the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the
a good place to eat?
picnic on the beach is Mr. Toy's favorite place. For
indoor dining, there are excellent restaurants on nearly every block
with sufficient variety to suit anyone's taste and budget. With the
exception a few places at the Tourist
it's hard to find a bad restaurant here. Where there's a high
concentration of souvenir shops it is likely there are a few lower
quality restaurants in the vicinity. But generally speaking, when you
get hungry just look around the immediate neighborhood and see what
looks good. You can't go too far wrong.
said that, however, there are a few
well-established places off of the beaten path, which you may not find
on your own:
Roadhouse is in an old
stone house on the Monterey-Salinas Highway (Hwy. 68) near Canyon Del
Rey Boulevard. It's about a mile east of the entrance to the Monterey
airport. Lunch and dinner. Fairly expensive, but worth it. (831)
- Mission Ranch, Clint
place, has a rustic restaurant, lodgings, and tennis courts. It is
located behind the Carmel Mission at the south end of Dolores Street.
The main buildings were once part of a hundred year old dairy farm.
Clint saved it from developers who wanted to tear it all down and build
condos. Hooray Clint! The restaurant has a lively piano bar, outdoor
and overlooks a sheep pasture. The Carmel River lagoon and Point Lobos
complete the backdrop, at least until dusk. Even if you're not hungry,
go look the place
over, its very pretty. They serve dinner 7 days a week and on Sunday
have a brunch buffet with live jazz. Fireplaces make the place cozy at
night. Prices are a on the expensive side. Quality is exceptional.
located 12 miles
south of Carmel on Highway 1, has spectacular coastal views. March 2013
brought a change of ownership, a much-needed remodeling, and a fresh
new menu. But the scenery and relaxed
atmosphere are the main attractions. At night the rocky shore is bathed
in light so you can still enjoy the surf
- California Market.
This is one
of two restaurants at the Highlands Inn located above Highway 1 in the
Carmel Highlands. It offers top of the line cuisine in a casual
atmosphere. Outdoor seating is available. The views aren't quite as
panoramic as at their main restaurant upstairs, but it is much easier
on your bank account. They serve breakfast and lunch only. (831)
- Baja Cantina
be found on
Carmel Valley Road a few miles east of Highway 1. The food is Mexican,
the decor is automotive. Old gas pumps are outside the doors, while the
interior is decorated with posters, photos, and old gas station signs.
The seating includes a large outdoor deck where you can enjoy your meal
in the sun while gazing at the surrounding hills. You'll find the Baja
next to the entrance to Quail Lodge. As you near the restaurant, coming
around the bend, you can see the peak of the roof proudly displaying an
old Mobil flying horse sign. (It's the same one which hung for decades
on the building at the end of the Municipal Wharf in Monterey). (831)
of the Toys and their friends:
Mrs. Toy and their friends have a few places they like to
go with some regularity. But be advised, their tastes may be different
from yours, so there's no guarantee you'll like these places as well as
they do. Moreover, restaurants around here tend to change owners and
names with some frequency, so there's no guarantee they'll still be in
business when you get here. You'll be relieved to know that most of
these favorite hangouts are modestly priced.
- Turtle Bay has
one in downtown Monterey on Tyler Street (behind the Golden State
Theatre) and another in Seaside on Fremont and Trinity. These are
taquerias specializing in seafood. For just a few dollars you can get a
filling meal to go or just eat it there. Their bowls work well on
picnics. Order ahead and it'll be ready when you arrive. (831) 333-1500
(Monterey) or (831) 899-1010 (Seaside).
- R.G. Burgers
is downtown at 570 Munras Avenue by Trader Joe's. Best burgers in town.
For a detailed description see the listing for their original
shop under Carmel below. (831) 372-4930.
is on Alvarado Street
and Bonifacio in downtown Monterey. Serving Monterey Peninsula
townsfolk for decades, this family owned family style
restaurant with a wide variety of menu options at reasonable prices.
