Monterey County has an incredible restaurant scene that is burgeoning with new life as dining establishments reopen. Local restaurants continue to offer takeout and delivery options with the exciting return of on-site dining. Diners will find added health protocols and unique seating arrangements including expanded outdoor seating to allow for social distancing throughout the County. 

Restaurant owners have been adaptable and resilient over the past few months, and are ready to welcome guests back for a plethora of cuisines curated from Monterey County’s lush farms and coastal delights. Read our highlights below and visit our restaurants page for more.

Nepenthe

View of the ocean and trees from Nepenthe in Big Sur

Nepenthe has a long list of accolades. The Travel Channel named this cliff-top restaurant as having the "Best Bar Food" and Gayot named it as one of the "Top 10 Outdoor Dining Restaurants in the U.S." The iconic Big Sur dining establishment is known for its melt in your mouth ambrosia burgers and astonishing views of the Pacific Ocean just beyond their sun drenched terrace. With both safety and service top of mind, Nepenthe has opened with new hours and new procedures to create the optimum dinning environment with the same incredible views and cuisine it is known for.

The Bench

Almost every restaurant within the gates of Pebble Beach has unparalleled views of pristine golf courses and the pacific ocean. Now in-person dinning has returned to The Bench where you can again enjoy stunning views and cozy outdoor fire pits, located in front of the iconic 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links. The restaurant offers creative cocktails, wood-roasted dishes and exquisite desserts in a casual atmosphere. 

Turn 12

Did someone say brunch? Turn 12 is now open for dinning with new safety procedures, and equally as important, bottomless mimosas to quench your thirst. This restaurant in Monterey features a spectacular 50-foot pewter bar top, motorcycles and vintage photographs in a modern and sporty environment that pays homage to Laguna Seca Raceway and will have you on track to enjoy a perfect meal.

Crema

The City of Pacific Grove is closing some of its roads and paving the way for street side dining. Grab a coffee, browse the boutiques and dine al fresco at your favorite restaurants during the 30-day trial period of pedestrian-only activity downtown. Whether you are just looking for a quick cup of joe or a full on brunch with bottomless mimosas, Crema is a the spot to find your happy place.

Basil Seasonal Dining

Sunny days and social distancing mean more meals will be enjoyed outside in Carmel-by-the-Sea as well. Many restaurants are now offering new or expanded outdoor seating options throughout the storybook town, including the cozy and romantic, Basil. The restaurant is a pet-friendly selection for diners looking for Italian cuisine with its signature herb – basil.

Old Fisherman’s Grotto

Woman walking at Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey

Looking for Monterey classics like clam chowder, calamari and sand dabs served with a side of seaside sanctuary? Look no further than the several eateries on Old Fisherman's Wharf. Here you will find icons like Old Fisherman's GrottoDomenico's, or Café Fina. When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck, Monterey restauranteur Chris Shake, owner of Old Fisherman’s Grotto and The Fish Hopper, wanted to make sure he continued to help laid off employees, as well as the community’s homeless population. To date, Shake has been able to serve over 20,000 meals. All of Shake's employees have now taken a specialized food safety course and are ready to welcome guests.

Know Before You Go

We’re looking forward to a full reopening in the coming month. Check individual websites or contact businesses directly to learn more about their service modifications, offers, specials and deals. Last, but certainly not least, remember to enjoy responsibly by wearing face masks in designated areas and following social distancing.