Editor’s note: A couple of months ago we announced the launching of our new Cambria Ambassador Program. Partnering with bloggers throughout California, we’ve invited them to use their photography, outdoor, and food and beverage expertise to give travelers like you an exclusive preview of Cambria. We hope you enjoy this first blog post in our all-new Ambassador Blog Series.
While the quiet town of Cambria might not seem like a foodie paradise from the outside, driving through without sampling its fine food and spirits would be a big mistake. With so many places to eat in the city, there really is something for everyone. Here is a breakdown of my favorite places to eat and drink at in Cambria. Make sure to tell me if I left anything out in the comments section.
Breakfast – Redwood Cafe
Never underestimate a good breakfast at a Pacific Coast Highway diner like the Redwood Cafe. Even though it can be a little hard to find, this gem is a great place for a good, inexpensive meal that will fill you up. I love a good hearty breakfast and I appreciated the southern flair that Redwood Cafe added to the menu, I mean they even had grits!
Recommendation – Havarti Spinach Scramble and Home Fries
Lunch – Robin’s
If you ask any of the locals what the best spot in town is you will no doubt get a lot of votes for Robin’s. This eclectic restaurant has a little bit of everything, but does it all well. Whether you are in the mood for a sandwich or a Thai inspired noodle dish, you will find something on the menu. I would recommend the salmon bisque, which is a creamy soup with a smooth salmon flavor. It makes for a fabulous appetizer. Be sure to sit on the deck if it is a warm day as it is a fabulous place to sit and watch the world go by.
Recommendation – Salmon Bisque and Cambrian Avocado Melt
Dinner – Black Cat Bistro
The Black Cat Bistro is one of the most expensive places in the town. That would be a bad thing if the food wasn’t so mind-blowing. Once you bite into one of the scallop or fresh fish plates, you will forget the cost and consider ordering a second helping. The way they pair flavors here is fabulous. Even things I thought wouldn’t go together were expertly paired on your tongue. They have a seared Caesar salad with bacon jam, believe me, just order it. Be prepared for a nice 1-2 hour dinner and one of the best dining experiences Cambria has to offer.
Recommendation – Lightly Seared Caesar and anything with scallops
Dessert – Linn’s
You really can’t go to Cambria without a trip to get some Olallieberry Pie from Linn’s. This hybrid berry is a mixture of blackberry and raspberry, combining the best parts of both for a pie that I never leave Cambria without. Every time I drive through the city, I take a full pie home with me.
Recommendation – Olallieberry Pie (of course!)
Cambria Beer Company
Lovingly referred to as “Pints by the Sea,” Cambria Beer Company is a great place to sample local craft brews and support a small town brewery. With only a couple of beers on tap at any given time, there is never a lot of options. That said, the limited choice of draft is always good. Plus, it is right next to Nitt Witt Ridge, which I highly recommend touring either before or after your beer as well.
Recommendation – Nut Wit Weizen
Cambria Ale House
If options are your thing, then the Cambria Ale House is for you. This small, one room pub has tons of beers on tap and lots of bottles along the wall. There are a few couches, games and reading materials so you can come in, try the beer and kick up your feet. They have craft beer from all over the country and the people working the bar provide great recommendations.
Recommendation – Don’t ask me, just tell them what you like, I am sure they won’t lead you wrong
Like the Cambria Ale House above, Fermentations is one of my favorite spots in Cambria (this may be swayed by how close it is to Linn’s pies as well). They have an insane amount of wines in any flavor and style you could want. They also offer a fun and cheap sample card so you can select just what you want to try from their dozens of options without having to pay by the glass. This is also a full-blown store with trinkets, decor and a lot of wine you can take home.
Recommendation – Adult Chocolate Milk, then let them help you find a wine
Stolo Family Vineyards
If you want to get out of the city a little bit, a trip to Stolo Family Vineyards should be on your list. This winery is right in farm country and is a beautiful place for a family picnic or a wine flight. They have a lot of really good wine and a beautiful, rustic, modern-style room where you can sit and enjoy it. I have even been told that they have fainting goats but you didn’t hear it from me.
Recommendation – Pinot Noir or the Syrah
Black Hand Cellars
If I had to pick one type of Cambria wine to drink this would be it. The tasting room is located in the downtown area and is pretty small, with only a dozen bar stools around the U-shaped bar. That being said, the atmosphere is great. The cheeky wine names and labels are fun and the wine itself is stellar. I also enjoy interacting with the people working the bar as they seem to really enjoy themselves, which is important. I guarantee it will be hard to leave without a bottle.
Recommendation – Syrah Estate Reserve or the Acquittal
So there you have it, my recommendations for food and beverages in Cambria. I love the central coast of California, and honestly Cambria is one of the best cities. It has quiet charm, beautiful beaches and amazing food. I would love to hear what you think I may have left out in the comments.