One of our favorites in Carmel Valley Village and well worth the drive….Warm scents of freshly cooked food and great romantic atmosphere! The food is excellent as is the service. On a warm summer night you can sit outside on the patio. You need to make reservations on a weekend night or take your chances of waiting for half an hour. All is not lost if you’re up to sitting at the food bar…(Our favorite seats) otherwise don’t despair, you can always go around the block to the Village Fish House (on my favorites list)But seriously, if you’re looking for a really warm, romantic meal then this place is near the top of the list. Great wine list too! Go! It’s great! (Just a block off of Carmel Valley Road in the Village in case your ‘navi’ can’t find the street.) GREAT ATMOSPHERE!!$$$$ out of $$$$$
10 DELFINO PL
This is an all-time favorite of locals and tourists alike…It’s owned by Clint Eastwood and he is often seen there with buddies having a drink at the bar or piano…I’ve seen him there several times. But don’t go there just to see Clint..go for the setting — and the food is reasonably good too. (not over the top, but you won’t be disappointed for SURE) The outside patio faces a large grass field (with sheep lazily grazing about) which overlooks Point Lobos in the distance. You can sit by an outside fire or under heaters if it’s cool out. Really relaxing and fun. Often you can strike up a conversation with folks you’re sitting by and as always be amazed at how small this little world is!But getting back to the food — it’s all about a great steak, burger or salad…..The salmon is great too. This is a fun place to go – I highly recommend it. The Sunday brunch is EXCELLENT! Go hungry!$$$ out of $$$$$
26270 DOLORES ST.
This is a fun restaurant to go to in downtown Monterey. Great ambiance — NOISY at times — but definitely one of Monterey’s more popular places to be. The decor is cool and ‘hip’…you won’t be disappointed by its food as it’s the same owner of The Rio Grill, Tarpy’s and Willy’s Smoke House down by Cannery Row. So anyway, this is a fun place to go for a great American meal. Definitely upscale, but casual. Food is very consistent and Excellent!. Make reservations if it’s a weekend…Here’s the best deal in town: Call or drop by and buy their “Dinner and a Movie”. This is such a bargain! Worth every penny….For just $19.95 per person you get to chose from a select menu (that is totally ample) which includes a salad and a main course. Each item is right off the main menu, but just more limited in the selection. Then after dinner you can walk across the street and go to a movie at Osio Theater. The movie tickets are usable at another date if you don’t feel like going that night. Believe me this IS a GREAT VALUE!! Try it! You won’t be disappointed! Desert and drinks and tip are separate. Good Sunday thru Thursdays….Go! I give this restaurant an 8.5 out of 10$$$.5 out of $$$$$Worth the drive from: Carmel, Carmel by the Sea, Pebble Beach, Carmel Valley, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Meadows, Pacific Grove, Monterey (of course!), Seaside
414 CALLE PRINCIPAL
Okay, if you’re going down to Big Sur then plan on eating here for lunch or dinner. The views are renowned as some of the best IN THE WORLD looking south along continent’s edge for miles! WOW! The food is really good too..American fair with great beers on tap and a GREAT wine selection. It’s one of those ‘don’t miss’ places when you visit the Monterey Peninsula! Worth the drive — time it so when you’re driving down you watch the sunset or time you’re dinner to see the sunset on the way back up…or just make it a part of your day going to and from Big Sur. The best restaurant in Big Sur — not including Post Ranch and Ventana of course! –The food is great, the drinks are great and the VIEWS are incredible….Just recently a good friend of mine who happens to be an outstanding architect (Jim Sullivan in Monterey) just completed an amazing ramp that now goes from the parking lot all the way up to the restaurant! Now folks that couldn’t manage stairs can take the new (mildly sloping) ramp up to the top. So EVERYBODY can enjoy the food and great views!! Yea! A MUST VISIT spot in Big Sur! (The retail store on the parking lot level is totally UNIQUE and well worth stopping in. Big Sur jade and tons of hand crafted gifts.) $$$ out of $$$$$
HIGHWAY 1 IN BIG SUR
EXPENSIVE!!!!! BUT AMAZING!!!!Very expensive, but if you’re looking for an exceptional meal in an exceptional setting then this is one of the Peninsula’s very best…At an average of $100/person (plus wine) the bill is memorable too….But I’d say well worth it for those special occasions.
