Amazing Monterey Area Restaurants –


Amazing Monterey Area Restaurants
Do you tend to head to the same Monterey area restaurants each time you visit? Discover amazing places to dine in Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove that you might not have tried yet.

Monterey is known for it’s spectacular scenery, fabulous golf courses, world class wineries, and the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. There’s also a vibrant dining scene offering great choices for casual or upscale establishments.


Top 10 Restaurants in the Monterey Area

Note: Restaurants appear in alphabetical order


Bistro Moulin

Bistro Moulin
Don’t judge this restaurant by its rather plain exterior. Inside you will be treated to classic French cuisine in a cozy, relaxed, atmosphere. Didier Dutertre, chef and owner, prepares delicious meals that are truly delightful. Don’t miss his signature dish, Parisian-style spinach gnocchi. Another favorite was the cannelloni.

Extensive wine list and excellent service all add up to a memorable experience. Reservations are definitely recommended. The restaurant is located just a block from Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Address: 867 Wave Street, Monterey
Telephone: (831) 333-1200
Open daily 5-9 PM

California Market at Pacific’s Edge

California Market at Pacific's EdgeThis restaurant is perched on a cliff and has the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Dine at a table or comfortable booth with a panoramic view that cannot be beat. I took this picture from my table while enjoying a delicious bowl of Cioppinot. The menu features a large variety of dishes using fresh, organic, locally grown and raised ingredients.

California Market at Pacific’s Edge is located inside the Hyatt Carmel’s Highland Inn, approximately three miles from downtown Carmel. It’s in the gorgeous area near Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. They are open for daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Reservations and valet parking are recommended.

Address: 120 Highlands Drive, Carmel, California
Telephone: (831 620 1234)
Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Hula’s Island Grill

Hula's MontereyExperience an Island vibe in Monterey. Hawaiian decor creates a festive atmosphere, eclectic music fills the air, and happy, smiling servers greet you. Enjoy a topical cocktail along with lunch, dinner, or a snack. There are lots of menu choices including burgers, fish, tacos, and, salads. My favorite is the ceviche, prepared with local fish.

Dine indoors or outside. They’re known for their fun drinks, but also serve local beers, wine, and soft drinks. Happy hour at Hula’s is a popular event especially on Tuesdays when happy hour is extended from 2 PM until closing. This restaurant is located in an area not far from Cannery Row.

Address: 622 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940
Telephone: (831)655-4852
Open Sun & Mon: 4pm – 9:30pm/ Tue – Thu: 11:30am – 9.30pm/ Fri & Sat: 11:30am -10pm

La Balena

La Balena
This is the place to enjoy authentic Italian food served by a friendly staff. All food is made in house using fresh local ingredients. The seasonal menu changes daily. Many consider La Balena the best Italian restaurant in the area.

Dine indoors in the small, intimate dining room or outside on one of the two patios. The food is exceptional; especially the pastas. Make reservations in advance. I’d ask for a table outdoors. There’s more room outside and the twinkling lights that come on at sunset create a romantic ambiance.

Address: Junipero between 5th & 6th Streets, Carmel-by-the-sea, CA
Telephone: (831) 250-6295
Open Tues – Sun for Lunch 12 – 3:30 PM/ Dinner 5-10 PM


Lallapalooza MontereyChoose from a wide variety of appetizers and entrees including fabulous tasting burgers, pizzas, salads, and steaks. Lallapalooza is known for its great selection of fun cocktails, wines, and beers. Enjoy the modern, spacious decor of this restaurant and bar.

Relax in a large comfortable booth or large table in the dining area or the the cozy bar. The bar has a number of televisions as well as a big screen television projected onto a wall. The food and drinks are all excellent. Servers are always attentive and friendly. This establishment is located in downtown Monterey in the popular restaurant/entertainment area.

