2017 Diner’s Choice Winner
OpenTable.com diners voted Alex Madonna’s Gold Rush Steak House at Madonna Inn and Madonna Inn Copper Café onto the 2017 OpenTable Diners’ Choice list again this year. Click the badge at left to reserve a table.
2015 New Times Readers Poll votes Madonna Inn “Best Bakery”
“Some desserts are too pretty to eat. Some are so pretty, you have to eat them. Madonna Inn’s cakes, pies, and sundaes certainly fall into the latter category. Whether you go for the classic Pink Champagne cake adorned with coiffed pink frosting or get your kicks digging into a seasonal strawberry pie, there’s nothing more ‘festively SLO’ than a sweet treat in the famous Copper Café. Birthday? Anniversary? Random Tuesday? It doesn’t matter. Raise a colorful glass goblet into the air and know that you are an honorary knight of the Pink Palace.” —Hayley, New Times SLO
2015 New Times Readers Poll votes Madonna Inn “Best Dessert”
“One thing Madonna Inn is famous for, aside from the fairy-tale cottage design, is the food. Packed with a mouth-watering array of treats, like French pastries, cream puffs, and chocolate éclairs, the Copper Café is rife with the sweet smell of, well, sweets. And if your olfactory senses are on overload and you don’t know what to pick to shove down your gullet, just stick with the classics. “Our Pink Champagne Cake is super popular,” Amber Russell, the bakery manager, said. “That and our Black Forest Cake. We’ve been making them since the 1950s. It’s part of the Madonna Inn tradition.” —Adriana, New Times SLO
2015 New Times Readers Poll votes Madonna Inn “Best Place for a Wedding Reception or Bash”
“There are breathtaking beaches and wonderful wineries all over SLO County, but there’s only one Madonna Inn. The famous landmark is a strange, reality-bending place that’s somehow so gaudy i’'s beautiful, and so baroque it’s classy. It has this magical air of specialness about it that makes it the perfect place for a wedding reception or a big bash. Everything about it is memorable, from the pastel pink exterior to the kitschy Germanic interior to the outstanding cake—and even the surprisingly great bar (try the Pick and Shovel). If you want an enchanting party that you and your guests won’t soon forget, locals say there’s really only one place to go.” —Cliff, New Times SLO
Winner, Trip Advisor “Certificate of Excellence” 2014
The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
Winner, “Best Bakery” 2013
“Judging from the fact that Madonna Inn sweeps this category every year, it’s hard not to imagine our readers going to extreme lengths to get their hands on one of their shapely, frosting-laden pastries.”—Ashley, New Times SLO
Winner, “Best Dessert” 2013
“Between Copper Café and the Gold Rush Steak House, Madonna Inn has so many ways to please your sweet tooth you’ll be taking a page from Bob Wiley’s dinner antics and oohing and ahing with each bite.”—Ashley, New Times SLO
Winner, “Best Place to Pay to Stay” 2013
“...Madonna Inn is a destination that practically guarantees a memorable vacation.”—Nick, New Times SLO
Winner, “Best Place for a Wedding Reception or Bash” 2013
“Check out photos at www.madonnainn.com to see just how unique and sophisticated this place is.”—Spencer, New Times SLO
2013 Open Table Diner’s Choice Award
“Congratulations! As a tribute to the excellent experience your restaurant provides, OpenTable.com diners voted your restaurant, Madonna Inn - Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House, onto the 2013 OpenTable Diners' Choice lists. Our Diners’ Choice lists are generated by the feedback we receive from diners who book through OpenTable.” — OpenTable, Inc., April 7, 2013. » Read diner reviews for Alex Madonna’s Gold Rush Steak House at OpenTable.com.
