Made in Monterey County

Looking for specialty products that are made in Monterey County? You'll find a host of locally grown produce and seafood here, supremely evident when you visit Monterey County restaurants. But which are considered truly local?


Flying Artichoke, Salinas

ARTICHOKES: Nearly two-thirds of the world's artichokes are grown in Monterey County, including in the town of Castroville, the “Artichoke Capital of the World." Follow the Monterey County Artichoke Trail, which features a selection of restaurants, farms, farmers' markets and food trucks serving up chokes. Local chefs find dozens of ways to prepare the tasty veggie - You'll find it in everything from loaves of bread to your breakfast omelet. A few special menu items:

  • The Flying Artichoke Food Truck in Salinas does a "Choke Burger" with sautéed sliced artichoke hearts, fresh ground beef, Swiss cheese and basil aioli spread on a sesame bun.
  • Gusto Handcrafted Pasta & Pizza in Seaside prepares "Artichoke-Fontina Ravioli" with a black truffle cream sauce, marinated artichoke, white truffle oil.
  • Woodward Marine Market in Moss Landing serves a "Crispy Artichoke & Prosciutto Sandwich" with meyer lemon marmalade and garlic aioli and a side of sweet potato fries.

Find more information on artichokes and tips to prepare them here.

Salinas Valley agriculture fields

MIXED GREENSSalinas Valley isn't called the "Salad Bowl of the World" for nothing. Approximately 80% of the nation's lettuce is grown right here in Monterey County. Iceberg lettuce, spinach, leaf lettuce and other varieties are available at local farmers' markets and eateries. While greens may be available everywhere, most of them are grown right here.

  • The Steinbeck House in Salinas uses these leafy greens in almost every meal. Their mixed green salads, and shrimp Caesar salads and are fresh from the fields!
  • Old Fisherman's Grotto in Monterey uses local baby spinach for their spinach and prawn salad. It's served up with a special bacon-brandy vinaigrette dressing and tossed with red onion, grilled prawns and hardboiled egg.
  • Schooners at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa serves an organic baby greens salad with fresh fruit and a honey lemon poppy seed dressing. The lettuce is so fresh and buttery it melts in your mouth!


The Sardine Factory, Monterey

ABALONE: At one time, abalone grew to dinner plate size and were as common as clams. Now, Monterey County's two abalone farms produce some of the only fresh, ocean-reared abalone in the U.S. This uncommon shellfish is pricey, but succulent.

  • Pacific's Edge Restaurant in Carmel Highlands serves Monterey Bay abalone as a starter dish. This shellfish is served with mushroom, fava beans, mussel-saffron emulsion and shallot confit.

SANDDABS: The sanddab is a small, sweet and tender flatfish unique to the West Coast of the United States and hard to find elsewhere. They're especially popular fried.

  • The Fish Hopper on Cannery Row delicately breads and grills their sanddab fillets. Once they're cooked to perfection they are topped with freshly diced tomatoes and a light basil sauce.
  • The Restaurant at Los Laureles in Carmel Valley spins their version of sanddabs with Asian influences. Their sanddab tempura is prepared with Basmati rice and Asian vegetables with sesame vinaigrette.

SARDINES: The silver little fish that gave Cannery Row its name is not as abundant as it was in the early 1900's but can still be enjoyed locally.

  • The Sardine Factory in Monterey is an obvious choice to enjoy this fish. Their Wild California Sardines are lightly smoked in olive oil and served with chopped egg, lemon and capers.


Joyce Winery_Soledad

With over 40,000 acres of wine grapes planted in Monterey County, numerous varieties and styles of wine are easily found here at wineries and tasting rooms across the County. An astonishing 42 varietals are planted in Monterey County with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir being some of the most popular.

Monterey County Farm Bureau logo

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