old Village Grill also has sides other than French fries, like beer-battered onion rings and “Special Recipe Chili.” Parents will appreciate the generously priced kids menu, and kids will love the burger, hot dog, chicken nuggets and fries, plus a drink. Sit indoors or out on the breezeway — a perfect perch for watching the world go by.
Best Chinese Food
Situated in a cozy house on Grand Avenue, Golden Moon has been an Arroyo Grande institution for decades. The restaurant has the warm, inviting atmosphere of a neighborhood bistro, often full of locals who appreciate excellent food and kind service. A mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant, Golden Moon’s specialty is Cantonese cuisine, with its fresh, light flavors, and Hunan cuisine, with its spice. Noodle and rice dishes, buns (bao), potstickers, soups and more comprise the lengthy menu. Favorite orders include wonton soup, orange chicken, vegetable lo mein, Mongolian beef and General Tsao’s chicken. The restaurant has plenty of vegetarian options, and kids will be happy with the selection of kids menu dishes. Pair your meal with a glass of imported or domestic beer or wine for the complete experience. And don’t miss the very reasonably-priced lunch specials! Many locals consider this their go-to lunch spot. The restaurant offers a back patio as an outdoor dining option, and provides ample parking behind the restaurant.
Best Mexican Food
La Costa Grill
Located just beneath the giant clock in the Station Way shopping center, La Costa Grill makes traditional Mexican cuisine using family recipes that date back generations. Open for dinner and lunch, the restaurant is quaint and bright, with plenty of creekside seating on the back patio. La Costa Grill specializes in “Tasty Tacos” on Taco Tuesday, as well as fajitas and Enchiladas Mexicanas. Other well-loved dishes include Albondiga soup, huevos rancheros, and the massive Costa Burrito, which comes fully loaded, large enough to feed an army. They also offer wraps, sandwiches, and California fries (also known as carne asada fries). Come for lunch to experience La Costa Grill’s “Super Lunch,” with very reasonably priced a la carte menu items. And complete any meal with a domestic or imported beer, a frosty glass of horchata, plus dessert. Kids get their own generous menu, with burritos, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, chicken tenders and burgers. Hot tip: students get a free drink with purchase of food. Just show your school ID.
Fruitland La Casa del Sabor
Fruitiland, as it’s called by the locals, serves some of the best Mexico City-style food on the Central Coast. In fact, it’s been recognized by more than one national news outlet as a top Mexican restaurant in the US! Owner Jose Rojas was born and raised in Mexico City, widely known as a city with a superstar culinary scene. From the yellow Frutiland taco stand on Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande, Jose serves a wide array of Mexico City dishes. His specialty is giant tortas, Mexican hoagies that are extremely popular here for lunch. One favorite order is the Cubana, a massive torta with chicken, beef and pork, two types of cheese, and more fixings. Tacos are another Frutiland specialty, especially fish tacos made with blue corn tortillas, cabbage shreds and fruity salsa. Last but not least, Frutiland is famous for its aguas frescas of many colors and flavors. These fruit juice drinks come in strawberry, cantaloupe, watermelon, papaya, lemon, guava, orange, mango, pineapple, oatmeal, mixed fruit, and cucumber. (On any given day, these simple fruit refreshers taste fantastic; on a hot day, they taste sublime.) All of Fruitland is outdoor dining, with a small patio on the side of the stand, and a parking lot behind.
Corona’s Mexican Restaurant
This family-owned Mexican restaurant has a party vibe inside that can turn any meal into a fiesta. Seafood is a specialty here, as are crispy tacos; order a combination plate from the menu to try it all. Or for a la carte choices, yes, Corona’s celebrates Taco Tuesdays, but they also know about the other days of the week! Come by for Enchilada Mondays, when enchiladas are just $1.99 each, or Burrito Wednesdays, when burritos are $2.99 all day. And, of course, every order comes with a basket of light, crispy chips and fresh salsa. Order a bottle of imported, domestic, or local beer, or opt for a pitcher of your favorite brew on draft. Corona’s Mexican Restaurant also makes a fantastic margarita, either blended or on the rocks. Dine in the colorful, comfortable indoors, or on the patio, and take it easy with a tasty beverage and a flavorful meal.
