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1st Big Sur Trip: on/off beaten path restaurants

My wife and I are doing our first trip up to Big Sur in 2 weeks for some R&R. I've searched and found a few good recommendations. We're looking for a mix of off the beaten path places to sample casual atmosphere and great food as well as a couple of places to have an exquisite dinner experience. All recommendations are welcome. Thanks

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  1. Be sure to check out the Big Sur Bakery and Spirit Garden gallery....also Nepenthe for the view and the very good and $$$ sandwiches....actually worth it tho.

    Having lived in Big Sur - I'd recommend you see the restuarant at Post Ranch and if you can eat there $$$$$$ and again, worth it.

    Also, a very well kept secret is that you can eat at the Esalen institute if you book 'personal retreat'

    this is about $150 per person but is room and board....the meals there can be epic and then theres the hot springs perched above the ocean....you can also book a massage and maybe they'll let you eat too...give a call....

    But, re-reading your post.... the exquisite dining is IMHO at Post Ranch and Nepenthe makes a great lunch spot...

    Have fun!

    1. I've only been to Big Sur a couple of times, but I think Nepenthe is a great place to go to sit back and relax. The food is pretty decent, but what's special about the restaurant is their great views - they sit on a cliff, and you get expansive views of the ocean as far as the eye can see. You can sit outside on their patio area and relax in the beautiful sunshine and gaze out on the ocean. On some days when the clouds are particularly low, you won't be able to see the ocean, but you'll be able to see a blanket of clouds as far as the eye can see. It's truly a spectacular view.

      1. I concur with the Nepenthe and Big Sur Bakery suggestions. Nepenthe has gorgeous views and good food, and Big Sur Bakery has outstanding food.

        1. If you don't have a place to stay yet, check out this place: www.treebonesresort.com.
          Stay in #13 and buy their BBQ. Brkfst is included in the rate. It's awesome. Don't forget, Cambria, the restaurants there are great. Eat at www.robinsrestaurant.com Sit out on the patio! Also go to the Courtyard deli www.courtyarddeli.com and get ya some sammys. Go down to the shoreline, have a picnic and marvel at the sea otters. Have a great time! :)KQ

          1. what direction are you coming from? The Bay Area or Los Angeles?