Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Feb 26, 2012 04:11 PM

Lunch, Dinner and Breakfast in Carmel/Monterey area

Lookins for recs for lunch, dinner and breakfast. Haven't booked a hotel yet, but will be staying in the area on a Weds and Thurs night in March, probably in Monterey. Coming from Toronto and will be spending 4 nights prior in SF.

We will be driving down Hwy 1 to get there and probably take the highway back as we will be headed to SFO. Also looking for somewhere to stop for lunchon way to or close to SFO.

Looking for moderately priced (no more than 25 per entree).

Like all types of food except Indian.

So far others have mentioned:


Cantinetta Luca
Parker Lusseau
Mission Ranch Inn
Passion Fish
Cafe Gibralter
Pasta Moon
Andree's Bouchee Bistro and Wine Bar
Tablecloth restaurant at Monterey Aquarium
Linda's Seabreeze Cafe - Santa Cruz (on drive back to SFO)


First Awakenings

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Casual Lunch:
    Sandbar and Grill (Seafood on the Municipal pier, Monterey)
    Massaro and Santos (Seafood on the Coast Guard pier, Monterey)
    California Market (Continental at the Highlands Inn 4 miles S of Carmel-Great view too)
    Corkscrew Cafe (Carmel Valley following or during wine tasting there)
    Casual Dinner:
    Mission Ranch (Basic American ie prime rib, etc., Carmel. Lively piano bar if that is of interest)
    Rio Grill (Southwest bent, CrossRoads shopping ctr., Carmel)
    Fifi's (French, small, cozy, Pacific Grove)
    Fandango (Continintal, Pacific Grove)
    Napoli (Downtown Carmel...yes, ltalian)
    There are so many. Maybe do a menu check of the places to see what appeals to you. We have been to all these and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of them.
    Not being much of a breakfast eater, I'll leave that to others. But, I do know the two on your list are popular.

    1. I would add Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn in Carmel for lunch...stunning view and fab food.
      Big Sur Bakery is another great spot..

      In Carmel, Passionfish for dinner is fantastic and reasonably priced on fish and the half bottle wine list is almost at cost.
      Cantinetta Luna is good for lunch.
      California Market at the Hyatt Carmel HIghland for breakfast or lunch

      1. One of my favorites on the Monterey Peninsula for breakfast & lunch is Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove:

        The only thing I avoid is the buckwheat waffle. . . it just doesn't fit my tastes.

        Red House Cafe
        662 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

        1 Reply
        1. re: Stephanie Wong

          Keep Restaurant 1833 in Monterey. They have delicious food, service and nice ambiance. We have dined there twice now. I would also seriously consider Demetra Cafe on Ocean Ave. for one of your Carmel meals. Le St. Tropez in Carmel is also wonderful for dinner. :)

        2. We recently spent alot of time in Capitola/Santa Cruz. Aquarius at The Dream Inn was surprisingly good for dinner. This past Valentine's Day for dinner we dined at Hoffman's Bistro which was recently featured on Restaurant Impossible. Loved everything about this place, located in downtown Santa Cruz. :)

          1. We will most likely be staying in Monterey. The plan is to make the drive from SF in the morning, and spend the afternoon at the aquarium. Have dinner in Monterey or nearby (would like it to be in Carmel, so that we visit there as well), spend the night, have breakfast the next morning and head to SFO. The places that are on my list now are:

            Cantinetta Luca
            Dametra Cafe

            Breakfast: Katy's looks really good, need somewhere with lots of non-egg choices.

            Parker Lusseau for pastries (maybe get some before we leave for SFO)