Monterey has some of the best food on the Pacific coast, with a focus on farm-to-table, sustainability and fresh fare. During our 4 day trip last month we explored the culinary scene by indulging in distinct dining experiences, ranging from line caught king salmon to gnocchi aux epinards…all perfectly wine paired, of course.
I’m recapping this trip a bit different than others, sharing a series of my ‘best of’ including restaurants, accommodations and activities in Monterey County. Enjoy!
Top 5 Restaurants In Monterey
Located at Sanctuary Beach Resort among the Marina dunes, you’ll find a coastal culinary oasis boasting traditional wood-fire dishes, ambrosial cocktails and sensational desserts. Salt Wood is an absolute must on your stop through Monterey County for not only the food, but also the most grammable aesthetic both inside and out…the patio being my preference just before sunset.
Nestled in Fisherman’s Wharf, Scales offers a delicious menu of seafood, steak, salad, pasta and dessert…along with an exquisite selection from their wine cellar. They’re also a proud partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program only serving sustainable seafood. While in Monterey, I highly recommend enjoying a meal at Scales, and treat yourself to a beautiful harbor view.
You’ll find Chart House on the acclaimed Cannery Row serving up the best happy hour. Stop by between 4:30-6:30pm Sunday through Friday for the Mediterranean Hummus Tasting or Ahi Nachos paired with a Pomegranate Mojito or BV Coastal Merlot.
You can also skip straight to their original Hot Lava Chocolate Cake…on my list for next time!
Also on Cannery Row, within walking distance to The Monterey Bay Aquarium, Fish Hopper serves daily fresh local seafood and Certified Angus Beef with locally grown produce. They are also a partner with the Seafood Watch Program practicing sustainable, environmentally responsible seafood. Fish Hopper offers a lunch, dinner, kids and gluten-free menu, in addition to, exotic libations like the Bucket of Fire. A one-of-a-kind restaurant not to be missed in Monterey!
One of the most unique and beautifully executed dining experiences while in Monterey, Bistro Moulin is not only a recommendation, but a requirement when on the Central California Coast. A Parisian-inspired menu thoughtfully curated by chef and owner, Didier Dutertre, you’ll find signature dishes like spinach gnocchi and authentic cannelloni filled with beef tenderloin, ricotta and truffle, pink Vodka sauce. What I love even more about this incredibly special restaurant is the story, which was 30+ years in the making. Dutertre began his culinary career at the age of 15 in France, which led him to Switzerland, the French Alps, Cotes d’Azur, Carmel and now to our good fortune, Monterey. Bistro Moulin is the result of incredible persistence paired with unreserved passion. I urge you to experience it for yourself.
I hope you enjoyed this roundup of the Top 5 Best Restaurants in Monterey! Make sure to pin the image below – it’s a great reference for your next trip to the California Coast and it helps support these magnificent eateries! I appreciate you!
Disclosure: Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau and their partners graciously hosted us. The opinions expressed here represent my own, which I take great pride in providing pure honesty…because I’m OBSESSED with sharing the Good!