Best of Monterey Bay® Visitors Guide

78 The Best of Monterey Bay ® 2023-2024 food Estéban Restaurant Spanish, International It’s all about the tapas and the paella, although some of the main plates may intrude and catch your interest—as may the patio fire pits. There is a sure hand in the kitchen, which makes this place even more compelling. 700 Munras Ave., Monterey. (831) 375-0176, Fin and Field Seafood, American Monterey Marriott impresses with their restaurant/bar, featuring locally sourced foods that are affordable, too. The menu changes seasonally. 350 Calle Principal, Monterey. (831) 647-4000, First Awakenings Breakfast, Brunch Puffy pancakes stuffed with all manner of fruits and fiber are the specialty at this favorite breakfast spot with regular lines up the block. New location, same favorite breakfast classics. 300 David Ave., Monterey. (831) 3721125, Full Moon Chinese Full Moon offers the standard dishes found in an American Chinese restaurant—but there are a few exceptions, such as boiled fish and cold plates (triple beef, bean jelly, and so on). 429 Alvarado St., Monterey. (831) 333-1288, Gianni’s Pizza Pizza Since 1974, Gianni’s has been a favorite pizza connection. The pies feature a fresh crust—made with a guarded family recipe— covered with sauce, loads of mozzarella and meats and vegetables of your choosing. 725 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. (831) 649-1500, Great Wall Chinese The list of Mandarin, Szechuan and other dishes you expect from a Chinese restaurant, and there are plenty of options. 724 Abrego St., Monterey. (831) 372-3637, Heirloom Pizza Co. Pizza A selection of deep dish or thin crust pizzas will be tempting, though you can always build your own. Either way, Heirloom strives to be as local, seasonal and organic as possible. The pizzas are simple excellence—which also happens to be the restaurant’s goal, along with sustainability. 700 Cass St. #102, Monterey. (831) 717-4363, Hula’s Island Grill Hawaiian This delightful slice of Hawaiiana in Monterey serves island-inspired dishes like poke in a charming, kitschy, split-level room with a charming courtyard out back. One of the best vibes and happy hours in the region, with the tropical cocktails to prove it. A second location in Santa Cruz. 622 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. (831) 655-4852, Islands Restaurant Burgers California-centric chain features burgers, fish tacos and a beach vibe. 300 Del Monte Center, Monterey. (831) 655-1552, Jacks Monterey International This restaurant goes big on style and spills out into the elegant Portola Hotel lobby. The menu is seasonal and the cocktails inspired. 2 Portola Plaza (in the Portola Hotel), Monterey. (831) 649-7830, Kona Steak & Seafood Hawaiian, Pacific Newly opened in 2023, it immediately created a buzz for outstanding seafood and its islands influences. There are many not-to-miss dishes from sea and land. The “Zen Den” bar is simply cool and there’s a shave ice shack. So much to like. 1200 Del Monte Center, Monterey. (831) 920-2911, Krua Thai Thai The owners came to Monterey from Thailand in 2003, bringing the flavors of their home country along. Yes, you can find pad Thai and spring rolls. But crave chu chee trout and they have that, too. 731 Munras Ave., Monterey. (831) 655-9797, La Bahia Mexican A casual, family operated spot with a friendly feel. The menu leans toward Jalisco flavors and the tortillas are handmade. 675 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. (831) 884-5269 La Casa del Sazón Mexican See listing under Salinas. 431 Tyler St., Monterey. (831) 230-0570, lacasadelsazon. com Lalla Oceanside Grill American Unimpeded views over McAbee Beach and funky contemporary chandeliers give the place an elegant yet festive ambiance. And there is a massive range of choices. The bar is a nice spot for cocktails. 654 Cannery Row, Monterey. (831) 324-0891, lallaoceansidegrill. com Louie Linguini’s Italian Louie Linguini’s has built a reputation in seafood and Italian with a spot smack in the middle of Cannery Row. Classic recipes, a few twists and some pizza, all served with a stunning view of the bay. 660 Cannery Row, Monterey. (831) 648-8500, LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle Breakfast, Lunch Tiny and charming, LouLou’s is a treasure in a unique Wharf 2 spot. Home fries and fluffy pancakes at breakfast give way to generous salads and affordable fish specials at lunchtime. The counter is old-school diner. A local fave. Municipal Wharf 2, Monterey. (831) 3720568, Manasiri’s Crepes and Sandwiches Creperie You can go sweet or savory with the crepes and there are plenty of options. Manasiri’s also prepares paninis, avocado toast and desserts. There’s also Turkish coffee to consider. 321 Alvarado St., Monterey. (831) 373-4646 Mando’s Mexican The price is right at this cozy, comfort-style Hay’s Place