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Santa Maria Style Best BBQ in San Luis Obispo

Best BBQ in San Luis Obispo - Steaks on the grill
Matt Claiborne
Matt Claiborne
January 28, 2022

Regions across the US have different barbecue styles. You've probably heard and tried Texas BBQ, Memphis BBQ, and even Kansas City BBQ. But did you know that California's Santa Maria Valley has its BBQ style?

Best BBQ in San Luis Obispo

Santa Maria Valley ranchers created their unique BBQ style in the mid-1800s. Local chefs have kept this delicious tradition going, and the tasty Santa Maria BBQ style has been featured on the famous BBQ with Bobby Flay TV show. It's also been featured in newspapers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Santa Maria-style BBQ uses a triangular sirloin cut and is slowly cooked over an open flame fired by California red oak wood. The beef is seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic. It's served with grilled French bread, local pinquito beans, salsa, and green salad.

Hitching Post in Casmalia

Ribs from The Hitching Post

The Hitching Post has been family-owned since 1952 and operates in a 100-year-old building. The Hitching Post is dedicated to keeping the California-style BBQ alive. Forbes Magazine named The Hitching Post one of the "10 Great BBQ Joints in the USA."

The Hitching Post prepares all their entrees on their indoor BBQ pit, using local red oak wood. Try Top Sirloin, Filet Mignon, or New York-style steaks. The Hitching Post also serves Pork Chops, Baby Back Ribs, BBQ Chicken, and New Zealand Rack of Lamb.

Far Western Tavern in Orcutt

The Far Western Tavern celebrates the Santa Maria Valley's history and regional cuisine. The restaurant was established in 1958 and has been a local's favorite ever since. They feature Santa Maria-style BBQ prepared with local ingredients.

As expected, entrees are cooked on the Santa Maria-style BBQ pit. In addition, the Far Western Tavern has a 1,200-bottle wine cellar and an outdoor patio.

Locals and visitors enjoy outstanding service, fabulous food, and Old West decor and hospitality.

Jocko’s Steak House in Nipomo

Open grill at Jocko's Steak

Jocko's Steak House is another local restaurant that serves Santa Maria-style BBQ. Entrees are cooked over an open fire of red oak coals. In addition, the salon serves beer on tap and Central Coast wines.

Emery Knotts operated a saloon in the area in 1883, and his descendants have followed the hospitality tradition ever since. Jocko's is named after Emery's son Jocko.

Jocko's Steak House is decorated with cattle brands and original artwork. Their menu features a variety of beef cuts, lamb chops, and ribs. They also serve Italian favorites such as spaghetti and ravioli.

Old San Luis BBQ Company

Old San Luis BBQ Company serves locally farmed, organic vegetables, local artisan sausages, and grills all their meat on a red oak BBQ. The restaurant is known for its classic Santa Maria-style BBQ with salsa. The hand-trimmed Angus Tri-Tip is served on locally made artisan sourdough.

Guests can pour their beer and wine in the taproom. Old San Luis BBQ Company has 33 brews on tap, and guests pay by the ounce. You can taste-test every option or enjoy refills of your favorite.

Firestone Grill

BBQ Sandwich from Firestone Grill

Firestone Grill is famous for its Tri-tip sandwich and California BBQ. They offer indoor and outdoor seating. Firestone serves draft beer, local wine, and hand-crafted cocktails. Firestone offers a relaxed dining experience and excellent service.

Experience Central California's Regional Delights

The Central California coast has a surprise around every corner. Enjoy the best BBQ in San Luis Obispo and then relax on a cocktail cruise Morro Bay for an unforgettable experience.

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