The Monterey Bay Area Restaurants

The Monterey Bay area is a culinary paradise. The surrounding waters are full of fish, wild game roams the foothills, and the inland valleys are some of the most fertile in the country—local chefs draw on this bounty for their fresh, truly Californian cuisine. Except at beachside stands and inexpensive eateries, where anything goes, casual but neat dress is the norm.

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  • 1. Aubergine

    $$$$ | American

    To eat and sleep at luxe L'Auberge Carmel is an experience in itself, but even those staying elsewhere can splurge at the inn's intimate restaurant...Read More

  • 2. Basil

    $$ | Modern American

    Eco-friendly Basil was Monterey County's first restaurant to achieve a green-dining certification, recognition of its commitment to using organic...Read More

  • 3. Fandango

    $$$ | Mediterranean

    The menu here is mostly Mediterranean and southern French, with such dishes as osso buco and paella. The decor follows suit: stone walls and...Read More

  • 4. Laili Restaurant

    $$ | Mediterranean

    Exotic Mediterranean flavors with an Afghan twist take center stage at this artsy, stylish space with soaring ceilings. In the evening, locals...Read More

  • 5. Montrio Bistro

    $$$ | American

    This quirky converted firehouse, with its rawhide walls and iron indoor trellises, has a wonderfully sophisticated menu. Organic produce and...Read More

  • 6. Passionfish

    $$$ | Modern American

    South American artwork and artifacts decorate Passionfish, and Latin and Asian flavors infuse the dishes. The chef shops at local farmers' markets...Read More

  • 7. Restaurant 1833

    $$$$ | Modern American

    Inside the two-story Stokes Adobe, built in 1833, this popular restaurant and bar showcases the region's colorful history and local bounty....Read More

  • 8. Soif

    $$$ | Mediterranean

    Wine reigns at this sleek bistro and wineshop that takes its name from the French word for thirst—the selections come from near and far, and...Read More

  • 9. The Pocket

    $$ | Italian

    In surf lingo, "the pocket" is a perfect riding spot within a barrel-shape wave, and this Italian–Californian restaurant is likewise a perfect...Read More

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