HOME > Chowhound > California >

Discussion

Going to Carmel in June - what are the best restuarants?

Any tips are really helpful! Thank you!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. suzi, several of us here could help you if we had more info. For instance, what type of restaurant, lunch or dinner, cuisine? All this makes a diffenence in what we would suggest.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gail

      We're open to anything--for lunch and dinner...

      Thanks!

      1. re: suzirose82

        suzi, see how ramdom things get when you don't narrow it down.

    2. My wife and I have gone every year for about 10 years. On the high end, in Carmel Valley and a bit of a drive, is Marinus at the Bernardus Lodge would be the high-end "best" IMHO. Aubergine a the the L'Auberge Carmel hotel is excellent. For lunch we like Casanova. Grassings is very good, too.

      Passionfish in Pacific Grove gets a lot of praise but I haven't been there. The Inn at Spanish Bay has Roy's and Peppoli (Italian) and its a great place for an early evening drink when the bag piper is on the course playing.

      Its been a while for me but Pacific's Edge at the Park Hyatt in Carmel Highlands has an incredible view. Its higher end dining and I haven't been in about 5 years so others here may have better information.

      -----
      Passionfish
      701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

      Peppoli
      17 Mile Dr, Pebble Beach, CA

      Marinus
      415 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

      Pacific's Edge Restaurant
      120 Highlands Drive, Carmel, CA 93923

      1 Reply
      1. re: HoosierFoodie

        Any recent experiences at Aubergine? A lot of reviews are old and for when Manzke was the head chef.

        Any recommended dishes? Is the chef's tasting "worth it"?

        Any other restaurants in the area on the level of Marinus and Aubergine?

        Will be there in 2 weeks. Thanks in advance.

        -----
        Marinus
        415 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

      2. We were at Aubergine last fall and loved it. We ate at Marinus a year ago and also felt it was top-notch cuisine, but a bit of a drive. I put another vote in for Passion Fish. I also like Canitnetta Luca and Dametra, for a bit more downscale.

        -----
        Marinus
        415 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

        Dametra Cafe
        Ocean Ave, Carmel, CA 93923

        1 Reply
        1. re: RevrendAndy

          Pacific's Edge is amazing, very good food and gorgeous views. We also really enjoyed our meal at Anton & Michel in the Courtyard of the Fountains in downtown Carmel. Lovely ambiance and delicious food there. For lunch we like Grasing's or Casanova, there is a nice patio area at Casanova. Bouchee is also another one to consider. :)

          -----
          Grasing's
          Mission and Sixth, Carmel, CA 93921

          Pacific's Edge Restaurant
          120 Highlands Drive, Carmel, CA 93923

        2. Marinus and Passionfish are great places and if you were coming now I would endorse either of them, but, Pacific's Edge is jaw dropper of a view restaurant! Summer sunsets are spectacular and the food is as good as the others. A great bar and wonderful service. Pricey but then again this is Carmel.

          -----
          Passionfish
          701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

          Marinus
          415 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

          Pacific's Edge Restaurant
          120 Highlands Drive, Carmel, CA 93923

          1. I live in Carmel. The best "fine dining" [i.e., very expensive] is: Aubergine in downtown Carmel, Marinus in Carmel Valley, Peppoli at Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, Pacific's Edge at Highland's Inn and Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn down in Big Sur.

            However, you don't have to pay San Francisco prices to see the views: California Market at the Highland's Inn is wonderful for lunch on a nice day, it has outside seating and an incredible view of the coastline.

            A fun thing I do with visitors is drive down Highway 1 to Nepenthe [about an hour south of Carmel, if you don't stop to see the amazing views] for lunch. It's excellent casual fare with breathtaking mystical views of the coastline and always packed. Go for lunch, you don't want to navigate Hwy 1 at night in the dark.

            More reasonably priced in town with excellent food: I love going to Mundaka in downtown Carmel, it's very interesting tapas with a hip minimalist atmosphere--the young owners moved to a surfing town in Spain to research the menu. Bouchee is one of the best restaurants in downtown Carmel, open some days for lunch. Basil is small but excellent, open for lunch and dinner, has outside seating in a small courtyard. Make reservations for these.

