The Madonna Inn, SLO

Cover photo courtesy of

This past weekend I got to cross four items off of my SLO bucketlist including eating at two restaurants inside the Madonna Inn: Copper Cafe, and Alex Madonna’s Goldrush Steakhouse. We can say that it was a good weekend…

Today I’m going to write about my experience dining at the Madonna Inn. Getting there was easy. If you get off at the Madonna road exit going south, you just need to stay in the middle lane and go straight to get directly to the inn. There aren’t really officially marked parking spaces, just a big parking lot, you kinda just fit in with the way that other cars are lined up.

Photo courtesy of

The Madonna Inn actually has an interesting history behind it. Nestled into a hill beside Highway 101, it is a perfect stop for travelers passing through the central coast. Created by Alex Madonna and his wife Phyllis, it opened on Christmas Eve in in 1958 with just 12 rooms, and the first night’s travelers were given a complimentary stay. Now in 2016, over 100 rooms exist with different extravagant themes, and each room has an inspiration and a story behind it which can be found here. I’ll write more about the rooms in another post someday, but this post is about Madonna Inn’s dining.

We’ll start with brunch at the Copper Cafe on Friday morning. Kelly, Sophia, and I got dressed up in brunch attire and drove to the Madonna Inn making sure to document the adventure extensively with lots of pictures (what’s new?).

Rocking the brunch attire

The experience was like something out of a fairytale. The glasses we drank water from were goblets of various colors that looked too pretty to drink out of. We didn’t get there until after 11am and we still got to order breakfast. I got a waffle. IMG_0694.JPG

It was a magical experience and the interior of the cafe was very cute. I felt like I had been transported back to the 1950’s/60’s. The walls were decorated with vintage signs, and my favorite decoration was the words “Let’s eat and be forever happy” written across the wooden arch of the counter. Yaaaas.


As much as I enjoyed Copper Cafe, I was enamored with the decor of the inside of the actual steakhouse which was where we walked in. It was decorated for Valentine’s Day and I can say that I have never seen more hearts or fairy lights in one place in my life.


After seeing how lavishly adorned the interior of the Steakhouse was,  I was hoping to one day eat inside there, too.. It was incredibly romantic looking, especially decorated for Valentine’s Day… Anyway, later that evening Conner told me he had booked dinner there on Valentine’s night on Sunday (we’re not great at keeping secrets). 😀

So Valentine. Much Hearts. Many Red.

The Steakhouse was a fancy dinner. We dressed fancy. The menu was fancy and there were fancy people dancing fancily to the music on the dance floor behind our booth. The staff were sweet and the service was quick, especially for such a popular night of the year. The only thing in sight that wasn’t dressed up in pink or red (including us) was the food.

The most exciting part of dinner was that right as we got our first course, the lights went out… No joke, it was pitch dark. At first we thought it was a planned part of the night, but we were quickly informed of the electrical trouble the building was having and handed many glowsticks.

They gave us glowsticks

The band kept playing, people kept dancing, and waiters and waitresses scattered like bee’s around the restaurant with glowsticks so that each couple could see their food to eat and cut (steak knives are kinda sharp). Lights or no lights, my New York steak was still delicious. And we got a free slice of Madonna’s famous Pink Champagne cake out of the ordeal.

IMG_2581 2
Dinner by glowstick-light

Follow Metropolitan Molly updates by subscribing to my newsletter, website and on social media below:

Interested in nominating someone with a stellar story for the COVID Chronicles? Submit them, here.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close