1st Place, “Best Dessert” 2012
“It’s hour 32 of your Mario Kart marathon, and you’re needing a pick-me-up, a quick sugary burst to help you fly past Bowser’s Flailing, scaly elbows, a confection pink enough for even Princess Peach, maybe even something as flamboyant as Rainbow Road. Into the bakery at the Madonna Inn, a haven of sugar and quirk where Danish pastries and pies will draw you in like a blue shell relentlessly seeking the first-place driver. But it’s their luscious cakes—black forest cake, pink champagne cake, banana nut cake, lemon coconut cake, raspberry delight, and toffee crunch bedecked in chocolate curls—that will have you shouting ‘Here we go!’ Faster than a victory in the 150cc Special Cup.” —Ashley Schwellenbach, New Times SLO
1st Place, “Best Bakery” 2012
“This was a triumph. I’m making a note here: huge success. It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction! And there’s a good reason for that. The Madonna and is world-renowned for several things, but the bakery isn’t the least of them. For its magnificent Black Forest cake to the pink champagne cake that so vibrantly sports that classic Madonna Inn coloring, everything is top notch. It’s a great place for celebration, indulgence, and/or pretty much everything else. And it’s a wonderful, SLO tradition that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.” —Chris, New Times SLO
2012 Open Table Diner’s Choice Award
“Congratulations! As a tribute to the excellent experience your restaurant provides, OpenTable.com diners voted your restaurant, Madonna Inn - Alex Madonna’s Gold Rush Steak House, onto the February 2012 OpenTable Diners’ Choice lists. Our Diners’ Choice lists are generated by the feedback we receive from diners who book through OpenTable.” —Andrea Johnston, Senior Director, Client Relations, OpenTable, Inc., February 12, 2012.
1st Place, “Best Dessert” 2008
“Chocolate curls the size of your hands adorn the Madonna Inn’s most famous of desserts. These memorable cakes are layered with whipped cream and Bavarian cream, piled high with frosting, and topped with white-, pink-, or milk-chocolate shavings. The Inn’s dessert menu also boasts cream pies, fruit pies, cookies, French pastries, hot fudge sundaes, and Madonna’s Delight—a local twist on a traditional banana split. But let’s get back to the cakes: black forest, banana nut, pink Champagne, lemon coconut, and apple spice. Plus toffee crunch cake—a gold mine of toffee nuggets clinging to a cliff of cream. And at the Copper Café, you can get just desserts until 10 p.m. or take home endless deliciousness any time of the day.” —AR, New Times SLO
1st Place, “Best Meal Where Someone Else Pays” 2008
“If a truly fine dining experience is pleasing to all your senses, then Alex Madonna’s Gold Rush Steak House offers a Fine dining experience (note the capital “F”). First, the eyes are treated to lavish decor. While the nose and ears take in the aromas of grilled filet mignon and the sounds of clinking china, the body is treated to plush upholstery. The mouth has the pleasure of tasting the Stilton cheese endive spears and prime rib it relished ordering. Finally, your sixth sense (about allowing Mr. Big to pay) will be richly rewarded. As one might expect, a Fine dining experience involves more than a few cents. The Madonna Inn’s meals—$33.95 for the French filet mignon, $29.95 for the prime rib, $82.95 for the filet mignon and Australian lobster, $31.95 for the spring lamb chops—are worth every penny. More so if those pennies belong to someone else.” —AR, New Times SLO
2007 California Beef Backer Award
“The California Beef Council (CBC) announced today that Alex Madonna’s Gold Rush Steak House located at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo has been recognized as the recipient of the 2007 California Beef Backer Award. Established in 2000, the California Beef Backer Award recognizes restaurants that promote beef and the beef industry through innovative menuing, promotions, and delicious beef entrées that draw consumers back time after time. “The Madonna family has created a unique tradition on the central coast that deserves recognition,” said Brad Scott, 2007 Chairman of the California Beef Council. “Alex Madonna was a self-made man with interests in the construction, lumber and cattle industries. He was committed to selling great beef and his family has continued that tradition.” —HF, CBC Press Release, October 2, 2007