Visiting Mint+Craft in San Luis Obsipo
As college city San Luis Obsipo continues to grow, so does their impressive array of eateries. What was once an agricultural town known for its college crowd (thanks to Cal-Poly and Cuesta), San Luis Obispo is quickly becoming the place to be for a great time on California’s central coast. Whether you’re in the mood for dining, drinking, shopping–or all of the above. My vote for a fantastic breakfast and latte among these trendy fresh options? Mint+Craft.
Just a stone’s throw from the SLO MIssion and Museum of Art, Mint+Craft joined the lineup on Monterey Street last year. Apart of their project to make this district of SLO their very own “Chinatown”, Mint+Craft is both a mercantile and cafe. With sidewalk and private patio dining options, I entered Mint+Craft not knowing exactly what to expect. A colorful nook with plenty of sun shining in, it was soon clear to me that Mint+Craft is the best of both worlds.
If you’re looking for a quick bite, or needing your morning coffee or afternoon grub, this is the place for you. If you’re in town buying some nic-naks and want to grab a bottle of local wine or a sweet gift box, Mint+Craft has you covered. Really. They have over 300 products from over 60 artisans! They truly have ‘crafted’ the art of effortlessly bringing together a little bit of this and that under one roof.
I headed into town as a woman on a mission for a hearty breakfast. And maybe a latte of some sort. As soon as I walked in, I was quickly given a warm welcome by Mason, Mint+Craft’s manager. While I had in mind what I wanted for breakfast, Mason walked me through the menu and answered all my questions. Best part? Nearly every menu item is or can be prepared gluten-free!
Known for their toasties (breakfast sandwiches), I decided I had to try one of their most popular: the Obispo. The Obispo boasts Applewood smoked bacon, vine-ripe tomatoes, crushed avocado, sprouts and egg. With your choice an the egg any style, I had a suspicion an over-easy would be ideal for this egg-wich, and Mason agreed. I also breathed a sigh of relief at their gluten-free bread, which was thick and did not collapse. Turns out they serve B Free Wheat and Gluten-Free Seeded Sandwich Loaf bread. It held up well with all of the contents of my Toastie.
Which, by the way, was delectable. If you’re one to Instagram your food, get ready to adore Mint+Craft’s presentation. The avocado and tomato tasted just picked. The egg and bacon was savory and the bacon just a bit burnt. With all of this protein and the good fats, the Obispo kept me satisfied and fueled for my hours ahead of walking the streets of Higuera, Marsh and Monterey. A lot of ground needed to be covered. I even squeezed in a gorgeous ride over Highway 1 to take a walk at Cambria’s Moonstone Beach.
Other AM temptations were the the SLO Market Toastie (Roasted veggies, goat feta, sweet potato spreadza’atar, egg) or the Latin (eggs, chorizo, avocado, beans, goat feta, jardinera made in-house and tortillas). If gluten is a not a concern, lucky you. I would definitely go after the Ricotta Berry Toastie with batter-dipped brioche, berries, California ricotta mousse and drizzled with local honey.
When the afternoon and evening hit, you can count on Mint+Craft to be there from the afternoon slump to happy hour and dinner. Their Vietnamese Noodle Salad caught my eye, as well as their Garden Flatbread (gluten-free available) and the Tandoori chicken.
If you noticed I said ‘Happy Hour’, indeed. Monday through Friday 3pm to 6pm you can unwind after work or school $1 off glasses of vino. Coming with a few friends to hang and want to buy a bottle at the shop? Enjoy no corkage fee. They also host several events and pop-up’s that will encourage you to stop in often. If I were a local, I know I would love their monthly ‘Art after Dark’ nights!
If you want to take a break or bring along your laptop, get ready to enjoy their coffeehouse drinks. We all know I love me some hand crafted espresso drinks. Although, I found myself in a matcha mood on this day. While Mason offered me their oat milk, I played it safe and requested whole milk. A gorgeous work of art, their matcha powder is sourced from Portland company, Mizuba Tea. I will admit, as I cut back on coffee, matcha green tea has become my newest ‘vice’. I have tried several different places and Mint+Craft’s definitely ranks high. While at some shops I have learned to request an extra scoop of the powder, theirs was perfect as-is. Not too milky, nor bitter, it was smooth and a tinge sweet. Rather hard to drink since it was a work of art…..
If you’re in the mood for java, their espresso is a custom-blend from Kreuzberg . A local cafe, I loved the fact that they carry another cafe’s coffee. No ‘competition’ when you live the SLO life!
Granted, the master minds behind Mint+Craft are no strangers to running successful restaurants. Owners Robin and Shanny Covey met in the 1970’s, shortly after Shanny had moved here from Singapore. They studied food science and technology at Cal Poly, married, started a family and in between all the domestic bliss, launched Cambria’s beloved Robin’s Restaurant. Fast forward thirty plus years later, the couple may no longer be married, but remain great friends. So great, that they have ventured together in opening five restaurants–and, at one time, a health food store.
The Covey’s vision for Mint+Craft was simple: a fast-casual bistro with reasonable prices and the chance to support independent artists from around the world. With their mercantile, you can find wines, beers, soaps, even create gift boxes. Hundreds of goodies await you. And, that’s not even counting their menu.
Next time you are in San Luis Obispo, stop by Mint+Craft no matter what your intentions are. They are open 7 days a week 8am to 8pm. You can also host your next event with them, too! Get all of the info and plan your visits HERE.
(*Disclosure: I was a guest of Mint+Craft on behalf of this feature. All opinions are my own.)