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Research

48
Hours of Research
12
Articles Reviewed
6210
Reviews Compiled

Contributors

Mackenzie Nia
Lead Writer
Pouya Nia
Photographer

Best Places to Eat, Play, and Stay in Paso Robles, CA

Published
October 25, 2019

Paso Robles, CA is one of Central California’s most popular wine tasting destinations, attracting visitors from all around California. With now over 300 wineries, Paso Robles has made a name for itself, rivaling Napa as one of California's top wine tasting destinations. However, Paso Robles has much more to offer than just wine. After the analysis of existing data on Paso Robles and our personal experience, we have determined that the following are the best places to eat, play, and stay.

Research

48
Hours of Research
12
Articles Reviewed 
6210
Reviews Compiled

Contributors

Mackenzie Nia
Lead Writer
Pouya Nia
Photographer

Places to Eat

About

Spearhead Coffee is a third wave coffee shop in downtown Paso Robles that values sourcing ethical and quality beans that are roasted in house. This modern and rustic style coffee shop is owned by three friends who are passionate about coffee. Not only can you get your coffee fix here, but you can also complete your breakfast with a pastry and take home a bag of Spearhead beans to brew yourself. 

The Research

Spearhead Coffee was mentioned significantly more than any coffee shop in articles written about Paso Robles. Additionally, many locals we talked to expressed their love for Spearhead Coffee and encouraged us to visit during our visit in town. The online reviews supported the hype, as Spearhead Coffee had higher reviews that most other coffee shops in Paso Robles and more reviews that shops with similar ratings. 

Our Experience

We enjoyed our fresh pastries and lattes at Spearhead Coffee while being immersed in the local community enjoying their Saturday morning. Our drinks were served with a tiny cookie on the side which was an unexpected and delicious touch. 

Tips & Recommendations

There is only street parking here, but we didn’t have a problem finding a spot when we visited even though it was fairly busy.  If you visit with your dog, there are plenty of outdoor seating options. 

The Competition

There are a few other coffee shops in Paso Robles like Sasquatch Coffee and Oak Pass Cafe, but their reviews and overall experience didn’t quite measure up to Spearhead Coffee. As a drive through, Sasquatch Coffee lacks the ambiance of Spearhead Coffee, and Oak Pass Cafe simply did not have great reviews and focuses more on breakfast.

About

The Hatch is a rotisserie with a self-proclaimed comfort food driven menu, known for seasonal items and use of local ingredients. Also known for their bar, The Hatch has a large selection of small batch whiskey, along with craft cocktails created by an award winning bartender who uses local ingredients to make both signature and seasonal drinks. As a fairly small restaurant, The Hatch has an intimate feel and you can see all the drinks and food being made.

The Research

The Hatch was mentioned more than any other restaurant in articles written about Paso Robles. However, there are several other restaurants with just as high ratings, so our visit here was necessary to see if it was worth it’s online notoriety.

Our Experience

We sat at the bar during our visit to The Hatch which gave us a front row seat to the creation of the beautiful and intricate cocktails. We ordered the Mushrooms as our appetizer (per the recommendation of our neighbor at the bar), the Half Rotisserie Chicken with Buttermilk Dip and House Fermented Hot Sauce as our entree, and the Stone Fruit and Burrata for dessert. It was evident that the pairing of elements of each dish were intentional and thought through which produced unique and delicious dishes. Every person we interacted with at The Hatch was exceptionally kind and welcoming. 

Tips & Recommendations

Due to limited seating and the popularity of The Hatch, we’d recommend making a reservation at least one week ahead of time if you can. We called to make a same-day reservation and were not able to get a table until 10PM. Instead, we chose to sit at the bar which had a fairly short wait at the time. If you don’t mind being close to your neighbors, sitting at the bar gives you a front row seat to the creation of the craft cocktails while also avoiding a longer wait for a table.

The Competition

We also visited Fish Gaucho since it was also highly rated and was recommended to us by several locals. While we enjoyed our entire experience at Fish Gaucho, this restaurant did not reflect Paso Robles in any unique way like The Hatch did and we felt that this restaurant could have been located in any city. Not only did The Hatch reflect the values of Paso Robles with its use of local ingredients, but it also had an overall more unique and intimate experience that ultimately made it our top restaurant choice for Paso Robles visitors.



