local eats…Jocko’s


125 North Thompson Avenue

Nipomo CA 93444

(805) 929-3565


This place hasn’t changed since the 70s and it hasn’t had to. Cowboys and ranch hands still grab a pint after work (and at lunch!) and the locals dine on the barbecue they will, happily, defend. Don’t expect any frills or terribly great service as Jocko’s is all about great SLO bbq. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner to quench your Jocko’s craving. No joke, you mention this place to a local and they’ll tell you it’s the bees knees. You have your choice between SLO bbq (bbq sauce) or Santa Maria bbq (salsa on the side) and it’s all served with a breadstick/cracker basket and salsa (to dip the crunchies, of course).

The last time we were there we enjoyed their sandwiches for lunch and the meat was cooked perfectly and on a grill you can see through the large windows. Steak that is tender and flavorful between garlic bread? YES, PLEASE! This is quintessential SLO eatin’ and it always hits the spot. At dinner you can order a “small” steak that covers the entire plate. Our favorite part of watching our dinner being cooked? Seeing the outdoor grill covered in meat with ribs, a la the Flintstones,  hanging off the sides. Your server may be a bit salty but that could be due to the awesome Jocko’s Mix steak seasoning they sell, perhaps it has worked it’s way into their veins or because she’s worked there for 30 years. Either way, she’ll deliver the best steak for you to enjoy after you fill up on the breadsticks, crackers, salsa, and salad that comes with your meal! Thinking of coming for dinner Thursday through Sunday? MAKE A RESERVATION!!! It isn’t uncommon to wait 2 hours for a seat at dinner.


  • Bang for your buck proportions
  • Interesting ambiance
  • Options of meat cuts and sizes
  • Cowboy sightings


  • Long wait for dinner without a reservation
  • Service may leave you wanting more (but you’ll forget it once you bite into your steak, promise!)
  • Parking in the dirt lot when there aren’t any more spots in the paved lot


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