Big Sur + Monterey Bay

Restaurants in Big Sur + Monterey Bay

A seaside town through and through, restaurants in Monterey Bay specialize in fresh fish and shellfish dishes.

For those looking for Monterey Bay restaurants that serve casual fare, Monterey’s Fish House is worth a visit. But be sure to make a reservation! The popular joint – whose specialties include blackened swordfish, barbecued oysters, and Mexican squid steak – is consistently crowded and attracts a casual, friendly rowdy crowd on weekend nights.

True seafood lovers shouldn’t leave without dining at the Sandbar & Grill. Considered to be one of the best restaurants in Monterey Bay, the establishment is located on a pier and boasts panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Specialties include rustic dishes like heaping bowls of creamy clam chowder and enormous crab club sandwiches.

In the unlikely event that you get tired of seafood, there’s always Crepes of Brittany. The cash-only stand, located directly on the beach, serves both sweet and savory crepes and attracts long lines on weekends.

Hang out on the patio with a burger and microbrew.

Don’t miss the curried chicken sandwich.

The bacon-and-egg topped “breakfast pizza,” available on weekends, is worth the drive from anywhere.

Enjoy an “Ambrosiaburger” on the terrace of a house reputedly once owned by Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth.

Using grass-fed beef from local farmers and ranchers who raise their animals humanely, Let’s Be Frank serves up their nitrate- and nitrite-free hot dogs at their shop at 3318 Steiner Street as well as from carts.

Jump into this mainstay restaurant in downtown Carmel for a snack of lobster spring rolls or Maryland crab cakes.

Stop for moules frites on a sunny day.

Dig in to butternut squash enchiladas or brick-roasted chicken; the chef promotes the local and sustainable.

Dine at Michel Richard’s Citronelle, at the Carmel Valley Ranch resort—and be sure to order the Monterey Bay abalone with caviar cream.

At dinner, go for broke at Marinus, where you can enjoy an elaborate seafood-focused tasting menu by a roaring fireplace.

The kitchen delivers fancy but family-friendly Mexican: the shrimp burrito is a favorite.

Begin the day with lobster eggs Benedict at this downtown joint.

Order dinner of rack of lamb or duck breast with a cherry-port reduction at the restaurant in the classic 1930 Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn.