23 Best Restaurants in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA [Reviews & Maps]

Dining out is exciting almost anywhere and when you’ve just gotta have what you’re craving while you’re in Carmel, CA, then you’ll probably find it.

Along the water, there are dozens of neat little spots to experience. With so many unique restaurants, each one different from the rest, how will you choose where to go?

When you want food and atmosphere, you go to Carmel, Ca. So, here are the 23 Best Restaurants in Carmel, CA.

Seventh and Dolores

$$$ | (831) 293-7600 | WEBSITE


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Seventh and Dolores is committed to quality and humanely raised food prepared simply. A classic steakhouse with a fun and energetic ambiance which cultivates a nostalgia for a home in Monterey County.

Indoor and outdoor dining brings joy to celebrate any occasion with the classic dinner, wine, dessert, and cocktail vibe. Try the Ahi Tuna Tartare or the 10 oz filet mignon aged 21 days.


Grasing’s Restaurant

$$ | (831) 624-6562 | WEBSITE


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Celebrate the holidays, join the wine club, or stop in to try something from the wine list. The outside of Graisings is charming, like a small city cottage surrounded by moss and trees. The inside is very inviting.

The bar is mostly wooden and the room is bright but unusually pleasant and cozy. Graisings serves dinner, lunch, brunch, and lounge foods with an extensive wine list to pair with your favorite flavors.


Pangaea Grill

$$ | (831) 624-2569 | WEBSITE


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Pangaea grill is a fusion of American and Mediterranean cuisine. The menu shows the division of each region, where you can find fried calamari on the left and Korean Short Ribs on the right.

The flavors come together in the specially crafted dishes. Try some grilled spicy pork for lunch or the delectable creme brulee with a coffee.


Demetra Cafe

$$ | (831) 622-7766 | WEBSITE

Demetra Cafe Best Restaurants in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

A Mediterranean dining experience with a big wine selection and catering options. Demetra Cafe offers classic dishes for an affordable price. Start with some hummus or Tzatziki Sauce and pita bread.

And follow it up with a hearty Gyro or falafel wrap. If you’re super hungry, go for one of the bigger meals, like the lamb shish kebab or lamb shank.


La Bicyclette

$$ | (831) 622-9899 | WEBSITE


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If you’ve something a bit European, then La Bicyclette is the place you should try. The dishes are hand-crafted, traditional, and creative. What used to be called Boheme, the owners have been in the restaurant business since 1974.

The decor is a return to old-world Europe with wooden tables and chairs in a very warm atmosphere. The menu offers wood oven-baked pizzas and European fare like the Morue du Printemps.


Cultura Comida Y Bebida

$$$ | (831) 250-7005 | WEBSITE


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Cultura serves fresh and colorful flavors inspired by Oaxaca. They boast a full bar and serve traditional mezcal among other unique cocktails.

They offer family-style dishes and dining, including chicken enchiladas and mole. If you just want a drink and a bit of bar food, you can order snacks like guacamole, salsa, and house-made chips.



$$ | (831) 250-7183 | WEBSITE


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The Stationaery wants to be your favorite neighborhood restaurant. And honestly, by the look of their menu items, it shouldn’t be that difficult. They serve bold and comforting flavors packaged as delicious-looking food.

They serve brunch, wine, and coffee. Their menu includes everything from caviar and chips and french toast to cheeseburgers and lobster rolls.


Village Corner California Bistro

$$ | (831) 624-3588 | WEBSITE


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The village corner serves indoor and outdoor dining as well as pickup and delivery. They were established in 1948 and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Breakfast offers traditional items like omelets and benedicts and dinner options include salads, soups, seafood, and fire-grilled items like grilled pork chops or bone-in-ribeye. Call to make reservations and ask about specials.


Flaherty’s Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar

$$ | (831) 625-1500 | WEBSITE


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Flaherty’s Seafood is perfect when you’re craving some good seafood-and that means oysters! For the oyster lovers, Faherty’s has an oyster bar. It includes fresh Kumamoto oysters, considered to be the world’s finest.

However you want them, Rockefeller, bbq, or raw, Flaherty’s can do it. This place is all about seafood and doesn’t simply gloss over common fish items, they get the very best. Everything is caught “wild and free” before it is brought to the plate.


Mission Ranch Restaurant

$$$ | (831) 625-9040 | WEBSITE

Mission Ranch Restaurant Best Restaurants in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

Mission Ranch is a restaurant connected to a hotel overlooking the lush, green, countryside. They serve breakfast and dinner and seating is first come first serve, so it’s best to arrive early as seats fill up fast.

Watch sheep graze in the Santa Lucia mountains in the background. They play live piano music nightly.



$$ | (831) 620-1516 | WEBSITE


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If you want some delicious Japanese food paired with sake, then check out Aka-Oni Izakaya. They serve food that gets your taste buds going, like Ramen, noodle bowls, Barbecued Eel Thin Crust pancakes, and other eclectic dishes.

Get seared and marinated fish, sushi, and a large selection of various sake. The restaurant prides itself on being founded in the honor of the power of friendship. It sounds good to me!


