Restaurants in Monterey, CA
March 20, 2014 10:25 AM   Subscribe

We're going to be in Monterey, CA, this afternoon, and staying overnight. Tonight is our fourth wedding anniversary - where should we go for some nice but not crazy expensive seafood tonight? And any recommendations for breakfast places? Thanks!
posted by skycrashesdown to Travel & Transportation around Monterey, CA (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Passionfish! The sea scallops in tomato-truffle butter was seriously one of the best meals I have ever had.
posted by sunset in snow country at 10:35 AM on March 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

For breakfast, go to First Awakenings in the Outlet Mall (no, really, don't worry about that) in Pacific Grove. It's a couple of blocks from the MBA aquarium and is really good.

Passionfish is also a very good choice for dinner.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:51 AM on March 20, 2014

We really liked Bistro Moulin. More French then seafoody but I had some killer mussels and my wife's Coq au Vin was awwww-some. Nice atmosphere for a anniversary dinner, too.
posted by scottatdrake at 12:40 PM on March 20, 2014

Red House in Pacific Grove is nice for breakfast, but is tiny.

I'm not sure there is any good seafood in Monterey that isn't expensive. It depends on your definition of crazy expensive. When I read the question I ruled out mentioning Passionfish because it ain't cheap.

Monterey is a tourist town that appeals to well-to-do retirees. There's lots of great food there, but it's priced to the intended market's budget. There's a big gap between the tourist dining experience and the utility/lower-end experience.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:57 PM on March 20, 2014

Every time we are in Monterey, we go to Monterey's Fish House. It is not in a touristy part of town, so don't expect views over the bay, etc, but the food is good. Yelp Reviews
posted by shanewtravel at 1:04 PM on March 20, 2014

Yeah, Passionfish. Technically in Pacific Grove, but not at all out of the way from wherever in Monterey you'll be. I had a wonderful anniversary dinner there a couple years ago. Great, reasonably-priced wine list, too.

For a light breakfast, Happy Girl Kitchen (also technically Pacific Grove) is lovely. In addition to pastries, yogurt, fruit, and oatmeal, they have Blue Bottle coffee and sell their locally-made preserves and some other local goodies. I really like stopping here on the way out of town for breakfast, coffee, and stocking up on stuff to take home.

I've also heard very good things about Red House Cafe and it's on my list for my next trip.

This recent article mentions some excellent-sounding restaurants in the Monterey area (though it takes a pretty geographically generous view of what counts).
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:05 PM on March 20, 2014

I don't have a dinner recommendation for you, but I loved the Paprika Cafe for lunch when I was there. Wonderful people running the place too.
posted by cnc at 1:15 PM on March 20, 2014

There's a French Pastry Chef in Pacific Grove that has a small place with an eating area, he has the most amazing pastries of course but also several different types of quiches that are simply wonderful.
It's Patisserie Bechler on Forest Ave, it's in the small shopping center across from Savemart.

(If you get a chance to take a look at his cake album, he's done some amazing ones including a 3/4 size Miata, he made my wedding cake and I couldn't have been more pleased)
posted by IpsoFacto at 1:21 PM on March 20, 2014

Oh -- there's also a (tiny) little breakfast place on the Municipal Wharf (the one just to the east of the touristy Fisherman's Wharf). Great location -- right on the harbor, with a good chance of seeing otters and sea lions. I haven't eaten there, but have heard good things about it.

LouLou's Griddle in the Middle
posted by mudpuppie at 2:42 PM on March 20, 2014

We wound up at Passionfish for dinner, and the sea scallops in tomato-truffle butter were, no joke, the best truffles I've ever had. Thank you for that suggestion, sunset in snow country!

For breakfast tomorrow I think we'll try First Awakenings before we go back to the aquarium. Thanks, all!
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:27 PM on March 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Argh, not paying attention. The best SCALLOPS I've ever had! Not truffles. I blame my very full stomach last night.
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:45 PM on March 21, 2014

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