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The Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food Guide

Here’s my list of the Top Wineries and the Best Food in Paso Robles

The Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food Guide

About Paso Robles

The Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food Guide:  Paso Robles is a lovely slice of paradise located just off the 101 Freeway and 30 miles east of the coast of Cambria.  Paso is the home of over 200 wineries, 11 distinct wine regions, a quaint downtown dotted with wonderful restaurants, and wine tasting rooms, just a few miles from Highway 46 which gives you access to the tree-lined winding country roads that lead to the area’s best vineyards and wineries.  Before I was a photographer I was a chef and wine buyer.  So you could say I have kind of insider’s information when it comes to Paso.  Plus it doesn’t hurt that I’ve visited the region over two dozen times in the 30 years I’ve lived in California.  I’ve also met with many of the winemakers and winery owners in the region. Done barrel tastings with them, purchased their wines, been a member of some of their wine clubs, and dined at all the restaurants I’m recommending below.  So rest assured this list isn’t something I’ve just gleaned from the internet.  This is a curated list from my own real-world experience.  

On the Way To Paso Robles ….

The Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food Guide


Lunch Stop: On your way to Paso Robles, stop for lunch at Industrial Eats in Buellton.  Address:  181 Industrial Way, Buellton, CA 93427  Phone(805) 688-8807. Owned by husband and wife team Jeff &  Janet Olsson, Industrial Eats is a super casual, and funky eatery on Industrial way {hence the name Industrial Eats,} just 5 minutes off the 101.  You’ll find delicious brick oven pizzas. Their menu is based on uber-fresh local-seasonal-produce.  The menu changes frequently.  And if it’s the fall that means it’s wild mushroom season…..and you are in for a treat.  There are lots of great salads, fresh seafood, and meat items.  Wine and beer on tap and excellent coffee too. We stop in every time we pass by and if we are staying in the area we’ll go for a long lunch or a nice dinner.



“One thing I always look at in a winery, especially if I’m going to join their wine club, is how consistent are their wines, vintage to vintage?”

Travel Break & Picnic

NOW CLOSED.  BOUGHT OUT BY A WINE CONGLOMERATE.  Laetitia Winery:  I’ve been visiting Laetitia Winery for over 20 years.  Letitia specializes in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines, I love their Sparkling Rosé. They also produce Rosé, Meritage-style wines, and a late-harvest wine. It’s a great place to stretch your legs and have a picnic lunch.  There’s lots of outdoor seating and picnic tables overlooking their vineyards.  Ask about their wine club.  Laetitia’s wines are reasonably priced, and their tastings are fantastic.  One thing I always look at in a winery, especially if I’m going to join their wine club, is how consistent their wines, vintage to vintage? In Laetitia’s case, the answer is that they are extremely consistent. Why is this important?  Because when you join a wine club, you’re joining because of the experience you had with both your tasting and the quality of the wines.  If the style changes every year and is inconsistent, the quality of the wine will change with each vintage.  Address:  453 Laetitia Vineyard Drive, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420, Phone(805) 481-1772.  Feel free to pack your own picnic (they actually encourage picnicking on the property) or inquire ahead to see if they have some cheese boards on hand.  

Below, are  In My Humble Opinion, the cream of the crop wineries in the Paso Robles area.  

Where to Taste the Best Wines in Paso Robles

Let’s face it. the quality of a wine, and what we like our wine to taste like is highly subjective.  However,  having been a wine buyer and also having written a Wine Spectator Award-winning wine list, I think I have a pretty good handle on my wines and what people like.  After a couple of decades of visiting Paso, I’ve culled through a whole bunch of wineries. Some okay, some are good, and some are really great wineries.  Below, are  In My Humble Opinion, the cream of the crop wineries in the Paso Robles area.  

