15 Best Restaurants in Carmel by the Sea

15 Best Restaurants in Carmel by the Sea

  • Tim Allen Properties
  • 04/2/24

Carmel-by-the-Sea, nestled along the scenic coast of California, is renowned for its breathtaking ocean views, charming architecture, and diverse culinary scene. From quaint cafes to upscale dining establishments, this picturesque coastal town offers a plethora of culinary delights to satisfy every palate.

In this guide, we'll explore some of the best restaurants in Carmel-by-the-Sea, where exceptional cuisine meets charming ambiance, creating unforgettable dining experiences for locals and visitors alike.

1. La Bicyclette

Tucked away in a cozy corner of Carmel-by-the-Sea, La Bicyclette is a charming French restaurant known for its rustic ambiance and delectable cuisine. With its warm, inviting atmosphere and friendly service, this beloved eatery captures the essence of French dining while incorporating fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Whether you're craving savory crepes, artisanal pizzas, or decadent pastries, La Bicyclette offers a delightful culinary journey that transports diners to the streets of Paris.

2. Aubergine

Photo courtesy of 50BestDiscovery
Nestled within L'Auberge Carmel, Aubergine offers an unparalleled fine-dining experience. This Michelin-starred restaurant showcases innovative New American cuisine, featuring seasonal ingredients and exquisite presentations. The elegant ambiance, impeccable service, and breathtaking ocean views make Aubergine a perfect choice for a special occasion.

3. Casanova

Photo courtesy of Life Out of Bounds
Nestled in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea's historic downtown, Casanova exudes old-world charm and elegance. Housed in a historic building from 1937, this iconic eatery features intimate dining spaces adorned with flickering candlelight and rustic decor. Renowned for its authentic Italian cuisine and extensive wine selection, Casanova Restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience that celebrates the rich culinary traditions of Italy.

4. Mission Ranch Restaurant

Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor
Located at the historic Mission Ranch, this restaurant offers a unique blend of California cuisine and ranch-style fare. Enjoy panoramic views of the Carmel Valley while indulging in dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Mission Ranch Restaurant is an excellent option for a memorable dining experience with rustic charm.

5. Flying Fish Grill

For seafood lovers seeking a taste of the ocean's bounty, Flying Fish Grill is a must-visit destination in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Located in the charming Carmel Plaza, this award-winning restaurant specializes in innovative seafood dishes inspired by Asian and Pacific Rim flavors. From sushi rolls and sashimi to grilled fish and seafood stir-fries, Flying Fish Grill offers a diverse menu showcasing the freshest ingredients from local fishermen and purveyors.

6. Seventh & Dolores

Photo courtesy of Michelin
This sophisticated steakhouse boasts an impressive selection of dry-aged cuts cooked to perfection. The extensive wine list at Seventh & Dolores complements the delectable steaks, and the warm, inviting atmosphere creates a perfect setting for a celebratory dinner.

7. Dametra Cafe

Photo courtesy of What’s Up Monterey
Transport your taste buds to the Mediterranean with a visit to Dametra Cafe, a vibrant eatery known for its lively ambiance and flavorful cuisine. Situated in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea's bustling Ocean Avenue, this family-owned restaurant offers a menu inspired by the culinary traditions of Greece, Italy, and the Middle East. With its colorful decor, live music, and mouthwatering dishes like lamb gyros, spanakopita, and baklava, Dametra Cafe offers a dining experience that is both festive and unforgettable.

8. Cultura Comida y Bebida

Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

This vibrant restaurant celebrates the culinary traditions of Spain and Latin America. Indulge in tapas, paella, and an extensive selection of Latin American wines and cocktails. Cultura Comida y Bebida offers a lively atmosphere and a unique dining experience in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

9. The Tuck Box

Photo courtesy of Life Out of Bounds

Step back in time and experience the charm of an English tea room at The Tuck Box, a beloved institution in Carmel-by-the-Sea since 1949. Housed in a whimsical Tudor-style building adorned with colorful flowers and quaint details, this historic eatery offers a cozy breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea retreat. Indulge in classic British fare, such as scones with clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches, and traditional English breakfasts, all served with charm and hospitality.

10. Village Corner Bistro

Photo courtesy of OpenTable

A Carmel institution, Village Corner Bistro is a classic American diner offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The extensive menu features traditional favorites like burgers, sandwiches, and salads, all prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Village Corner provides a casual and friendly atmosphere, perfect for a quick bite or a relaxed meal with friends.

11. Katy's Place

Photo courtesy of Katy’s Place

Start your day with a visit to Katy's Place, a beloved breakfast spot known for its hearty portions and welcoming atmosphere. Located in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea, this cozy café has been serving delicious breakfast and brunch dishes since 1982. From fluffy pancakes and omelets to benedicts and breakfast burritos, Katy's Place offers a diverse menu that caters to every craving, ensuring you'll leave satisfied and ready to tackle the day ahead.

12. Grasings

Photo courtesy of See Monterey

For a taste of California coastal cuisine in a sophisticated setting, look no further than Grasings. Situated in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea's downtown area, this upscale restaurant offers a menu inspired by the flavors of the Pacific coast, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients. Whether you're enjoying a leisurely dinner with friends or a romantic evening for two, Grasings promises an unforgettable dining experience.

13. Cantinetta Luca

Photo courtesy of MontereyCountyWeekly.com

This lively and welcoming restaurant is a Carmel favorite for Italian cuisine. Cantinetta Luca boasts a delightful selection of pizzas and pasta made with fresh, authentic ingredients. The friendly atmosphere and extensive wine list make it a perfect spot for a casual and enjoyable dining experience.

14. Carmel Belle

Photo courtesy of Carmel Belle

For health-conscious diners seeking fresh, organic fare, Carmel Belle is a hidden gem in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Located in the charming Doud Craft Studios, this casual café offers a menu of seasonal dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. From salads and sandwiches to soups and grain bowls, Carmel Belle's menu is designed to nourish the body and delight the palate. With its relaxed ambiance and commitment to sustainability, Carmel Belle is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.

15. Forge in the Forest

Photo courtesy of What’s Up Monterey

For a casual yet upscale dining experience in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Forge in the Forest is the perfect destination. Situated amidst lush gardens and towering pine trees, this charming restaurant offers a menu of classic American dishes with a creative twist. Whether you're craving a juicy burger, a fresh salad, or a hearty steak, Forge in the Forest delivers a memorable dining experience in a picturesque setting.

Planning your culinary adventure in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea boasts a vibrant culinary scene that reflects the town's unique charm and coastal beauty. From quaint cafes to upscale dining establishments, this picturesque seaside town has no shortage of exceptional restaurants. Whether you're craving fresh seafood, international flavors, or classic American cuisine, Carmel-by-the-Sea has something to satisfy every palate. So why wait? Plan your culinary adventure in Carmel-by-the-Sea today and experience the best that this charming town has to offer.

Contact Tim Allen for your real estate goals

Ready to explore the luxury real estate opportunities in Carmel-by-the-Sea? Contact Tim Allen today to find your dream home in this coastal paradise. With Tim's expertise and dedication to client satisfaction, you can trust that you'll find the perfect property to suit your lifestyle and preferences. Don't wait any longer to make your real estate dreams a reality.

Reach out to Tim Allen and take the first step towards owning your slice of paradise in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

*Header photo courtesy of La Bicyclette

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