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Jul 17, 2007 11:08 AM

Recs for Monterey Bay Aquarium dining options

I searched, but didn't find much in the way of recent recs, so I'm reposting this topic. My husband and I will be taking a charter bus to the aquarium this Saturday and thus will be on foot during lunch time. Any moderately priced decent places to eat within walking distance of the aquarium? The last time we were there, we ate at the cafe, which was packed and the food was pretty mediocre. My husband is not a big seafood eater, so someplace with a variety of other options is a plus.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. There's a Hawaiian restaurant we really liked - just can't remember the name. It is fish heavy, but I am pretty sure there's other stuff. Good prices, great service, good drinks, tasty food.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LPCagain

      Can you describe where it is in relation to the aquarium?

      1. re: chemchef

        I think it's Fishhopper - we ate there too - it was very good. About a 5 minute walk or so. Have your meal outside if you can, you can watch the seals on the rocks :-)
        BTW my husband eats no seafood either and he did just fine there - he had a burger LOL. I had coconut crusted shrimp, which was actually an appetizer but was 5 very large shrimp and had a cup of their very good chowder (New England Style, but they call it Montery style there, alas they don't serve crackers with it like I'm used to).

      2. re: LPCagain

        actually, I think the Hawaiian place is probably Hula's Island Grill. Has gotten mixed but mostly positive reviews on this board. I think it is a bit of a walk but you could always mapquest it. I haven't tried it.

        We had a nice lunch at the Trailside Cafe; good salads and a nice patio. It is a bit hidden sort of on a walkway off of the bike path, but short walking distance from the aquarium. You'd have to mapquest or google to get exact directions.

        Trailside Cafe
        550 Wave St,
        Monterey, CA
        Tel: (831) 649-8600

        Hula's Island Grill
        622 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940

        Trailside Cafe
        550 Wave St, Monterey, CA 93940

      3. The original comment has been removed
        1. One street up on Wave there is a place called Crepe's a Go-Go! You can it it there or take it with you and walk around or find a cozy spot to sit by the bay.

          On Cannery row there is Blue Moon I've had their Crab Salad and mushroom ravioli both very good.

          Chart House is open for lunch during the summer and they have GREAT ocean views and give a nice relaxing atmosphere

          Another option would be to jump in cab and head into Pacific Grove aprox 2 miles from aq. There is a lot of options there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sweetnspicy

            i also thought eating right at the aquarium was very good and ot too over priced but i felt really bad eating seafood after seeing everything in the aquarium!!! :)

            1. re: toncasmo

              Afraid you might be eating the fish that just couldn't make the cut...?

          2. Amarin Thai on Cannery Row is very close to the Aquarium and has good Thai food. Willy's Smokehouse on Prescott near Wave is good for non seafood eaters. It's owned and managed by the same Group as Tarpy's, Rio Grill, and Montrio. Persian Grill, 675 Lighthouse near Prescott has decent Persian food. I've also heard good things about Amir's Kabob House 794 Lighthouse, but I haven't tried it yet, and I don't know whether or not they're open for lunch.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jaweino

              Amir's is pretty good; had a nice dinner there last week. Open for lunch 11:30-2, Tues-Sat.

              Good to hear that Amarin is going strong. I used to eat there a lot when I lived in New Monterey and worked on the Row.


            2. I have heard good things about an American bbq/steakhouse about a block from the aquarium. It seems somewhat upscale and should be easy to find if you walk down Cannery Row away from the aquarium (it will be on the right side as you walk with the ocean on your left). But I can't recall the name and have not been there. I mainly suggest it because of some reviews I read once and the fact that your husband does not like fish.

              I also have to add a plug for the aquarium cafe. The self-serve cafe is quite good for that type of thing, though they don't go the extra mile that some other venues do (the desserts and cookies are large rather than really good, their burgers don't stand out, etc). But it is one of the better options despite that (especially given the many tourist restaurants in the area with mostly mediocre food). Just make sure you go to eat lunch by 11:30 if you go to the cafe or you will face horrendous lines. I have never tried their sit-down restaurant but I can't imagine it to be miles better than their self-serve cafe.