Top ChoiceCalifornian in Monterey

Montrio Bistro

With 'clouds' hanging from the ceiling and tube sculptures wriggling towards them, it's apparent that much thought has gone into the design of this dining-scene stalwart set inside a 1910 firehouse, Fortunately,...

Northern Thai in Monterey

Zab Zab

Our pick of Lighthouse Avenue's lineup of low-key global eateries, Zab Zab channels the robust flavors of northeast Thailand. The bijou cottage is perfect in cooler weather, but during summer the best spot is on...

American in Monterey

LouLou's Griddle in the Middle

Stroll down the municipal wharf to this zany diner, best for breakfasts of hubcap-sized pancakes and omelets served with fresh salsa and awesome fried potatoes. At lunchtime, you can fill the tummy with seafood...

Seafood in Monterey

Monterey’s Fish House

Watched over by photos of Sicilian fishermen, dig into oak-grilled or blackened swordfish, barbecued oysters or, for those stout of heart, the Mexican squid steak. Reservations are essential (it’s so crowded),...

American in Monterey

First Awakenings

Sweet and savory, all-American breakfasts and lunches and bottomless pitchers of coffee merrily weigh down outdoor tables at this cafe uphill from the aquarium. Try the unusual ‘bluegerm’ pancakes or a spicy...

Market in Monterey

Old Monterey Marketplace

Rain or shine, head downtown on Tuesdays for farm-fresh fruit and veggies, artisan cheeses, international food stalls and a scrumptious 'baker's alley.'

Seafood in Monterey

Sandbar & Grill

Watch otters play outside the bay-view windows at this floating seafood kitchen on the wharf. Stick with the classics like creamy clam chowder, grilled sand dabs and jumbo crab-club sandwiches. Reservations...

French in Monterey

Crêpes of Brittany

Authentic savory galettes and sweet crepes are swirled by a French expat – the homemade caramel is a treat. Expect long lines on weekends.