The Best Restaurants In Monterey's Old Town, California

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park | © joseph s giacalone / Alamy Stock Photo
Shay Lee

Old Town Monterey is bursting with history and culture. There are plenty of buildings that have withstood the sands of time, giving the city an quaint atmosphere. Here are the 10 best restaurants in Monterey’s old town.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Old Fisherman’s Grotto

Restaurant, Seafood, Steakhouse, Soup, $$
Old Fisherman’s Grotto is the place to go for innovative and internationally inspired cuisine. In 2010, the Monterey Wine Festival awarded the restaurant the prize for the best clam chowder. Three years later, the company received another award for the same tasty dish from Monterey County 2013 Reader’s Choice. Old Fisherman’s Grotto is located near Monterey Bay, which means guests can enjoy being close to the sea as they eat delicious meals. The restaurant’s doors are open daily and they happily welcome new customers.

Montrio Bistro

Since 1995, Montrio Bistro has been delighting Monterey’s locals and tourists. Executive chef Tony Baker combines Italian, French and Californian cuisine. The restaurant has been voted Best Restaurant by local diners, and the title is rightfully deserved. Guests can savor seafood and meat in meals that use fresh ingredients. Not only can they dine on freshly cooked meals, customers can also enjoy views to the beach from the restaurant. Montrio Bistro partners with the Monterey’s Aquarium to preserve natural resources.

Old Monterey Cafe

Cafe, American, Vegetarian, Coffee
Old Monterey Café opened in 1985 and has become a part of Monterey’s cultural history. The cafe is family-owned and operated. Here guests can choose to have burgers or sandwiches and each meal is freshly cooked to order. The staff at Old Monterey is there to ensure customer satisfaction. If customers have any special requests, the staff is always prepared to give a listening ear. The cafe knows its visitors are the reason it keeps growing, and they show their gratitude by providing excellent meals and service.

Tarpy’s Roadhouse

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $
Tarpy’s Roadhouse invites everyone to check out their diverse meals and treats. Customers can try bourbon molasses pork chops, lamb tenderloin, sustainable seafood dishes and prime steaks. Tarpy’s is more than a place to eat. Upon entering, guests will step into the past. The restaurant has a 1917 appeal that can’t be found anywhere else in town. The dining room is stylish, decorated in rustic style, and it has an intimate vibe. On sunny afternoons, visitors can sip drinks and eat on the outdoor patio.

Chart House

Restaurant, Seafood, $$
Chart House believes fantastic food should be served in an amazing atmosphere. Guests will appreciate the interiors when they step into this restaurant. Chart House is located near Monterey Bay, which means customers can enjoy the view from there. The restaurant serves many culinary delights including seafood dishes, prime rib, salads, and great desserts. Most visitors rave about the seafood served in the restaurant, which is freshly caught by local fishermen.

Bistro Moulin

Bistro, Restaurant, European, French, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$
Owner and chef Didier Dutertre’s Bistro Moulin serve authentic French and European meals. The rich aromas of coq au vin, moules and frites, confit de canard, and escargot fill the room every day. Guests will feel like they are in Paris as they sample the marvelous meals. Because of the quality of its food and customer service, the restaurant has previously been named The Best Restaurant in Monterey County. There is no denying how welcoming the ambiance is in Bistro Moulin – the intimate setting keeps visitors coming back for more.

Sardine Factory

Restaurant, American, Seafood, Vegetarian, $$
Sardine Factory is a place where customers can feel as though they were celebrities. The restaurant’s philosophy is that ‘Every customer has to be treated like the most important person on earth’. The award-winning chefs create masterpieces using fresh, sustainable seafood and USDA Prime Dry Aged Beef. They offer an impressive selection of food. Here, guests will dine in a manner that is similar to celebrity-style dining in a venue that only serves quality products.

Lalla Grill

When customers visit Lalla Grill they will have a fresh and modern dining experience. The menu is filled with local and organic ingredients combined in creative ways. Customers’ favorites are Mexican platters, street tacos, eggplant parmesan, and bacon-wrapped meatloaf. Lalla Grill offers more than terrific food – their interior design is outstanding. The gallery dining makes use of low lighting to create a romantic and intimate setting. If guests would rather dine outside, the garden features a fireplace which is perfect for cold nights. As the night progresses, customers can sample a variety of wines, tequila, and cocktails.

Rosine’s Restaurant

Restaurant, Italian, American, Soup, $
Rosine’s Restaurant opened its doors in 1980. Founders Jim and Rosine Culcasi created a place where people can taste delicious homemade soups, hearty meals, fresh pies, and award-winning cakes. Due to the amazing food, Rosine’s has been featured on The Food Network’s popular shows, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and 100 Mile Meals. This venue’s fame doesn’t stop with national television. For 16 years, Rosine’s has been voted ‘Best Family Restaurant’ and its desserts have won ‘Best Desserts’ awards. The praise definitely proves that this is one of Monterey’s best restaurants. The Culcasis invite everyone to stop by and try their award-winning meals.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article