Top 5 Valentine’s Date Spots In and Around Pismo Beach

Oyster Loft with Executive Chef, Jared Hurst

Oyster Loft, Pismo Beach

Oyster Loft, Pismo Beach

Dinner with a view of The Pismo Pier! Listen to the waves crashing while sipping one of their amazing specialty drinks. Last week I enjoyed a delicious tequila-based cocktail with a hibiscus “bubble”, then watched as it popped with a beautiful puff of smoke sprinkling magic all over the table. Their Specialty drink selection is sure to knock your socks off! If you are whiskey drinker, might I suggest the Smoked Old Fashioned, Woodford Rye, Maker’s 46, bitters, maple simple syrup, smoked with apple wood chips.

More than a restaurant, Oyster Loft is an experience, where excellent service rivals the taste and aesthetics of presentation. The upscale cuisine and regional seafood dishes are prepared with the utmost attention to detail. Dine inside or on the patio with sparkling views of Pismo Beach and enjoy our contemporary coastal cuisine.

It’s no called Oyster Loft for no good reason. There is an oyster station with specialty oyster masters and always an outstanding selection. Our favorites were the Fanny Bay Oysters from British Columbia.

Appetizers are sometimes a good way to enjoy an early evening meal – we like to order a handful sometimes instead of doing a large meal. Our recent trip had us try the Bone Marrow tartare that was wonderfully rich and decadent. Another tasty surprise was the Tuna Poppers, a nice spin on a Jalapeño popper with a light tempura batter on a bed of cucumber.

If you want more of a meal, have you ever had a Wagyu New York Steak before?? They skillet-seared a Snake River Farms strip steak with onions cooked three ways, grilled mushroom, asparagus, duck jus, and potato gratin. I bet your mouth is watering now…

More into the seafood how about the Sablefish, a local black cod with white miso glaze, turnips, asparagus, butternut squash noodles, pea tendrils, wild mushrooms, dashi consommé, green onion salsa, fried rice.

And Pastry Chef Michelle Renée will not disappoint with her decadent desserts! We enjoyed the peanut butter and chocolate mousse tower with marshmallow sprinkled with gold leaf that was melt-in-your-mouth.

101 Pomeroy Ave. Pismo Beach, CA 93449 | Phone: (805) 295-5104

Call or reserve a table online through Open Table.

Ventana Grill


Ventana Grill

Discover the cool, coastal world of Ventana Grill and experience their unique coastal fusion cuisine, unlike any other with a Latin American flair. Dine surrounded by the rhythmic serenade of waves crashing on the beach below. The stylish dining room sits perched on a coastal bluff, treating guests to the stunning central coast sunsets. Pro-tip, go early to get a table by the window before sunset!

Start your meal with their complimentary homemade warm tortillas with 3 different salsas (5/5) Then try to decide on main course with option from their Enchiladas Suizas with shredded chicken, mixed mushrooms, roasted poblano, English peas, tomatillo cream sauce, white corn tortillas, chihuahua and cotija cheese, habanero pickled onions, and avocado. Also available vegetarian, served with side of rice and beans to their Pipián Sea Bass, pumpkin seed crusted, pipián verde, seared spinach, tequila-soaked apricots, oven-roasted spiced pepitas also served with a side of rice and beans your taste buds will be flood with flavor!

I have to be honest, I have been known to  just for the dessert… Specifically the Sailor Jerry Plantains- Caramelized plantains, Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, vanilla ice cream, bunuelo crisp, whipped cream, chopped walnuts. How could you not…

2575 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 | P: (805)-773-0000

Call or reserve a table online through Open Table.

Cracked Crab

The Cracked Crab seafood restaurant was founded in Pismo Beach, CA in 1999. Their Mission, to provide excellent food and service to all their guest in a clean, comfortable, casual AND FUN atmosphere. Serving the finest seafood available, in a most casual style. This is not just a meal, it’s an experience!

Such a fantastic concept largely based on dumping a bucket of various shellfish on your table with a mallet, crab crackers, and other tools to get the job done. It can get messy but, hey, bibs provided, and they do the clean it up!

They serve several local fresh fish daily and use local farmers (Peacock Farms) for fresh in season produce all year round. They even built a greenhouse for us so we can have good fresh tomatoes all year and use a local butcher and a local baker. Home Sweet Home!


