In SLO CAL, Mexican cuisine isn't just food—it's a vibrant celebration of California's rich Hispanic heritage. With its fertile agricultural land, San Luis Obispo County yields an abundance of fresh produce, including locally sourced ingredients that enhance the authenticity and flavor of Mexican dishes. As you explore SLO CAL, you'll encounter a diverse array of eateries proudly presenting traditional Mexican flavors, each imbued with its own unique regional twists. From street vendors to upscale dining destinations, SLO CAL's diverse culinary landscape offers a delightful tapestry of Mexican food to savor and enjoy.

Tamales hold a special place in the heart of Mexican cuisine, serving as a culinary emblem of tradition, community and celebration. These delectable delights consist of seasoned meat, cheese or vegetables encased in masa dough, wrapped in a corn husk and steamed to tender perfection. Renowned for their blend of savory flavors and unique texture, tamales are a beloved staple dish perfect for celebrations and everyday meals alike. 

overhead view of the Sunken Gardens by City Hall in Atascadero

Atascadero's Annual Tamale Festival:

~ Keep an eye out for 2025 dates! ~

Immerse yourself in the vibrant celebration of Mexican and Chicano culture at the 8th Annual Tamale Festival in Atascadero! Kick off the festivities with a lively "Fiesta Friday" featuring early tamale shopping, live music, fireworks and "Sip & Shop" activities. Then, on Saturday, head to the Sunken Gardens in Atascadero for a full day of indulgence with over 30 tamale vendors, live mariachi music, tamale eating contests, chihauhau & pet costume contest, captivating dance performances (including dancing horses) and much more.

Mexican restaurants from across the county will be showcasing their best tamales for the competition. Keep an eye out for Los Osos Mexican Market, which took 2nd place for their gourmet tamales in 2019, as well as favorite food spots like Taco King in San Luis Obispo and Frutiland La Casa del Sabor in Arroyo Grande.

Gourmet Year-Round Tamales: At Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant in Atascadero, treat yourself to their famous tamales known for their amazing flavor and craftsmanship. Prepared from scratch and made fresh every day, each tamale is a culinary masterpiece, perfectly complemented by sides of flavorful rice, beans and spicy salsa. Garcia's has consistently ranked among the top three for gourmet tamales at the annual Tamale Festival, proving they're the real deal when it comes to quality and taste. 
📍9900 El Camino Real, Atascadero

tacosTacos are a popular culinary delight in SLO CAL, offering a taste of coastal paradise with every bite. With access to fresh seafood, locally sourced meats and vibrant produce, taco creations in this region burst with flavor and authenticity. Whether it's a classic fish taco featuring locally caught seafood or a carne asada taco showcasing the rich flavors of Central Coast beef, each bite is a symphony of taste that reflects the region's agricultural bounty and coastal heritage. 

Street Tacos: Boni's tacos are crafted from family recipes passed down through generations, tracing back to the family's origins in Taxco, Guerrero. Boni himself began crafting these delectable tacos in 2004 and quickly gained acclaim among SLO CAL locals, who couldn't get enough of his flavorful creations. Recognizing the demand for his exceptional tacos, Boni opened a taco truck on Main Street in Cambria. Be sure to indulge in their standout dish: the al pastor. This house specialty is marinated in a secret sauce for 24 hours before being meticulously sliced off a 70-pound cone. For an unparalleled flavor experience, complement it with their zesty salsa verde!
📍2253 Main St, Cambria

Taco Tuesday Deals: For those seeking a delicious bargain, look no further than La Reyna Market, your ultimate spot for delectable takeout tacos in Paso Robles. Indulge in a soft corn tortilla filled with the vibrant flavors of onions, cilantro, salsa and your preferred succulent meat such as asada, al pastor, birria and beyond. Rally your friends and make a Tuesday outing to relish their unbeatable Taco Tuesday deals. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you!
📍532 24th St, Paso Robles

Ceviche & Seafood Tacos: SLO CAL's coastal location allows local restaurants to skillfully infuse Mexican flavors with the bounty of the Pacific Ocean. Nestled in Pismo Beach lies Papi’s Grill, offering fresh seafood and handmade Mexican food. Delight in their grilled halibut and shrimp tacos or tantalize your taste buds with their signature citrusy ceviche, perfectly paired with crunchy tortilla chips. And while you're there, don't pass up the chance to taste their tender butter beef and crispy potato tacos – they're an absolute must-try for a flavor sensation you won't forget!
📍 1090 Price St, Pismo Beach

Contemporary Tacos: Seeking a spot with a charming ambiance? Check out FINCA, nestled in a historic farmhouse in Paso Robles. Here, you'll embark on an innovative culinary journey inspired by the vibrant flavors of Baja and Sonora style Mexican cuisine. Prepare your taste buds for an adventure with FINCA's pork belly taco, boasting brined and braised pork belly, finished with a zesty chile verde salsa and adorned with cilantro, onions and chicharrón. For those seeking a plant-based option, the oak-grilled mushroom taco is an excellent choice, featuring fresh avocado and a delectable cilantro cashew sauce. 
📍1803 Spring Street Suite A, Paso Robles

Zorro's Cafe and Cantina ExteriorPhoto Credit: Zorro's Cafe & Cantina

In the vibrant tapestry of SLO CAL's active outdoor culture, burritos hold a special place, symbolizing not just a meal but a way of life. After catching the morning surf or adventuring through the rugged landscapes, there's an irresistible allure to sinking your teeth into a hearty burrito, filled with fresh ingredients and bursting with flavor.