About 

Negranti Creamery is a Paso Robles local ice cream shop located in the Tin City district. In a desire to combine her love for food and animals, Alexis Negranti and her husband Wade bought a flock of sheep, which ultimately led to the creation of their unique ice cream shop. Many of the ice cream flavors are made with sheep’s milk from the Negranti’s flock, which is easier to digest than cow’s milk to those with lactose intolerance.  

The Research

When looking for the best dessert option in Paso Robles, we wanted to find something that most people would love and that was unique to the area. With only a few dessert options in Paso Robles, we only had a few options to consider and Negranti Creamery quickly rose to the top as one of our contenders.

Our Experience

Having never tried ice cream with sheep’s milk before, we were excited to taste it and also had a few questions about what made it different from cow’s milk. The employees at Negranti Creamery were very friendly, and explained to us the background of the creamery and how sheep and cow’s milk affect the ice cream differently. Most notably, people with lactose intolerance can usually enjoy sheep’s milk without discomfort. While sampling flavors from both types of milk, we were excited to see a coffee flavor that used Spearhead Coffee (our pick for best coffee shop). The shop itself is simple but cute,with both indoor and outdoor seating, and there is even a neon sign that is perfect for your Instagram photos. 

The Competition

Brown Butter Cookies is another highly-rated Paso Robles dessert spot that is also delicious and admired by locals. Their cookies have the perfect combination of salty and sweet that makes them truly irresistible. However, they close at 6PM* which prevents them from being a post-dinner dessert option for most people.


Places to Play

About

The tasting room for Halter Ranch Vineyard is located on over 300 acres of land, with floor to ceiling windows and a breathtaking view the Grenache orchard. You can enjoy this view while tasting their wines for $20 per person—which we found is pretty reasonable for the vineyards in this area. You can also sit outside and enjoy your tasting in the sunshine, and even walk down to the vineyards to see the grapes up close and personal. Halter Ranch Vineyard was also one of the pioneers of S.I.P. (Sustainability in Practice) Certification, a third party certification with strict and non-negotiable guidelines on various areas of sustainability.

The Research

With over 300 wineries to choose from in Paso Robles, it can be difficult to know where to even start—much less pick the best winery in town. We analyzed articles written about Paso Robles and online reviews to narrow down the top wineries in the area. Then, we visited these top wineries in person which ultimately helped us narrow down our top choice to Halter Ranch Vineyard.

Our Experience

The moment we walked in to the Halter Ranch tasting room, we were blown away by the breathtaking view of the vineyard.  We walked up to the tasting bar which faced the giant window overlooking the vineyards, and we were given individual attention even though we visited during a busy time. Our server gave us a map of the vineyard and was able to show us where on the property the grapes were grown for each wine that we tried. We were also able to go on Halter Ranch’s free cave tour that they offer 2-3 times per day. 

Tips & Recommendations

Make sure that you visit during a time when they are offering a cave tour.  his is a unique (and free) experience that not all wineries offer. The wine cave tours are offered 2-3 times per day (11am and 1pm Weekdays and 11am, 12pm and 1pm Weekends)*. Halter Ranch Vineyard also offers many unique experiences that you can reserve ahead of time, including a walking tour, tasting classes, and an excursion tour—where you explore the property in a Land Rover Defender.

*Price at time of publication.

‍

The Competition

While DAOU Vineyards and Winery appeared to be the most popular winery in our research, we felt that the likely need for a reservation and the $40 tasting cost made it less accessible to most people visiting Paso Robles. Tablas Creek Vineyard has an interesting history, unique growing methods, and numerous French varietals, but we just felt that the tasting room and overall experience was better at Halter Ranch unless you have a particular taste for French wines. 

Complementary Tastings

Eberle Winery is also great and offers a no-strings-attached, complimentary wine tasting, provides free wine caves tours every half hour, and has a beautiful outdoor patio overlooking their vineyards. Tobin James Cellars, like Eberle Winery, offers complimentary tasting and provided great service despite the crowds. While it’s hard to go wrong with free wine, we felt the cave tour and outdoor deck made Eberle Winery more desirable if you had to choose one.

About

While most people plan their trip to Paso Robles for wine tasting, this region is also a prime location for olive groves which means you can taste olive oil here as well.  Kiler Ridge Olive Farm is a family owned business that hand picks, mills, racks, bottles, and labels everything themselves. The tasting room is located in a big green building on top of a hill with an outdoor patio overlooking their olive groves. The tasting fee is $5 per person*. 

