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Monterey, Carmel By the Sea

Friday night dinner recommendations in Monterey/Carmel area?

Wife and I are going to a wedding in the Monterey/Carmel, CA area. What's a good place to go for dinner on a Fri night? Could be any cuisine, from $ to $$$, open to any suggestions!

6 Answers

top answer by
Ryan from Overland Park

I lived in Monterey for two years. Amazing place! So here's a short list of my favorite places to grab a bite:

1) Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar - Cannery Row: If you only have one night for dinner, this is where you should go. The prices are reasonable and the food is decent, but the scenery makes this my top choice. Get a table on the deck overlooking the ocean and watch the sea otters frolick in the bay while you eat. After dinner you can walk Cannery Row or walk along the ocean path to Lovers Point Park (maybe not - it's a mile or so if I remember right! But then again, it's all about the atmosphere and the views!) $

2) Lallapalooza - Alvarado Street: This is a cool restaurant/martini bar in downtown Monterey. The steak and garlic mashed potatoes are amazing! There's a huge glass wine cage with a great selection and you can stroll around downtown Monterey, but in my opinion it doesn't beat the view of the bay! It might be a good place to end up for drinks after you eat. $$

3) Hog´s Breath Inn - downtown Carmel: it has a large patio area to enjoy. Walking around and visiting the shops downtown is a fun activity - it really is a quaint little town! There's a more laid back crowd there and it has a relaxing atmosphere. $$$

4) Mission Ranch Restaurant - Carmel: I've only been here a couple of times, but the view really is amazing. This is the place that Clint Eastwood bought to save it from becomming a housing development. The food is very good but it gets crowded. Quickly. Get there early and eat outside. $$$$

Hope it helps - just typing up this answer makes me miss Monterey! Enjoy!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar (restaurant)
  2. Cannery Row (attraction)
  3. Lovers Point Park (attraction)
  4. Lallapalooza (attraction)
  5. Hog´s Breath Inn (restaurant)
  6. Mission Ranch Restaurant (restaurant)
6 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Dave from New York City

For great food - take a quick drive to Pebble Beach and eat at Peppoli - it is a world-class quality meal.

Aubergine in Carmel By the Sea is really great and if you're a steak person (and I am) I would drive out to Will's Fargo Dining House & Salon in the Carmel Valley

For something in Monterey itself - I've always been a big fan of The Sardine Factory (very cool greenhouse) and Shake's Old Fisherman's Grotto on the Old Fisherman's Wharf. A bit touristy, but definitely fun.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pebble Beach (attraction)
  2. Peppoli (restaurant)
  3. Aubergine (restaurant)
  4. Carmel By the Sea (city)
  5. Will's Fargo Dining House & Salon (attraction)
  6. Carmel Valley (city)
  7. The Sardine Factory (restaurant)
  8. Shake's Old Fisherman's Grotto (restaurant)
  9. Old Fisherman's Wharf (attraction)
4 thanks

answered first by
Tiffany from Corvallis

My favorite restaurant in Monterey is Epsilon Fine Greek Restaurant. The ambiance, food, and service are all excellent and it's in a beautiful part of town close enough to the water to enjoy a nice long walk after dinner.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Monterey (city)
  2. Epsilon Fine Greek Restaurant (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Debbie from San Francisco

Try to get reservations at Passionfish!  They're a local and traveler's favorite. It's a local and sustainable seafood restaurant with an amazing wine list and they sell their wines at cost. I went there with three friends and we all ordered different entrees to share and everything was amazing. 

Be sure to make reservations ahead of time, especially for a Friday night, because they get very, very busy.

For something a little more laid back, check out Cannery Row Brewing Company.  If you like beer, you'll have to get the beer flight here.  Truffle fries are delicious, as are their burgers and pulled pork sandwich.

If you want a pre-dinner snack, go to Lilly Mae's for cinnamon rolls.  So warm, fluffy, gooey, and delicious....  *drools*

Just FYI: the last time my friends and I went to Monterey, post-visit to the Aquarium, we went to Lilly Mae's for cinnamon buns, then Cannery Row for beer flights and truffle fries, then high tailed it over to Passionfish for dinner.

(my stomach is a black hole)

Have fun at the wedding :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Passionfish (restaurant)
  2. Cannery Row Brewing Company (attraction)
  3. Lilly Mae's (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Carmel is one of my favorite places on the planet!!! Here are some ideas:

  • Flaherty's Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar - This isn't a terribly snazzy recommendation, but the fish & chips here are incredible and if I'm remembering correctly, I had a pretty decent martini here, too. 
  • Forge in the Forest - I can't tell you how many times I've thought about the ahi tuna salad here since I had it. Great, reasonable place for a lovely dinner. They have a lovely outdoor area and a great wine list as well. 
  • Katy's Place - they should just re-name this place "Best Breakfast You'll Ever Have in Your Life". The best eggs Benedict you'll ever have in your life. They're only open until about 2 in the afternoon (yes, I know you asked for dinner recs--I'm just throwing this in in case you need a place for breakfast). 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Flaherty's Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar (restaurant)
  2. Forge in the Forest (restaurant)
  3. Katy's Place (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Bob from Pine Grove

Food and ambiance to die for Will's Fargo Dining House & Salon in Carmel Valley Village (11 miles from Hwy 1 on Carmel Valley Rd.)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Will's Fargo Dining House & Salon (attraction)
2 thanks

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