            If the weather is foggy on the coast, head inland to Carmel Valley Village: Cafe Rustica is always good, the newly refurbished dining room at Carmel Valley Ranch is lovely, and my favorite: Corkscrew Cafe, owned by the Georis' who also own Casanova and Le Bicyclette in downtown Carmel, has a relaxed funky outdoors and adjacent to the Georis Wine tasting room.

            And I can't believe nobody has mentioned Carmel Mission Inn--best burger in Carmel--owned by Clint Eastwood, who is frequently there at the bar--I was with some visitors recently, and one went up to him and asked to take a video--he said "make it snappy".

            -----
            Peppoli
            17 Mile Dr, Pebble Beach, CA

            California Market Restaurant
            120 Highland Dr, Carmel, CA

            Marinus
            415 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

            Sierra Mar Restaurant
            Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

            Cafe Rustica
            10 Del Fino Pl, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

            Pacific's Edge Restaurant
            120 Highlands Drive, Carmel, CA 93923

            6 Replies
            1. re: edcallmened

              ed, as a frequent visitor, I'm happy to say I agree and have only missed a couple of your suggestions. Please post in often, so nice to have the inside local knowledge. I left the OP in the lurch since she wouldn't narrow things down a bit...high end dining, jeans and a burger, dinner, lunch, in Carmel only?. The myriad of restaurants is overwhelming, too long to list them all, I have so many favorites.

              1. re: edcallmened

                While Clint owns Mission Ranch Inn and frequents the restaurant/bar at Mission Ranch Inn, I believe the restaurant itself is owned and operated by another entity. Food is good -- the bar is fun, especially when the folks start singing (some are quite good).

                -----
                Mission Ranch Restaurant
                26270 Dolores St, Carmel, CA 93923

                1. re: Stephanie Wong

                  Stephanie, your comment is interesting. Sue, the Manager, and Owen, the Chef, both come to Mission Ranch Inn from the Beach and Tennis Club, part of the Pebble Beach Resorts, owners include Clint Eastwood. Totally agree with you that it's a fun place to be, especially on the weekends when the piano bar is happening and some of the local crooners sound like the famous--hello--is Willie Nelson in the house? This guy is my favorite.

                2. re: edcallmened

                  that was helpful! I'll be in Carmel mid May (tour de ca) and I'm like the OP...I don't care whether it's "fine dining" or jeans, in my hotel (Hyatt) or a bit of a drive, any ethnicity...I just want to hear what the absolute gems are. since my hotel has a view, I don't care a whole lot about that, just want what's fresh, creative, authentic, and something that says "California". This is only my 2nd visit.

                  Mundaka sounds great. As for the fine dining, are these places your basic resort white tablecloth places, or are they big-city-ish luxe dining, if you know what I mean?

                  We plan to fly into San Jose and wander around from Big Sur to Santa Cruz, so anything that's don't miss in the whole area would be great to hear about.

                  Oh, and we're big pastry/bakery fiends! Thanks so much!

                  1. re: danna

                    For pastries etc, try Parker Lusseau next to the main post office in Monterey.

                     
                     
                    1. re: danna

                      Sweet Elena's Bakery Cafe in Seaside--oh, la la
                      Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville -- fresh apple and boysenberry pies from their ranch fruits
                      Swanton (straw)Berry Farm near Davenport north of SCruz --organics
                      Gail's Bakery in Capitola, just so. of S Cruz-- full bakery and savory items too
                      Big Sur Bakery Cafe(not sure if Highway will be open by then, think so) great causal food
                      Corralitos Market and Sausage Co--near W'ville
                      Ristoranti Avati--wonderful Italian food and wine bar--on Highway 1 (Mission St) in SCruz
                      WagonWheel cafe in Mid Carmel Valley, funky rancher/local gathering spot. Pancakes!
                      The mid-week Farmer's Market at Mont Pennin. College is grrrreat--cool local food goodies
                      No big city luxish dining except at Highland's Inn ?--still, not Big City wardrobe

                      -----
                      Sweet Elena's Bakery & Cafe
                      465 Olympia Ave, Seaside, CA 93955

                      Gizdich Ranch
                      55 Peckham Rd, Watsonville, CA

                      Big Sur Bakery
                      47540 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920