Traditional Burritos: Taqueria El Guero has left its mark across the county, serving up tasty traditional burritos at three different locations. Renowned for their massive birria and al pastor, this restaurant is a must-visit for those craving bold Mexican flavors and generous portions. Picture this: a warm flour tortilla enveloping a mouthwatering medley of refried beans, fluffy rice, savory cheese, fragrant cilantro, zesty salsa and creamy sour cream, all perfectly paired with your choice of protein. And don't forget to save room for a slice of their tres leches cake!
📍1122 Chorro St, San Luis Obispo

Surfer's Breakfast Burritos: After a day of riding the waves, nothing satisfies like some hearty post-surf grub from Zorro's Cafe & Cantina. Nestled in Pismo Beach, this family-owned establishment has been a beloved local spot for over 18 years. Here, traditional Mexican and American flavors unite to create a breakfast experience like no other. Their renowned beachside breakfast burritos are a hearty delight, with their #1 breakfast burrito featuring juicy honey bacon, ortega chiles, crispy home fries, fluffy eggs and melted cheese. Start your day with a thrilling wave ride, then treat yourself to a delicious breakfast burrito, just like the locals do.
📍927 Shell Beach Rd, Pismo Beach

Signature Wet Burritos: After a thrilling day of outdoor adventure in the scenic beauty of SLO CAL, replenish yourself with a hearty and nourishing burrito. For a sit-down experience, look no further than Villa Cantina in Arroyo Grande, where the iconic Jefe Burrito reigns supreme. This wet burrito is packed with Spanish rice, creamy refried beans, a melty blend of Mexican cheeses and homemade guacamole. But what truly sets the Jefe Burrito apart is its array of mouthwatering sauces. Whether you're craving the zesty kick of verde, the robust richness of ranchero or the smoky heat of chile colorado, each sauce option promises to infuse your meal with irresistible flavor. So come hungry, relax and savor the satisfaction of a day well spent.
📍106 E Branch St, Arroyo Grande


Back to Top of List

Mistura BarWith 315 days of sunshine, SLO CAL is the perfect spot to kick back, unwind and enjoy a refreshing beverage. Embrace the laid-back vibe of SLO CAL with the quintessential cocktail: margaritas. Crafted from premium tequila, tangy lime and a salted rim, these refreshing concoctions are the ultimate complement to sunny afternoons and leisurely evenings.

Tequila Paradise: At Las Cazuelas Restaurant in Nipomo, tequila aficionados can embark on a journey through over 60 varieties of tequila, ranging from crisp blancos to rich añejos. Settle into their inviting patio and treat yourself to a classic margarita, perfectly paired with the warm California breeze. For those eager to sample the finest tequilas, a tequila flight offers a curated selection of sought-after options, ensuring an unforgettable tasting experience.
📍 131 West Dana Street, Nipomo

Fruity Margaritas: In the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo, La Esquina Taqueria beckons with its inventive margarita menu. Infused with creativity and flavor, their signature concoctions like peach ginger and pineapple mezcal are a feast for the senses. Sip on these citrusy delights while indulging in salty chips and salsa, and let the worries of the day melt away.
📍 1051 Nipomo St, San Luis Obispo

Spicy Margaritas: Sizzle up your margarita experience at Old Juan's Cantina in Oceano, where classic Mexican flavors get a Californian twist. This family-owned gem packs a punch with its spicy margarita offerings. Dive into the tangy delight of their chile lime mango margarita or ignite your palate with the fiery jalapeño margarita, featuring their award-winning jalapeño-infused 100% agave blanco tequila. At Old Juan's Cantina, every sip is an adventure in flavor, making it the ultimate destination for those seeking a spicy margarita fix.
📍 649 Pier Ave, Oceano

Experience the Flavors of Mexico in SLO CAL

SLO CAL's culinary scene is more than just a collection of delicious dishes—it's a testament to the region's rich cultural tapestry and vibrant community spirit. Given its fertile lands, coastal influence and diverse dining options, SLO CAL provides an excellent environment for the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine to thrive.

From savory street tacos to hearty tamales, each dish tells a story of tradition, heritage and passion. But beyond the flavors, it's the people behind the food who truly make the experience memorable. Passionate chefs and families, eager to share their culinary heritage, turn a simple dining experience into a cultural celebration. So, whether you're in search of a burrito, or a margarita, after a day of adventure, SLO CAL extends a warm invitation to savor and support the numerous local Mexican restaurants.