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Sep 7, 2013 05:11 PM

Monterey non touristy seafood lunch

Looking for a place after the aquarium with great seafood, but not touristy. Think this probably means staying away from the piers and cannery.

Was looking at Pacific Grove places. Vivolo's Chowder house looks promising.

Also would be willing to go somewhere on the way back up to the Bay, like in Watsonville or Seaside.

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    1. just an idea.. the aquarium itself has a lovely restaurant next to the cafeteria.. and the view can't be beaten!

      3 Replies
      1. re: rmarisco

        Could you please tell us more about the Aquarium's restaurant? It reopened in April after some renovation and we've not heard anything about it.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          sorry, wish i could.. i haven't eaten there in a couple of years. they have a blurb on the website, but can't give personal experience

          1. re: rmarisco

            Since all the dining option required admission fees or membership in the Aquarium, this turns into a longer and more expensive outing then I'm able to do readily too.

      2. Point Pinos Grill in Pacific Grove

        Sea Harvest in Monterey is pretty close to the aquarium.

        Golden Tee at the Monterey airport has very good sand dabs, plus you can watch the planes take off and land over the bay.

        1. You might try Sandbar and Grill. It is on the commercial pier just east of Fisherman's Wharf. Because of the location It is not overrun with tourists, and the restaurant is slung down from the pier level to the water level so the view is interesting and unique.

          It has been a couple years since I ate there, but I thought the service was friendly and the food comparable to Point Pinos Grill and better than my memories of Vivolo's (though I have not been there in Years). It also is fairly close to the aquarium.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Ed Dibble

            Sandbar is a good suggestion for an on-the-water experience.

            When's the last time you ate at Point Pinos Grill? Since the new management came in two years ago with a local, sustainable ethos, I have a difficult time drawing any comparison to Sandbar's cooking style.

            The only thing to get at Vivolo's is the chowder.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Good catch. I have eaten at Point Pinos 2 or 3 times, but I haven't been on the peninsula in the last two years. I will pass on your recommendation to my local friends.

              1. re: Ed Dibble

                No visit in two years, how'd that happen? Pls don't be a stranger.

          2. I highly recommend Vivolo's Chowderhouse: it's within walking distance of the aquarium yet it's not on cannery row, so you can avoid the crowds. They're kid-friendly (not sure if this is a requirement), meaning they have child-friendly menu items and crayons. They serve simple seafood dishes--I had sanddabs. And finally, the servers won't ask you any Bubba Gump-related trivia questions.