Best of Monterey Bay® Visitors Guide

86 The Best of Monterey Bay ® 2023-2024 food Paris Bakery Paris Bakery offers light lunch selections like sandwiches and salads along with a dazzling array of cakes, Napoleons, fruit tarts and buttery cookies. There’s a smaller Seaside location as well. 271 Bonifacio Place, Monterey, (831) 646-1620. Parker-Lusseau Pastries & Cafe This locally revered French bakery, with its croissants, brioches and galettes, also serves quiches and sandwiches at its small and utterly charming downtown location. 539 Hartnell St., Monterey, (831) 641-9188; 40 Ragsdale Drive, Monterey, (831) 655-3030. Red’s Donuts Red’s is a staple. They’ve been preparing doughnuts every morning since 1950. And Red’s is regularly named best by Weekly readers. A second location is in Seaside. 433 Alvarado St., Monterey. (831) 372-9761, Rock N Roll Donut Bar Most shops close sometime after lunch. So what do you do if you want an after-dinner doughnut? That’s when this spot comes in handy. They are open until 9pm. And they have a lot of interesting options. 685 Cannery Row #101, Monterey. (831) 264-6555, The Perfect Crumb This bakery has a surprisingly diverse selection. Owner and pastry chef Susan Carter built a solid following at local farmers markets with decadent key lime pie, puffy almond croissants and her best-selling cookies. 301 Lighthouse Ave., Suite B, Monterey. (831) 2416269, Coffee, Tea, Juices Captain + Stoker A local favorite, this bright and open space is serious about good coffee, and also good avocado toast. The Pacific Grove location has a smaller selection of bites. 398 E Franklin St., Monterey. (831) 901-3776, captainandstoker. com East Village Cafe This is more than a coffee shop (though it is that). It’s also historically been home to an open mic and other live entertainment. And now they’ve added a chef versed in Ethiopian cuisine. 498 Washington St., Monterey. (831) 392-6617 Perfectly Pressed See listing under Salinas. 491 Alvarado St., Monterey. (831) 747-1127, Plumes Coffee & Tea Organic roasts and organic teas with windows for people-watching. This beloved homework spot is open until 8:30pm, too. 400 Alvarado St., Monterey. (831) 373-4526 NORTH COUNTY 101 Wine Press Barbecue The restaurant works meat Santa Maria style, but then finishes tri-tip, sausages and chicken in a smoker. But you dine in a sleek wine bar (local wines, including their own label) that doubles as a sports bar. 8049 San Miguel Canyon Road, Prunedale. (831) 272-3025, Birrieria & Restaurant Estilo Coalcoman Mexican Even if you have never been, you already know what to expect from Birrieria Coalcoman: birria, the soul of Jalisco. The dish is a warm, spicy stew and the restaurant is justifiably known for it. 10500 Merritt St., Castroville. (831) 453-7060, Giant Artichoke Diner Yes, there is a giant artichoke jutting into the parking lot. So it’s no surprise the menu is ’choke heavy. There’s even an artichoke platter. 11261 Merritt St., Castroville. (831) 633-3501 Haute Enchilada Cafe Mexican A colorful cafe and gallery, with an antiquestrewn patio, that has become a favorite haunt of Moss Landing locals. As the name suggests, there is a bit of inventiveness—maybe more than a bit—to be expected from the kitchen. 7902 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing. (831) 633-5843, Lemongrass Seafood Bar & Grill Seafood, Thai Call it Thai-ish. Or Thai-style. The kitchen takes comfortable favorites like cioppino, seabass and other dishes and gives them a little Thai flair. 413 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing. (831) 633-0700, lemongrassthaimosslanding. com Phil’s Fish Market & Eatery Seafood For decades a Moss Landing destination (Phil beat Bobby Flay in a cioppino throwdown), the new location of this iconic restaurant has at least one advantage: parking. Otherwise, it’s the same enticing seafood menu. 10700 Merritt St., Castroville. (831) 633-2152, Sarita’s Mexican Restaurant Mexican, American-Mexican For those who are extra hungry, this restaurant serves huge portions. And they offer lots of variety, lots of bargains and lots of local favorites. 8075 San Miguel Canyon Road, Prunedale. (831) 663-0229, Sea Harvest Seafood Fish tacos, fish sandwiches, fried and grilled dishes. There are plenty of fish in the Sea Harvest. 2420 Highway 1, Moss Landing. (831) 728-7081 Shawarma King & More Mediterranean The best shawarma in Monterey County, and it comes from a kitchen wedged in a gas station. These things are saucy, so a warning should be heeded: eat in the parking lot, not in your car. 11601 Merritt St., Castroville. (831) 6333333 Trolly Car Rotisserie American There’s a grill and a rotisserie. You can dine in the retired trolley car or take your order home. So there are options. Plenty of options, from tri-tip to pasta, salads and sandwiches. 10961 Merritt St., Castroville. (831) 632-0182, The Whole Enchilada Mexican A Moss Landing institution and staple of the Monterey Bay culinary landscape, The Whole Enchilada is a local favorite for Mexican food and margaritas. The restaurant neighbors the fishing boats in the harbor. 7902 Highway 1, Moss Landing. (831) 633-3038, Woodward Marine Market Diner Don’t go in thinking seafood, although there are bowls of clam chowder and classics like fish and chips. The menu leans toward familiar comforts like burgers and tots, with a few flourishes—a crispy artichoke and prosciutto sandwich, for instance. So there’s no problem if someone in your group doesn’t want seafood. 10932 Clam Way, Moss Landing. (831) 632-0857, Delis, Markets and Shops Phil’s Snack Shack & Deli A typical deli doesn’t serve calamari sandwiches. But Phil’s is on the coast and is hardly your typical deli. Burgers, burritos and hot dogs put the snack in this Moss Landing fave. 7912 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing. (831) 6331775, Bakeries, Ice Cream and other Treats El Nopal Looking for traditional Mexican breads? El Nopal has been baking it—and attracting lines of customers—for more than 50 years. 103 Salinas Road, Pajaro. (831) 724-0473