Paso Robles: The Food

By Kori ~ June 9th, 2010.

While we frequently enjoy wine with food, our writings here on Wine Peeps generally focus on the wine first. Don’t get me wrong, food is important and there are plenty of food blogs out there for you foodies. We just want to be your first stop when it comes to wine. However, on my recent press trip to Paso Robles, California, I had the pleasure to delve into the Paso Robles food scene a bit as well. I’m not going to go too far out of my area of expertise and rate the food itself, but I do think that anyone considering a visit to Paso Robles might appreciate some restaurant recommendations to enjoy while you are there. One of the things that I noticed is how closely integrated the wine and food culture is in Paso. The wineries recommend local restaurants, the restaurants recommend local wineries and offer local wines on their wine lists, and restaurateurs and winemakers frequent each other’s establishments.

So without further ado, here are some excellent Paso restaurants to try on your next wine tasting trip to the area.

Downtown Paso Robles

Thomas Hill Organics
1305 Park Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446

Thomas Hill Organics is a market-bistro and wine bar dedicated to serving organic produce from their farm in the east hills of Paso Robles. The menu changes on a weekly basis to showcase seasonably fresh ingredients. Owned by Joe and Debbie Thomas, Thomas Hill Organics makes a great lunch stop during a day of wine tasting in downtown Paso.

Artisan Restaurant
1401 Park Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446

Owned by Chef Chris Kobayashi and his brother Michael who is the General Manager, Artisan is dedicated to sourcing local ingredients and changing the menu for the season. According to Chris, the menu is driven by what is sold at the local farmers market. The food at this American Bistro is fabulous, and the setting is perfect for a lovely dinner after a day of wine tasting.

Out in Wine Country

Farmstand 46
3750 Highway 46 West
Templeton, CA 93465

Farmstand 46 is a team project lead by Villa Creek’s executive chef, Tom Fundaro, and Four Vines Winery proprietors, Christian Tietje, Susan Maher, and Bill Grant. This gourmet deli offers healthy food made from organic, estate-grown vegetables and herbs. Farmstand 46 is probably the most convenient restaurant for people out for the day visiting wineries without having to go all the way back into the town of Paso Robles. It is right next door to the Four Vines tasting room so it is a convenient stop for lunch. We enjoyed gourmet pizzas made outside at the Farmstand 46 pizza oven. For those who live in the area, Farmstand 46 also offers a Drop-a-Pot service. Drop off your pot before 2pm and come back between 5:30 and 7pm to pick it up hot. It’s a great way to enjoy local ingredients in the comfort of your own home without having to cook it yourself.

On the Coast

Cass House Inn & Restaurant
222 North Ocean Ave
Cayucos, CA 93430

Cass House is a relatively new restaurant that features a daily changing, seasonally driven and locally sourced menu as well as an award-winning wine list. Chef/owner Jensen Lorenzen works closely with local farmers and foragers to ensure that each menu represents the best the season has to offer. Located in Cayucos, one of California’s last original beach towns, the historic Cass House was built between 1867 and 1875. While it is a little removed from most of the wineries in the area, a trip to Paso is made complete by a visit to the coast.

Filed under: American Wine, California Wine, Food & Wine, Wine Travel

Reader's Comments

  1. Rick | June 10th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    great article, and a nice companion to the article in the new Wine Spectator about Paso food and wine.

    for a true local experience for breakfast/lunch, go to “Hoover’s Beef Palace” in Templeton–not to be missed. I always thought a food place on Hwy 46 West like Farmstead would do well–can’t wait to visit again!

    I agree about making Cayucos part of a wine visit to Paso. That drive is one of the most beautiful in the state!

  2. Kori | June 17th, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Glad you enjoyed this piece. I haven’t read the WS article yet; I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the Hoover’s recommendation. I’ll put it on the list for the next time I’m in Paso. Cheers!

  3. Steve Howe | July 7th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for recommending some places to eat in Paso Robles. I look forward to giving them a try on my next visit.

    McPhees Grill in Templeton is another great place for hearty meals that also look good.

  4. Kori | July 7th, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    My pleasure. And thank you for your recommendation. I’ll have to check out McPhees Grill the next time I’m in the area. Cheers!