Paso Robles winery photographer

ALTA COLINA WINERY & VINEYARD: Address: 2825 Adelaida Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446,, Phone:.805.227.4191. Located in the Adelaida district. Their vineyards comprise 30 acres of the 130-acre property. This boutique winery is owned and operated by Bob & Lynn Tillman and their daughter Maggie. Not many wineries can say that they specialize in 100% Estate-grown Rhone-style wines.  All the grapes on this property are organically farmed, and the fruit is so amazing that other Central Coast producers such as McPrice Myers, Sans Liege, RockPile, and Paydirt get fruit from Alta Colina. Bob and his team chiefly produce Syrah blends, Mourvèdre blends, Grenache, and delicious Rosé.  Their wines are hand-made by people, not machines. I’ve been fortunate to be on-site during the harvest and crush of 2023 and was beyond impressed by the care taken in crafting their wines. I’m a huge fan of their Syrahs, which are unctuous with ripe dark plum and blackberry notes.  They drink lovely now and will only improve with age. Their Sunworshiper is produced from a muscular yet feminine Mourvèdre: “This wine was age in oak for 21 months prior to bottling, with an additional 15 months of bottle aging prior to release.”   Their smooth and silky Marsanne , “Model Citizen,” shouldn’t be missed as well as their outstanding Rosé from their estate Grenache, quickly sells out!  Hidden Gem:  Ask about their Summit Vineyard Tasting.  You’ll be transported to the middle of their vineyard and enjoy your tasting on a deck under a massive shade tree in the middle of their vineyards. 

Brecon Estate Winery Paso Robles

BRECON ESTATE: Address:  7450 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446,, Phone805-239-2200,  Hours:  Daily – 11AM-5PM, by appointment.  A very modern, small, and elegantly appointed tasting room, with lots of outdoor seating too. The Brecon Estate Vineyard is adjacent to the winery along the iconic Vineyard Drive in the Adelaida District of the broader Paso Robles A.V.A. Brecon produces small-batch premium wines sold exclusively through their website and at their Paso Robles tasting room. Their whole lineup is phenomenal. Their Grenache is out of this world spectacular. I brought home a bottle of their Grenache….and with every sip, I said out loud…  “This tastes amazing!”  It was bursting with fresh, vibrant, ripe cherry and raspberry flavors. One of those wine that you are sad when the bottle is finished. Brecon Estate produces Albarino, Malbec, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel blend, Zinfandel/Tannat Blends, Reserve Cabernet Franc, Reserve Mourvedre and a Reserve Petite Sirah. 

The Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food Guide

CALCAREOUS VINEYARD: Address3430 Peachy Canyon Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone(805) 239-0289,, Worth the {gorgeous} drive down the twisting oak tree-covered Peach Canyon Road.  Address:  3430 Peachy Canyon Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446-7685 Phone: (805) 239-0289  A lovely drive down Peachy Canyon road.  Calcareous sits atop a bluff with stunning views overlooking Paso Robles.   Go for the views alone but stay for their delicious Meritage and Chardonnay. 

The Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food Guide

DESPARADA, LOCATED IN TIN CITY,  amphora and wine puppe.

DESPERADA: Address: 3060 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, CA 93446,  Phone:  (805) 434-961.  Located in Tin City … Tastings are BY APPOINTMENT ONLYEverything Winemaker Valia From makes is superb. IMHO she’s one of the best winemakers on the Central Coast. Valia ferments in amphora, oak casks, and stainless.  Her wines are nuanced and delicate.  Due to the small production and popularity, you’ll need an appointment for tasting and will need to pay, but her team provides an in-depth world-class tasting experience of their wines in an elegant setting.  



EPOCH ESTATE WINES: Address7505 York Mountain Rd, Templeton, CA 93465, Phone(805) 237-7575,, Although technically located in Templeton, EPOCH deserves mention here. It stands out as the most stunning winery in the Paso Robles area, boasting some of the finest wines, all sourced from their Estate-owned fruit. While DAOU offers picturesque grounds and tastings, I’m not a fan of their wines. Conversely, EPOCH’s century-old winery beautifully merges modern and historic elements, showcasing meticulous environmental landscaping and architectural design. Reservations are essential for a curated experience atop York Mountain, accessed through a gated entrance amid pastoral scenery. A tasting concierge leads you through a pressure-free tasting, with no obligatory wine club mentions like our experience at LAW. Each wine at Epoch shines, served in exquisite Austrian stemware. Though priced higher, ranging from $60 to $100+, the quality justifies the cost. We opted for their Signature Tasting at $40 dollars per person.  Epoch also offers a Library Tasting, $50 per person.  