Best Thai Food
Located on the edge of the Arroyo Grande Village, Thai Kitchen has been serving up authentic Thai cuisine for many years. The quaint pint-sized building stands on Bridge Street facing south, with lace curtains and an old fashioned sign that reads “CAFE.” (This is a remnant of the building’s history as a luncheonette for decades.) Locals would love to keep this spot to themselves, but word gets out about Thai Kitchen’s fresh flavors. Favorite orders include classic dishes like Pad Thai, Pad Prik King, Pad See Ew, Panang Curry, and Fresh Spring Rolls. If you need to adjust a dish for dietary reasons, don’t hesitate to ask for substitutions as the owner is very accommodating. Grab a beer or glass of wine for a pleasant dinner, or come for lunch and enjoy some of the best-priced specials around. Insider tip/extra credit: Don’t leave without trying the fried cream cheese crab wontons.
Best Mediterranean Food
If you walk anywhere near this beloved cafe, you’ll smell the aromas of roasting shawarma, warm pita, and fresh tabbouleh wafting by. Jaffa Cafe started in nearby San Luis Obispo in 2002, and ten years later opened a second location in the Arroyo Grande Village. Owners Ali and Wendy Saleh delight in sharing authentic recipes from the Mediterranean using the freshest local ingredients. On the menu, customer favorites include falafel, gyros, kefta, kabobs, baba ganoush, and decadent baklava. Try a pita pizza or a pesto chicken salad for something a little different, washed down with a cold iced tea or club soda. Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan folks will appreciate the broad selection of menu items, as well as the emphasis on produce at its peak. Dine indoors or on the little patio, where four-legged friends are invited, too. This is a casual, counter-service deli that’s perfect for a delicious lunch, snack, or dinner.
Best Italian Food
Gina’s Italian Restaurant
The beauty of Gina’s Italian Restaurant lies in its cozy familiarity: this is the ultimate neighborhood Italian restaurant. Choose a bottle of red, a bottle of white — “it all depends upon your appetite.” The interior of the restaurant boasts a copper bar, exposed beams, and plenty tables for two, perfect for an intimate lunch or dinner. Guests can expect friendly service and dependable comfort food, as well as locally-made wine and beer. The menu includes many customer favorites: the Butternut Squash Ravioli, in particular. This dish delights carnivores and vegetarians alike, with its creamy sauce and delicate housemade squash dumplings. Order a creamy Chardonnay to sip alongside, and you’ll have a delicious lunch or dinner, indeed. Other greatest hits include fettuccine alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs, Greek salad and shrimp-lobster ravioli. But the one dish everyone raves about consistently? The complementary bread and tomato dip offered at the beginning of the meal. This blend of tomatoes, garlic, basil, and balsamic vinegar and fresh-baked French-style bread have captivated the hearts of hungry diners for decades.
Imagine a classic neighborhood breakfast joint and you’re probably imagining a place like the Village Cafe. Tucked into a row of businesses on Branch Street in the Village of Arroyo Grande, the Village Cafe serves downhome breakfast and lunch. This is a little cafe where cowpokes can sit at the counter and order steak and eggs, a chorizo omelet, pancakes and waffles. The coffee’s hot, and so is the gossip! Lunch consists of soups, sandwiches and salads, with delicious Angus burgers, tuna melts, French dip au jus, and fried chicken sandwiches. For extra-hungry diners, order the “Hungry Man” ham steak with three eggs and trimmings. Light eaters can opt for the “Heart Saver” omelet made with fresh veggies and served with seasonal fruit. Looking to cap your meal off with something a little sweet? Try an old fashioned chocolate milk or root beer float, served with enough straws to share.
Umi Sushi Pacifica
Umi is a tiny, precious place that’s easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. Drive along the 1300 block of West Grand Avenue and look for green hedges and trees. Behind these lies the secret garden of Umi Sushi Pacifica, where fresh, vibrant and artfully prepared Japanese food is served. The restaurant consists of a glass patio dining room and an outdoor patio, surrounded by greenery. The building itself has the feel of a tiny, cozy coastal hut. The menu would take a lifetime to work all the way through, but many locals would be happy to die trying! Salads, rolls, soups, noodles, sushi and sashimi are the specialties here, with an open sushi bar for watching the chefs. But this isn’t purely classical Japanese fare: many of the dishes cross with other cuisines for truly unique creations. Try the Ceviche Sashimi, a mixture of seafood, vegetables, herbs and citrus that customers love. Or go for the Paella Bap, a Japanese riff on the Korean bibimbap rice, egg, and veggie bowl. All dishes are made with exceptionally fresh fish and an artist’s touch. Plus, enjoy local, domestic and imported beer and wine to sip alongside.
