18 Best Restaurants in Cambria, California [Must-Try Places]

Reviewed by Elina Ansary
Last updated:

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Here are the best restaurants in Cambria for casual dinners, fine dining, tasty breakfasts, and stunning ocean views.

Road trippers often overlook the coastal California town of Cambria while traveling along Highway 1, but its scenic surroundings, highly-rated restaurants, and cute Main Street make it the perfect weekend getaway.

I love Central Coast cities for their foodie credentials and stunning beaches, and Cambria has both in spades. 

You won’t find chain restaurants here– instead, you’ll find unique, locally-owned eateries everywhere.

Take an early morning walk along Moonstone Beach Boardwalk before warming up with an expertly-brewed coffee and a waffle at Hidden Kitchen. 

Visit nearby Hearst Castle for a fascinating glimpse into Hollywood’s golden age, then grab a table for cocktails at Moonstone Beach Bar. 

You can even enjoy a wine tasting followed by fine French cuisine at Madeline’sor a romantic dinner at the local favorite Black Cat Bistro. 

Whatever you’re in the mood for, these are my favorite Cambria restaurants for a fun beach trip on the beautiful California coast.

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

A cliff overlooking a beach on the California coast.

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Black Cat Bistro

Best restaurant for: Special occasions
Address: 1602 Main St C, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Dinner
Don’t miss: Crab cakes
Reserve a table here
Menu

This East Village gem is what locals pick for special occasions and is one of the best dinner restaurants in Cambria. 

This upscale Cambria restaurant is as one of the most popular restaurants in the area. It’s a white tablecloth, crystal stemware kind of place serving modern Californian cuisine inspired by locally available ingredients. 

The dinner menu changes seasonally, but if they’re available, you should try the crab cakes, pork belly, or award-winning clam chowder. The extensive wine menu has won a wine spectator award, and servers will help you select the right wine pairing for your meal.

Seating just 45 guests, this small restaurant offers a cozy, intimate dining experience. But the lack of space ensures this Main Street Cambria restaurant is usually booked out at the weekend, so make reservations in advance.

Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill

Best restaurant for: Dining by the ocean
Address: 6550 Moonstone Beach Dr, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Lunch, dinner
Don’t miss: Fish tacos
No Reservations
Menu

Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill serves surf ‘n turf to hungry beachgoers who are happy to wait in line for a table on the outdoor patio overlooking the Pacific.

The steak and lobster tail is an excellent choice for those who have built up an appetite hiking the coastal trails, while tasty salads are a good move if you prefer something lighter. 

After the Sea Chest, Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill offers some of the best seafood in Cambria.

Sunday brunch brings out the locals, who relax on the heated deck to watch the crashing surf and the sunbathing sea lions. 

Try the hearty seafood omelet with a Bloody Mary or a cappuccino if it’s too early for booze.

With views of the ocean, sunset is the ideal time to visit for a cocktail and great food, but bring your patience as there is likely to be a line for the coveted outdoor seating here at one of the most popular Cambria waterfront restaurants.

Hidden Kitchen

Best restaurant for: A gluten-free breakfast
Address: 2164 Center St, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Breakfast
Don’t miss: San Luis Sunrise
No Reservations
Menu

Hidden Kitchen lives up to its name, as its alleyway location can be hard to spot. However, tracking down this hidden gem is well worth the effort if you visit Cambria. Hidden Kitchen has a short (and primarily sweet) menu of blue corn waffles served with various tasty toppings.

If you’re in the mood for a filling breakfast, order the San Luis Sunrise, which involves fried eggs, bacon, avocado, and a house sauce on a waffle. 

If you have a sweet tooth, try the Fiscalini Fruit with strawberries and bananas.

For those who can’t get enough sweet and savory flavor combos, go ahead and order the Weirdos Waffle (fried banana, bacon, peanut butter, butter, maple syrup); no one’s judging your choices.

Team up your Hidden Kitchen blue corn waffle with a smoothie for a good breakfast, or even lunch– this gluten-free spot is open until 2 p.m. Friday to Monday. This place is perfect if you’re looking for a healthy Cambria restaurant.

Sea Chest Oyster Bar

Best restaurant for: Sampling the local seafood
Address: 6216 Moonstone Beach Dr, Cambria, California, 93428
Cuisine: Seafood
Best for: Dinner
Don’t miss: Oysters
No reservations
Menu

Step into the best seafood spot in Cambria, the Sea Chest Oyster Bar, for a glass of local wine with fresh oysters served raw or sauteed in wine and garlic. 

