Restaurant News & Reviews

9 local food festivals that celebrate fall flavors

Tribune file photos

Warm days. Cool nights. Bottomless glasses of wine. It must be harvest time on the Central Coast.

As you trade swimsuits and sandals for sweaters and boots, take some time to savor San Luis Obispo County’s fall offerings.

Think creamy avocados, juicy tomatoes and crisp, crunchy apples.

Here are some of the local events aimed at Central Coast foodies this fall.

Avocado and Margarita Street Festival

What: Guacamole lovers will be seeing green at this event, which also features music, magic shows, art and a mini-avocado toss. (Looking for a more intimate experience? Taste of the Grove, Friday at The Packing Shed in Morro Bay, features avocado-themed dishes paired with wine, beer and handcrafted cocktails.)

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Embarcadero, downtown Morro Bay

How much: $5 to $7, free for 10 and under


Taste of Downtown

What: Sample bites and sips from more than 35 Paso Robles restaurants — plus a brewery, coffee houses and wineries — while you admire colorful sidewalk chalk art at the free Arte De Tiza event. Burn off calories dancing to a DJ at Downtown City Park.

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 16

Where: Downtown Paso Robles

How much: $25

Info: 805-238-4108 or

Apples & Honey Festival

What: Nosh on rugelach and other traditional treats at this sweet festival celebrating the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah. Family-friendly attractions include apple crafts, animals from Atascadero’s Charles Paddock Zoo and storytelling by local children’s book author Bonnie Lee.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sept. 17

Where: Mitchell Park, 1400 Osos St., San Luis Obispo

How much: Free

Info: 805-426-5465 or

Avila Apple Festival

What: Love apples? Hop aboard a horse-drawn carriage and head to this 21-and-older festival celebrating the Avila Valley’s agricultural bounty. In store are a five-course, apple-inspired dinner, music and live and silent auctions.

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 23

Where: Avila Beach Community Center, 191 San Miguel St., Avila Beach

How much: $100, $800 for table of eight

Info: 805-627-1997 or,

Heirloom Tomato Festival and Dinner

What: Taste more than 40 varieties of ripe, juicy tomatoes and sample tomato-inspired dishes by local chefs, or tuck into a farm-to-table dinner featuring seasonal Central Coast produce.

When: 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 and 24, gates open at 1:30 p.m.

Where: Windrose Farm, 5750 El Pharo Drive, Paso Robles

How much: $25

Info: 805-226-2081 or

Top Chef Competition

What: Three local chefs show off their cooking skills in a timed competition modeled after hit Food Network show “Chopped.” Watch the action and bid on auction items while munching tapas, sipping wine and listening to music by Wine Country Troubadours.

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 23

Where: Idler’s Home, 2363 Theatre Drive, Paso Robles

How much: $100

Info: 805-434-1800 or

Pismo Beach Clam Festival

What: Two words: clam chowder. In addition to boatloads of seafood, including a local clam chowder cook-off and a beachside clam bake, the sun-soaked fun includes a clam dig, wine walk, music and a parade.

Where: Downtown Pismo Beach

When: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 21 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 22

How much: Free; $20 wine walk, $15 chowder contest, $30 clam bake

Info: 805-773-7034 or

Golden Oak Honey Festival

What: You’ll be buzzing like a bee after sampling all the sweet treats at this festival. Attractions include seminars on backyard beekeeping and cooking with honey, plus a wine stroll, beehive hair-do contest, spelling bee and bumblebee obstacle course.

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 28

Where: Downtown City Park, Paso Robles

How much: Free

Info: 805-238-4103 or


What: Central Coast chefs dish out their best soups, stews and chowders at this tasty two-day event. Tour the Pacific Wildlife Care treatment facility before sampling award-winning soups at the “Morro Bay Wild” event on Nov. 4, or enjoy soup and food tasting at “It’s a Wild Thing” on Nov. 5.

When: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 4, noon to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 5

Where: Pacific Wildlife Care, 1387 Main St., Morro Bay; Morro Bay Community Center, 1001 Kennedy Way

How much: $45 soup tour; $50 to $65 soup tasting

Info: 805-927-3357 or

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