The Research

While we learned about quite a few olive oil tasting experiences through our research, we wanted to pick a location where the olives were actually grown in Paso Robles. Kiler Ridge, along with others, met this criteria but had a few extra touches that set it apart from the other options.

Our Experience

For our tasting, we opted to sit outside which gave us a view of Kiler Ridge’s olive grove. One of the employees sat down with us to give us a lesson on the best way to smell and taste olive oil, and then walked us through a tasting of 5 different olive oils that were made from their farm. The tasting ended with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with olive oil on top which is such a fun surprise!

Tips & Recommendations

If the weather permits, we’d recommend sitting outside to enjoy the beautiful view of the olive groves.

The Competition

Pasolivo Ranch is another popular olive oil tasting location in Paso Robles, and they also give you samples of their different house-made seasonings which is a great and unique touch. However, we felt that the orchard view, individualized service, and ice cream surprise were enough to push Kiler Ridge Olive Farm to our top choice. We Olive was also highly mentioned in our research, but this is a chain location and is not unique to Paso Robles.

*Price at time of publication.


About

The Estrella Warbird Museum is an aviation museum that houses a variety of military aircrafts and vehicles—ones that you would only see in movies or history books.  There is also an automotive exhibit called the Woodland Auto Display, showcasing race cars, exotic cars, muscle cars, classic cars, and much more. The Estrella Warbird Museum is open Thursday to Sunday and on some Mondays, and tickets are $12 for adults with other pricing options available for children, students, and veterans*. 

‍The Research

While researching Paso Robles, it was evident that the Estrella Warbirds Museum was a gem of the town. It came highly mentioned in articles written about Paso Robles and was also highly reviewed compared to the competition.

Our Experience

The museum starts inside a small building where you pay the entrance fee and see a few small artifacts on display. Once we walked outside, our jaws dropped when we saw the different vehicles and planes on display. The outdoor part of the museum is on a large lot, and there are various different cars and planes that you would never normally be able to see that close. One of the planes even had a stairs next to it so you could climb up and look inside. Our amazement continued when we went inside to the Woodland Auto Display. It seemed never ending as we kept entering new rooms filled with different types of cars. We felt like we could have spent all day here. 

Tips & Recommendations

Make sure you have enough time to spend here. There is so much to see and you’ll want to make sure that you have 1-2 hours to devote here.  Also, since most of the museum is outside, be sure to consider the weather before you go. 

The Competition

The Paso Robles Pioneer Museum houses many historical artifacts from this town. While it is free admission, it is fairly small, and there isn’t nearly as much to see here as the Estrella Warbird Museum.  

*Price at time of publication.


Places to Stay

About

When visiting a pricey town like Paso Robles, it can be difficult to find a budget room that doesn’t sacrifice quality, but Adelaide Inn is just that. With weekday rates starting at only $74*, this is one of the best deals in the area, especially for the quality. Adelaide Inn also has a wide array of amenities, offering their guests complimentary pastries and fruit in the morning, fresh cookies in the afternoon, a pool, a fitness center, and even micro golf.

The Research

We researched all the hotel options in Paso Robles, including other budget-friendly hotels in a similar price range as Adelaide Inn. To our surprise, there were not many other inexpensive lodging options in Paso Robles, and the quality and price point  of Adelaide Inn quickly made in a contender for this category.

Our Experience

Budget hotels sometimes lack in cleanliness and quality, but we did not find this to be the case during our visit. The room was very clean and did not seem to be lacking in any amenities or quality. The grounds at Adelaide in were well maintained and even had a koi pond and pool that made it feel like it was a more expensive hotel.

Tips & Recommendations

Since Adelaide Inn is arguably the most inexpensive hotel in Paso Robles, rooms book up fast in the busy months by travelers looking for a great deal. If you have your dates set for a trip to Paso Robles, don’t wait too long to book at Adelaide Inn.

The Competition

This is the only hotel worth recommending that we could find in Paso Robles that offers rooms below $100*.  Unless you are able to find a better deal on AirBnb, Adelaide Hotel does not have much competition in this category.

*Price at time of publication.

