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restaurant in monterey??

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we will be at the monterey aquarium on friday - would love any rec's for lunch! would love some great seafood, but nothing too fancy, as we will have our 19 month old with us. thanks in advance.

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  1. This is at the aquarium.


    7 Replies
    1. re: Gail

      I second the recommendation for Portola Restaurant. Great sustainable seafood, reasonably kid-friendly, and you can't beat the location or the view. During the lunch rush there can be a wait for a table, so put your name on the list before you're ravenous.

      Outside the aquarium, you're going to have to get away from the tourist traps on Cannery Row to find decent seafood (Bubba Gump, I'm looking at you...). Sea Harvest on Foam Street is probably your best bet within walking distance. It's a retail fish market that has a few tables, so if anybody in town is going to have fresh local fish, this is it.

      1. re: alanbarnes


        Sea Harvest Fish Market
        598 Foam St, Monterey, CA 93940

        Portola Restaurant
        886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940

        1. re: alanbarnes

          Sea Harvest is by far the best bet. I am an old local and the place has been there since the 80's...good stuff in an area infested with tourist traps. Also consider venturing to Peppers Mexicali Cafe in P.G. or Passionfish for a great local spot.

          1. re: jbyoga

            Passionfish is dinner only...at least at this time.

            1. re: jbyoga

              When I was a kid (early 70s), I was allowed to go anyplace in town by myself - except Cannery Row. I still feel that way, but for very different reasons.

              Is it just my imagination, or has the fried food at Sea Harvest gone downhill recently? Admittedly it's better (both flavor-wise and health-wise) to get a broiled piece of the catch of the day, but the fish 'n' chips sometimes calls my name. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) it's been disappointing the last few times.

              Passionfish is another great call. Gotta eat dinner somewhere, right?

              1. re: alanbarnes

                I'm happy to report, a couple of years later, that Sea Harvest's fried food is definitely up to snuff. I got the combination & chips - fish, prawns, calamari. The fish was good, the prawns were even better. I wasn't as crazy about the calamari, mostly because there were big pieces of squid body (for lack of a better word) and no tentacles. I missed the tentacles! Also they seemed to be coated with a different batter from the other items, not as crispy.

                Can definitely vouch for the kid-friendliness of Sea Harvest too. Crayons, kid menu, high chairs.

          2. re: Gail

            Has anyone been to Portola since Napa Valley restaurant legend, Cindy Pawlcyn, took over the food service in November 2011?

            Here's today's piece in the Monterey County Weekly:

            Portola Restaurant
            886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940

          3. Thanks for this thread! We were in Monterey this weekend in a similar situation (but with a 3-year-old). Sea Harvest was good-- pretty standard fried food but definitely fresher and higher quality than we'd have found wandering around on our own, I had to use much more restraint than usual to keep from devouring all my fries. And we LOVED Passionfish, where we had huge, delicious plates of confit duck and pork shank (thank goodness I managed that modicum of restraint at lunch). We were excited to be able to go somewhere that good with a toddler in tow (luckily she was having a happy, well-behaved night).