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Apr 9, 2007 09:36 AM

First time in Monterey--restaurant suggestions, please...

I'll be traveling to Monterey this weekend. Please provide your suggestions for dining.
We're interested in a variety of places-- breakfast, casual, and one killer experience where price doesn't matter much. We are both seafood lovers but only one red meat eater.

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  1. We found that the fish stands on the Fisherman's Wharf to be surprisingly good. Look for the ones where you can sit at a counter where they prepare the food in front of you. Order the fresh stuff. It's a very touristy scene, but those little counters (there are about a dozen of them) are a fun experience.

    I can definitely say you should avoid a place called Massaro & Santo. Some people will recommend it, but it's a tourist trap. Frozen fish, banquet hall service, steep prices. There were several threads on here about good Monterey places though.

    Passionfish and Melange seem to be the two people like best.

    1. Passionfish gets outstanding reviews here, I'll be there my next trip. There was a place at Lover's sounded fabulous, but fell far, far short of good. We had a better meal at Bubba Gump's (chain). There was a quaint little place on Cannery Row that didn't feel touristy as much as it felt enchanting. It wasn't far from the little mall, on the sea-side. We had lunch there because the menu appealed to us. I don't know that I ever paid attention to the name of the place, but our lunch was very nice-good food, well staffed. Enjoy and don't forget to report back!

      2 Replies
      1. re: NoCAFoodie

        We just returned from a visit in Felton- and stopped in Moss Landing to visit Sea Harvest- they have a sister place in Monterey and Carmel as well. I highly reccomend this place- have never had a bum meal. If you have the time- the Moss Landing place has a great spot on the water, and the otters are fun to watch.

        1. re: NoCAFoodie

          I would definitely tell the OP to try Passionfish. Not super fancy, but I like their interesting seafood preps and outstanding wine selection and wine prices.

          Also I would suggest searching for recent posts about Monterey to get a wider perspective.


        2. Check out Pepper's in Pacific Grove. I haven't been in 3 years, but have reservations for Saturday night. From what I remember the food was excellent. Mexican-California "fusions". They had great drinks too. It's a small little place, so without reservations, expect a bit of a wait. Very casual and laid back. The menu was hand-written and as the night went on the waiters would black out items off the menu. Overall we had a great time, excellent service considering we were a party of 10.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kmoore

            A quick - and lovely - drive to carmel will take you to Casanova, one of the best meals we had while in the region. It has been a few years, but the setting and ambiance are beautiful and the food was outstanding. Here is the website:


            I would highly recommend it as one of your "splurges" for the weekend! Be sure to report back if you go!

            Happy travels!

          2. Thank you all. We've made a reservation for Passionfish and will wing it for the rest of the weekend. thank you for your ideas and suggestions.
            I'll report back next week.