Buona Tavola - San Luis Obispo
1037 Monterey St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401Neighborhood:
San Luis Obispo
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
Buona Tavola - San Luis Obispo
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.btslo.com/
- Phone: 8055458000
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Friday - Wednesday: 11:30am - 2:30pm, Thursday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: European, Italian
- Executive Chef: Antonio Varia
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Beer, Delivery, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Catering: Buona Tavola offers full service catering featuring Antonio Varia's Northern Italian cuisine for any event on the Central Coast. Years of experience on the Princess Cruise Lines have prepared Antonio to cater any event from 25 to 1000 people.
- Private Party Facilities: Our beautiful heated and covered garden courtyard can accommodate up to 100 guests, with a separate area for parties of 40 or less.
- Private Party Contact: Keilah Smith 8055458000
A word from Buona Tavola - San Luis Obispo
For over 18 years Antonio Varia has been delighting the palates of the Central Coast with his inventive yet traditional Northern Italian cuisine. Using only the freshest local and imported ingredients, Buona Tavola offers a romantic garden setting to enjoy fine dining lunch and dinner. The esteemed Zagat Survey gave Buona Tavola the highest ratings of any restaurant in the county, calling it "Superb dining with great wine in a charming setting... one of the best between Los Angeles and San Francisco." The loyal staff at Buona Tavola still consists of more than a handful of the original opening crew, and as you walk through the front door you truly become a part of the family. The skill that comes with hard-won years of experience and the area's freshest seasonal ingredients are apparent in every dish served. Plus the main ingredient comes from Antonio himself: "I cook with love!"Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
- Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Buona Tavola - San Luis Obispo - Best Restaurants in San Luis Obispo ›
Buona Tavola - San Luis Obispo reviews from OpenTable diners
60 reviews since June 24, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (39)special occasion (33)romantic (32)fit for foodies (32)neighborhood gem (23)notable wine list (22)good for groups (11)great for lunch (6)hot spot (5)great for brunch (4)kid-friendly (3)late-night find (2)scenic view (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- Not worth itCjramDined on 10/19/2014Our bill was 90 for 2 pasta dishes and 1 salad. My pasta was awful, the fettuccine was incredibly dense. The meat sauce was okay but definitely not appealing. My boyfriend got the seafood pasta, I didn't try it but I could smell the fishiness. I wouldn't go backSpecial Features:
- Never DisappointingCSTANDined on 10/14/2014I've been here at least a dozen times. I've never had a bad meal and I've never had a poor experience with staff. Can't go wrong.Special Features:
- Buona Tavola Amazing!NapaFoodieDined on 10/4/2014Everything we ordered was fantastic. Generous portions. 6 of us able to share an appetizer, 2 salads and an entrée each. Highly recommend the eggplant pasta (tagliatorini?). Make sure you get a reservation in advance and ask to be seated on the back terrace/garden. Candle placed on dessert for our daughters bday (requested when I made open table reservation a week before we dined!).Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- very disappointedOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/26/2014We set reservations a week in advance for our anniversary. The hostess was sweet and sat us, but we never got greeted by our server. For 20 minutes we sat there waiting to order. 2 tables were seated AFTER us and were already served their drinks and appetizers. We are so disappointed that we left before ordering. It ruined our experience and we won't be back.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 9/24/2014The service was great and friendly. Our waiter, Joey, was friendly and professional. Steven the bus-boy should get prompted, but then they would have to higher two or three more people. The food was outstanding, very fresh, with a wide selection.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- pleasant early sunday eveningpaulthebruceDined on 9/21/2014We arrived first, as the opened at 5:30 on Sundays. And a few other tables filled during the first half hour. All was well, the food excellent and after a couple of hours of walking and shopping preceding the meal a good time to retire home.Special Features:
- Great ambiance/foodYumdiddleyscrumptiousDined on 9/19/2014GREAT restaurant whose true glory is hidden behind a small front-facing cafe area. The large main patio dining area is tucked behind the front and therefore you'd never know it was there! Hanging lights, old grand trees, and an overhead partial tent make for a wonderful ambiance for any occasion. Would definitely reccommend to anyone visiting slo looking for wonderful handcrafted cuisine and an overall great experience. Make sure to request the patio for reservations, you don't want to miss it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Yum!NanceDined on 9/19/2014For lunch, 3 of us had the same dish: Tortelloni di zucca alla salvia e mascarpone. What a difference home made pasta makes! Couldn't have been better. 2 had the soup of the day, which they also loved. 1 had the Rose wine though, and said it was awful. We were to full for dessert, but perhaps next time! The service was very nice and attentive enough. The setting in the patio is lovely and quaint, with soft music playing in the background. Will definitely go back! Nance (from Saratoga, CA)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fantastic!judh5587Dined on 9/15/2014Best dinner I have ever had in SLO. The food was rich and delicious, and even a basic pasta with basic tomato sauce tasted out of this world. The service was incredible as well...I even thought I was becoming friends with my waiter! Not to mention how beautiful the dining area was outside, surrounded by fairy lights. I can't wait to go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Patio felt like Italy!BobRiceVIPDined on 8/29/2014Sitting on the patio was reminiscent of summer in Italy! Everything was wonderful. Highly recommended.Special Features:
- Expectations not metBenzgolferDined on 8/23/2014The reviews set the expectations of this little place higher than we received. Though we had a reservation, we waited about 20 minutes for a table. Given a table in the corner with an awkward wall cutout. The table was super wobbly, and in order to fix it, we had to hold our waters and wine for several minutes. I asked for a different table, but to no avail. They have a pesto gnocchi on the online menu, but wasn't avail when we went. The gnocchi they did have was very dry. The pasta also was very dry. Restaraunt was not crowded, so not sure what issues they were having. We will not go back.
