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The 10 Best Restaurants In Monterey, California
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The 10 Best Restaurants In Monterey, California

Picture of Brendan Scully
Updated: 9 February 2017
With seaside views and quaint local shops lining almost every street, the coastal town of Monterey Bay, California is a must-see vacation destination for any adventurous traveler. With so many items to cross off the to-do list, it will be important to stay energized. We have compiled a list of 10 local restaurants to check out in the town.
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Monterey Fish House

Monterey Fish House is a quintessential restaurant that provides its guests with the true tastes of a coastal community, but what sets the Fish House apart is their use of the “Oak Grilled” cooking technique. Modern interpretations of classic dishes like Oysters, Snappers and Swordfish, which can all come Oak Grilled, keep people coming back time and again. One thing is for sure; if you want an evening full of mouth-watering seafood, then the Fish House is the place for you.

2114 Del Monte Ave, Monterey, CA 93940, United States

A Taste of Monterey
A Taste of Monterey l | © Ed Bierman/Flickr
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A Taste of Monterey

If a photo were worth a thousand words, than the views at this local hotspot would certainly fill several books. A Taste of Monterey not only offers the best views the North Shore has to offer, but has one of the most exquisite wine and beer lists you will find in the Bay. While this establishment originally opened as a tasting room in 1993, owners Ken and Robyn Rahu have established a full and robust menu of delicious fare over the years. Staying true to their vision, every food item you will find can be paired beautifully with their beverage selection.

700 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
+1 831-646-5446

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El Cantaro Vegan Mexican Restaurant

For those who prefer their tacos meat-free, El Cantaro’s Mexican Restaurant offers an alternative menu for vegans. But don’t let the lack of meat scare you away – even the most religious carnivores can find happiness here. El Cantaro is able to take everything we love about delicious Mexican classics – flavor, spice and south of the border ingredients – to make some delicious and unique concoctions sans animal products. Crowd favorites include their Vegan Chicken Taquitos and Potato Tacos.

791 Foam St, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
+1 831-646-5465

Dinner at Hula's Island Grill
Dinner at Hula’s Island Grill l | © Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr
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Hula’s Island Grill

If you desire a great spot for all the family then Hula’s Island Grill is the place for you. This family friendly restaurant, which is located just minutes from Cannery Row, has a wide-range of tropical-inspired fare that is sure to satisfy all appetites. If the Hawaiian-decor, relaxed atmosphere and Bob Marley tunes playing in the background aren’t persuasive enough, you certainly won’t be able to say no to their list of Hawaiian Jerk dishes. Filled with intense flavors from other cultures, this Tiki-Bar style restaurant is a must-visit while vacationing in Monterey.

622 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
+1 831-655-4852

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Fifi’s Café Bistro

Nip across the Atlantic without even leaving the city at this quaint French Bistro located just west of Monterey Bay. For over 25 years, Fifi’s has been cooking up authentic French cuisine and the results have been sublime. If you are looking to get away from that seafood fare for a minute or two, try their world-renowned Gnocchi aux Epinards. Their daily specials are also bound to impress, including their Prime Pork Tenderloin, which is pan-seared and served with a Dijon Cream Sauce.

1188 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, United States
+1 831-372-5325

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LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle is as entertaining as it is delicious. This American-style locale, located on the Wharf, boasts a hearty number of comfort food entrées. You can’t go wrong with the Monster Burger. And if you are feeling adventurous, go for their daily special, which is “usually something that is treadmill worthy!”

Municipal Wharf 2, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
+1 831-372-0568

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Chart House

The art of culinary creation is certainly not lost on the chefs at Monterey’s Chart House. Located just by the seaside, this picturesque table service restaurant will certainly blow you away. Begin with their larger-than-life portion of Calamari, transition to their succulent Prime Rib and finish the evening off right with their rich Lava Cake.

444 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
+1 831-372-3362

Wall art at La Bahia
Wall art at La Bahia l | © Nicolás Boullosa/Flickr
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La Bahia Mexican American Cuisine

If you are on a budget and love quality food, then don’t miss out on this restaurant. From the warm atmosphere and wonderful wait staff to the homemade chips and salsa, La Bahia’s cares about providing you with an all-around enjoyable experience. The sauces are rich in flavor, their tortillas are hot off the press and their meats are tender and succulent.

675 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
+1 831-884-5269

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Bistro Moulin

Looking for a little escape? Bistro Moulin, which is located several blocks inland of the peninsula, is the perfect evening for two. This French-inspired bistro has an menu bursting with flavor; from our personal favorite Steak Bordelaise, to other delicious entrées such as the Coq Au Vin or Osso Buco Milanese, you simply can’t go wrong.

867 Wave St, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
+1 831-333-1200

The Fish Hopper
The Fish Hopper l | © Brian/Flickr
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The Fish Hopper

Hop on down to one of Monterey’s staples, The Fish Hopper. Located on the pier of Cannery Row, The Fish Hopper is sure to impress. This establishment offers fresh seafood, steak, pasta and much, much more, and is partnered with the Seafood Watch Program, ensuring its dedication to only serving sustainable and environmentally responsible seafood. Come for the food, stay for the views – nowhere in Monterey offers such spectacular panoramas of the beachside and beyond.

700 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, United States
+1 831-372-8543