Restaurants for Adventure Travelers in Monterey Bay Region 

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  • 1

    Walnut Avenue Cafe

    106 Walnut Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

    Freezing my buns off waiting to be seated for brunch on a gloomy Sunday was so worth it. However, being sick the next day and coughing like a maniac was not the business. We sat at the best spot in the house with a window view of the street and panoramic view of the restaurant. This makes me happy because ...

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesAdventure
  • 2

    La Bicyclette

    Dolores Street, Carmel, CA, United States
    13 reviews

    Great spot. High ceilings and bug windows. We came for lunch and it was fantastic. Had thin crust Italian style pizzas - one with butternut squash, arugula and prosciutto that was amazing. The beet carpaccio with blue cheese was also delicious, as was the soup of celery and green apple. No kids menu but they liked the pizzas.

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesAdventure
  • 3

    Laili Restaurant

    101, suite B Cooper Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, United States

    Not knowing where you're going for dinner can be exciting and fun. Since I did not get a hint of where we were going eat. I had to speculate the surrounding and assumed that we were going to have seafood as we were on our way to Santa Cruz. Arriving in downtown Santa Cruz and reaching our destination. I surely ...

    Popular withLuxuryFoodiesAdventure
  • 4

    Schooners Bistro

    400 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940
    10 reviews

    Love this place. Monterey's one and only classy open-air dockside restaurant. Great craft beers and appetizers. Try the artichoke!

    Popular withFoodiesBusinessAdventure
  • 5

    Harbor Cafe

    535 7th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA, United States

    Chill local breakfast and lunch spot. Great sunny outside area, for mimosas and fun. Friendly staff and a solid comfort food menu.

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesAdventure
  • 6

    Kelly's French Bakery

    402 Ingalls St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    7 reviews

    This place is a mile from the Oxford Beach House so jump on your beach cruiser and head over for a coffee, fruit tart, breakfast or lunch.

    Popular withFamiliesFoodiesAdventure
  • 7

    The Catalyst

    1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    7 reviews

    The iconic Santa Cruz concert venue and nightlife haven.Great bands come here.

    Popular withNightlifeLocalAdventure
  • 8


    1244 Munras Ave Monterey, CA 93940
    3 reviews

    I give it triple G. Good location, clean & organize Good service fast friendly with a smile Good price very reasonable you can have a meal for 6 dollars can't beat that I like French ice expresso here taste good & cost only $2.50. Tony Winn

    Popular withAdventureBudgetFamilies
  • 9

    Café Bittersweet

    787 Rio Del Mar Boulevard, Aptos, CA 95003-4727, United States
    10 reviews

    Great variety of food choices, plus a nice outdoor dining area for us and our dog.

    Popular withFoodiesAdventureLocal
  • 10

    Crêpes of Brittany

    6 Old Fishermans Wharf Ste C, Monterey, CA, United States
    5 reviews

    The crepes here are soooo delicious. I had the ham with spinach, tomatoes, and caramelized onions and it was fresh and perfectly cooked. The crepe chef is super-nice as well--I went on a Monday when there were no crowds, and he took the time to chat. Then he made us a complimentary caramel crepe! Don't miss this place when you're ...

    Popular withFamiliesLuxuryAdventure
  • 11

    Cafe Brasil

    1410 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    20 reviews

    Cafe Brasil? Brasil?!?!? In Santa Cruz?? For breakfast? Yeah, sure... why not! Where else is there to go after a long hike? Cafe Brasil for their pancakes. The healthiest choice around! They also have great shakes and fresh juices. Bannana shake and mango juice are my personal favorites. The watermelon juice on the other hand was not what she wanted... ...

    Popular withFoodiesLocalBudget
  • 12

    Sandbar & Grill

    Wharf II, Monterey, CA 93940
    7 reviews

    Nice happy hour with $3.50 drafts and a variety of appetizers. The portions were kinda skimpy on the sand dabs and fries, which initially pissed me off, but the view across the marina made up for it. The view also got them another star. Service was 3 at best...

    Popular withLocalFoodiesFamilies
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  • 13

    Marianne's Ice Cream

    1020 Ocean St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    21 reviews

    We all scream for ice cream! This greatest lil ice cream spot on the busy santa cruz street where any and every ice cream one could want. What else is there to know? BTW This place was on the market.... I would have loved to have bought it but then there'd be no ice cream for anyone else. hell yeah ...

    Popular withLocalFamiliesFoodies
  • 14


    701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
    15 reviews

    Sustainable seafood, creative presentations, chewy sourdough bread and a wine list -- wait for it -- priced practically at retail! This is our favorite restaurant in the Monterey Bay area, and we're pretty picky foodies. It's a locals' kinds of place, and the value-for-price ratio is super-high. The chef is super-conscious about following the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch list guidelines, ...

    Popular withGreenFoodiesLuxury
  • 15

    The Crow's Nest Restaurant

    2218 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA
    21 reviews

    Great food and entertainment. Watch boats enter and leave the harbor. Enjoy concerts on the beach in front of Crows Nest in the summer.

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesLocal
  • 16

    Old Fisherman's Grotto

    39 Fishermans Wharf, Monterey, CA 93940
    16 reviews

    Must try the clam chowder in the bread-bowl! Award winning for years and you will know why after you've tasted it!

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesLuxury
  • 17

    The Restaurant at Mission Ranch

    26270 Dolores St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923
    14 reviews

    Full, fun atmosphere with a piano player and terrific drinks. Lots of locals hang out here and it's always festive. I haven't tried the food.

    Popular withFoodiesLuxuryTrendsters
  • 18

    The Penny Ice Creamery

    913 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz, CA

    Penny is Santa Cruz's only ice creamery that crafts ice cream completely from scratch. Opened by the former pastry chef of Manresa, Kendra Baker, Penny blows away any other ice creamery in town. In addition to the amazing ice cream, you can have housemade sorbets, bon bons, popsicles, floats and shakes. The flavors are seasonal and feature locally farmed ingredients ...

    Popular withFoodiesFamiliesLocal
  • 19

    Casanova Restaurant

    5th Avenue, Carmel, CA, United States
    11 reviews

    Cosy Cal-Italian fusion place. It's located in a cool building - feels like an old house with lots of small rooms, many with exposed wood beam ceilings and fireplaces. The food was great - the seafood linguine was delicious, with lobster, mussels clams and shrimp. The lamb was beautifully prepared and tasted amazing - flavorful and tasted almost charcoal grilled ...

    Popular withFoodiesLuxuryLocal
  • 20

    Duarte's Tavern

    202 Stage Road, Pescadero, CA, United States
    13 reviews

    Good food, good location. The wait can be over a hour. Fortunately, they do take reservations. Holds a special place in my heart as this was the first restaurant I took my daughter to, just the two of us. At about 18 months old she was the perfect little lady. Had a great day. There is a fantastic goat cheese ...

    Popular withHistoryFoodiesFamilies
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