Seafood is the star of this kitschy, nautical-themed spot, so it’s better to pick somewhere else if fish is not your thing.

For those who do love fresh seafood, you’re in for a treat. Order the delicious calamari steak, creamy clam chowder, and, of course, the oysters for which the Sea Chest is famous. 

If you’re bringing kids with an aversion to squid (fair enough), there is a children’s menu with non-fish pasta options.

Save room for the dessert menu, which includes crowd-pleasing gelato, cheesecake, and chocolate lava cake.

Although Sea Chest Oyster Bar does not have a full bar, there is a good list of local and international wines, plus craft beers. Bring cash, as cards are not accepted. There is an ATM on site.

The Sea Chest does not take reservations, but neither the cash-only aspect nor the wait seems to deter diners. If you’re going on the weekend, expect a wait (which is not so bad if you sit with a glass of wine around the fire pit).

Linn’s Restaurant

Best restaurant for: Home-style cooking
Address: 2277 Main St., Cambria, California, 93428
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Don’t miss: Chicken pot pie
Reserve a table here: Call (805) 927-0371 for reservations
Menu

Linn’s Restaurant is not only a Cambria institution, but one of the most famous restaurants in the Cambria area. 

From humble beginnings as a fruit stall on Santa Rosa Creek Road, Linn’s Restaurant has become one of Cambria’s best restaurants, plus four stores throughout the town.

Linn’s Restaurant is a must-do in Cambria, and as it’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there’s no excuse not to go. 

Although the place has a rustic-chic vibe, the food is more sophisticated than it appears.

If you’re going for your evening meal, try the chicken pot pie or pot roast, two American classics that they do very well. 

If you’re heading there for breakfast, order the honey wheat pancakes or corn beef hash to set yourself up for the day.

Whatever time you go, round off your meal with the olallieberry pie and a scoop of handmade vanilla bean ice cream. 

Whole frozen pies are also available to take home to enjoy at your leisure. It’s also the only Restaurant in town with an attached wine shop, so if you loved the wine with your meal, you can take a bottle or two back with you.

Robin’s Restaurant

Best restaurant for: Eclectic dishes in a cozy setting
Address: 4095 Burton Dr, Cambria, California, 93428
Cuisine: International
Best for: Lunch, dinner
Don’t miss: Buttermilk-brined chicken
Reserve a table here
Menu

Robin’s Restaurant has been serving from-scratch food from its eclectic menu for over 35 years in Cambria’s East Village. 

The inspiration for the dishes comes from around the world, with a menu that features European, Latin American, Asian, and African cuisines.

It’s an excellent choice for those looking for places to eat in Cambria who can’t decide which cuisine to go for. You can enjoy the buttermilk-brined chicken while your date orders the Rogan Josh. There are also plenty of excellent vegetarian dishes, such as the tofu panang.

The building is almost as special as the menu. Located in a 1935 adobe, the restaurant’s dining area is full of little nooks, hideaways, and an open fire for chilly nights.

Indoors, candlelit tables create a cozy ambiance. On warm nights, ask for a seat on the heated back patio, where you can enjoy your meal surrounded by flowering vines and decorated with string lights, making Robin’s the most romantic restaurant in Cambria.

Las Cambritas

Best restaurant for: Great Mexican food
Address: 2336 Main Street, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Mexican
Best for: Lunch, dinner
Don’t miss: Fresh seafood tacos
Reserve a table here: Call (805) 927-0175 for a reservation
Menu

Head to Cambria’s Main Street for the best Mexican food in the city. Las Cambritas, which means “little Cambria,” serves excellent food in a casual, relaxed setting.

Expect Mexican favorites like enchiladas and tacos with a few unexpected dishes thrown in, like the delicious Mexican paella or the Gringo burger. Las Cambritas also has a good cocktail menu, with some great margaritas.

Las Cambritas is in downtown Cambria, so it’s in an ideal location if you’re hunting for Cambria restaurants to eat at after browsing the boutiques. At the weekends, you will often find live music on the dog-friendly patio.

Perfect for bringing a date or friends, Las Cambritas is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

West End Bar and Grill

Best restaurant for: Classic pub fare in a cozy setting
Address: 774 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Lunch and dinner
Don’t miss: Fish and Chips
Reserve a table here
Menu

Head to Cambria’s west village for the cozy and welcoming West End Bar and Grill. This gastropub has a substantial food menu and an even longer beer list. Friendly staff makes you feel like one of the locals, while the three TVs are handy if there’s a game you want to catch.

The New England clam chowder is a satisfying option if you’re in the mood for a lighter bite, while the hand-breaded halibut Fish and Chips are perfect when you’re extra hungry.

