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. 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

  • 3. Casanova

    $$$ | Mediterranean

    This restaurant inspires European-style celebration and romance in an intimate French-country setting. Feast on authentic dishes from southern...Read More

  • 4. Gabriella Café

    $$ | Italian

    Local artwork features prominently at this petite, romantic café in a tile-roof cottage. Featuring organic produce from area farms, the seasonal...Read More

  • 5. L'Escargot

    $$$ | French

    Chef-owner Kericos Loutas personally sees to each plate of food served at this romantic, unpretentious French restaurant. Order the pan-roasted...Read More

  • 6. Mundaka

    $$ | Spanish

    The traditional Spanish-style tapas, made with fresh local ingredients, and the full bar attract legions of locals to this downtown spot. Longtime...Read More

  • 7. Shadowbrook

    $$$$ | European

    To get to this romantic spot overlooking Soquel Creek, you can take a cable car or walk the stairs down a steep, fern-lined bank beside a running...Read More

  • 8. Fifi's Bistro Café

    $$$ | French

    Candlelight and music fill this small bistro known for its generous wine pours and French cuisine. The menu ranges from escargots to sand dabs...Read More

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