Page 41 - SLO Visitors Guide Winter 2023
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 Los Osos & Baywood Park
Enjoy comfort food at Celia’s Garden Cafe
Los Osos restaurant is a local favorite
If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast or satisfying lunch, stop by Celia’s Garden Café in Los Osos and enjoy comfort food at its finest. Situated inside a little red house, the restaurant is conveniently lo- cated on Los Osos Valley Road, and is known locally as the Garden Café or, simply, Celia’s.
Owner Celia Alfirevic celebrates 17 years in business this December. Her dedicated staff handles the daily operations, with Celia helping out on weekends with hostess duties, special events, and party catering.
“Most weekdays I stop in to say hello and check on things or maybe enjoy a meal with friends,” Alfirevic said. “It’s truly one of my favorite places to be. We have a close-knit crew. I call everyone ‘my girls’ and there’s a lot of comradery. On week- ends, we tend to have a waiting list, so I like to come in, greet people, and keep things flowing.”
Comfort food at its finest
It’s no surprise Celia’s Gar-
den Café is a favorite of locals
and visitors alike. With a menu featuring dishes made from scratch using fresh, local ingredients, the restaurant has a loyal following and consistently receives stellar reviews. Decorated with garden-themed paintings from a local artist,
the café is cozy and warm, and everyone is greeted with a smile before being seated indoors or at an outside table on one of the café’s two dog-friendly patios.
Celia’s Garden Café keeps people coming back for more
with traditional breakfast and American-style lunch offerings. Alfirevic makes the now-famous apricot jam and house salsa, and every dish from the chili relleno to the fish and chips is prepared fresh daily. The soup changes daily, and local favorites include the blintzes, corned beef hash, chicken fried steak, and biscuits and gravy.
“We definitely specialize in comfort food,” Alfirevic said. “We have a deep-dish quiche with fresh,
homemade buttermilk crust, and everyone loves our fresh-squeezed orange juice we prepare each morn- ing. People always rave about our Hollandaise sauce; we make it fresh each morning and it is quite excel- lent. We get fresh fish from Morro Bay, and our muffins and desserts are amazing – everyone loves the Mud Pie!”
Opportunity knocks
Being part of the food and hos- pitality industry was not originally part of Alfirevic’s plan. After attend- ing art school in the Bay Area, she lived and worked in Hawaii where she received her formal dining training. After 40+ years working as a waitress in various locales, the opportunity to purchase her own restaurant came about in 2005.
“I have always enjoyed this in- dustry, and I have worked in a lot of different restaurants with different styles,” Alfirevic explained. “Own- ing a cafe never was a dream of mine; it kind of just fell in my lap. When my husband, Mark, told me the previous owners decided to sell, I was at the stage in my life when it was just the right time.”
Owning and operating a cafe proved to be much different than working as a waitress.
“I just figured I’d do what I’d always done; be nice, attentive, take care of the clientele but I didn’t realize all that was involved with running a business,” Alfirevic said. “I learned quickly and I still enjoy what I’m doing. I just wear different
hats as an employer, accountant, greeter, a fix-things-as-we-go per- son; I do it all and I love it.”
Better than ever
Alfirevic quickly focused on im- proving upon the best sellers on the menu and added more offerings.
She brought in fresh ingredients, and updated the lunch menu. “You can’t change bacon and eggs, so I had to change the quality,” she ex- plained. “I brought in better quality bacon, extra-large eggs, and served fresh potatoes every morning. In- stead of one kind of Eggs Benedict, we offer six or seven. Instead of a few omelets, we offer eight or nine.”
Customer favorites include the quiche, lunch salads, hand-carved turkey, and the Rueben sandwich. Breakfast is served all day. Beverages include locally-roasted coffee, fresh- squeezed orange juice, local beers and wines, and her nephew’s wine from Mendocino County, Es Okay.
Celia’s Garden Café, is located at 1188 Los Osos Valley Road in Los Osos. Open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekends, with dinner served during the spring and summer months. Catering is available, call (805) 528- 5711 or visit
—Meagan Friberg
Mon-Fri 8am to 2pm
Sat & Sun 7:30am to 2:30pm
To-Go Orders: 805.528.5711 1188 Los Osos Valley Rd., Los Osos
3.5% Surcharge on Credit Cards
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