Best of Monterey Bay® Visitors Guide

72 The Best of Monterey Bay ® 2023-2024 food Valley Kitchen at Carmel Valley Ranch International The kitchen is known for modern takes on farm-fresh fare in a resort setting. Drawing inspiration from the property’s own honey, lavender, chickens and garden, the chef’s creations can range from sandwiches to poke to risotto or steak. 1 Old Ranch Road, Carmel. (831) 626-2599, Wagon Wheel Breakfast, Lunch There is nothing wrong with a plate of pancakes or an all-American burger. And quiche— who doesn’t find a slice comforting? That’s Wagon Wheel. 7156 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. (831) 624-8878 Delis, Markets and Shops Jerome’s Carmel Valley Market A chef-owned, family operated little treasure if you need fine wine or craft beer for an outing or crave a deli sandwich and coffee. The small meat counter goes big with natural meats and homemade sausages. 2 Chambers Lane, Carmel Valley. (831) 659-2472, Coffee, Tea, Juices Beerded Bean See listing under Salinas. 319 Mid Valley Center, Carmel. Marina Aki Fresh Mex Mexican The kitchen has drawn raves since opening in 2021 for its traditional foundation, including homemade tortillas. While it’s difficult to look past mole con pollo, tacos or molcajete, there are zucchini dishes here that are wows. 265 Carmel Ave., Marina. (831) 747-1074, Daddy’s City Diner Breakfast, Lunch When the older generations speak about breakfast and lunch, this is what they are referring to. Daddy’s is a family run place for staples of the American diner, like stacks of pancakes. 265 Reservation Road, Marina. (831) 883-0817 Dametra Fresh Mediterranean Mediterranean This sister restaurant to the original Carmel location offers a more casual take on equally fresh and flavorful Mediterranean fare. The General, a new and inviting neighborhood watering hole, is in back if you want to pair a cocktail with your meal. 120 Gen. Stilwell Drive, Marina. (831) 274-4444, El Salvadoreño Pupuseria Salvadoran As the name suggests, this little spot features pupusas. Yet there are other attractions, such as pastelitos—those deep-fried empanadas—fried plantains, fried yucca and some things that aren’t fried. 3056 Del Monte Blvd., Marina. (831) 747-2385 Evelyn’s Restaurant Salvadoran, Eclectic Pupusas are a draw here, but they are a dinnertime order. Otherwise, you’re likely to find something for everyone here: burritos, burgers, clam chowder, French toast for breakfast. It’s a small menu, but they try to reach far. 250 Reservation Road, Marina. (831) 6147514 Ho Wah Chinese Restaurant Chinese The friendly service here is what makes this spot truly stand out. And they will, helpfully, point to the most popular dishes. There is a long list of good vegetarian options. 3116 Del Monte Blvd., Marina. (831) 384-7951, I’m Thai Cuisine Thai Menu options go on for days, or so it seems— which may send up a red flag. Yet the kitchen is able to deliver compelling appetizers and entrees across the board. A favorite for many local fans of Thai cooking. 3170 Vista Del Camino Road, Marina. (831) 718-8173, Keoki’s Hawaiian Barbeque Hawaiian They speak kahlua here, as well as musubi. Keoki’s is a popular take-away spot for its smoked pork plates and sandwiches. 3170 Vista Del Camino, Marina, (831) 809-8644 Las Cazuelas Mexican, American-Mexican No one leaves Las Cazuelas hungry. Meat spills from the tacos and the regular burritos are so heavy it makes you fear the super burrito. Otherwise a modest place. 3156 Del Monte Blvd., Marina. (831) 901-3741 Marina Poke House Hawaiian The spot gives Marina and the CSU Monterey Bay crew sushi-grade fish over greens or rice in the Hawaiian-style tradition, with a choice of sauces and add-ons. 266 Reservation Road, Suite S, Marina. (831) 384-7898, Michael’s Grill & Taqueria Mexican, American-Mexican An assortment of classic and filling menu items you can mix and match—think plates, fajitas, nachos, burritos and the like. 265 Reservation Road #I, Marina. (831) 884-2568 Nak Won Korean Nak Won bills itself as a Korean barbecue house and you can certainly go that route here, but there are other staple dishes that hit the spot. 330 Reservation Road #A, Marina. (831) 883-2302 Estéban