Travel along the 101 on the central coast of CA, and you’ll soon stumble on a quaint little beach town called Pismo Beach. Known for their giant size clams, Pismo has always been a crowd favorite, proven every year by the vast amount of people who flock there during the holidays. Surfing, sunbathing, fishing, diving and kiteboarding, are just some of the activities enjoyed by visitors. What on earth could top a busy day at the beach? The lines outside of Splash Café, suggest something extraordinary is occurring, and the aroma will compel you to investigate.
Walls covered in hand painted beach themed murals, along with the enthusiastic staff waiting to take your orders, the charm of this café will definitely engulf you the minute you walk in the door. For more than 13 years, Splash Café has been the preferred location to have lunch during outings with my friends. From the first time I had one of their clam chowder filled bread bowls, I was hooked! Clam Chowder has always been a favorite entree of mine, but there is something uniquely atypical about the chowder that is prepared fresh on a daily basis at this café. There are other favorites on their immense menu, but it’s their chowder’s special recipe that keeps the crowds returning for more. Served in a sourdough bread bowl that is baked fresh every day, you would think that’s where the story ends right? The day I over heard someone request “seafood toppings”, completely changed how I would place my future orders. A heap of shrimp and crab was placed on top of the chowder, with the cut out portion of the bread on the side, sealed the deal for me!
The Splash Café is so well known, that popular magazines such as Sunset, have done articles boasting about their special recipes and many awards have been earned year after year. The flavor is so scrumptious, that people travel for miles just to get their piece of Pismo Beach’s clam chowder heaven. Their popularity has grown so much so that a new café was launched in San Luis Obispo and in addition to the expansion, they also added a bakery and chocolate factory, where everything is made fresh daily. Some of the items they now offer are: espresso, pastries, tarts, brownies, Ciabatta Rolls and their famous sourdough bread bowls. No matter the location, you will not be disappointed when you arrive.
If there is one thing I could change, it would simply be to expand the original café, to accommodate the amount of business they receive on a daily basis. With that said, I can honestly state that I have never experienced a day where no seating was available to me, but sometimes it does get packed. If visiting the café isn’t an option for you, visit their website by placing a search for “Splash Café Pismo Beach” and take advantage of their online ordering. The chowder can be ordered by pints or quarts and you may also order their salad dressing or bread bowls. Once you’ve enjoyed their famous clam chowder, there’s no other that will do!