Monterey and Carmel Restaurant Ideas

Monterey Bay Aquarium re-opening this month, and I scored tickets . It was like getting tickets to Hamilton!

I remember Passion Fish and a place off the trail with White hot chocolate, but it’s been a very long time. Any updates?

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I know you asked for Monterey and Carmel. We went twice in the last few months. Once we ate at Passion Fish for dinner takeouts. The other time, we went to Culturas Hidalgo & Oaxaca Restaurant in Salinas. Once for lunch, we liked it so much that we went back for dinner on the same day. They were very good. We liked them more than El Molino in Sonoma, if we are talking about ‘better’ Mexican. Huitlacoche!

I vote them as the best value Mexican around Northern California. You aren’t really sacrificing much in the ‘best’ to get the tremendous ‘value’ either.

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We’re probably hopeless. It’s always a disappointment when we can’t squeeze in The Giant Artichoke.

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My favorite in the area is Roy’s at the Inn at Spanish Bay. It’s on the 17 Mile Drive but if you have a rez at Roy’s they’ll let you onto the Drive for free. Especially nice for lunch on the terrace. If you go for dinner have a preprandial cocktail next to the fire pits. The other Roy’s locations pale in comparison to this well-run outpost.

Another favorite is a small seafood shack on the Municipal Wharf in Monterey, Griddle in the Middle. Unpretentious but some excellent seafood.

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Thanks everyone!

For casual food, Tarpy’s Roadhouse. I have been there with a family friend who lives in Salinas. https://www.tarpys.com/

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It has been a while but I used to like Fishwife in Pacific Grove. I love going to the Aquarium. Color me jealous!!!

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Sushi fly has excellent fish

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If Big Sur isn’t too far I used to eat at Nipenthe.
There are many nice spots in Big Sur.

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We often stop at Nepenthe, too. I think we got burgers the last time.

We’ve enjoyed the cioppino at Bistro Giovanni, but it’s been over ten years since my last visit

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Cafe Guarani

Get an empanada (prefer the baked chicken) and a guava tart.

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This is amazing you guys; thanks.

If Nepenthe is in range also consider Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn. Over the top, but worth the splurge.

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Husband LOVES over the top. As long as the menu reads like Chick fil A. Sort of joking. I can’t believe I told him not to expect many suggestions here. He was never a fan of my Chowhound suggestions.

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Then check Sierra Mar out. I have a meeting near Monterey in alternate years. Every other (once in 4) a group of fellow foodies (in my field that’s a small group) start with wine on the terrace as the sun sets over the Pacific then move inside for the tasing menu. Three so far and every one memorable.

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Immediately next to the Aquarium about 4 doors down is an Italian deli. Their sandwiches are delicious. Lunchtime or early dinner only. We also had a very tasty breakfast at Wave St cafe (Monterey). We got dinner takeout at Mezzaluna Pasteria in Pacific Grove and it was tasty but very small portions and overpriced at that. Please if you haven’t done it, drive to Pacific Grove, and walk both the coastal path from Lover’s Point in an easterly direction, as well as do some beach exploring at Asilomar conference grounds. Both beautiful in their own way.

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My son LOVED the Wave Cafe when we used to go years ago; especially the white hot chocolate and beignets. I thought we WALKED to Pacific Grove. With the butterfly marker?

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Ok, so this isn’t your first trip :slight_smile: We did a road trip to that area last July and I’m just going from memory. We always hit up the cheese store in Carmel, just because it is fun to sample. Although they weren’t sampling at that time. And we always stay in PG, right next to Asilomar. So beautiful there. Have fun!!

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Thank you! We used to go a lot, and my daughter was a member at the aquarium for awhile, but it seemed like there was construction that went on forever and it just wasn’t the same. It’s been a minute.

It’s all making sense now. Funny, when we went in July, Monterey FW wasn’t crowded. Cannery Row wasn’t crowded. Easy to walk everywhere. No line to get into Ghirardellis or Bubba Gump. And it did not feel the same at all! Not that one likes to be stuck in those crowds, but it’s the crowd sometimes that makes a place feel worth seeing, or worth standing in lines. And when the crowd is gone, you wonder what you are doing there too!

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