- skiermelDined on 8/23/2014Food was great, unusual but good. Made a reservation online, there is no place to ask for inside or outside dining.Special Features:
- New Favorite For MeWineandDinerDined on 8/16/2014Had an absolutely wonderful dinner and experience at Buona Tavola. Food was delicious, service was great. Relaxing evening. Never felt rushed. Definitely looking forward to going back next time we visit SLO!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- An annual treatOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/14/2014A group of us come to SLO nearly annually for a workshop at Cal Poly, and we always make a point of dining at Buona Tavola. Outdoor dining (with a canvas pullover roof in the event of cool weather or rain). Very good northern Italian cuisine. Nice wine list. Excellent, helpful, friendly service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- JudyVIPDined on 8/9/2014We had a good meal here the other night. The minnestrone was quite good. We also had bruschetta, a chicken with mustard sauce and the risotto. The best of these dishes was the risotto. We were celebrating a birthday and they brough a little tiramisu with a candle. It was a nice recognition without making a spectacle! If we returned to the restaurant, I would ask for patio seating as the table we were given felt a little crowded even though it was upfront near the windows.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Top FIVE in San Luis ObispoNotbigbuxDined on 8/8/2014As a resident for over ten years, the improvements to the food quality and enviroment made by the relatively new manager Mr. Fabbretti are outstanding. I had the evenings special Italian Pork Sausage with Papperadella and it was as good at Italy. My two guests were equally as pleased with their meals. The new waiter Allesandro is direct from Italy and waited on our table in true Continental Style that is even dissappearing in Europe. It was like a trip to Italy without leaving our hometown! Great Dinner Great Evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great restaurantPatLDined on 8/7/2014I have been going to this restaurant for years and am never disappointed. Excellent across the board!!!!!!Special Features:
- Good looked better than it tastedOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/5/2014My wife and I decided to try this place for a nice dinner out on evening and we were very disappointed. I ordered theBruschetta ai funghi trifolati to start and the mushrooms were over cooled and the bottom of the bread was charred! Literally blackened. We did not want to order anything else after that so we paid our bill and left. Very disappointing
- Charming spot in downtown SLOroyalforkDined on 8/3/2014Was there with new freshman daughter for SOAR. First night in SLO, first meal too. Lovely spot next to the movie theater. We dined in the back courtyard, which had an intimate feel with trees and lights. Food was delicious and our server, a recent Cal Poly grad, was terrific. A great start to our Cal Poly experience.Special Features:
- WonderfulOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/30/2014Nice outdoor dining area. My wife & I dined there on our last evening in SLO, We both had the Veal Scalloppini & it was excellent. Service was very good and attentive. Would recommend it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- creiferDined on 7/19/2014Lovely menu with some delicious specials. The salmon special was a healthy and outstanding dish. The service and was excellent as well. We particularly appreciated the knowledge of local wines since we are not from the area. Recommended for anyone visiting SLO.Special Features:
- SLP StapleJoJoVIPDined on 7/18/2014Whenever I am in town, I always make a reservation here. The food is always good, there is a nice selection of specials, and the staff is friendly!Special Features:
- Quiet LunchAnachronismDined on 7/15/2014Met a friend from San Francisco who was driving through. We met here for lunch at 2 pm on a weekday. We practically had the whole back patio to ourselves and it was fabulous! The service was excellent, the food was incredible. I had a salmon salad that was absolutely delicious. The ambiance was pure European. I can't recommend it highly enough!Special Features:
- Real ItalianJIDCODined on 7/14/2014If you like Italian food, you will be happy at Buona Tavola.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Authentic ItalianFoodloverDined on 7/11/2014We always love the food here and have never been disappointed with the quality of the food and service. I do wish they had more on the wine list though. Other than that, it is always a big hit with friends and family.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely Dinner for 10!epiallaDined on 7/10/2014I made reservations for a pre-wedding dinner with the wedding party at Buona Tavola. We were given a great table outside on the patio (with heaters to keep everyone warm). We had a last minute addition and were accommodated swiftly - they added a table to the end instead of trying to cramp us in which was nice. Matt, our server, was fantastic and very attentive. The food was incredible - very fresh and flavorful. I would absolutely recommend Buona Tavola!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, not too expensiveSouthwesternerDined on 7/3/2014Portions are ample. We were happy splitting a big salad and one entree. Service is pleasant, and provided good advice on wines and entrees. Slightly less expensive than comparable restaurants in the area.I would recommend this to a friend.