‍


About

Paso Robles Inn is located in the heart of the city, just steps away from the tasting rooms downtown. Offering a wide range of rooms starting at $159, Paso Robles Inn has many options for upgraded rooms as well. Rooms on Winery Row at Paso Robles Inn are each designed and decorated by a different winery in Paso Robles and even give come with a free tasting at that particular winery. Guests of Paso Robles Inn can enjoy the pool, fitness center, an on-site restaurant called The Steakhouse.

The Research

After reading online articles and reviews about hotels in Paso Robles, determined that Paso Robles Inn was a strong contender for this category, despite having slightly lower reviews than its competitors. After visiting this hotel in person, we found that Paso Robles Inn’s ability to immerse its visitors in the culture of the town, along with its prime location, was more than enough to make up for it’s slightly lower reviews. 

Our Experience

While we did not have the opportunity to stay in Paso Robles Inn, we were able to tour the ground which were beautiful—complete with a koi fish pond and garden lounging areas. Everyone we interacted with was extremely welcoming and answered all of our questions about the hotel. We were even able to walk down Winery Row where we saw some of the winery-specific rooms with their unique decorations. Overall, we felt that Paso Robles Inn was warm and cozy, and that they incorporated the culture of their city whenever they could.

Tips & Recommendations

If you want to stay in a specific room in Winery Row, we were told that you are welcome to call and make a request, but that they cannot guarantee your selection.  

The Competition

Hampton Inn Paso Robles is a similarly priced hotel, making it a strong competitor to Paso Robles Inn. However, Hampton Inn is about 3 miles from Downtown Paso Robles which is not an ideal location for visitors. Paso Robles Inn is located in Downtown Paso Robles and is walking distance from many tasting rooms. Also, the rooms at the Hampton Inn are more generic than the rooms at Paso Robles Inn which have more character. La Bellasera Hotel and Suites is another similarly prices hotel that has more character than Hampton Inn Paso Robles.  Regardless of that, La Bellasera is also located about 3 miles from Downtown Paso Robles, which again, is not desirable for most visitors.


*Price at time of publication.

About

Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a Mediterranian style hotel located on it’s very own private vineyard. By staying at Allegretto Vineyard Report, guests enjoy a luxury experience without losing touch of why they came to Paso Robles in the first place. The amenities here are vast, including tours of the gardens, outdoor games, and an outdoor pool and spa. For an additional fee, guests can attend fitness classes, rent a private, full service cabana, and go to Spa at Allegretto. Weekday rates start at $235, but go up in price for add-ons like a fireplace or terrace. If you are lucky, your room will have a view of the vineyard! All guests receive a discount on a tasting of Allegretto Vineyard’s wines. 

The Research

After researching all of the hotels in Paso Robles, we found that a majority of the hotels there are at the mid $200* and above price range since this destination fairly pricey. We considered articles written about Paso Robles, online reviews, and our own experience when narrowing down our choice to Allegretto Vineyard Resort.

Our Experience

Walking through Allegretto Vineyard Resort truly transports you, as if you were vacationing in the Mediterranean. In the center of the building, there is a large, outdoor courtyard where guests can relax next to a beautiful fountain. The path through the courtyard led us out to the back of the hotel where there are amenities like games and the pool, but most importantly, the vineyard. We enjoyed a beautiful view of the vineyard from the ground level, but this view is probably even better from a room on a higher floor. With the vineyard on site, we had the luxury experience while still feeling immersed in vineyards, which is something that makes Paso Robles what it is.

Tips & Recommendations‍

We recommend requesting a room with a vineyard view.  While the hotel cannot guarantee this room assignment during your stay, they will make it work for you if they can.

The Competition

Creekside Inn Paso Robles is a renovated barn, offering it’s guests modern lodging in a rustic style building and location. While at a similar price point as Allegretto Vineyard Resort, Creekside Inn is a completely different experience, feeling like more of a cabin than a resort.  This is a great option for people for more of a secluded getaway, but as this is quite a distance from Downtown Paso Robles and is not a luxury experience like Allegretto, it may not be the best option for most people.

*Price at time of publication.

Sources

Disclaimer

Contributors: Days Away destination guides are a compilation of research, data, judgement, opinion, and recommendations of our contributors, locals, and advisors. These parties hold zero responsibility for the happiness, success, dissatisfaction, hurt feelings, or any possible result due to their contributions to this guide.
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