Best Coffee Shops in AG
Everyone loves Cafe Andreini, the java spot located right in the heart of the Village of Arroyo Grande. This spacious coffeehouse has preserved many touches from the building’s past, like the ornate tin ceiling and low-circling fans. Cafe Andreini was established in 1996 by a native Arroyo Grande-an, Denise Andreini. While it began as a coffee shop, it has evolved into an all-day drinks and snacks spot. With its wide range of offerings and elegant atmosphere, it’s perfect for a business meeting, friend catch-up, blind date or solo journaling time. Try a coffee or espresso drink, expertly made by experienced baristas, or a perfectly-steeped mug of tea. To accompany these staple drinks, order from a list of smoothies, snacks, toasts, and wraps. Acai bowls, kombucha, avocado toast and pastries round out the curated menu. All ingredients are fresh and local, wherever possible, and always beautifully presented. Cafe Andreini also serves wine and beer, making this a nice spot to sit and relax during any hour of the day.
Join the tribe! Tribe Coffee House is all about family, community, and the belief that a great cup of coffee can bring people closer together. Located on Grand Avenue, this chill hangout was made for peaceful mornings, midday pick-me-ups or just a little one-on-one time with the old laptop. Kick-start your a.m. with an energizing green matcha latte, perk up the afternoon refreshing nitro iced coffee or quell your sweet tooth with a PB&J, made with peanut butter, raspberry syrup and cold brew topped with a splash of creamy half and half. Need to grab and go? A selection of baked goods and a tasty egg, ham and cheese croissant await (or hang for a while and enjoy the funky interior furnishings and lush plant life). With top notch coffee classics and seasonal drinks that reflect the seasons, Tribe’s friendly baristas are here to make your cup, your way. I guess that’s why they say when you visit Tribe, you’re family.
Best Bakeries in Arroyo Grande
Looking for baked goods made with real love? Savor the good vibes tucked into every bite of Sweet Pea Bakery’s cookies, biscotti, scones, muffins and morning buns. Located a quick drive from the Village of Arroyo Grande, this quaint stop is known for its prolific and satisfying selection of flaky croissants, ranging from sumptuous chocolate, butter, and almond varieties to crave-worthy jalapeno, bacon-cheddar and prosciutto-gruyere. This friendly neighborhood bakery isn’t just putting a delicious twist on tasty grab-and-go classics, though: you can also order up a dozen or more decadent specialty cupcakes in a rainbow of festive flavors. With combos like vanilla and strawberry buttercream, raspberry champagne, salted caramel and chocolate espresso–the sky’s the limit! Need a dozen gluten free brownies or a dark chocolate dipped macaroon? ? Just ask (or swing by during Gluten Free Tuesdays). Whatever you do, don’t pass by this local gem without taking at least a quick gander at the display case.
Start your morning on a high note at Mule Bakery, where you can waltz right up to a modern scone and drink window for easy ordering. Owned by a brother-sister duo, this breezy bakery located in the heart of the Village of Arroyo Grande is a must-try for any sweet tooth on the hunt for fresh baked flavor. Mornings are made more delicious with Mule’s fantastic croissants (pick from butter, ham and cheese, almond or chocolate) or perhaps an aromatic muffin laden with blueberry, raspberry or Marionberry streusel. Stellar scones, cookies, turnovers and cupcakes are also on the menu plus specialty treats like house made pate a choux eclairs filled with decadent custard and chocolate ganache, cinnamon twists, lemon bars, brownies and even cheesecake in an assortment of flavors (try the lemon curd, cherry or blueberry).