HERMAN STORY: 1227 Paso Robles St, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone: (805) 237-2400. A small hidden gem of a tasting room on the backside of downtown Paso Robles just off the 101.  Russel From, winemaker-proprietor, produces elegant Rhone-style wines and some of the best Syrah I’ve tasted on the Central Coast. His wines are usually ready to enjoy when purchased, but age gracefully too. His wife, Valia owns the Desperada winery (above).  I’m a huge fan of Russel, his standing-room-only tasting room, his cooking, and his wines.

The Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food Guide

Matt Trevisan, owner, and winemaker of Linne Calodo crafted his first vintage in 1998. As published in Wine Spectator.

LINNE CALODO: Address3030 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone: (805) 227-0797.  Tastings are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. I’ve been a fan of owner and winemaker Matt Trevisan since way back in the day, {before he built his winery,} when he was selling elegant and robust Rhone-style wines out of a wooden shack down a muddy dirt road on Paso Robles.  I spent an afternoon with Matt a few years back and he shared his unique dry framing approach with me, and we tasted some barrel samples.  His wines are so popular that they typically sell out year after year.

LXV WINE: Address: 1306-B Pine Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone: 805-296-1902.  Although Neeta & Kunal Mittal have been producing lush reds and off-the-beaten-path whites  Blanc De Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc Rose, for over ten years, my wife and I just discovered them by way of a recommendation from Herman Story.  Their tasting room is located in downtown Paso Robles across the street from the Fish Gaucho. We were immediately taken by their wonderfully balanced Italian varietals: Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. And bottlings of Rhone blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, and Cabernet Franc that Paso Robles is famous for. Their tasting is well worth the visit, and you will be guided one-on-one through your tasting by a resident expert. The wines can be paired with a neutral local cheese rolled in Indian spices.  A surprisingly different approach to any tasting we’ve been to. We were smitten by LXV’s wines and instantly joined their wine club. 

McPrice Meyrs Winery

McPRICE MYERS {Winemaker and Founder McPrice ‘Mac’ Myers}, Address:  3525 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone: (805) 237-1245,, 11AM-4PM Daily. For sure this winery name sounds like an accounting firm or perhaps a law firm. Right?!? …. But it isn’t.  Over the last two decades, McPrice (Mac) Myers has been crafting wines of depth and balance that showcase the multiple terroirs and climates of the Central Coast – from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles. Mac produced his first vintage in 2002 with half a ton of grapes in a small cooperative in Paso Robles.

“Unlike anything I’ve tasted in Paso Robles.”

I brought home two bottles:  Beautiful Earth White: 70% Clairette Blanche 30% Grenache Blanc, and Beautiful Earth Red:  A vibrant blend of: 58% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 6% ZInfandel, 3% Petite Sirah and 3% Graciano, with hints of Cinnamon, tar and spice. Unlike anything I’ve tasted in Paso Robles. Mac produces two lines of wine:  Beautiful Earth wines, with some very cool and expressive red blends. Mac’s Single Vineyard Wines:  2021 PAPER STREET CLAIRETTE BLANCHE, 2021 LARNER SYRAH, 2021 LARNER VIOGNIER and 2021 ESTATE CUVÉE a delightful blend of: 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, and his 2021 PAPER STREET CUVÉE: a blend of 58% Syrah, 28% Grenache, 14% Mourvédre. As of October 2023, Mac is excavating hillsides in his vineyards to construct wine caves, while also in the process of developing a new tasting room. If you are looking to stay in the heart of the Adelaida district, consider renting out his swanky Hilltop Guest House. 