Pair your meal with whatever you like to drink at the full bar, which stocks a wide range of California wines, craft beers, and spirits.

This highly recommended spot is family-friendly and dog-friendly and can seat large groups, making it one of the best Cambria restaurants for anyone looking for a casual dinner with good service and good food.

Madeline’s Restaurant and Wine Cellar

Best restaurant for: Upscale French cuisine
Address: 788 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: French
Best for: Lunch and dinner
Don’t miss: Wine tasting session before dinner
Reserve a table here
Menu

If you’re planning to spend time trying the local wines on your Central Coast trip, why not combine a wine tasting with a delicious dinner at one of the best Cambria restaurants? 

Madeline’s Restaurant and Wine Cellar offers a daily custom wine-tasting session in its wine-tasting room. After spending time in the impressive cellar, follow up with a fine dining experience upstairs.

The concise menu features a handful of French classics. All the food is carefully-crafted. Try a salad of local greens as a fresh and light appetizer before ordering the filet mignon, cassoulet, or rich truffle risotto.

Madeline’s is a “save room for dessert” spot, so  round off the meal with the chocolate truffle mousse cake or lime raspberry pie. Don’t miss Madeline’s if you’re planning on enjoying some fine dining in Cambria during your stay.

Wild Ginger

Best restaurant for: Thai takeout
Address: 2380 Main St G, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Fusion Asian
Best for: Dinner
Don’t miss: Pad Thai
No Reservations (takeout only)
Menu

If you’re in the mood for takeout, check out Wild Ginger, an Asian fusion restaurant featuring dishes from Thailand, China, Vietnam, and India. 

Chef and owner, Deborah Mok, takes inspiration from popular Asian cuisines, adding her own twist to traditional flavors using local produce.

The Thai classics like Pad Thai and Tom Kha Kai are bursting with flavor, while the Hunan Beef is an excellent non-spicy option. The menu clearly marks dishes out as vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free, so it’s an ideal spot to go if you have any dietary restrictions.

Try a bottle of wine from the curated list, or pair your meal with a beer from China, India, or Japan to complete the international experience.

Redwood Cafe

Best restaurant for: A classic American diner experience
Address: 2094 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: American
Best for: Breakfast, lunch
Don’t miss: Omelet special
No reservations
No online menu

Redwood Cafe is a diner on Main Street serving breakfast classics like fluffy omelets, pancakes, and eggs benedict. Stop by and take a seat at the counter for endless coffee top-ups, generous portions, and friendly staff.

This warm and cozy restaurant in Cambria is perfect on a chilly day, or if it’s sunny, head outside to the pet-friendly patio.

If you are a fan of vintage, no-fuss diners, then you’ll love the Redwood, the best breakfast restaurant in Cambria.

Main Street Grill

Best restaurant for: BBQ favorites
Address: 603 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: BBQ
Best for: Lunch and dinner
Don’t miss: Tri-tip sandwiches
No reservations
Menu

If you’re looking for restaurants in Cambria village, Main Street Grill is a family-friendly, affordable BBQ joint. 

A Cambria staple for 40 years, this eatery is perfect if you’re hangry and don’t have time to wait in line for a table at other Cambria restaurants.

The menu is straightforward and meat-centric, with few vegetarian dishes. Try th epulled pork sandwich (listed simply as The Pig on the menu), or the Tri-tip sandwich, drenched in a sweet BBQ sauce on a large buttered roll.

Order at the counter and then grab a table indoors or out. If you’re a big fan of the experience, there’s merch to buy on your way out.

Indigo Moon

Best restaurant for: Fine dining with locally-caught seafood dishes
Address: 1980 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Dinner
Don’t miss: Lobster bisque
Reserve a table here
Menu

Indigo Moon in Cambria’s East Village serves Californian cuisine, meaning the inspiration for the dishes is international, but many of the ingredients are local. 

Locally-caught seafood features heavily on the menu, accompanied by fresh seasonal vegetables.

Look out for lobster bisque, tempura-battered fish and chips, and pistachio-crusted goat cheese salad, which are all great options. Ask about the daily specials inspired by whatever looks good at the local farmers market.

Indigo Moon was originally a cheese shop, and although it has now evolved into a restaurant, you can still visit the deli next door to get your specialty cheese, perfect for a beach picnic.

JJ’s Pizza

Best restaurant for: Pizza
Address: 2380 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Italian
Best for: Lunch and dinner
Don’t miss: The Combination Pizza
No reservations
Menu

Sometimes, only pizza will do. 