- **Ask for courtyard seating**Hunt4theBestDined on 6/27/2014Would certainly recommend this restaurant. Where most italian restaurants seem to thrive in chaos and being malfunction junction, this place takes pride in impeccable service! Very friendly, courteous staff who have a passion for what they do and yes, the food is very good as well!!! Note: If booking via OpenTable must specify request for courtyard seating in the notes section or else the reservation will automatically be made for inside seating.Special Features:
- The following 316 reviews are from the Buona Tavola - San Luis Obispo reviews archive.
- Lenny GreenOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 6/15/2014Took my family here for dinner on Sunday, June 15 following graduation. I was disappointed to see that a fixed menu was in place. When I booked the reservation, there was no mention of this. When I brought it up to the hostess and server, they could care less. Since I booked the reservation several weeks in advance due to dinning demand in SLO, I could not walk out to find another dinning location. It was very disappointing. In addition, the food was fair, at best. Based upon failure to disclose their graduation dinner menu, and the food, I would not recommend this restaurant. I do not have plans to return with my next student who will be attending SLO.
- Good but not GreatOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/15/2014Went to dinner at Buona Tavola for Father's Day. Made reservations over a week in advance through "Open Table". At mid-afternoon on Father's Day receive call from restaurant indicating that menu would be prix fix (should have been notified when the reservations were first made). Was seated in dining room since patio area was booked. Dining room is nice and somewhat intimate. Service was very good although waiter seemed to want to rush things a bit. Food was good but was expecting something a bit more exciting for the price.
- KrumbsfromKovVIPDined on 6/15/2014Had reservations during a special menu night (Cal Poly graduation) but it was still a wonderful meal. Service was good even though there were many big parties going on. We both had lamb sirloin--excellent! Salads were very tasty. Will return for their regular menu.Special Features:
- Unbelievable Italian FoodSteveVIPDined on 6/11/2014This is by far the best northern Italian restaurant at which I've ever had the pleasure of dinning. The menu is large, wine list robust and the food is preapred upon order yet arrives without much delay. It very much reminds me of a good European meal during which you have a few minutes, not the long delay experienced at some eateries, to chat in between courses. As good as the last item that you consumed was, it seems like the next is even superior. We drive three hours from the SF Bay Area for lunch, which is a real bargin, and is every bit as good as the dinner menu. Because of the large number of choices, I've never asked for something special, but I bet that they'd accommodate you if you did. It's just that kind of amazing place.Special Features:
- delicious!dineforworkDined on 5/14/2014This is a fantastic restaurant. Service was great - food was absolutely delicious. We were a party of 6 and we were all very pleased with our dinner selections. Staff was attentive throughout the entire meal. Highly recommend to anyone in the mood for ItalianSpecial Features:
- Italian TreatOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 5/3/2014My wife Erna and I were recently in SLO to attend a concert. We decided to have an eartly dinner and chose Buona Tavola with no info. We loved the food and our waitress. It was apparently prom night locally, so as we lingered over our fine meal, the restaurant garden patio/dining room filled with young couples - probably at their first expensive restaurant. All-in-all, a thouroughly enjoyable evening!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- absolut empfehlenswert!palleDined on 4/22/2014herausragender service, grossartige weinkarte und umwerfend gutes essen. ein toller innenhof vervollständigt das bild. so ein gesamtergebnis hätte ich wirklich nicht erwartet!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect date nightOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 4/19/2014This restaurant was great! The wine list, meal options and patio dining were perfect for a little date night. The server was very friendly, considerate and attentive. I absolutely enjoyed every aspect of my visit here.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A SLO Must DineRobarooDined on 4/14/2014As my business travels take me to San Luis Obispo, Buona Tavola is a must dine. Request seating in the courtyard, even on a cool night the heaters keep you warm. A couple of starter recommendations are the bruschetta (get it half traditional tomato and half mushroom) and the daily salad is always unique. For the entree the veal marsala never disappoints. Top the meal off with the custard dessert, also get it half topped with chocolate and half topped with carmel.Special Features:
- Great restaurant, everythingDianaDined on 4/12/2014Great restaurant, everything was good. We sat on the outdoor patio it was a little chilly outside but the heaters made it really nice. Had a mother daughter dinner after going to the Cal Poly open house. This place made it such a special memorable weekend, all our food choices were great from the brushetta to the desert. In fact we were so impresed with everything we though we had to order desert just to see how good that would be and it was wonderful. We will come here everytime we visit her at Cal Poly and she thought this will be her special date night place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Enjoyable DinnerluvgoldensDined on 4/4/2014My wife and I had a wonderful dinner at Buona Tavola. The staff was knowledgeable about the menu and provided great service. The service and timing of the appetizers, dinner, and desert matched our tempo to create a causal and enjoyable experience. The restaurant also serves cured meats from their own Italian salami company, Alle-Pia in Paso Robles. The cured meats were exceptional.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 3 course prifix paring with winehappycatDined on 3/29/2014Found this restaurant from open tables. Top rated Italian restaurant on my list. Will be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.