Could you could eat or drink something at every place in the Creamery Marketplace?
On December 14, we put on our stretchy pants and headed to the Creamery Marketplace to see if we could complete the Unofficial Creamery Challenge, and we did!
Learn more about the challenge, the places, and how we ate and drank our way through 10 places (soon to be 11) in one day below…and how to try the Unofficial Creamery Challenge for yourself!
Unofficial Creamery Challenge Rules:
The challenge is simple: get one item to eat or drink at every single place in the Creamery Marketplace over the course of one day. It’s completing the challenge that can be tough!
The Creamery Marketplace in San Luis Obispo has seen several new restaurants and businesses open in the last few years, and has truly become an incredible retail destination for locals and travelers to SLO.
What began as an actual full-service creamery today stands as a marketplace full of amazing restaurants, bars, and shops owned and operated by local people, and the perfect place to spend the day eating and drink your way through our Unofficial Creamery Challenge.
Get something to eat or drink at every single place in the Creamery in one day
The places that make up the challenge are:
How We Completed the Challenge
When we completed the challenge there were 10 place to eat or drink at the Creamery (soon to be 11), and lots of different ways to eat and drink our way through the Unofficial Creamery Challenge.
We opted to organize the places into three rounds: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. This allowed us to break up the places into *somewhat* manageable portions that we could get through in one day, and take some much needed walking breaks to make room for the next round.
Cider Bar SLO
La Esquina Taquera
From there we tried to organize the places into rounds where they would naturally fit, like starting our day with coffee at WithCo, having drinks before dinner at Cider Bar SLO, and ending our day with dessert at Nite Creamery.
Other places fit into certain rounds because of their hours, like Goshi Sushi falling into the Lunch round because they have lunch specials starting at 11:30 a.m., or La Esquina Taqueria and Ciopinot falling into the Dinner round because both places don’t open until 5:00 p.m.
The final schedule we decided on was:
|9:30 a.m.||WithCo Coffee|
|10:30 a.m.||Joliene Bakery|
|11:30 a.m.||Goshi Sushi|
|12:30 p.m.||Mistura Restaurant|
|1:30 p.m.||Mama’s Meatball|
|2:30 p.m.||Seabreeze Cupcakes|
|4:30 p.m.||Cider Bar SLO|
|6:30 p.m.||La Esquina Taqueria|
|7:30 p.m.||Nite Creamery|
The Bear & Wren was not open when we completed the challenge, so they are not on the schedule. However, when they do open we would plan on going there during the lunch round.
Round 1: Breakfast
Stop #1: WithCo Coffee
We usually start our day with tea or coffee, so it was great that our first stop was at WithCo Coffee, a boutique coffee shop on the backside of the Creamery.
We got a latte and chai tea, which were both expertly made and an absolutely great way to start the day.
It was also encouraging to get a round down with something we’d be drinking in the morning anyway!
Stop #2: Joliene Bakery
Our second stop was Joliene Bakery, which is right next door WithCo Coffee.
Joliene Bakery is a European-style bakery that always has the best treats for any time of day. The cookies and macarons are always some of our favorites, but for this round we went with a Paleo Coffee Cake Muffin and an English Muffin with Butter and Housemade Jam.
The paleo muffin was made with pear and raspberry, and was made with pears and raspberries that created the most delicious flavors and textures. The English Muffin was also incredible, and we could have literally eaten just the homemade jam and been happy!
We were done with Round 1 by 10:30 a.m., which left us an hour to take a quick walk before the Lunch Round started at 11:30 a.m.
Round 2: Lunch
Stop #3: Goshi Sushi
We were feeling pretty good when we got to our third stop, Goshi Sushi, at 11:30 a.m. for their lunch specials to kick off Round 2.
Goshi is actually one of our favorite Japanese restaurants in all of SLO County, so we were excited to include them as part of our Unofficial Creamery Challenge. The hardest part really was only ordering one thing while there!
