Paso Robles is a place where owners sit and share a glass with you, winery dogs run around begging for salami, and the wines and views speak for themselves. With a welcoming community, delicious restaurants, and beautiful sites, it is an idyllic city break for foodies and wine lovers alike. If you’re ready to visit, we’ve got you covered — here’s where to stay, eat, drink, and visit during your next trip to one of the country’s budding wine-tasting regions.
Where to Stay:
Located in the heart of downtown Paso Robles, The Piccolo is a true wine country getaway. It is intimate and charming, with only 24 rooms and suites. In addition to spacious and immaculately clean rooms, The Piccolo offers a rooftop bar as well as a wine lounge.
Hotel Cheval is warm and luxurious, and they offer cozy common spaces, including a library and a courtyard with outdoor fireplaces. With comfortable rooms, a gourmet breakfast, and a house barista, it is the perfect place to retreat after a long day of wine tasting. As a delightful detail, Hotel Cheval also has a dedicated butler who makes complimentary s’mores for guests every night.
Where to Eat:
Head chef, Julien Asseo, is the son of a local winemaking legend, but he also grew up and studied cooking in France. The squid ink gnocchi and steak tartare are beautifully presented and even more delectable to eat. Les Petite Canailles takes pride in their hospitality including friendly, hands-on sommeliers who help diners navigate their impressive wine list.
Six Test Kitchen is a Michelin-star restaurant tucked away in the Tin City Paso Robles buildings. If you sit at the bar, you can watch them prepare your meal to fully enjoy the chef’s unique style and vision. Dishes include a grassy bar oyster with yuzu and black peppercorn, duck liver, and chawanmushi. In classic Paso Robles fashion, they feature local ingredients, and the wine pairing is exquisite.
Where to Drink:
You didn’t hear it from us, but Eleven Twenty-Two is a hidden speakeasy in downtown Paso Robles. Nestled in the back of Pappy McGregor’s Pub, this small bar maintains an elegant and intimate environment. Enjoy signature cocktails such as the Winter’s Aura, a drink that features cinnamon and orange-infused rye whiskey.
Where to Visit:
Re:Find Distillery and Villicana Winery is one of those local spots that makes Paso Robles special. It is the first and best distillery in the area, known for reusing saignée — a free-run juice that wineries typically discard — to produce their spirits. This sustainable refinement process is how they got their name. We recommend opting for the spirit tasting because you won’t want to miss the kumquat-flavored vodka.
Daou is arguably the most famous winery in the area, and for good reason. At an elevation of 2,200 feet, the mountain offers stunning views of the valley as well as fine architecture. Daou is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, and its food pairing option matches cheese and charcuterie with its wines.
Doing a tasting at Booker Wines is a rare treat, especially considering how quickly their limited wines sell out. In addition to classic wine flights, they offer a variety of tasting experiences. Large groups may enjoy Bocce & Bottles — a private lounge that includes bocce ball and curated wines — or you can explore their limestone caves with a private guide.
Bruce Monro’s breathtaking Field of Lights art installation has moved around the world from Australia to South Korea, and his largest artwork to date is a multi-acre, walk-through installation in Paso Robles. 100,000 glowing orbs are scattered across Sensorio fields, and they illuminate the landscape in subtle blooms of morphing color. While floating through, visitors can also enjoy live music, food, and local beverages. This ethereal exhibition complements the natural beauty of Paso Robles, and it is continually expanding.
Paso’s walkable downtown area is full of local eateries and wine bars. There is a farmers market on Saturday and Tuesday mornings where you can shop for some of the freshest produce in the area. There are also plenty of great food options like Fish Gaucho, Yanagi Sushi, or Jeffry’s Wine Country BBQ. If you walk further down along Spring Street, you can also check out the Paso Market Walk restaurants. Finca is a local favorite.