Sidecar Restaurant & Lounge
When you first step inside, the unassuming Sidecar Restaurant opens up into an airy expanse of a saloon-style bar with mismatched, funky chairs and a bustling crowd from all walks of life. Sidecar Restaurant champions its laid back vibe as much as they champion local foods in the San Luis Obispo community. Sidecar’s menu reflects the seasons and the natural abundance and variety of vegetables that can be produced specifically in San Luis Obispo County. Whether you are looking for food or drinks, Sidecar serves seasonal dishes, along with local wine and over 15 local beers hard to find elsewhere in San Luis Obispo. Want a spicy cocktail? Try the Jalapeno Bees Knees with gin, local honey, jalapenos and lemon. Want to taste their famous butternut squash mac n’ cheese? You better head in during the fall when butternut squash is in season because Sidecar strives to serve the freshest quality produce, which means acquiring it while it is growing nearby.
Acquiring the local ingredients on their menu is not only an exciting challenge for the restaurant, but also becomes the creative fuel that sparks their ever-changing menu. When an ingredient goes out of season, the chefs engage in conversations with the staff and customers to determine what fresh, local produce should be put on center stage next. The staff goes to farmer’s markets to find the ingredients they need and often end up with an abundance of something unexpected like cherries, for example, which then get incorporated into the drink or dessert listings.
Seventy-five percent of Sidecar’s produce is sourced locally and delivered through a local distributor. The chefs personally acquire what they cannot buy from their distributor through local growers. Their eggs, for example, all come from the Los Osos Ranch where a chef living in Los Osos swings by on his way to work to pick up the supply. Sidecar also supports the student enterprises in the community. One Cal Poly student, for example, raised an organic grass-fed cow for his senior project. After going through the necessary certification and authorization process, Cal Poly helped the student get the beef ready to sell to Sidecar. Sidecar also just signed on with a local beef distributor, P. C. Cattle Company, that is just a stones throw away from the restaurant. P. C. Cattle Company produces grass fed beef right behind Stenner Street near Cal Poly. They always get their chicken from Rinconada Farms, located in Santa Margarita, which is offered in any of their burgers if you want a taste of the best chicken sandwich around.
Sidecar has been serving our community for a little over a year
and a half. In that time, General Manager Joshua Christensen has been mixing cocktails and shaping the menu to reflect what the customers want.And a restaurant pushing to sell local foods can’t be successful in this emerging trend without connecting with the local people. Joshua’s image of Sidecar is that it is, “not just a marketing thing for us, this is how we have to be in order to stand out and be different and cool, [it means] supporting what is important to us, the local farmers and ranchers.” Sidecar promotes local foods through the transparency of their ingredients, and the fresh, unique dishes they serve that encompass much of what it means to be a part of the San Luis Obispo community.
1127 Broad Street,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Hours of Operations:
Mon-Fri: 11:00am – 11:00pm
Sat, Sun: 10:00am – 11:00pm