For this round we got the Negi-Toro Roll, and Tempura Shrimp Roll. The Negi-Toro Roll was a special that day so it unfortunately might not be available when you visit. If it is we highly recommend ordering it because it is amazing!
The Tempura Shrimp Roll is on their regular menu, and was the perfect size portion for this round (besides being absolutely delicious!).
Stop #4: Mistura Restaurant
After Goshi we went straight to our fourth stop, Mistura , which is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
There are a lot of incredible items on Mistura’s menu, but we knew we needed to keep things somewhat light if we were going to eat all day.
We ended up choosing the Tiradita Nikkei, which was thin slices of tuna in an incredible sauce that kind of reminded us of tataki at a Japanese restaurant.
We also ordered the Choclo Empanadas, which were filled with corn, humitas, queso fresco, and ajies chiles.
While we waited for our food we were also served a bonus item: toasted corn! Everything was absolutely delicious, and we can’t wait to come back to Mistura for a full meal soon.
Stop #5: Mama’s Meatball
Once we finished at Mistura we were a little full, so took a quick walk around the block to make room for Mama’s Meatball, the fifth stop on the challenge.
Mama’s Meatball is a traditional Italian restaurant, so we knew that this was going to be a heavier meal and wanted to be ready. We ended up ordering a Meatball in the Bolognese, and the Panzerotti (a pizza that is folded in half, deep fried, and stuffed with mozzarella, capers, and sauce).
The Meatball was perfectly cooked, and the Bolognese was something we could have eaten a bucket off all by itself. The Panzerotti was also very good, and had a lighter crust than we expected making it a little easier to finish.
Like Mistura, we were also served a bonus item while we waited for our food: butter garlic rounds! These were too hard to resist and we definite ate a few…but any more and we might not have made it through!
Stop #6: Seabreeze Cupcakes
After Mama’s Meatball we were definitely starting to hit a wall, but still had one more stop in this round.
Thankfully our sixth stop was Seabreeze Cupcakes, and who doesn’t love dessert? This time we got the Apple Cider Cupcake and the Lemon Drop Cupcake, but we honestly would have eaten anything there!
Besides being just the perfect size for a cupcake, both were absolutely delicious. The lemon drop was fresh and sweet without being too tart, and the apple cider was fall in a cupcake…not to mention the frosting, which we could have eating all by itself!
At this point we were at the wall in terms of being able to eat, and really needed to take a break if we were going to complete the challenge. Thankfully we had scheduled a two-hour break between the Lunch and Dinner rounds, and really needed the time. We ended up taking a long walk throughout Downtown SLO, which was the perfect remedy to get us pumped and ready to finish our Unofficial Creamery Challenge!
Round 3: Dinner
Stop #7: Cider Bar SLO
By 4:30 p.m. we were ready for our seventh stop, Cider Bar SLO, a French restaurant and bar in the Creamery Marketplace.
Cider Bar SLO has an incredible selection of ciders, beers, and wines, so was the perfect place to grab a drink before the food portion of our dinner round began.
We ended up getting the Mission Trail Cider (made with three different berries and made it deliciously sweet), and the Farmhouse Pluot Cider, which was perfectly dry and just slightly sweet.
There was no better way to start our round three than by sipping our ciders on Cider Bar SLO’s outdoor patio in SLO’s perfect December weather.
Stop #8: Ciopinot
The eighth stop on our challenge was Ciopinot, a seafood restaurant and grille located on the Nipomo Street side of the Creamery.
We had reservations at 5:30 p.m., and are really glad we did. The restaurant is very popular so can be busy on a Friday or Saturday night, and the reservations helped us keep on track so we could finish the challenge.
Ciopinot is only open for dinner, and they have an extensive menu that gave us plenty of options to choose from. Given the fact that we still had two more places to eat after Ciopinot we opted for appetizers though, and ordered the Fish Taco with Guacamole, and Tempura Prawn Tacos.
The tacos were both amazing, and the portions were humongous!