Address: 474 Alvarado St., Monterey, CA 93940
Telephone: (831) 645-9036
Open Sun – Thurs 4 – 11 PM/ Fri. – Sat. 4 PM – 12 AM

Lou Lou’s Griddle in the Middle

Enjoy a unique breakfast or lunch right on the wharf at this Monterey area restaurant. LouLou’s was featured on Diners, Dives, and Guy Fierri. The restaurant is known for it’s delicious and large portioned breakfasts including the omelettes made to order and giant pancakes. If you’re there at lunch time, try the abalone slider or fish and chips.

Expect a wait especially on weekends. The indoor restaurant is very tiny. It’s nice to sit at the bar and watch the chef cooking. I prefer to dine on one of the tables outside the restaurant where there’s more space to stretch out. If you have time, take a leisurely stroll down the wharf after your meal to watch the sea lions.

Address: Municipal Wharf Number 2, Monterey, CA 93940
Telephone: (831) 372-0568
Open for breakfast: Wed – Mon 7:30AM – 11:30-ish
Open for lunch: Wed – Mon 11:30-ish – 3 PM

Montrio Bistro

Montrio Bistro is housed in an historic building that served as Monterey’s first firehouse. Built in 1910 the building retains some historic charm. Located in downtown Monterey’s active restaurant/entertainment area, this is a popular restaurant.

Recognized for its incredible food and outstanding service, reservations are strongly recommended. Every dish is fabulous; you can’t go wrong with whatever you order. They have the best bread pudding I’ve every had. Served warm; crispy on the top but moist inside and covered with a sweet anglaise cream. It really is an amazing dessert. Make sure you save room so you can try it yourself.

Address: 414 Calle Principal, Monterey, CA 93940
Telephone: (831) 648-8880
Open daily from 4:30 PM

Red House Cafe

Red House Cafe
Red House Cafe was built in 1895 and is located in the heart of Pacific Grove. Dine in what used to be the living room, dining room, or on the porch of this old Victorian house. It’s a charming ambiance to enjoy breakfast lunch, or dinner.

They serve contemporary American cuisine with the emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Specials change daily. There are many choices on the menu. Whatever you select, it is sure to be delicious. Highly recommended are the crab-cake eggs Benedict at breakfast. Try any of the savory homemade soups, salads, or sandwiches for lunch. Select a small plate or full-sized entree at dinner. They’ve earned a reputation for excellence that keeps the customers returning again and again.

Address: 662 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Telephone: (831) 643-1060
Open Mon 8AM – 2:30 PM/ Tue – Sun 8AM – 9PM


Rosine's MontereyRosine’s offers reasonably priced food that is good for the entire family. They are legendary for their cakes and other desserts. The variety of cakes that they offer really is extraordinary. Purchase an entire cake or a single slice.

Rosine’s is located in downtown Monterey. This is the place to go for high quality homemade food that is also reasonably priced. This family owned Monterey restaurant has been cooking for guests for more than 38 years. They’re famous for their lasagna and their Minestrone Soup. Find many great selections for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Everything is tasty.

Address: 434 Alvarado St, Monterey, CA 93940
Telephone: (831) 375-1400
Open Sun – Thurs: 8 AM – 9 PM/ Fri – Sat 8 AM – 10 PM


Roux - Carmel ValleyOwned by Chef Fabrice Roux and his wife, Jennifer this restaurant serves creative dishes using fresh ingredients that are well presented and taste great. Dine indoors or outside on the lovely patio. There’s an extensive wine list. The servers have always been friendly and attentive. If the daily specials include, Seafood Chowder, don’t hesitate. This flavorful chowder is full of a variety of seafood. Deep friend oreos is a popular dessert, but you can’t go wrong with any of the selections.

Roux is located in the beautiful Carmel Valley. There are more than a handful of wine tasting rooms just a short distance walking distance from this fabulous restaurant. Learn more about Monterey County Wineries.

Address: 6 Pilot Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Telephone: (831) 659-5020
Open Sat & Sun for brunch 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM/ Mon & Fri for lunch 11:30AM – 2PM/ Wed – Mon 4:45 PM for dinner

Did we leave out any Monterey Area Restaurants that you think should be on this list? Please scroll down to leave a comment.

Amazing Monterey Area Restaurants


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