Let's face it: past 11 p.m., there's not that much to do, or eat, in San Luis Obispo.  A lot of delicious food options close relatively early in the evening; for the student looking for a tasty  bite, late night SLO is not your friend.  Sometimes, you're out partying all night and all of a sudden, that late night hunger kicks in.  But it's 1 a.m. and that cute hole-in-the-wall place your friends have been raving about isn't open.  Or any other  hole-in-the-wall restaurant for that matter.  That doesn't mean that you can't find some food during the wee hours of the night.  Here are some of the best options for a late night meal in San Luis Obispo.

Old San Luis BBQ

Hours: 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. -  10 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday

Location: 670 Higuera St., Suite B

Located right in downtown SLO, this old-school barbecue joint gives a local flair and packs a punch, especially with their tri-tip sandwich. Just as delicious (and my personal favorite) is the chicken sandwich, where the cilantro sauce actually beats their barbecue sauce.  Either way, you will be grateful for this place for a late night slo munch.     


Jillian Mercer

Hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week 

Location: 793F Foothill Blvd.

Everyone loves a good donut, but everyone loves a good donut at 2 a.m. even more.  That's where SLODOCO comes in to save the night.  

There's such a wide range of donuts available that no matter what choice you go with, your tastebuds are guaranteed to come out as winners.  While you can never go wrong with their classic Galaxy donut, an underrated (but still mindblowingly delicious) choice is the lavender donut.  

Despite there being a few SLO local restaurants open late at night, there isn't too much that's open.  Nonetheless, the following options will certainly fill you up if it's that time of the night.  

Taco Bell

bread, meat, chicken
Marina Nazario

Hours: 7 a.m. - 2 a.m. on Sunday, 7 a.m. - 3 a.m. from Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. - 3:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday

Location: 397 Santa Rosa St.

Yes, you might say to yourself: "Oh my god, I would never step foot inside a Taco Bell for food!  I have higher standards than that!  I'll just head down to Higuera!"

The clock says otherwise.  It's 2:13 a.m. and it's the middle of the week.  Let's be honest for just a moment: if it's the middle of the week, then you have to bring those expectations for high-class food down to a zero.  

I'm not even knocking on Taco Bell.  For the price and the time, you get good food.  Sure, you aren't eating at a three-star Michelin restaurant, but it is still pretty darn good for the time of the night.

Plus, who doesn't love a Baja Blast and a chicken quesadilla or two?  That is as close as you will get to a three-star Michelin in late night SLO.  


sandwich, bread, cheese, lettuce
Amanda Shulman

Hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Location: Near Dexter Lawn by the Art Gallery

Ah, Subway. Our dear friend.

How you never cease to fail us in dire times, from a late night at Kennedy Library working on that paper that just happens to be due at 8 a.m., to the who-knows-what that you'll end up remembering when you see (and become very embarrassed by) your friend's Snapchat story and everything else that's in-between.  Subway is there for us when no other dining option is, and all of the students at Cal Poly thank you for being there. 

From your wraps to your six-inch subs, there's nothing more satisfying to know that in times of crisis, you're there for us.  

Although many restaurants in San Luis Obispo close when the night is still young, options do exist for those late nights of who knows what. Whether your craving something meaty, sweet, savory or even a little bit healthy, there is something open for everyone.