Rosines is open from breakfast through dinner. For dessert they offer
several varieties of chocolate cake, the best available on The
Peninsula. (831) 375-1400
is in the Monterey
Plaza Hotel on Cannery Row. Their "Coastal Kitchen" has panoramic
windows perched right over the bay waters, while the adjacent bar has
both indoor and outdoor seating. The menu is a little on the trendy
they also have some old standards like burgers or fish & chips.
The views are terrific.(831) 646-1706
is a little hole in the
wall Mexican restaurant, one of our best, in fact. You'll find it on
Forest Avenue a half block north (downhill) from Lighthouse Avenue.
- Red House Cafe
is a cute little red house on a downtown streetcorner just to the right
of the post office. A favorite of the townsfolk, it serves breakfast,
lunch, and dinner. (831) 643-1060
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- Nico is on San
Carlos near the southwest corner of Ocean Avenue. just a few
steps outside the Doud Arcade.
Mediterranean is the style. Nico is a great
place to go before a concert at Sunset Center, which is just down the
street. The entrees are
excellent, as are their more budget-minded pizzas and sandwiches.
Service is excellent while the atmosphere is calm. They have a cozy
indoor fireplace, and a handful of outdoor tables. (831) 624-6545
Boissiere is a cozy
little French restaurant in Carmel. Specifically, it's on the east side
of Mission Street between Ocean and 7th by the Carmel Plaza. You'll
it costs much less than the fancy famous French place across the
street. The lunch prices are even more affordable. They'll even pack a
picnic for you. One warning: you have to walk past
a display of delightful French pastries and other tempting desserts to
get to the dining room. (831) 624-5008
Forge in the Forest,
on the southwest corner of Junipero & 5th, was
once a blacksmith shop in the olden days. The menu features a little
something for everyone including sandwiches, meat, seafood, pasta,
tacos and pizza. The food quality leans more towards good eatin' than
fine dining. Desserts are fabulous. Their
main attractions are the fun, relaxed atmosphere, good service, indoor
beautiful garden patio. The restaurant has been employee-owned since
2001, which is cool because everyone has more of a stake in the
operation than a mere paycheck. (831) 624-2233
Coq D'Or is an intimate
little place offering French, German and local cuisine. It is located
on Mission Street just North of
5th in an inconspicuous little building. Except for a small sign
hanging on the wall, you could easily pass it and not know it is there.
Its more expensive than most of the places the Toys normally go, but
it's a great place for a cozy romantic rendezvous. (831)
Stravaganza is an informal
Italian/Mediterranean place in the Crossroads Shopping Center at
Highway 1 and Rio Road. Mr. Toy says their pizza is among the best
around, while Mrs. Toy loves their pasta. You'll find it at the far end
of the Crossroads Boulevard. (831) 625-3733
Burgers is in Carmel in the
Crossroads Shopping Center on Highway 1 and Rio Road. They make Real
Good ("R.G.") hamburgers in many different styles, plus old fashioned
milkshakes in more flavors than we can count. Be sure to get a basket
of their fabulous onion rings! Enjoy, then eat low fat food the rest of
the day. (831) 626-8054. They have a second location in
downtown Monterey on Munras Avenue. (831) 372-4930.
|The suggestions above are just a tiny sample of
than three hundred fine restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula. Don't
limit yourself to this list or any other.
A word about fish. Whether
you are dining on the Monterey Peninsula or at home on the range,
please be aware that some of the fish you eat is becoming depleted from
overfishing. To help you make wise choices, please check out the Monterey
Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guide. They have a wallet sized
card you can download for easy reference when reading menus or browsing
at the fish market.
There are no fast food chains in Carmel.
about as welcome as ants at a picnic. Local politics stuff, don't get
involved. There is some fairly fast food, however, mostly in the form
of delis. Many restaurants also offer take-out, so you can do that
picnic thing. Just be sure to clean up afterwards.