Oso Libres Winery

OSO LIBRE WINERY:  Address7383 Vineyard Dr, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone(805) 238-3378, , Wild card find. We are always on the hunt for something a bit different.  Tasted some of their red blend at a local Paso restaurant.  I think it was the Fish Guacho and really enjoyed it.  The next day my wife and I ventured out there. Linda and Chris Behr. own Oso Libre aka “Free Bear.” In 1996 they purchased 90 acres of undeveloped land.  Fast forward to 2009, the Behrs opened their tasting room.  In addition to their 15 acres of prime Adelaida District AVA vineyards, they also own pasture-raised estate Angus cattle and a few lamas. What I most enjoyed about Behr is their unassuming approach to wine-making and tasting. We enjoyed their wines so much that it was a no-brainer to join their wine club.  We tasted their entire lineup including their late harvest sweet wines and left with 2 of each of the following:  2020 Carnal a blend comprised of 38% Grenache, 38% Petite Sirah, and 24% Mourvedre, their 2019 Reserva is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Oso Libre Estate, which is complemented with the addition of Merlot from the Acquarello Vineyard, a bottle of their 2019 Quixotic Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Oso Libre Estate. Dark fruit, cherry notes, and a silky smooth finish, and one of my favorites: 2019 Rojo del Patron Estate 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Primitivo. This wine just hits so right, with a nice glug of Pimitovo (think Zinfandel) added in proper proportion to their Estate Cab.  Simply delicious!  Joey Barreto’s wine-making and blending skills are on point with all the wines we tasted. The tasting room has its own vibe and stands out as a unique boutique winery to visit in the Adelaida AVA.  Their 2021 Vino d’Oro Chardonnay Barrel Fermented , Bottled August 2022, is a steal at under $23 a bottle.

The Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food Guide


TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD: Address: 805.237.1231, Tablas Creek Vineyard, 9339 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles CA 93446. Phone805.237.123.  Tablas Creek has a unique story:  Tablas Creek is the realization of the combined efforts of two of the international wine community’s leading families: the Perrin family, proprietors of Château de Beaucastel, and the Haas family. Equally owned and run by the two families, the partnership began in 1987 remains today as ever, even as the next generation of Haases and Perrins have stepped into leadership roles over recent decades. In January 1990, the first vine cuttings were imported from France. Before arriving at Tablas Creek, they underwent a USDA-mandated three-year indexing process that ensured that the vines were virus-free; the first imported vines were available for multiplication at Tablas Creek in 1993. In 2003 the partners decided to complete the Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape collection. These seven varieties (Cinsaut, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Vaccarese, Picardan, Clairette Blanche, and Bourboulenc) are now all in the vineyard at Tablas Creek and available to other interested growers. Tablas Creek Vineyard follows the centuries-old Châteauneuf-du-Pape tradition of blending, to produce wines that balance richness and elegance while ensuring complexity, freshness, and minerality. Winemaking techniques, including dry farming, native yeast fermentation, and the use of large, neutral French oak foudres for aging allow our wines to reflect authentically the grapes, place, and vintage from which they come. Red wines, comprising about 50% of the vineyard’s production, are made principally from Mourvèdre, Grenache Noir, Syrah, and Counoise, with other red varieties playing smaller roles. White wines, comprising about 35% of production, are based on Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc, again with additional white varieties in supporting roles. Two rosés, one based on Grenache and the other on Mourvèdre, account for the final 15% of production. Total production averages between 25,000-30,000 cases per year. Tablas Creek produces Rhone-style reds and whites. They have an impressive large glass-walled tasting room which shows off their immense French oak foudres {think mega huge oak barrles}. Their wines are very site-specific and cater to a very specific palette.  These wines are not for everyone.  But if you love drier-style French wines you’ll love Tablas Creek. 

Thatcher Winery Paso Robles

THATCHER  WINERY & VINEYARD:  Address:: 8355 Vineyard Dr, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone: (805) 237-0087, We have visited Thatcher Winery’s tiny rating room three times over three months and keep finding hidden gems in their lineup.  Last time we were there in addition to learning about the wines produced at Thatcher from Drew Mulkern, the Tasting Room Manager, we also met Sherman Thatcher, Proprietor.  Thatcher Winery derives its name from the family’s English heritage. In the English countryside, “Thatcher” is a person whose job is crafting roofs from straw or reeds. Thus their logo is a grasshopper, commonly found amongst the reeds.  Winemaker Sherman Thatcher owns and operates this boutique winery producing, still white wine, sparkling,  Zinfandel and Rhone-style wines. Our recent visit included tasting an outstanding Own Rooted Chenin Blanc (we took home a few bottles), and their gorgeous Triumvirate/ Zinfandel, Reserve and sublime Grenache which also came home with us.  Tastings are $20 per person, waived with a two-bottle purchase.

The Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food GuideThe Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food Guide

TOOTH & NAIL WINERY:  3090 Anderson Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446,  Phone(805) 369-6100 One of the most unusual architectural wineries in Paso. The winery is a massive stone castle complete with a moat, surrounded by stunning hillside vineyards. Originally the property was a winery that went bankrupt and sat vacant for years.  Along came Rob Murray vintner-grower-owner, and breathed new life into the property.  Tooth & Nail and another of their wine brands, Rabble, produce, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Syrah, Pinot Noir and more.  Their Amor Fati label is their finest juice and IMHO the best-of-show for them.  Years ago I met Rob at a tasting in Del Mar, California, where I tasted their Amor Fati Syrah and thought it was the best wine in the entire tasting of 100 vintners. You are sure to have a great time tasting at Tooth and Nail Winery.  Their tasting rooms in the castle are massive!  My last time there, was the summer before Covid and they had a live rock band for entertainment.  The winery also serves seasonally inspired culinary fare ….which makes it a great spot to taste wine and have a leisurely lunch or sunset dinner. They also have a huge outdoor patio area to enjoy your wines & food.  Make sure to visit their rooftop, if it’s not being used for a wedding that day.  The winery is easy to find.  It’s just off Route– 46 on the corner of Anderson Rd. 


TOP WINERY:   Located in an industrial environment at Address:  2323 Tuley Ct, Unit 110, Paso Robles CA 93446, Their tasting room can be a bit tricky to find because there is no outdoor signage. The entrance to their tasting room is behind the brown wooden fence., Phone:  (805) 769-7890, Sparse tasting room, very elegant wines, Super boutique with a very small production run. Owned and operated by Elena Martinez and Stanley Barrios. Top’s focus is on Rhone style wines: As their website states:  “We produce Rhône varietal wines from highly acclaimed vineyards throughout California. Our focus is on Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Graciano, Roussanne, and Grenache Blanc, occasionally dabbling with other varieties that may fall into our hands. We make a total of eight different wines, most of which are blends.”  We had a lovely tasting of three wines, and purchased a single bottle of their EXERT, 2020 Syrah. Top is a premium brand with bottle offerings beginning at $95 as of this writing. 


TORRIN:  Address: 6360 Peachy Canyon Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446, (805) 227-0107:  Holly Cow!  Okay, so Torrin was on our radar and shortlist, but we didn’t have a reservation.  We were driving the backroads of Paso on a bucolic stretch of Peach Canyon Rd, when we passed Torrin. It was gated and looked like it was closed.  So I dove past the winery. About a 1/2 a mile past, Connie said why don’t you call them.  So we did a u-ey, and drove back to Torrin. I called them, and I was surprised when they said, “Sure, we’d be delighted to host you for a tasting.” We were greeted in the parking lot. I can’t remember the name of our host, but he was charming. We indulged in an extraordinary tasting experience in their sun-drenched tasting room. Each wine we tasted was sublime, a shining example of varietal and terror. Our tasting included their 2021 Maven: Grenache, a 2021 Banshee: Mouvedre, Syrah, Grenache Blend, a 2020 Akasha Syrah, and their insane Lagom, 2020 Spanish Springs Chardonnay with an intense Burgundian character.  Torrin is a premium brand with extremely limited production, with some bottlings being produced from a single barrel.  Their bottle offerings begin at $85.

TURTLE ROCK VINEYARDS: Address: 3075 Blue Rock Rd, Unit A, Paso Robles, CA 93446.  Phone:  (805) 674-1889 Winemaker, owner, Don Burns, assistant winemaker for Justin Smith of famed Saxum winery. Justin’s wines are only sold by allocation and fetch north of $100 a bottle.  Don is making his own juice which used to be half the price of what a bottle of Saxum costs. His Turtle Rock brand is spot-on delicious.  Big, supple beautiful wines that drink great now and age beautifully. I have one left in my cellar. When Don first started producing wine they sold for about $55 a bottle.  Now most are allocation only and have scored as high as 95pts. to 100 points and fetch from $70-90 a bottle.  UPDATEVisting the tasting room:   Due to limited wine availability, the Turtle Rock tasting room is temporarily closed. There’s been incredible momentum with our first 100-point wine and membership availability is full. We are taking sign-ups for the waitlist! We hope to reopen this fall with the release of the 2020’s.

