Top 9 Restaurants in Santa Maria, California
Santa Maria, California, is a city of 110,000 residents, known for its wine country and traditional Santa Maria-style barbecue. Yes, the city has its own signature cooking style! This Central Coast city also has a thriving culinary scene. From seafood to Mexican food to American classics, Santa Maria boasts many fantastic restaurants.
A couple of these spots feature Santa Maria-style barbeque, and you may be wondering what that is. This style of barbecue originated in Santa Maria, and is typically made with tri-tip, a triangular cut of beef from the bottom sirloin. The meat is seasoned with a simple rub made from salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and then grilled over red oak wood coals.
Now, on to our picks for the top ten restaurants in Santa Maria, CA.
Far Western Tavern: Known for its Santa Maria-style barbecue, the Far Western Tavern is a must-visit for meat lovers. The restaurant has been serving up grilled tri-tip, ribs, and other meats for over 50 years. Plus, their signature pinquito beans are a perfect complement to any meal.
Shaw's Steakhouse: Since 1953, this classic steakhouse serves prime rib, filet mignon, and other delicious, tender cuts of beef. The cozy dining room at Shaw’s Steakhouse creates the perfect ambiance for a special night out.
Maya Restaurant: A local favorite, the family-owned Mexican cuisine at Maya Restaurant includes authentic dishes such as chile verde, tamales, and carne asada. Don't miss their homemade tortillas and fresh salsa.
La Dona Authentic Mexican Food: Many consider the cuisine at La Dona Authentic Mexican Food to be the best south-of-the-border food in Santa Maria. Their tacos, burritos, and enchiladas are made with fresh, flavorful ingredients, and their salsa bar offers a range of delicious options.
Jocko's Steakhouse: Technically this isn’t in Santa Maria, but you only have to head over to nearby Nipomo to enjoy this incredible restaurant Joko’s Steakhouse features steaks cooked over an oak pit and served with filling sides like baked potatoes and creamed spinach.
Cool Hand Luke's Steakhouse: Oh yes, steakhouses are popular in Santa Maria! Cool Hand Luke's Steakhouse offers various cuts of beef, plus seafood and pasta dishes. We suggest dining in the outdoor patio area for a charming evening meal.
Trattoria Uliveto: This Italian restaurant serves pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and more, all in a relaxing, rustic setting. Trattoria Uliveto has a wine list that features many Central Coast wines.
Santa Maria BBQ Outfitters: If you're looking for a casual spot to grab some Santa Maria-style barbecue, this is the place to go. Santa Maria BBQ Outfitters serves tri-tip, chicken, ribs, sandwiches, and salads.
The Swiss Restaurant and Bar: Maybe you’re looking for more of a standard, American diner experience. If so, visit The Swiss Restaurant and Bar, which offers a range of American classics, including burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Ask for a table on their outdoor patio to enjoy your lunch or dinner on a sunny or cloudy day.
Of course, these nine restaurants are just the beginning when it comes to dining in and around Santa Maria. We encourage you to check local listings and find other eateries to visit.
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