Exploring the Copper Café at Madonna Inn

Have you ever heard of the Madonna Inn in San Louis Obispo? With its themed rooms like the “Love Nest”, “Caveman Room”, “Bridal Falls”, and others, it has become a curious California Landmark. Jessica has always wanted to visit and while on a little road trip between Santa Cruz and Los Angeles, I (Chris) took the opportunity to stop there for lunch.  This is our full review of the Copper Café inside the Madonna Inn.

madonna inn

The Madonna Inn

The inn itself is unlike any other. Right off the 101 freeway in San Louis Obispo, the rocky Swiss-inspired exterior houses the Copper Café, a pink dinning room, extensive wine cellar venue, themed rooms and several gift shops. Not to mention a men’s room featuring a large rocky waterfall as a urinal. It’s a place that really embraced the color pink before the Barbie movie made it cool.

The Copper Café

We are going to focus on the Copper Café, which is a fun little place to stop for breakfast or lunch while on a road trip. Whether you are seated in a cozy decorated booth or a copper-topped table, you’re sure to find lots to look at all around you. Even at your table, you will find fun details like the pink napkins or the ornate grape embossed goblets that they serve water in.

copper cafe dining room
silverware on pink napkins
grape embossed goblet

Portion Sizes at the Copper Café

The portions are very big at the Copper Café. Jacob got the chili burger, which was a mountain of chili on top of an already larger-than-average burger. It must have been tasty because he finished the whole thing! I ordered the Ruben, which wasn’t quite as big as the Chili Burger, but it did hit the spot. Jessica also ordered an iced tea, which was topped with a rock candy stirrer stick. It was fun surprise! They even brought a second one when they refilled her drink.

iced tea with lemon and sugar crystal


For dessert, we had to try a slice of their famous Pink Champagne Cake. Piled with ribbons of pink frosting in the display case as you enter the café to entice you; the slice we got looked more exciting than it tasted. It was an amusing treat to get and overall we’re glad we tried it… once. 

pink cake with pink ribbon candy on top

Planning Your Visit to the Copper Café

If you do ever visit the Copper Café, be sure to save some time to explore the rest of the Madonna Inn. The entryway features a giant rock fireplace which has actual fossils embedded in the stone. Behind the fireplace you’ll find the lavish pink dinning room, which is unlike any other room I have ever seen. The famous waterfall restroom can be found downstairs in the wine cellar, along with a gift shop. Upstairs, you’ll find more gift shops, one of which features a wall of post cards depicting the many themed rooms that the inn has to offer.

Overall, it was a great place to stop on our travels. We got filled up on some good food and enjoyed the distinctive architecture and decoration of the Madonna Inn.

the copper cafe

More From The Ballinger Family

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11 Responses

  1. Lovely and sightful review If I ever travel to California, I will be sure to give it a try. PS. Hope you had had a wonderful birthday. Jake. Can’t wait for the special to come out soon.

  2. Places like this are so rare. Thank you for sharing its beauty and uniqueness. It is definitely a destination I am adding to my travel list. Love you Balingers 🥰😘

  3. I’ve lived in SLO County for 25 years and avoid this place as much as possible! But to each their own! There are so many natural wonders and trails, beautiful vineyards and olive oil farms, live music, arts venues, and fantastic restaurants in the area. Hit me up sometime if you’d like suggestions! 🙂

  4. I lived in Santa Maria, theater major, spent summers in Solvang. Drove to SLO MANY times. The Madonna in was such a mystery, should have taken a chance when it was so close. You made it look so appealing!

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