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Restaurants in Big Sur + Monterey Bay

Whether it’s a classic culinary temple or a local haunt, these Big Sur + Monterey Bay restaurants are destinations in and of themselves. Read on to discover Travel + Leisure’s picks for the best Big Sur + Monterey Bay restaurants and dining experiences. Browse our travel guides for insider information on food trucks, bakeries, cafés, coffeehouses, farm-to-table restaurants, diners, trattorias, bistros, pizzerias, ice cream parlors, tapas bars, noodle houses, sushi counters, fine dining establishments, and more.

Our global network of editors and writers selects the best restaurants in Big Sur + Monterey Bay to help travelers soak up the local scene and find authentic dishes. Whether highlighting an insider hot spot, a celebrity chef’s newest restaurant, a hip coffeehouse, or the best place for cheap eats, Travel + Leisure takes you there, serving up the best Big Sur + Monterey Bay restaurant listings. Below find T+L’s top picks for where to eat in Big Sur + Monterey Bay.

  • Anton & Michel

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    Jump into this mainstay restaurant in downtown Carmel for a snack of lobster spring rolls or Maryland crab cakes. More
  • Art Café and Bakery

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar
    Don’t miss the curried chicken sandwich. More
  • Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar
    The bacon-and-egg topped “breakfast pizza,” available on weekends, is worth the drive from anywhere. More
  • Bistro Laurent

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar Dollar
    Feast on braised veal cheeks at Bistro Laurent, housed in a park-side, 19th-century brick building. More
  • Black Cat

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
  • Bouchée Restaurant and Wine Bar

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar Dollar
    Stop for moules frites on a sunny day. More
  • Café Fina

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    Dive into Italian seafood—shrimp scampi, and salmon fettuccine—at the waterfront, touristy-but-fun restaurant. More
  • Casablanca, Santa Cruz

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    The bland façade may look quiet and unassuming, but inside, executive chef Scott Cater turns out some smart New American cuisine. His special Color... More
  • Casanova

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar Dollar
    The Italian restaurant features a large live tree inside. More
  • Center Street Grill

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    The perfect place for salads, pastas, made-from-scratch hollandaise sauce, ahi tuna, and freshly squeezed lemonade and orange juice on the outdoor ... More
  • Cielo, Big Sur

  • Citronelle

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar Dollar
    Dine at Michel Richard’s Citronelle, at the Carmel Valley Ranch resort—and be sure to order the Monterey Bay abalone with caviar cream. More
  • Deetjen's Big Sur Inn

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar Dollar
    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. More
  • El Palomar

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar
    The kitchen delivers fancy but family-friendly Mexican: the shrimp burrito is a favorite. More
  • Let's Be Frank

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar
    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... More

Explore restaurants in Big Sur + Monterey Bay for more options.

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