If you are going to come up to the Central Coast of California you must realize one thing, we love to BBQ. Our kind of grilling is a little different than the norm. We tend to grill over oak and we grill a ton of beef. For those of vegetarian flavor this will be unappealing but this is a post about Steak. If you want a good steak while you are up here camping there are several places to go.
1. Jocko’s: This is by far the best steak on the Central Coast. The porterhouse is its benchmark and if you are game enough order the Cowboy cut. Now remember that it is all about the food at Jocko’s because the atmosphere is dingy and loud. That still doesn’t stop locals from waiting for over an hour on a weekday night to eat there. It is in the nice community of Nipomo and right off Hwy 101 on the way north to Pismo Beach.
2. Shaw’s: This is my favorite place because I love the atmosphere and they serve a great Rib Eye. If you are lucky they will give you a table by the Oak pit so you can watch the cook grill everything. The food is served mini-family style which means they bring you a relish tray for your table at the start along with crackers and butter and then a pot of beans with your meal. This also used to be right down the street from our house so I could smell it every afternoon. Located in Santa Maria across from the Historic Santa Maria Inn it is a local favorite.
3. Steamers/ McClintocks: If you want a more touristy place then I recommend Steamers or McClintock’s. I group them together because they are owned by the same company and right near each other. McClintock’s is a lot of show and decent food. The waiters can pour you a glass of water with the glass on your head and them standing on a chair. I recommend Steamers for two reasons. First it overhangs a cliff looking out on to Pismo Beach and the Pier. Second it serves a great Prime Rib. You may not classify that as a steak but it is a good piece of beef. They also serve a great Cioppino.
4. Hitching Post: I used to be really high on this place until their prices went through the roof. That usually happens when you are featured in the movie “Sideways.” Anyway the Ostini family serves a great steak. There are two locations; Buellton and Casmalia. The Buellton is right off of Hwy 101 on Hwy 246 on the way to Solvang. If you are in the area I recommend it.
5. AJ Spurs: The final place is quickly becoming a chain. There are three or four locations as I type this with the original being right next to The Hitching Post in Buellton. The decor is unique but the food isn’t I have never had a great steak there but the portions are unequaled. They give you a ton of food. This is a great place for a group to go. We have had a ton of fun eating with friends here. The prices are reasonable and service is good.
So there you have it. My favorite places to eat a steak at on the Central Coast.