The Del Monte Cafe is a diner style restaurant with deep roots in San Luis Obispo. According to their website,
In the early 1900’s The Robbins Family opened one of many neighborhood grocery stores in San Luis Obispo, Cailfornia.The Robbins for the next 50 years owned and operated The Del Monte Grocery. While Mrs. Robbins was running the grocery end, Mr. Robbins local barber,was cutting hair in his front corner of the store. It wasn’t uncommon to watch many customers ride up to the store on horseback jump off, get a haircut, catch up on some local gossip than fill their grocery bags and then ride off. Back then you would find a quart of milk for 11 cents,a loaf of bread 10 cents, and a whole pound of bacon for just 40 cents, and of course you could fill up your candy bag with penney candies. In the late 1920’s Mr. Robbins passed away to leave Mrs. Robbins and their Daughter to run the store for the next 30 years until Mrs. Robbins and her Daughters death which happened just 6 months apart. The store by this time was so run-down it was boarded up and then condemned by the city.
It sat there until 1980 when Debbie and Mark Collins had a dream for this little piece of San Luis Obispo History. The dream of creating a neighborhood cafe. This dream started with acquiring some old bar stools from a old building in Templeton a small town to the North and the 30’s style dinner was in the works. Just about 1 year later, Feburaury 2nd. 1981 the doors opened as The Del Monte Cafe. Since then we have been dedicated with serving our customers with the freshest home style food that our county has to offer. Fruits and vegetable from our local Farmers Market, fish from our local fish monger, and breads from a local bakery. The Del Monte Cafe is truly a San Luis Obispo tradition.
Pretty cool, right?
Del Monte also happens to be pretty close to where we live, so its a fun place to grab Sunday brunch. In fact, even though they do serve lunch and dinner, I’ve only ever had their breakfasts!
The food is definitely diner quality–big portions and lots of fat and grease–but as it says in the description, they do try to serve local fruits and veggies, local fish, and local bread at the cafe, which is enough to make me happy!
We were lucky enough to grab brunch there this weekend with some friends.
I had the fried egg sandwich with egg, bacon, lettuce, and tomato.
Jeff had the chorizo burrito with egg, chorizo, and potato.
Del Monte also has a cute outdoor patio in addition to their small, diner-esque booth seating on the inside. When I was training for my half marathon, I used to run by the cafe at about mile 6 and was always so tempted just to stop in for a bit before continuing!
You can check out more information about Del Monte Cafe on their website here.