Restaurant News & Reviews

Where to buy locally made treats for the holidays

Trays of assorted mini cinnamon rolls are ready for sale at Emily’s Cinnamon Rolls in San Luis Obispo.
Trays of assorted mini cinnamon rolls are ready for sale at Emily’s Cinnamon Rolls in San Luis Obispo.

The holidays are on approach, so here are some yummy local options to help sweeten up your festivities.

Emily’s Cinnamon Rolls

588 California Boulevard, San Luis Obispo | 234-1710 |

Hours: 7 a.m. until sold out (typically about 2 p.m.) Tuesday through Saturday; will also be open Mondays beginning in January, and recently started Thursday night Farmers Market in San Luis Obispo.

There’s nothing quite like a sweet, warm cinnamon roll on chilly holiday mornings, but the motto at Emily’s Cinnamon Rolls is that “it’s always the season” for their cinnamon rolls.

This mom-and-pop shop opened up a year ago on California Boulevard in San Luis Obispo. Tucked away in a strip mall just off Highway 101, the location offers easy access and free parking for Emily’s steadily growing legion of cinnamon roll fans.

“Emily” herself is the daughter of Kyle and Laura Cole, who got their first taste of owning bakeries in Honduras. Both were San Luis Obispo residents before accepting volunteer positions in that country, but when Emily came along, they opted to open a bakery featuring American treats such as apple pie, bran muffins and — yes — cinnamon rolls.

Eventually one bakery became two before the Coles decided to move back to the Central Coast.

After their return to the States, Emily kept clamoring for “the cinnamon rolls,” remembered Laura, so the family launched once again into the bakery business.

Originally, they just made a traditional-style cinnamon roll, but now they bake four more flavors on a regular basis — pecan sticky buns, banana Nutella, apple pie, raspberry swirl — plus a seasonal pumpkin.

Each 48-pound batch of rolls is handmade with all-natural, premium ingredients. After mixing, the dough is divided into smaller batches that proof overnight before being rolled out into the individual cinnamon rolls, which often proof again for several hours before being freshly baked every day.

Recently, the Emily’s crew also began making mini rolls, which Laura noted are “perfect for meetings, special occasions and gifts.” These little goodies have to be pre-ordered, and the minimum order is two dozen of any flavor.

Cowboy Cookies

778 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo | 788-0212 |

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Cowboy Cookies have been a sweet staple in SLO since 1979, and husband and wife Scott and Shannon Millhollon have been holding the reins of the business for about a baker’s dozen of years.

There are 10 regular flavors of the 5-inch cookies, including the “Cowchip” chocolate chip, the peanut butter “Critter,” and the “Maverick” sugar cookie — always a popular favorite for the holidays.

For holiday gifts, or for any occasion, you can get an assortment of either one or two dozen of the cookies packaged up in a Cowboy Cookie tin. Choose your flavors, and whether you’d like the cookies individually wrapped.

Sweet Alexis Bakery

2085 10th Street, Los Osos | 528-8956 |

Hours: Open to the public for retail 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, but online and call-in ordering is available for pickup during the week, and nationwide shipping is available.

Thanks to Sweet Alexis Bakery in Los Osos, there’s no reason to miss out on holiday goodies if you or someone you know has allergies to tree nuts, peanut, dairy or eggs.

Michele Cason Fellows founded the bakery in 2008 in response to her daughter’s own severe allergy situation, and absolutely no allergens are even allowed in the facility.

Fellows bakes up everything from cakes to cupcakes, from chocolate chip cookies to ginger cookies, from banana bread to pumpkin raisin bread. For the holidays, she’ll also be expanding her specialty cookie lineup to include Hanukkah cookies, gingerbread men and Christmas cookies.