There was also a surprise bonus food item while we waited for our food: sourdough bread! This was a little easier to avoid knowing what was coming, but we still had to try one slice each (and it was worth it!). We both wished we could have stayed for a full meal, and will definitely be back soon for more of their perfectly prepared seafood dishes.
Stop #9: La Esquina Taquera
After Ciopinot, the ninth stop on our Unofficial Creamery Challenge was La Esquina Taqueria, the only Mexican Restaurant in the Creamery.
It is located right next door to Ciopinot, so it was easy to make our 6:30 p.m. reservation. Like Ciopinot, La Esquina is only open for dinner and very popular so we highly recommend making a reservation when you come by.
La Esquina has one of the best tequila and mezcal collections in all of SLO County, so we knew we wanted to get drinks here, and possibly food.
We were so full after the tacos at Ciopinot that we settled on drinks and a small appetizer, and ended up ordering the Pineapple Mezcal Margarita with Jalapeno, the Mexican Mule, and roasted corn. The drinks were absolutely delicious, and we were both wishing we had the room to order another.
The corn was also fantastic, and if something small is that good you know the rest of the food has to be delicious and we will definitely be back!
Stop #10: Nite Creamery
After finishing our drinks at La Esquina we were ready for the 10th and final stop on our Unofficial Creamery Challenge: Nite Creamery.
Nite Creamery is the only ice cream shop in the Creamery Marketplace, and are special because they use liquid nitrogen to freeze their ice cream making for the perfect scoop every time.
They also have all sorts of fun flavors and ways to eat your ice cream, like frozen hot chocolate and soft waffles that make up your cone!
This time we got the Salted Caramel Crumb Nite Puff (that’s the one in the waffle), and the Frozen Hot Chocolate Waffle Cup, and celebrated the completion of our Unofficial Creamery Challenge with one of our favorite desserts.
Nick’s Challenge Roundup
|WithCo Coffee||Chai Tea||$5.00|
|Joliene Bakery||Paleo Coffee Cake Muffin||$4.75|
|Goshi Sushi||Negi-Toro Roll||$12.00|
|SeaBreeze Cupcake||Apple Cider Cupcake||$3.00|
|Cider Bar SLO||Mission Trail Cider||$8.00|
|Ciopinot||Fish Taco with Guacamole||$12.00|
|La Esquina||Mexico Mule||$15.00|
|Nite Creamery||Salted Caramel Crumb Nite Puff||$7.75|
Nicole’s Challenge Roundup
|Joliene Bakery||English Muffin w/ Butter & Jam||$4.10|
|Goshi Sushi||Shrimp Tempura Roll||$8.00|
|Mama’s Meatball||Meatball & Bolognese||$6.00|
|SeaBreeze Cupcake||Lemon Drop Cupcake||$3.00|
|Cider Bar SLO||Farmhouse Pluot Cider||$10.00|
|Ciopinot||Tempura Shrimp Taco||$10.00|
|La Esquina||Pineapple Mezcal Margarita with Jalapeno||$15.00|
|Nite Creamery||Frozen Hot Chocolate Waffle Cup||$6.75|
Tips & Tricks for Completing the Unofficial Creamery Challenge
Double check that all the places are open the day you want to try the challenge. Some places have seasonal hours and aren’t open seven days a week.
Make reservations at Ciopinot and La Esquina (especially if you’re trying the challenge on a Friday or Saturday night).
Be strategic on when you go to Goshi. We got there right when the opened at 11:30 a.m. for lunch, and there was already a line behind us.
Wear something very comfortable – you will be eating a lot in one day!
Be ready to hit a wall during the lunch round!
Some places give you bonus items (like chips & salsa) while you wait for your food. Eat them at your own risk!
Walking around the block or through Downtown SLO really helps make room for the next round.
Try to drink water with your meals, it really helps!
Don’t forget to factor in tips when considering costs.
You are going to be really full after the challenge, so be ready to fast the next day!