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Outdoor dining with a view Monterey area...

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Will be in Monterey for an evening next week, looking for outdoor dining with a view.

We're staying at the Cannery Row Intercontinental on Wednesday night…we're in our lower 30's and would like a "fun" atmosphere if possible.

Looking for somewhere that fits these criteria as much as possible:

1) Outdoor dining, near water or with a view
2) Local (no chains unless it's restricted to the area, we're from D/FW)
3) Not FINE DINING…would like to wear jeans/shorts and a polo and feel comfortable
4) No ethnic food, wife doesn't like Indian, Chinese, etc…
5) Would like an atmosphere, not somewhere that is a snooze-fest.

Thoughts would be appreciated.

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    1. Your criteria are hard to meet. Much of the ocean facing part of the peninsula is restricted, park-land, or in Pebble Beach. So Bay View is much more possible. However, Monterey is often cool and windy, so few places have real outside dining.

      Probably the best choice would be Massaro And Santos, which does have some sheltered outside seating and is right on the bay. Bay views are also available on Fisherman's Wharf and some Cannery Row restaurants, but most of them are touristy. Cafe Fina is my favorite, but Dominico's has more atmosphere and is a little fancier. I believe the ownership is now the same.

      Sandbar and Grill on Commercial Wharf does offer an unusual nearly sea level view of sailboats and harbor.

      Monterey is pretty informal, so jeans etc should be OK. You might want to pack long pants and jackets for the weather however. Sometimes it is brisk there even in August.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ed Dibble

        I agree with Ed re: the view; unless you're willing to drive a ways down 1 toward Big Sur ocean views are limited. If I were in your position I'd sacrifice view for the other criteria and recommend Restaurant 1833. They do have tables outside but Monterey tends to be very overcast and cool in July and I can't recall if the patio has heaters.

      2. Thank you both...okay, let's toss the "view" out the window and see if we can get some good suggestions, I have 1833 and the ones mentioned by EDibble, looking into those now. Definitely don't wanna succumb to the "touristy" spots...so those are out automatically.
        Thanks for continued contributions.

        1. I've had good meals at Monterey Fish Co., can be crowded/slammed on the weekends. In a 40's stucco cottage on Del Monte Ave. Cafe Fina on Fisherman's wharf serves good food with a water view but in the absolute heart of tourist area. Good value.

          This board seems to like Passionfish for quality, but don't know about the "fun" atmsophere. Can be noisy when crowded near the only view.

          As far as "touristy", you are asking for non-touristy restauants in the heart of the tourist district : anywhere near the water. There are many decent restaurants in the area, like in Pacific Grove on the hill, or in Carmel but you'll be likely dining with fellow travelers there as well. Monterey is a popular destination. Your attire if neat and tidy will do in all but the fanciest places, then long pants and a long sleeved shirt. It's downright nippy after the sun goes down. In the 50's with a breeze. Bring a jacket with you everyhwere day or night.

          IF you're an early riser, slip downtown to Red's for fresh donuts in the wee hours. Or Bagels at the Bagelry across the street. Good local coffee roasters nearby too. For something a bit more cosmopolitan, try Sweet Elena's in Sand City--a bit hard to find without GPS but worth it! Traditional French pastries and good coffee drinks. These are ALL locals places.

          You might consider Carmel Valley in your search. There are some new places just open. Monterey has a great Dining magazine you might check out once you're there.

          here are some threads to read: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/782078

          and this one: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/851540

          good traveling and please report back on your experiences.