As mentioned in my last post, Paso Robles is a legit wine region with a whopping 614,000 acres of land within the Paso Robles AVA. With over 200 wineries, of course the obvious thing to do in Paso is wine taste. But, a visit here wouldn’t be complete without spending time in the actual town of Paso Robles. It may be quaint, but Paso has a plethora of locally owned shops and farm-to-table restaurants worth checking out. So get ready to pack the bags, because I’m sharing my top picks for where to eat, shop & stay in my Paso Robles Travel Guide for Food & Wine Lovers!
Artisan – People flock to Artisan for simple yet creative food in an upscale, modern setting. Chef Chris Kobayashi cooks up delectable dishes that change with the season… Think mushroom toast with a poached egg and wild boar tenderloin served over risotto. It’s one of Paso’s most popular restaurants for a reason.
The Hatch – The Hatch is a gastropub-like restaurant that specializes in rotisserie chicken and Southern-style small plates. Things like fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese with guanciale and house pickles are what you’ll find on the menu. It’s cozy and casual but with a lively, welcoming vibe. Don’t miss it.
Thomas Hill Organics – A staple for farm-to-table fare, Thomas Hill Organics started from owner Debbie Thomas’ passion for sharing fresh, organic produce with the community. The eclectic menu changes with the season, but grass-fed beef, free range poultry and artisanal breads are the norm.
Kitchenette – Technically not in Paso Robles, I had to include this small restaurant in Templeton (about 10 min away) because of the incredible breakfast offerings. Owned by the Kobayashi brothers (of Artisan), Kitchenette has an inventive menu that can’t be beat. Think peach ricotta pancakes with bourbon and mushroom polenta with poached egg. The beer braised corned beef hash with whole grain mustard, egg and cabbage is a must!
General Store – It’s easy to get lost in this cute shop which carries goods for the home and pantry. From locally-made olive oils to S’well water bottles, cookbooks and baby onesies, General Store is your one-stop shop for finding the perfect gift or souvenir. Additionally, they offer a nice selection of cheese and salami for creating a pre- or post-wine tasting picnic.
AndBe – AndBe boutique has a well-curated selection of designer clothing, home decor, jewelry and accessories for both men and women. Owners Andrea Dewit and Beatrice Asseo source items from all over to create their stylish and worldly selection of goods in a variety of price points.
Brown Butter Cookie Company – Love the smell of browning butter? Then you’ll enjoy stepping into this shop made famous by their brown butter sea salt cookie. The perfect balance between salty and sweet, these cookies are oh so delicious and a must try. No doubt you’ll want to bring some of these home with you!
Hotel Cheval – Luxury boutique accommodations right downtown make the Hotel Cheval an ideal home base while in Paso. Comfortable beds and complimentary evening s’mores service by the outdoor fireplace? Yes, please. There’s also an onsite bar, called The Pony Club, with local wines, live music and a large outdoor patio. You’ll love it. Read all about my stay here!
Allegretto Vineyard Resort – Opened since last fall, the Allegretto is technically Paso Robles’ first real resort. Owner Douglas Ayres modeled the place after the abbeys and monasteries of Italy and France. He’s also filled the space with a variety of art from his travels. A pool, bocce courts, full-service spa and onsite restaurant will keep you plenty busy. You may not want to leave! Read more about my experience here.
There you have it, the best places to eat, shop and stay in my Paso Robles Travel Guide for Food & Wine Lovers. And if you missed it, be sure to check out part one of my two part Paso series: Guide to Paso Robles Wineries.