Our 5 Best Restaurants In Monterey article explores one of the most beautiful places in the splendid State of California. Monterey, California is a paradise for those who love fishing, sightseeing, and seafood. You’ll experience unbeatable views of the bay and wharf at practically any restaurant in the city. While Monterey is a popular tourists destination for its world class golf courses and marine wildlife, it’s become a culinary mecca, attracting foodies from all over the world who enjoy contemporary and classic dining. Cannery Row is a hotspot on the central coast for shopping, whale watching, eating, and drinking.
There’s something for everyone from romantic fine dining, to hole-in-the-wall gems, and family-friendly, casual fare for any budget. The great State of California features so many wonderful cities filled with incredible restaurants, spas, beaches, hotels and to die for shopping. If your traveling to California, we highly recommend a trip to the wonderful city of Monterey. Here are the top 5 restaurants with some of the best views in the county to check out the next time you’re in Monterey.
5 Best Restaurants In Monterey, California
5. The Fish Hopper
We open our 5 Best Restaurants In Monterey article with a very special place. I never leave Monterey without stopping at The Fish Hopper during my trip. Your meal always comes with a side of the best ocean views in Monterey County. Close to Old Fisherman’s Wharf, The Fish Hopper serves the freshest seafood throughout the area. It’s also one of the few restaurants where you can expect Dungeness crab year-round. The Fish Hopper serves up their West Coast 1st place award-winning clam chowder which I can personally say is the best I’ve ever had. The service is amazing and dining out on the heated patio among the panoramic views of the bay is a must.
The menu features cuisine made from certified Angus steaks, locally grown produce, fresh sustainable seafood that’s shipped in daily, live shellfish, and authentic pasta dishes. One of my favorite dishes is the Macadamia-crusted halibut and the Island Sampler which includes Ahi tuna, a crab cake, and perfectly cooked coconut shrimp. If you’ve brought your appetite, indulge in the long bone-in rib eye the Tomahawk Chop. The Fish Hopper also has an extensive wine list and an array of exotic cocktails to add to your unforgettable experience.
4. Chart House
Chart House is another fabulous upscale restaurant with unsurpassed views of the waterfront from every table. It is one of the best restaurants In Monterey as far as views go. Diners can expect creative food infused with exotic and local flavors. The Chart House is an excellent choice for a wedding rehearsal, birthday, Christmas party, or any special occasion. This traditional steak house is a longtime tourist and a local favorite. Some of their popular dishes are the Prime Rib Monterey, the crab cakes, and the Mac Nut Mahi.
I lean towards the Snapper Hemingway which is a cracker crusted snapper that’s topped with shallot butter and lump crabmeat. They offer a separate gluten-free menu for those with sensitivities to certain foods. Many guests have claimed the chefs are willing to modify dishes on the regular menu for gluten-free versions. For desert the Original Chocolate Lava Cake is always a winner, or the delicious crème brulee.
3. Cannery Row Brewing Company
If you’re looking for a casual brewpub that also has a family-friendly atmosphere, the Cannery Row Brewing Company is the place to be. It’s also another Monterey restaurant on this list that made it on the show Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives. With over 70 draft beers on tap, it’s impossible not to find a flavor that will quench your thirst. The restaurant is accessorized with neon signs, vintage beer paraphernalia, outdoor fire pits, and over 75 kegs behind the glass bar.
The dining room comfortable seats 150 guests in leather booth seating, has multiple TV’s for catching a sports game, a lounge and a covered patio just off the dining room. The short rib grilled cheese sandwich is a local favorite and the panko crusted sand dabs served with sautéed broccolini and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. The kiddos can enjoy mac and cheese, corn dogs, peanut butter and jelly, or their fresh chicken tenders.
Passionfish is about creating art using food from local farmers and sustainable fisheries. They’re all about bringing families together through their love of vintage wines and decadent food. The walls of Passionfish are decorated with photographs of beautiful marine life, and the vibe is relaxing with soft music played in the background. The owner and chef, Ted Walter, is classically trained in French cooking.
Through the years, Ted has evolved globally with his cuisine and regularly uses exotic spices from Central America and Asia. For an appetizer, pick the Smoked Trout Ceviche Tostadas with spicy salsa brava and cashew pesto. For dinner, enjoy the sea scallops with a divine tomato-truffle butter and risotto custard. Pasta lovers will rave about the ratatouille ravioli topped with fresh shaved Asiago cheese. This has always been one of the best restaurants in Monterey. I highly recommend finding the time to have a meal at this fabulous restaurant.
1. LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle
We close out our 5 Best Restaurants In Monterey article with a place of legend. Featured on the hit television show Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives, LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle is a kitschy joint situated in the middle of the Monterey pier. The restaurant boasts about their good eats and whacky waitresses. There’s no better way to start or end your day sitting outside and listening to the crashing waves while dining on their famous clam chowder. The atmosphere at LouLou’s is always warm and friendly making it a great place to bring your kids. This charming café has indoor and outdoor seating and a small bar inside.
The pancakes overflow the plates and come with a variety of toppings to choose from. Make sure you get there early during the week for their famous abalone sliders which come on a grilled bun loaded with homemade aioli and slaw. LouLou’s is one of Monterey’s most iconic eateries that always has your budget in mind.