VILLA CREEK CELLARS: 5995 Peachy Canyon Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone805.238.7145. Tastings are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. I’ve not been to Villa Creek for a few years.  However, this is the most unassuming tasting venue in Paso Robles. More like an open barn under corrugated tin in the middle of nowhere.  But they have some very unique boutique-style wines.  And it’s definitely worth the trip.  

TIN CITY:  450 Marquita Ave, Paso Robles, CA 93446  Called Tin City due to the unique tin-roofed structures has grown from a small tasting venue to hosting over 30 wineries, cider & spirit producers.  It’s a cool little area with a brewery, tasting rooms, and a wonderful eatery listed below.  A very cool place to stop for an hour or two for some impromptu tastings and possibly to discover some kickass wines you would have never known about if it wasn’t for Tin City. 


“These are my favorite restaurants that I’ve been to many time.  Pro tip: Make sure to make a reservation for anywhere you plan to go for dinner, especially on the weekends, during the summer months and during the wine crush in Sept. & Oct.”


The Ultimate Paso Robles Wine & Food Guide

*FISH GAUCHO –  Address: 244 Park St, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone(805) 239-3333.  Excellent Mexican food.  Killer mole, fab pozole and so much more.  Amazing list of Tequilas & Mezcals.  A large list of beers and wines by the glass. Impeccably handcrafted cocktails.  Very comfortable, great service indoor-outdoor seating.  Wonderful large bar. EXCELLENT MEXICAN / FAB BAR AND TEQUILA & MEZCAL LIST Very comfortable, good service, great cocktails, and beers.

THE HATCH ROTISSERIE & BAR:  Address: 835 13th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446  Phone(805) 221-5727 Reservations: Excellent handcrafted cocktails and great beer & wine list. Creative comfort food, like their shrimp and grits.   Could use a creature comfort upgrade. Great service. Bar and table seating.

LES PETITES CANAILLES:  1215 Spring St, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone (805) 296-3754 Reservations: Highly recommended.  Small, lovely restaurant, located a short walk from the downtown Paso Robles square. A welcomed daring foray into the Paso Robles dining scene opened up in 2019. We enjoy sitting at their lovely bar and sipping wines from the fabulous by-the-glass list. Their exceptional wine list is lauded by the Wine Spectator’s Best of Excellence Award 2022.  Husband and wife Courtney & Julien Asseo, proprietors, feature Julien’s father’s wine from L’Aventure and two of his brother-in-law’s wines from Benom, and Clos Selene from Paso Robles as well as his godfather’s wines from Alsace AOC. Les Petites Canailles menu features French comfort food with a few twists.  A tasting menu is also offered along with a wine paring.  Honorable mention by Michelin Guide:  “Courtney and Julien Asseo have named this Paso Robles restaurant in honor of their three children (the name translates to “the little rascals”) but this welcoming spot with a spot-on kitchen is more head of the class than detention bound. Set smack in the heart of downtown, the space’s pressed concrete floors, simple furnishings and Edison lights read contemporary. Meals begin with a warm gougère before moving on to a selection of hearty appetizers. The menu features several entrées, though most eyes land on the perfectly cooked steaks. Leeks à la plancha, served on an oversized platter, are grilled, covered with an herb vinaigrette and finished with flaky salt, Espelette pepper and toasted pine nuts for a simple, yet refined dish.”

LA COSECHA BAR & RESTAURANT: 835 12th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446  Phone(805) 237-0019. Upscale and elegant bar and restaurant.  Wonderful wine-by-the-glass selections, lots of small plates to choose from, fresh ingredients.  Small outdoor seating area great for people watching on a warm summer’s day with a cool glass of white wine. 

ETTO PASTIFICO:  Located at the entry point of Tin City:  3070 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone: (805)400-3193. Fabulous pastas and salads.  Excellent By The Glass wine list. 


