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Oct 11, 2006 05:51 PM

Looking for good food in Monterey

My family is going to Monterey this weekend and we could use some recommendations. We love fish and chips, fried calamari, and fresh crab and oysters. Can you recommend a good spot or two. We'll be staying in Monterey. We usually hit the turtle taco place but we could use other recommendations too. Thanks

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  1. I've never had it, but I've seen people eating fish and chips at Sea Harvest (market and restaurant) on Foam in New Monterey and it looks very good. I buy most of my fish there, and it's always delicious. There are other locations in the Crossroads Shopping Center and in Moss Landing, but I've never been to those.

    I like the oyster preps (and even more, the mussels) at Passionfish in Pacific Grove, and on my last visit, had a delicious Dungeness crab and avocado salad. I think the crab is coming from Alaska at this time of year, since the local season doesn't start until mid-November. I'd also recommend Passionfish for the best fried calamari I've ever had anywhere, but it wasn't on the menu last week; I think the season may be over for the year, but I'm not positive.

    1. Haven't been to Sea Harvest on Foam, but I can recommend the sand dabs and chips at the Carmel location heartily. Here's my post with a photo.

      There should still be Monterey bay calamari around. It's in the fish markets.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        One of my very few complaints about Passionfish is that they don't seem to have the calamari on the menu as often as I think they should (which would basically be everytime I go :-)).

        Can you repost the link with the photo of the sandabs and chips? I've decided to make this my next post Lobos lunch....

        1. re: susancinsf

          Sorry, don't know what happened there. Here's sand dabs ala Sea Harvest Carmel -

      2. Sandbar and grill on the commercial wharf (wharf #2) has probably the beast seafood on the peninsula at prices that are more than reasonable----and at boat level!!! That is to say that the restaurant is actually below the wharf and, at times, increadibly close to the water

        A really great value.

        6 Replies
        1. re: bike4speed

          I am confused as to which wharf is #2. Is it the one with all the restaurants or the one with Santos and the deli downstairs?
          Thanks, we'll be there in two weeks.

          1. re: Gail

            Neither. Wharf #2 is just east of Fisherman's Wharf. It has Lulu's and the Sandbar and Grill. It's been years since I have eaten at the Sandbar, but it used to be pretty good and a much better value (and unique view) than the Fisherman's Wharf places.


            1. re: Ed Dibble

              But, just to add to the confusion, Wharf Number Two is sometimes referred to as "Old Fisherman's Wharf" (including, I think, in some of the sinage). Best way to find it is to look for the large round building with a Japanese restaurant on the top floor and London Bridge Fish and Chips on the bottom floor: the Wharf is just to the right of that building as you face the bay (saying 'east' and 'west' can sometimes also be confusing to visitors because of the orientation of the bay, people assume that if you are looking at water you are facing west, and that isn't true here).

              I've never tried Sandbar, but do like Lulu's. One bonus to trying Sanbar: finding parking at the meters right on the wharf tends in my experience to be easier than in the adjacent lot.

              1. re: susancinsf

                Thanks Susan and Ed. I've got it now!

                1. re: Gail

                  Well we went to the Sandbar twice and it was just what we were looking for. The food was very good and the location was fun and convenient. Passionfish looks very good too but with two young kids and that fact we were staying in Monterey near the commercial wharf, the Sandbar was perfect.
                  My daughter wanted to go back a third time so that is quite a recomendation in inself.
                  For lunch, we had a cup of chowder, fresh oysters, and shared a fresh crab sandwich with bacon. All were very good. For dinner, we had more oysters, chowder, and had sand dabs and shrimp scampi off the appetizer menu. They have a kids menu and our kids were very happy. The location is perfect. You can see seals and otters from the restaurant and plenty of boat activity. It is easy to get to and parking is not difficult or expensive. It isn't fancy but just what we wanted and we will go there next time we are in Monterey.

                  Due to a biking accident, we ended up eating dinner on Friday night in our hotel room. I picked up some excellent Thai food right across from Casa Munras, near Denny's where we were staying in Monterey. I was just going to grab something light but when I saw that the clientele looked like they were regulars, I ordered more. We had pad thai, red curry chicken, Imperial rolls and sticky rice. All were very good and a nice surprise to find something so tasty and close. They also had a pumpkin curry on the menu but I didn't try it.
                  Thanks for the tip.

                  1. re: Cheesy Oysters

                    Glad you enjoyed. I will have to try Sandbar again on my next visit.

                    The Thai place is Krua Thai, and I agree it is pretty good. They say it is connected with Barn (Baan) Thai which has a lot of fans on this board. Certainly much better than Great Wall Chinese in the same general area.