Don’t worry if your honey doesn’t eat fish, they always have steak and a chicken dinner for them too! Going with a non- meat eater?  No problem, they will sauté up a wonderful vegetable dish as well.

Come and have fun playing with your food!

751 Price Street Pismo Beach, CA 93449 | P: 805-773-CRAB (2722)

They do not take reservations, but it is always worth the wait!

Giuseppe’s Cucina


Giuseppes, Pismo Beach

Most locals would call it the best wood oven pizza in town but that’s not all they are known for.

In 1988, Giuseppe DiFronzo breathed life into the original Giuseppe’s Cucina in Pismo Beach. What started as a Cal-Poly senior project has since spawned a second restaurant, located in thriving downtown San Luis Obispo. Much beloved by locals and travelers alike, Giuseppe’s was an early adopter of the farm-to-fork philosophy.

The owner’s own DiFronzo Farms produces the heirloom varietal vegetables and fruits found in Giuseppe’s cuisine. Nestled on twelve acres of fertile Edna Valley soil, the working farm is a mecca of heirloom bounty. From figs to olives, San Marzano tomatoes, squash, Hachiya persimmons, Meyer lemons and five grape varietals that produce Giuseppe’s own DiFronzo Vineyards brand wines, the evidence of quality is never more apparent than at first bite, sip and scent!

Giuseppe’s wine list is sure to impress the wine enthusiasts in your life, with a large selection of awarding winning local wines.

Good Eats, I highly recommend their Morro Bay Sand Dab’s “alla Piccata” With a lemon, carper, white wine sauce and Israeli couscous. Or for you pasta lovers, Tagliatelle Bolognese, slow cooked pork & beef tomato ragu, ricotta, parsley, and Romano cheese.

Don’t forget to leave room for dessert! You can’t leave with out some of their Family Recipe Tiramisu or a sampler trio of Gelato.

891 Price Street Pismo Beach, CA | Phone: 805-773-2870

They do not take reservations, but you can put your name on the list and then go enjoy a glass of wine at the Taste of Valley’s Wine Shop and Bar.

Ember with Brian Collins, Chef/Owner


Ember Restaurant

Serving Italian-inspired California Cuisine with authentic hand-crafted food cooked by a wood fire. They aim to create the ideal environment to experience Central Coast food and wine.

When Chef Brian cooks Italian, it is not what a lot of Americans think of as Italian.

“I suppose cooking “Italian” can mean different things. To me it means:

#1 cooking with a genuine spirit of giving and love,

#2 cooking what is local and with a proud sense of tradition,

#3 Less is more! What do I mean by that? It’s arguable that nobody in the world eats better than the peasants of Italy. They can take a handful of simple ingredients such as dried beans, garlic, parsley, tomato, and breadcrumbs and make angels cry. They make it taste good because they have to. But really, it’s that passion, not frugality, that pushes the simple ingredients skyward. Our food will always be simple fare to be shared and enjoyed.”

Ember has a thoughtfully created wine list mostly features wines from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, in addition to greater California and beyond. Featuring a dozen wines by the glass and nearly 150 wines by the bottle, our list is sure to provide something for everyone. They serve the finest selection of locally brewed beers and have an exceptionally innovative and unique craft cocktail program that changes seasonally and features the finest spirits, house-made syrups, fresh juices, tinctures and herbs.

Their menu changes monthly offering a variety of Salads & Appetizers like Cavalo Nero, Italian kale salad with lemon, toasted almond and Pecorino Romano cheese or Cayucos Abalone, local abalone over crispy pork belly, with house-pickled ginger, avocado and a Meyer lemon hollandaise/ Wood Oven Fired Pizzas like Wild Mushrooms with foraged nettle, farm egg and smoked leeks / Entrees offering Steak, chicken or a fish of the day / Desserts to die for! Like the Almond Orange Cake with honey gelato, Amarena cherries and toasted pistachio.

This is a definitely a local favorite!

1200 E Grand Ave, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 | P: (805) 474-7700

Call or reserve a table online.

If you are a “stay in on Valentine’s Day” kind of person, not to worry, wait for the middle of the week to truly enjoy these cherished dinner spots for an easier pick of tables and enjoy all they have to offer at a much a slower pace!


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