*McPHEES:  In Templeton about a 15-minute drive from Paso Robles and worth the trip.  Address:  416 S Main St, Templeton, CA 93465 Menu: Phone: (805) 434-3204.  Wonderful by the glass and by the bottle list.  Large menu of meat, fish, pasta and lots of vegetarian choices.  Best damned double-cut pork chop I’ve ever had in my life.  Call ahead and reserve it. Devine creme brulee.  Very comfortable booths and tables.  It’s a local place as well as a destination for people in the know.  A bit old-fashioned….kind of mid-western on the decor….but super comfortable with excellent service.  

DI RAIMONDOS ITALIAN MARKET:  Picniking Supplies:  This is the place to go if you are looking to put together some great picnicking supplies.  Address:  822 13th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone: (805) 238-1268. Fantastic artisanal cheeses and cured meats, crackers, and bread.  


A few words about staying in Paso Robles:  My go-to hotel in is listed below with two other recommendations.  Whenever possible I like to visit Paso Robles during the week when it is less crowded or off-season, late fall and winter,  when hotel rates are also half the price.   You can expect to spend $175 and up a night if you visit Friday through Sunday and expect more traffic and more crowds at the tasting rooms.  During the summer months, temperatures will climb into the high 90º’s in some microclimates and cool down during the evening.  There are AirBnB’s in the Paso area but I’ve found AirBnB’s to be problematic…some hosts canceling at the last minute. If you go during the high season, as soon as school gets out for the kids, or during the summer months, I highly recommend booking your hotel as far in advance as possible.  Paso has become popular over the years and hotels can be sold out during certain periods.  

“This is my go-to hotel when visiting Paso.”

*LA QUINTA INN & SUITES BY WYNDHAM PASO ROBLES:  Website, Adress:  2615 Buena Vista Dr, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone: (805) 239-3004.  Super clean, well-appointed, well maintained contemporary hotel.  This is my go-to hotel when visiting Paso.  It’s conveniently located off the 101 Freeway and a stone’s throw from Route 46 and near all the wineries.  There’s a pool and they serve a free breakfast buffet included in your stay. 



ALLEGRETTO VINEYARD RESORT PASO ROBLES:  2700 Buena Vista Dr, Paso Robles, CA 93446, Phone(805) 369-2500, Website.   A stunning 4-Star property, complete with fancy dining, luxury pool, and an Italian luxury mansion feel.  Rates in the off-season start at $275-$300.   It’s owned and operated by the Ayres family who run a chain of boutique hotels and they do it right.  It’s conveniently located off the 101 Freeway and a stone’s throw from Route 46 and near all the wineries. BTW, even if you aren’t staying here…it’s worth it to just go and check out the grounds.  I guarantee you’ll be floored by the architecture and charm. 

THE CARLTON HOTEL:  The Carlton is about a 20 minuted drive from Paso Robles and is a lovely historic property on the exterior but super comfortable, clean, and updated spacious quiet rooms and comfortable beds. Adress6005 El Camino Real, Atascadero  Phone:  (805) 461-5100.   I’ve stayed here a few times when my usual hotels are booked. .  Street parking only but very safe. It’s located right off the 101 Freeway. The town’s history dates back to the early 1800’s when it was named a 23,000-acre Rancho Atascadero.


“Take a long stroll on Cambria’s long boardwalk that flanks the Pacific at Moonstone Beach and enjoy a long walk on the miles of sandy beaches.” 

1/2 DAY TRIPS TO CAMBRIA:  Paso Robles a perfect area for wine growing. Coupled with 700 – 2,000-foot elevations, 30 distinct soil series, and the diverse meso-climates created by these factors, Paso is blessed with a long season that allows growers to ripen 69 different varieties balanced with sugar and acidity ideal for producing world-class wine, ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to Syrah, Viognier and Roussanne, to Zinfandel, the area’s heritage wine varietal. So there you are in Paso Robles and the temps are anywhere from 75ºF-95ºF.  Forty-five minutes by car to the west on Route 46 is Cambria where the temps can drop anywhere from 20ºF-30ºF. 