HIGHLANDS INN ON HWY. 1
This is one of the Peninsula’s most visited restaurants and for good reason! It is consistently GREAT! If you’re in the mood for a great ‘square’ meal i.e., a great piece of chicken, a great piece of fish, a great burger or steak — or a great salad — this is a ‘can’t miss’ place. I guarantee you’ll have a great meal and the ambiance is wonderful too. White cloth table cloths, a bustling atmosphere, a great bar to sit and have driink before dinner….All in all, I can’t recommend this highly enough. Not totally gourmet — just consistently EXCELLENT at reasonable prices. It’s one of the “Happening” places in Carmel! $$$ out of $$$$$
HWY 1 AND RIO ROAD
Okay….if you’re looking for some of the best VIEWS IN THE WORLD while you eat lunch or dinner — at VERY REASONABLE PRICES — then this is a MUST! Go for lunch and you won’t be disappointed with the food or the VIEWS! REMEMBER to wear your sunglasses as it’s SUNNY (usually) and also bring a light sweater if it’s a bit cool. You can eat inside if it’s really too cool where there is always a wood burning fire going. Breakfast’s are amazing too! It’s fairly simple food (sandwiches, salads, a soup of the day) but GREAT! Worth the drive. This one is a MUST. It’s the little sister of the renowned “Pacific Edge” gourmet restaurant that is right there in the same Hyatt Hotel. (Tres expensiff!) Yummmm! This is a cool place! A MUST GO!!!$$$ out of $$$$$
HWY 1 4 MILES SOUTH OF CARMEL
GO FOR THE VIEWS!!! Not for the food…Sorry, but this place doesn’t get my vote for food quality…BUT….It is worth the visit because of the incredible views south along the Big Sur coast…..Your best bet is breakfast or lunch…both GOOD. Forget dinner — in my opinion — unless you’re not hungry and just — well skip that — I’d skip it altogether for dinner. The bar isn’t even any good. BUT! Sit outside on the expansive deck and enjoy the sun and VIEWS — actually the burger is good as is the breakfast…So don’t hesitate for either breakfast or lunch….Have a huervos rancheros (I have no idea how to spell this) for breakfast or a burger and a cold beer for lunch and sit back and ENJOY! The views don’t get any better….$$ out of $$$$$
10 MILES SOUTH OF CARMEL ON HWY 1
RED HOUSE CAFE
CUTE!!! AND A FUN PLACE TO EAT! Sitting on Lighthouse Av. with three outside sidewalk tables and 4 or 5 tables on a covered porch — plus 10 or so tables inside — this place is EXCELLENT! Great lunches! Great dinners! Casual and consistently TASTY!!! If you’re in “PG” for lunch this is a MUST GO! place. Soups are always fresh and very good…sandwiches are TOP NOTCH — even the ‘big guy’ will be happy with the Roasted Turkey or BIG BLT…Spinach salad is really tops…Save a little room for home made deserts……Yummmmm….I’d give this one a 9 out of 10!$$$ out of $$$$$
662 Lighthouse Av.
Daniel’s Garden Bistro
Wonderful!! One of my TOP favorites!! Fantastic food! All made fresh, fresh! Very creative yet simple menu. Personally I love the cesar salad with grilled sallmon…but EVERYTHING is EXCELLENT! Sit outside on the patio that sees to have just the right amount of sun and shade. I can’t say enough about this place except it’s a MUST GO! favorite of ours. The setting is just as superb as the food. The wait staff is top notch and super friendly. Great for lunch AND dinner. Great selection of wines. GO!!! I’d give this one a 10 out of 10. Price range: $$$ out of $$$$$ (worth every penny!)
6 Pilot Rd. (Cross St: Carmel Valley Rd)