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3 Nights in Carmel in May--Need Restaurant Suggestions

Hello, hubby and I will be in Carmel for 3 nights at the beginning of May, staying at the Lamp Lighter Inn. We need help with restaurants for lunch and dinner mostly, but if there are good breakfast places we will take those too.

We plan on spending both mornings hiking/walking around Point Lobos and Garland Ranch and the afternoons shopping, sipping wine, visiting the beach, etc.

Need suggestions for 3 dinners, 2 lunches (or Sunday brunch) and possibly breakfast. Here is a tentative list we came up with so far:

Casanova
Anton & Michel
Andre's Bouchee
Cantinetta Luca
Grasings (lunch or dinner?)
Hog's Breath Inn (lunch?)
Portabella
La Bicyclette (breakfast or lunch?)
Le St. Tropez (lunch?--husband loves crepes)
Mission Ranch (brunch?)

Anything on the list a definite must do or don't? Husband loves all food, however I do not like seafood (with the exception of shrimp). That being said, I usually find something to eat anywhere we go.

Carmel restaurants only please.

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  1. I've been to every place on your list except Hog's Breath and Le Bicyclette. They are all great choices! I would consider Demetra Cafe for a meal, also. It is right on Ocean Ave. close to PortaBella. Definitely do the Jazz Brunch at Mission Ranch for Sun. We like to sit outside on the patio there. :)

    1. Of the ones you list, I like La Bicyclette, Casanova and Cantinetta Luca. Luca has great desserts as they share a pastry chef with Aubergine.

      I've also been to Grasings, Portabella and Le St Tropez and found them to be OK but not places I'd rush back to.

      Other favorites of ours include Carmel Food Company, Basil and Mundaka.

      There's a wine tasting passport sold at the chamber of commerce that's good for several downtown tasting rooms.

      Have a great trip! We'll be there shortly after you.

      4 Replies
      1. re: PattyC

        Thanks for the feedback Patty. I will take note of the three restaurants that can be skipped. I checked out the menus for Carmel Food Company, Basil and Mundaka. Carmel Food Company and Mundaka look especially appealing.

        Funny you mention the wine tasting passport; I just purchased a Living Social deal for the Carmel Wine Walk by the Sea. It's for seven tasting rooms--I assume it's the same thing?

          1. re: Im4Wine

            Forget Carmel Food Company. I just received an email that says they're closing April 15th. They've only been open for about a year and were in a location with little foot traffic. It's such a shame. They had really well executed bistro food and I'm bummed we won't be able to eat there one last time :(

            1. re: PattyC

              Bummer we were looking forward to it!

        1. I love Lamp Lighter Inn! Good to read that you will be there for 3 nights. Say "HI" to Bobby Richards (owner). I have a lunch suggestion: Bistro Beaujolais in Carmel Plaza. They have great comfort foods and an outdoor patio with firepit. Enjoy your vacation!

          2 Replies
          1. re: InnLight

            Thank you for the confirmation of our choice of Lamp Lighter Inn...we are looking forward to it! We will also check out Bistro Beaujolais for lunch, the menu looks good!

            1. re: Im4Wine

              Katy's Place is another one to consider for breakfast. Awesome Eggs Benedicts and Crepes there. It is located in downtown Carmel. If you get out to the Carmel Highland's area, California Market is a nice place to take in the gorgeous oceanviews. I love the Fish Tacos and Tahatian Creme Brulee there. :)

          2. Just back from Calif, including Carmel and was just about to post reports. Cantinetta Luca was great. Shared a number of courses with hubby . Exceeded my expectations. Had a lunch at La Bicyclette and didn't want to leave. Hubby's hamburger was hands down the best I've ever had. Truly. With a nice glass of rose wine....Also ate at Anton & Michel. I thought it was good, but not top tier for fine dining. I'd skip it. See report for details