Cambria is a slow-paced beach town that has kind of stood still when it comes to gentrification.  Take a long stroll on Cambria’s long boardwalk that flanks the Pacific at Moonstone Beach and enjoy a long walk on the miles of sandy beaches.  It can be cold and windy along the coast so dress appropriately.  Cambria has a bevy of hotels and boutique bed & breakfast spots in town and up and down the coast.  One of our favorite restaurants in town is Robbins InternationalAddress:  4095 Burton Dr, Cambria, CA 93428, Phone(805) 927-5007.  There is some great pizza in town  J.J.’s Pizza Address:   2380 Main St., Cambria.  A little hole in the wall with excellent traditional pizza.  My Favorite Breakfast place: Linn’s Restaurant:  Address: 2277 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428, Phone:  (805) 927-0371  Another restaurant is the Sea Chest: Address6216 Moonstone Beach Drive, Cambria, CA 93428 Phone:  (805) 927-4514.  I’ve always felt like they are doing me a favor by serving me instead of the other way around. A very popular and IMHO a bit overpriced spot. The food is good and fresh but I’ve gone twice and that was enough for me. 



FISCALINI RANCH PRESERVE:  For a great stroll head to the trail access located at 2799, Bluff Trail, Cambria, CA 93428.  This spot should not to be missed.  Fiscalini Ranch Preserve is off the beaten path.  A lovely dirt trail high up on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean.  Only known by the locals. It’s a stunning and serene walk where you’ll typically see locals taking a morning stroll or bringing their dogs our for a walk.



THE “VILLAGE” OF SAN SIMEON:  The area that William Randolph Hearst called his home.

Below is a list of what to do and what to see. I’m listing them in order based on distance from Cambria along Highway 1. You can make this a 1/2 day or a full day trip.  



THE PIEDRAS BLANCAS ROOKERY:  A seal rockery, where Elephant seals bathe in the sun and mate.  It’s a sight to be seen….100’s and sometimes 1000’s of seals occupy the beach depending on their migration and mating season.

SAN SIMEON BEACH AND PIER: WILLIAM R. HEARST MEMORIAL BEACH: A lovely small beach with a gourmet store with gourmet cheeses, meats, wines and more: Sebastian’s General Store: Address:  442 Slo San Simeon Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452  This local favorite is located near the historic town of San Simeon on Highway 1, across from Hearst Castle. The day-use area offers 24 picnic sites, 150 parking spaces, restrooms, water faucets, barbecue grill stands, and easy beach access. Recreational activities include picnicking, swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking and sunbathing. Your four-legged friends are welcome, but leash laws are enforced. San Simeon’s recreational pier, built-in 1958, allows fishing without a license (limits are enforced). The protected beach has a spectacular view, soft sand and miles of easy walking.





SAN SIMION | HEARST CASTLE:  Everyone should visit this gorgeous historic site at least once. Hearst Estate is breathtaking.  The house the American businessman, newspaper publisher, and politician is known for developing the nation’s largest newspaper chain William Randolph Hurst built.  Orson Wells made a movie about Willaim Randolph Hearst and his castle “Citizen Kane.”  San Simion offers many different tours.  I’ve visited the property 4 times over the years.  It’s a great date trip or family trip.  Address:  750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452 Please call (800) 444-4445 or check online for tour times, availability, and tour reservations.


BIG SUR & CARMEL:  Stay tuned for my upcoming travel guides for Big Sur & Carmel By The Sea.  Calfornia’s coastal gems. 

About the Author ~ Marc Weisberg Before he began a career as a professional photographer, Marc worked in some of the top restaurants in New York City and California.  He was a chef and a wine buyer earning the coveted Wine Spectator Grand Award. Marc loves to travel.  His wanderlust revolves around, photography,  seeking out the best regional cuisines & tasting wines of the world.  Over the past 30 years, Marc has visited California’s wine regions on a regular basis including, Paso Robles, Lompoc, Santa Ynez, Santa Maria, Los Olivos, Napa, and Sonoma.  Recently, Weisberg enjoyed an extended stay in Barcelona &  Lisbon’s discovering their diverse cuisines and wines. Due to his enduring & intimate connection with food and wine, he’s developed an insider’s perspective and built unique relationships with chefs, restauranteurs, and vintners throughout the California regions.  This is the first of many articles Marc is writing to share his love of travel, food & wine.