La Balena

$$$$ | (831) 250-6295 | WEBSITE

La Balena Best Restaurants in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

La Balena is an upscale Italiana cucina. You may call in an order, but some menu items or services are limited during peak hours as are wait times, depending on the in-house dining volume.

If you get the chance to sit down and enjoy the experience, you may get to try items like fried cauliflower, ricotta gnocchi, and crispy potatoes.



$$$ | (831) 625-1766 | WEBSITE


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Vesuvio is a pizzeria-trattoria-bar that looks like a modern rustic Italian dining space. Bright orange walls and wooden tables and chairs give the restaurant a warm glow. A symbol of the southern Italian region of Campania.

Chef Pepe is running the show and exclaims he’s cooking to the specifications of the “Italian lifestyle diet”.

Just when you think you know what to expect, Chef Pepe puts a twist on traditional Italian food and turns it into artwork like Italian-fusion sushi or polenta lamb tamales.


Treehouse Cafe

$$ | (831) 626-1111 | WEBSITE


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Treehouse Cafe is a charming restaurant with a terrace. They offer an extensive wine list. They also serve appetizers like roasted garlic, Thai pork sausage, and Greek dolmas.

Try the red Thai curry for a late lunch or go for the steak of the day. The idea behind the treehouse was to create a place for people to enjoy good food and wine in a quaint atmosphere.


Cantinetta Luca

$$$ | (831) 625-6500 | WEBSITE

Cantinetta Luca Best Restaurants in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

Who doesn’t love family recipes, especially those passed down over many generations of Tuscan traditions? At Cantinetta Luca, you can enjoy indoor or outdoor seating with a cozy feel.

Order a wood-oven baked pie or indulge in some pasta with fresh ingredients and rich sauces. Seafood is sourced locally and wine is priced fairly.



$$ | (831) 624-4395 | WEBSITE

Portabella Best Restaurants in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

Portabella serves lunch, dinner, and wine. You may eat in or choose to order to go. Lunch serves starters like roasted corn and crab bisque and jumbo lobster ravioli.

The menu includes a variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and rich entrees like classic wild mushroom risotto. It’s elegant, oceanview dining at its finest.


Aubergine the restaurant at L’Auberge Carmel

$$$$ | (831) 624-8578 | WEBSITE


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Aubergine is an upscale and award-winning restaurant featuring an innovative and precisely balanced menu five nights a week using only the best ingredients of the region.

If you want to appeal to your senses and play with the sensations of flavor and texture, then this could be the place to dine. A wine cellar holds 2,500 bottles from around the world.

Chef Cogley skillfully leads a team of chefs, who were nominated for awards, including Best Chef, West.


The Pocket

$$ | (831) 626-8000 | WEBSITE


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Happy Hour is served every day between 3:30 and 5:00 and includes a specialty happy hour menu and cocktails. The pocket serves seafood dishes like fritto misto or Spanish octopus with Japanese yaki sauce.

You can get a salad topped with crab or shrimp and much more or opt for some pan-seared halibut served fresh and in season.


II Tegamino

$$ | (831) 677-6750 | WEBSITE


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An Italian spot serving common favorites, including rigatoni and ravioli. Appetizers offer Caprese, zucchini, or meatball trio. For a good after-dinner coffee drink, you might want to stop by here.

Tegamino offers delicious desserts, like the torta limoncello or the tiramisu. You can pair that with a donut trio filled with dark chocolate and espresso.


Flying Fish Grill

$$$ | (831) 625-1962 | WEBSITE


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The interior looks very impressive. Redwood walls, stairs, and railings. From the outset, it doesn’t look like a traditional dining restaurant but something far more exclusive and not in a snobby sort of way.

You might be surprised to find out the place is a sushi restaurant or any other type, for that matter. They serve ahi, salmon, and sea bass dishes just to name a few.

The clay pot dinner is an experience cooked for you privately at your table. The perfect place to take a date or anytime you want to impress your dinner guest.


Brophy’s Tavern

$$ | (831) 586-5566 | WEBSITE


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Brophy’s serves food, cocktails, and beer. It’s a simple good time with a cool-looking bar and casual dining. Oh, did I mention all the draft beer they have?

The tavern serves all American sports bar food with big flavors like burgers, fries, and sliders. Reviews are overall high and the pub is a favorite of both locals and visitors of Carmel, CA.


SUR at the Barnyard

$$ | (831) 250-7188 | WEBSITE


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SUR is a fine dining experience with the original site founded over thirteen years ago. Voted Carmel Small Restaurant of the Year, SUR is chic, welcoming, and popular.

Menu items include SUR’s cheesy bread, sashimi, and Asian nachos for starters. The menu takes an Italian twist and offers Sicilian meatballs or a classic Caesar salad.

SUR has it all–pasta and salad to fresh seafood. Be sure to make reservations in advance.



You now have a list raving about the 23 Best Restaurants in Carmel, CA! If you’re visiting Carmel-by-the-sea, choose a new place each time you go back.

Pasta cuisine or spicy Japanese flavor can be the difference that turns the night ahead into something unexpected. Delicious food and interesting food come together when paired with great company and an unforgettable tableside view.

Restaurants in Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

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About Restaurant Observer

Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.