It can be tricky being a college student and having a champagne taste on a beer budget. Luckily, like any local or Cal Poly student knows, San Luis Obispo has exceptional and diverse cuisine in a variety of price ranges and flavors. From affordable (casual) cult favorites such as Firestone and High Street Deli to the more decadent Ciopinot entres, SLO provides options for every foodie and every occasion. But hey, there are sometimes when you and your friends deserve to treat yourselves to the finest food San Luis Obispo has to offer. Introducing: student friendly fine dining experiences found in the "Happiest City in America."

With its farm to table plates, fresh local ingredients, and world-famous wines, SLO is a foodies dream. Whether you want to expand your pallet, impress your friend from out of town, or are looking for the best post-graduation meal, feel free to splurge on these unique white-tablecloth eateries.

Novo Restaurant & Lounge

With its gorgeous lantern-lit patio overlooking the San Luis Obispo Creek, Novo is the epitome of an aesthetically pleasing dining experience. Novo has something for everyone due to its impressive wine list and an inclusive menu of seasonal dishes. If your craving something spicy, order the savory Thai red vegetable curry. Or, try the flavorful and famous pork carnitas sopes (pictured above). Plus, a majority of the menu includes vegan and gluten-free options as well. 

Ciopinot Seafood Grille

Known for its amazing seafood and Oyster Bar, Ciopinot is a must for any wine and seafood connoisseur. On the menu, each dish is paired with a suggested wine that complements the dish. Despite their extensive seafood list, Ciopinot offers specialties including filet mignon and flat iron steak as well. There are also separate vegetarian and Gluten-free menus for its patrons. If you are looking for amazing seafood in San Luis Obispo, Ciopinot is the place to go. 

Foremost Wine Company

Foremost is an unforgettable dining experience. It is one the most famous "farm to table" restaurants in San Luis Obispo and is known for its "honest menu." Foremost is chic and current with the tastes of its customers and its fresh menu changes with every season. For example, the small plates autumn salad composed of local greens, butternut, dried cranberries, spiced candied pecans, sherry-maple vin, pumpkin seeds, chevre, croutons is tailored to the season it is served in. Each menu is thoughtful of what ingredients are the freshest and is designed around this. 

Giuseppe's Cucina Rustic

When people think about Italian food in San Luis Obispo, they immediately think about Giuseppe's. The established Italian restaurant serves a variety of specialties including wood fire pizzas, in-house made pasta, and decadent desserts. Being a part of the San Luis Obispo community for decades, Guiseppe's was an early adopter of the farm-to-fork philosophy. The crowd favorite eatery strives to serve the freshest and most in-season ingredients to its patrons. Whether you want to indulge in their delicious carbonara or try their delectable tiramisu, Guiseppe's Cucina Rustica never misses a beat.

Flour House

A new addition to the San Luis Obispo restaurant scene, Flour House offers a fresh and new take on Italian cuisine. Flour House describes itself as a modern eatery offering house-made pasta, aperitivi, and specializing in pizza napoletana. Located in the heart of downtown, Flour house is easily accessible and offers a wide variety of simple yet delicious dishes and drinks. Next time you are in downtown San Luis Obispo, try the Gnocchi Di Ricotta E Spinaci, their Queen Margarita pizza, or stop by for the Italian Happy Hour Monday-Friday evenings.