JJ’s is the go-to in Cambria for hot, cheesy slices delivered to your door. Salads, burgers, and sandwiches are also available until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. 

When it comes to Cambria restaurants, JJ’s is a casual spot,  but if you’re a pizza-fanatic, you may find this is Cambria’s best Italian restaurant.

La Terraza Mexican Grill

Best restaurant for: Great Mexican food
Address: 1316 Tamson Dr., Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Mexican
Best for: Lunch and dinner
Don’t miss: Mole enchiladas
Reserve a table here: Call (805) 927-7700 for a reservation
Menu

Located just off Main Street, La Terraza serves Mexican favorites with impeccable service. You’ll find fish tacos, burritos, and enchiladas made with fresh ingredients. 

Portions are typically generous, and diners enjoy complimentary chips and salsa, so chances are there won’t be space for dessert. If you do make it that far, churros and ice cream await.

If you and your date can agree on one dish, order the Molcajete for two. This house specialty involves shrimp, steak, chicken, sausage, and Mexican cactus, grilled and served with Ranchero sauce.

Cambria Mimosas Steak and Seafood

Best restaurant for: Breakfast
Address: 841 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Breakfast and lunch
Don’t miss: Breakfast burrito
No reservations
Menu

Cambria Mimosas Steak and Seafood is one of the best lunch restaurants in Cambria and also offers–possibly–the best breakfast in Cambria. If you’re not that into mimosas, don’t be put off– there are plenty of good options on the menu.

Check out the Central Coast favorite, artichoke hearts, deep-fried and dressed with ranch sauce. There’s a long list of sandwiches, from simple ham and cheese to more complex combinations like teriyaki chicken.

For breakfast, sit on the heated deck and enjoy pancakes, omelets, or chicken fried steak and eggs. 

And if you do love mimosas, you’ll be psyched about their giant mimosa, served in an oversized champagne flute. There are lots of fruity flavors to try, too, such as pomegranate, blueberry, and guava.

The Spot

Best restaurant for: A healthy breakfast
Address: 1235 Knollwood Circle Ste. C-202, Cambria, CA 93428
Cuisine: Californian
Best for: Breakfast and lunch
Don’t miss: The Spot breakfast
No reservations
Menu

The Spot is a new local favorite for sandwiches, crepes, smoothies, and coffee, open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily (except Saturdays, when it’s open until 5 p.m.) 

There’s a small indoor dining area and an even smaller deck for sitting outside, but the expansive ocean views make up for the lack of elbow room.

If you’re having trouble deciding between a sweet crepe and a cooked breakfast, order The Spot Breakfast, which combines everything on one plate, and throws in some fresh fruit for good measure.

Make sure to order one of the delicious smoothies, too, which use fresh fruit and vegetables.

French Corner Bakery

Best restaurant for: A coffee and a pastry
Address: 2214 Main Street in Cambria, California
Cuisine: Bakery
Best for: Breakfast and lunch
Don’t miss: Chocolate croissant
No reservations
Menu

If you’re looking for coffee shops while visiting Cambria, French Corner Bakery on Main Street is open from the crack of dawn to 6 p.m., so you can grab a brew and a sweet treat whenever you need a pick-me-up. 

The pastry case is full of French-inspired pastries, slices, pies, and tarts, so whether you’re looking for a plain croissant or a cake for a special occasion, the staff will hook you up.

Hot sandwiches are also available for a more substantial lunch, so grab an Italian meatball or hot pastrami for your picnic when you stop for breakfast. French Corner Bakery is small, with only a handful of tables inside and a few more on the street out front.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Sarah McDonald

Sarah McDonald is a travel writer based in the Bay Area. She writes for the national parenting website Red Tricycle and on her own family travel blog, Tiny Trailblazers. She loves exploring California’s outdoors and has a weakness for a national park gift shop.

Sarah enjoys sharing her Bay Area expertise with readers curious to try popular restaurants and off-the-beaten-path adventures in California. When she’s not writing reviews and travel guides, you’ll likely find her trying to keep up with her kids on a hiking trail or deciphering the menu at a new restaurant.


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1 thought on “18 Best Restaurants in Cambria, California [Must-Try Places]”

  1. Sarah,
    I really enjoyed reading your reviews of Cambria restaurants. Based upon your suggestions and that of our hotel proprietor we are definitely going to try Linn’s Restaurant and Indigo Moon. One other that was recommended, but you don’t cover in your blog is Sow’s Ear, and I wonder whether that’s because you haven’t tried it or because you had a poor experience there? I am eager to find out!

    Thanks in advance,
    Dave

    Reply

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