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Apr 20, 2011 01:49 PM

First time to Monterey, CA - recommendations?

Making a little road-trip for Easter weekend with wife, new baby and his great-grandmother... I've never been there and I was curious for recommendations on food places not to miss? I'm staying in a hotel close to what appears to be downtown (within a mile of the aquarium I think)

If my wife and I could escape for a late afternoon or early evening date, I'd be into those types of recommendations for restaurants, but also for the family, any hole-in-the-wall places or stops to pick up local bread, cheese, etc.. .for a picnic on the beach would be welcome too!


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    1. For your early date, consider The Sardine Factory. The food is very good and they have 3 rooms to choose from. The Captain's Room is more formal, they have a fireplace in there that's very nice. The Conservatory Room is gorgeous with lots of greenery and a glass-domed ceiling. I would make advance reservations, they are on opentable. Enjoy! :)

      Sardine Factory
      701 Wave Street, Monterey, CA 93940

        1. re: toodie jane

          I have a little baby, so we didn't get to move around too much, but there were a few places that I really liked.

          For breakfast, Paris Bakery Cafe in Monterey - sooooooo coooool. Freshly made bread, toasted and topped with melted butter (or croissants or anything you can imagine that you'd find in a bakery).

          Dinner - Monterey Fish House - just.go.there.

          Pino's Italian Cafe had some really good gelato... I had a cinnamon gelato, wow!

          Monterey Fish House
          2114 Del Monte Ave, Monterey, CA 93940

          Pino's Italian Cafe
          211 Alvarado St, Monterey, CA 93940

          1. re: nasv

            Had a great salmon dinner at Monterey Fish house, but found the noise level to be horrendous. It was Saturday night, so will try it again on a weeknight. Like the old house atmosphere. I'm a sucker for that.

            Is Paris Bakery downtown? Years ago there was a grest old style bakery downtown with euro-style coffee-break treats--pastry bases with carmelized almonds etc--I still dream of that. Will look for Paris next trip.

            One of my favorite downtown treats is Red's Donuts. VERY old style donut shop with tiny counter. I'm a very early riser so it makes it fun to grab a donut for my early morning Monterey walks. Also love the Bagelry bagels.

            Glad you had fun, with baby too. Some of my first memories are of being at the coast with family, up by Santa Cruz . Smell of seaweed makes me nostalgic!

            Red's Donuts
            1646 Fremont Blvd, Seaside, CA 93955

            1. re: toodie jane

              Red's main bakery is at 1646 Fremont Blvd., Seaside CA 93955, 831.394.3444

              I usually buy from this location, because parking is a bit easier (odd entrance on side street to small 1-way parking lot), and they usually have still my fav (chocolate frosted devils food cake donut) when I arrive about 9 a.m. But, once I called to reserve while in transit but stuck in Garlic Festival traffic; they were already sold out of them at 8:30 a.m! Some organization placed a last-minute funhdraiser order <:-(

              This location also has a diner-type counter. I've never eaten in there, but there's usually a couple locals hanging out there.

              Red's Donuts
              1646 Fremont Blvd, Seaside, CA 93955

              1. re: toodie jane

                We just saw the Paris Bakery near the historic center of Monterey - is that "downtown"?

                1. re: glbtrtr

                  Not sure, I think so - I said "downtown" b/c that was the description of the hotel where we were at (Marriott).