A tiny shop with big flavor, Coffee Express and bistro has served tasty coffee, fast, for decades. Located on the 1100 block of Grand Avenue, Coffee Express has spacious parking and a drive-thru window — important in a rush! The patio seating and tasty, simple menu of breakfast and lunch fare make this an easy spot to bring kids and pets. Choose from a menu of coffee and espresso drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, americanos and drip coffee. The bistro offers other classic coffeehouse drinks, too, like Italian sodas, milkshakes, iced coffee, hot chocolate and chai lattes. Pastries like Old West Cinnamon Rolls, scones, and muffins make for a quick breakfast. (Coffee Express even offers gluten-free croissants.) Or grab a breakfast wrap made with eggs, veggies and sausage to power your morning. For lunch, try a wrap or sandwich made with chicken salad, BBQ tri-tip, or ham and cheddar, among others.
Red Dirt Coffee House
If you long to return to Hawaii, or you’ve never been before, Red Dirt Coffee House brings the islands to life in Arroyo Grande. With its comfortable aloha vibe and tropical-themed menu, Red Dirt has been making everyone feel like ohana (family) since 2010. Every coffee drink served at Red Dirt Coffee House is made with 100% Kona Coffee — no blends allowed. The quality shines through in every drip coffee, pour-over, and cold-brew. Red Dirt also features tea, yerba mate, fresh juices and smoothies, chai, mochas and matcha. A delightful assortment of Hawaii-inspired sandwiches, wraps, salads and breakfast burritos will entice any armchair traveler. And don’t miss owner Paul’s famous Hawaiian-style plate lunches available Friday through Sunday. These include meat, rice, mac salad, and more. What’s more, these plate lunches taste even better when a musician comes by the cafe to play live Hawaiian slack-key guitar.
Best Desserts in Arroyo Grande
Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab
Doc Burnstein is the (fictional) ice cream scientist behind this famous scoop shop in the Arroyo Grande Village, and he’s gone crazy! Doc mixes up flavors, always trying new combinations and ideas to add to the menu. He even lets other mad ice cream scientists get in on the act to develop their own wild creations. Come to this parlor, the original Doc Burnstein’s location, to enjoy his work. Try the Elvis Special, a real banana ice cream with peanut butter ribbons throughout, just like The King liked it. Or take Motor Oil for a spin: dark chocolate ice cream with Kahlua and fudge swirls. With Edna Valley wine country nearby, Doc decided to make Merlot Raspberry Truffle ice cream using chocolate chunks and real Merlot wine. And these are just a few of the many, many flavors in the case. Insider tip: Doc’s ice cream is even better as an ice cream cake. If you have reason to celebrate, pick up an ice cream cake at the scoop shop, and share it with someone you love.
Dining in Edna Valley
Farmhouse Corner Market
Chef Will Torres led some of the best restaurants in the area before opening his own project, Farmhouse Corner Market. Located on Highway 227 in the Edna Valley, Farmhouse specializes in expertly prepared and presented farm-to-table American food. The restaurant is open for late breakfast, lunch, and afternoons, making this the perfect spot for a lazy brunch, tasty lunch, or afternoon snack/drink. Try the shatteringly crispy rice waffles, the chilaquiles, Farmhouse burger, or spring pea soup. Every dish on the menu brings color, flavor, and texture to the table, in perfect balance. Once you’ve dined in the bright, cheerful restaurant, head to the Farmhouse marketplace, featuring Chef Will and the team’s favorite ingredients, brands, and goods. The color theme continues here with bright rainbows, geometric tiles, and plenty of wine, beer, cheese, snacks, ice cream, flowers and gifts to peruse. The marketplace also offers grab-and-go sandwiches, wraps, and other cold case items for picnics and wine tasting.
Find this simple yet elegant eatery in the Sextant Wines Edna Valley tasting room. Here, Sextant’s culinary team develops small plates and entrees according to the season’s ingredients. Expect to find small bites, creative paninis, fresh salads, cheese and charcuterie plates, and decadent desserts. Favorite orders include the Caprese Panini, made on housemade ciabatta with fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes, basil pesto and fruity green olive oil. The Bo Flatbread is another popular dish, made with roasted red pepper pesto and mozzarella, topped with a lightly dressed arugula salad. Charcuterie platters serve up to 4 people with meats and cheeses, nuts, olives and dried fruits, sourced locally wherever possible. There’s even a kids’ menu for young foodies to explore. Come for a wine tasting, stay for a flavorful lunch on the patio, and don’t neglect to get dessert. Insider tip: do yourself a favor and order the Sextant Bar, made with coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch, graham cracker, and pecans.