Monterey is known as a hit tourist destination along the PCH. This coastal town has one of the best aquariums on the West Coast and some historical sites that visitors love to learn more about. This stunning town is also home to the hit television series Big Little Lies. Besides unique attractions, Monterey is filled with amazing restaurants and eateries where you can discover delectable bites.
Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.
While it might seem that Monterey will only cater to seafood lovers, that isn’t the case. Artichokes and garlic are known to call California home, and many restaurants in California use those ingredients to their benefit to whip up delicious creations. The best thing about dining in Monterey is that you’ll always have a stunning view no matter where you are. Read on to learn more about the best restaurants in Monterey, CA.
The BeSt Restaurants in Monterey CA
Old Fisherman’s Grotto
- Address: 39 Fisherman’s Wharf #1, Monterey, CA
Old Fisherman’s Grotto is known worldwide because of its fine cuisine and beautiful atmosphere. Their seafood is always fresh and sustainably sourced.
Not a seafood fan? No worries, they also offer certified Angus beef steaks. Their clam chowder, a must if you’re visiting Monterey, is award-winning, and you can finish your day off with a fresh house-made dessert.
The restaurant opens at 11 am daily, and to make life easier, scheduling a reservation is always recommended since they are a popular spot to visit. If you can’t land a reservation, consider their take-out option, and enjoy a delicious meal while sitting on the beach.
Peter B’s Brewpub
- Address: Two Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA
If craft beer is your thing, look no further than Peter B’s Brewpub. Located in downtown Monterey, this local brewery offers a pub menu stocked with local flavors that will make your taste buds explode.
Throughout the pub, you will be greeted with 18 high-definition televisions. Moreover, their outdoor patio is pet-friendly so that you can bring Fido along for fun. Since Monterey is known to be on the colder side, their outdoors also offers fire pits so you can stay cosy while enjoying award-winning craft beers.
They currently have 15 beers on tap, not including their variety of ciders, plus cans and bottle options. If beer isn’t your thing, they also have a full bar where you can get a glass of wine or a nice cocktail while you enjoy your time by the fire pits.
The Fish Hopper
- Address: 700 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA
Within walking distance from The Monterey Bay Aquarium is The Fish Hopper, among the best seafood restaurants in Monterey. This delectable restaurant specializes in fresh seafood and steaks.
All produce used at The Fish Hopper is locally grown, and they offer an extensive wine list. One of the best parts of a dining experience here is the stunning panoramic view of Monterey Bay.
If you have food allergies or requirements, keep in mind that they offer a gluten-free menu, so everyone can enjoy a bite to eat with them.
Turn 12 Bar and Grill
- Address: 400 Tyler St, Monterey, CA
Turn 12 Bar and Grill is one of downtown Monterey’s newest restaurants. And it’s perfect if you’re looking for a more casual dining experience.
The restaurant has a motorcycle theme with a 50-foot pewter bar top and vintage photographs throughout it. Turn 12 has the perfect menu for just about anyone, including salads, pasta, burgers, and pizza.
If you want something a little memorable and delectable, try their lobster corn chowder, it’s delicious!
A Taste of Monterey – Wine Market and Bistro
- Address: 700 Cannery Row, Ste K, Monterey, CA
If you’re visiting Monterey and want the whole experience, check out the Wine Market and Bistro. It’s one of the most popular restaurants in Monterey CA and the 2nd largest attraction on Cannery Row. Grab a table here to taste and experience the fantastic flavors of Monterey’s wine country.
All their wine and food are locally sourced, plus they are situated along the ocean’s edge, featuring a wall glass offering a stunning overlook of Monterey Bay.
The cool thing about this location is that, prior to being a Bistro – back in 1918, A Taste of Monterey was a sardine cannery.
While visiting, you can enjoy wine from over 95 wineries throughout Monterey County and pair it with delicious food like soups, salads, panini, and more.
Sandbar and Grill
- Address: Municipal Wharf #2, Monterey, CA
The Sandbar and Grill is a local hot spot for lunch and dinner, so if you’re interested, we recommend heading out early to this delicious spot.
Their prices are excellent for the fresh seafood they offer, and you can’t find a friendlier staff. If you love a good brunch spot, look no further, as they start serving from 10:30 on Sundays.
When it comes to their specials, we recommend their Bloody Mary’s with pepper vodka. While the outside might not look like much, inside, you’re greeted with a panoramic view. And remember, its signature calamari has made it one of the top restaurants in Monterey!
- Address: 484 A Washington St, Monterey, CA
This gastropub will give you a homey feel with beautiful vintage accents. While visiting this Monterey restaurant, you’ll feel less like a tourist and more like a local.
Melville Tavern offers a wide variety of culinary options, including burgers, delicious beer, and a selection of brunch dishes. Their menu is perfect for just about anyone, and it includes brick oven pizzas and several vegetarian choices.
If you’re looking to have some fun on the weekend, they also offer bottomless mimosas, need we say more?
Alta Bakerky and Café
- Address: 502 Munras Ave, Monterey, CA
We talked a lot about amazing seafood and beer, but Alta’s is a charming little café where you can relax with the breeze on your face and a good cup of coffee. Right in the middle of an open garden you’ll find their stunning outdoor seating area.
At Alta, pastries are like no other. You can try their miso-glazed doughnuts, creamsicle mousse olive oil cake, or a Reuben croissant, all paired with a pine n’ huckleberry latte. If you’re on the hungrier side, try one of their delicious sandwiches instead.
While finding a nice sit down restaurant and diving into seafood is great, sometimes you need a little break, and Alta’s is a perfect stop to relax, hang out, and enjoy the finer things in Monterey. Plus, it’s right by Monterey’s Museum of Art.
As you can see, there are great places to eat in Monterey. The whole area is filled with delectable gastronomic proposals that will leave you craving more. You can quickly go from fine dining to a gastropub to a cosy café, all while enjoying the smaller luxuries of Monterey.
Where to stay in Santa Monica
- Ocean View Hotel
- Stunning oceanfront condo
- Wyndham Santa Monica at the Pier
- Hotel Shangri-La
- Santa Monica Loews Hotel
When you’re not discovering Santa Monica on your own, we suggest treating yourself to a tour. From private wine tours to kayak and SUP tours, cooking classes classes to tours of celebrity-owned homes, there’s a little something for everyone. Browse all the Santa Monica tours available on Viator by clicking here.
If you want to capture the memories from your trip to Monterey, we recommend hiring a professional photographer. A Flytographer photoshoot is one of our favorite souvenirs from our travels and we want to share them with you!