Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Jul 4, 2007 07:37 AM

From San Francisco to LA--outside of SF Bay Area portion [Moved from SF Bay Area board]

[Note: this thread was moved by the Moderators from the SF Bay Area Board because most of the recommendations related to places outside of the SF Bay Area. Please keep your replies in this thread limited to recommendations outside of the SF Bay Area]

I've been going through the boards for a while now and its quite a chore to figure out what to eat, and what cannot be missed in SF
We are a foodie couple travelling from Montreal,
in SF for 4 days, Napa, then we we will be travelling down the coast ( 3 days ) stopping in Big Sur, Santa Barbera, Carmel, Monterey, etc.. finally spend 2 days in L.A. before heading back home.

I know there is alot of info out there, but if someone has done a similar trip and has suggestions of what are the must-eat cheap to expensive. We're happy as long as the food is good!

Also, it may be frowned upon, but any suggestions for places we must stop on our little road trip or what wineries we must visit..

Any tidbits of info would be soooo appreciated.
Thank you!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you can get in, The Boulevard in SF is a favorite of ours. You can request a reservation through If you stop in Pismo Beach, Mo's Barbecue is a favorite of our teenagers along with the Splash Cafe. Pismo is a cute, laid back little beach town. It's where we go to escape the heat. It's south of Big Sur and Morro Bay. Have fun! That's a beautiful drive you'll be making! Sometimes we forget how wonderful our coastline is!

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrsmegawatt

      A second on Splash Cafe. Love their chowder in that buttered bread bowl.

    2. Are you taking Hwy 1 all the way down?

      Gayle's Bakery in Capitola is a great lunch spot. Capitola is the town just south of Santa Cruz

      1. Passionfish near Monterey gets mixed reviews for its food. Check the board. I've never eaten there, but I suspect I'll like it. But if you like wine, Passionfish should be on your list of places to stop. Top notch wine at not much above retail. There's a link at the bottom of this page to download their wine menu.
        If you're looking for suggestions in Napa, I'd recommend Julia's Kitchen in COPIA. This area is covered on the San Francisco board.
        Talley in Arroyo Grande near San Luis Obispo is one of my favorite wineries. Check out their 2005 pinot noir. It's drinking well now.
        The board is stuffed with suggestions on wineries to visit in Paso Robles. Depends on what kind of wine you like.
        Is Cafe Cherrier still good in Montreal? I loved Schwartz's Deli, too.

        3 Replies
        1. re: SteveTimko

          You guys are all great -
          everything is being noted !!!

          yes we are driving down HWY 1

          yes cafe cherrier and schwarts are still going strong.
          Alot of great new bars and restaurants have been opening,
          our board is really brutally honest. I rarely disagree with reviews!

          1. re: jennina

            We just took that trip a few months ago. You are going to have a great time.

          2. re: SteveTimko

            Steve, I think if you check past reviews it seems most that were disappointed were due to a single dish that didn't meet expectations. Ten of us had dinner there Thurs. evening and all left very pleased and full. Myself and two others had the scallops with a custard risotto and red pepper sauce that were outstanding. BIL raved about the Pork Shank special, unfortunately I was seated at the far end of the table and didn't get a taste. Pal next to me had the Duck Confit and loved it. Lady PB went with the Smoked Sturgeon (first experience) and was most pleased. For apps had a couple orders each of the fried olives and fried asparagus, several salads, all perfectly executed, white bean and ham soup, couple orders of crab cakes (missed out tasting those as well which means they were too good to share), and a couple orders of the pork belly (got a few weird looks from the less adventurous in our group) that drew raves and some new appreciation from the uninitiated. We brought a bottle of Duckhorn SB and ordered a Merry Edwards '05 Pinot Noir (40) and a Sea Smoke Southing (55), total w/T&T came to about 100/couple, hard to beat even outside such a beautiful area. I should add, we had one dish that failed, the White Cheddar Mac 'n Cheese (baked) was dry and lacking in cheddar flavor, discovered later that my BIL had revived it with an extra side order of the garlic aioli that came with the asparagus.

          3. This was a list I had for someone looking for some good cheaper eats in the Monterey/Carmel/PG area

            Good eats:
            LouLous (on wharf #2)
            First Awakenings (Tin Cannery)
            Tillie Gorts (Pacific Grove)
            Breakfast Club (Seaside)
            Patissiere Bechler (Pacific Grove)


            Turtle Bay Taqueria (on Tyler one street below Alvarado)
            Wild Plum Cafe (on Munras near Alvarado, two thumbs up)
            Crepe's A Go Go (Wave st. one street above Cannery Row)
            Red House Cafe (Pacific Grove)
            Elli's American Diner (Del Monte Mall)
            Rio Grill (Carmel)
            Corkscrew Cafe (Carmel Valley)
            Fifi's Cafe (Pacific Grove)
            Cafe Rustica (Carmel Valley)
            Corkscrew Cafe (Carmel Valley)

            (most of the above are also open for dinner)
            Lallapalooza (Alvarado)
            Blue Moon (Cannery Row)
            Peppers mexican cuisine (Pacific Grove)
            Gianni's Pizza (Lighthouse Mtry, another two thumbs up)
            Passionfish (pacific grove)
            Joe Rambi's (pacific grove)

            I know it's a lot but these are my best picks for dining on a budget. If you are going to splurge go to Passionfish in Pacific Grove. They are very reasonably priced for cuisine and wine! Let me know if you would like any more detail on any of theses suggestions!

            1. Wineries in Carmel Valley to try:

              Heller (their Reserve tasting is well worth it)
              There are a couple of tasting rooms in Carmel-by-the-Sea go to Cima Collina there they are a newer Mtry County winery but have some really tasty wine!