John Pisto's Whaling Station Steakhouse
John Pisto's Whaling Station Steakhouse

John Pisto's Whaling Station Steakhouse

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.whalingstation.net/
  • Phone: 8313733778
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm -10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Steak, Steakhouse
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: The Whaling Station offers private and semi private dining areas for groups of 8 to 50. Having a birthday, special event or party please contact us directly to reserve an appropriate area or get additional information.
  • Private Party Contact: The Whaling Station Staff (831) 373-3778

Getting there

  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Enjoy free parking in our private lot. Valet parking available on Friday and Saturday.
A word from John Pisto's Whaling Station Steakhouse
The internationally acclaimed Whaling Station, perched just above Steinbeck’s Cannery Row has been Monterey County’s #1 Steak House for over 40 years, The Whaling Station takes the term “Steak House” seriously... See the restaurant’s dry-aging room, select your USDA Prime cut of dry-aged beef from a silver tray, your Prime, Prime Rib from the antique 1930’s silver carving trolley, and enjoy your Caesar Salad being tossed tableside.

An award winning wine list and full spirits bar complement your dining experience. Serving Dinner and cocktails from 5pm daily.

THE BAR at The Whaling Station has its own menu and its own local following, with drink specials and lively conversation served nightly.

Parking in our private lot. A private banquet room is available.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSteak
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSpecial Occasion
John Pisto's Whaling Station Steakhouse reviews from OpenTable diners
49 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (34)fit for foodies (17)notable wine list (16)romantic (14)good for groups (13)neighborhood gem (12)hot spot (4)vibrant bar scene (3)kid-friendly (3)late-night find (2)great for brunch (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • Missing my pudding
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    The food was very good, but my husband had prime rib and there was no Yorkshire pudding as stated on the menu. I was told the chef didn't make any that night. Well, if the prime rib comes with Yorkshire pudding, it should come with Yorkshire pudding. What happened, they ran out of flour or did the oven break.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Quiet with excellent food
    Connie
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    The bottom line for any restaurant is the food and this restaurant has a great bottom line!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    tribilin469
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Wonderful visit for our anniversary! Great food service and recommendations.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Extremely loud place... Not very enjoyable if you are going for a nice, romantic spot. Could not even hear the person I was with when he talked.. You would think if there is a large group of people and they are very obnoxious, the management would say something to them to quiet down a little. It was not appealing. The service was decent, but the waiter was not attentive to us because they were so busy. Never came back after he served us to make sure everything was okay with our meal. Could have been better, especially for the price you pay.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Special
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We took our family members here for a special anniversary dinner. The staff was great: gracious greeting from the maitre' d, helpful bartender, fabulously attentive waiter, terrific busboy. Add to that a fabulous meal and free cannoli dessert for their anniversary. Everyone cleaned their plate. We were worried the experience would change since we'd heard John Pisto sold to another owner. However, there was nothing to be worried about. Wish anniversaries came along more often to justify this special occasion eatery.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Merle
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    A very enjoyable experience with great food and a very relaxing atmosphere. Service was a little slow.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Only mediocre
    Delicious
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    We were expecting fantastic service, wines and steak… NOT. Lacking in every way. Go to the Sardine Factory, which was much better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun dinner, lacking details
    FresnoDBAVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Business dinner, enjoyed the food. Ordered Caesar Salad. Main course arrived before salad. Got dessert instead. Never the less, enjoyable dinner and delicious food.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Lobster was mushy, onion toppings were soggy and the presentation was sad looking. It wasn't fresh. The rib eye was tough. Although the food was not to standard, the staff did what they could to correct it. That's good service. Unfortunately, the poor lobster experience tarnished any desire to have lobster again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great When Not A Party of 2
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    I've eaten here three times now, and one of those three times was with more than two people. Every time it has been just been two people in my party, the service was lacking tremendously. It is my opinion that this establishment only cares about customers coming in with large groups. Also, the restaurant is extremely loud so it is not date-friendly.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reliable quality food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We had a lovely dinner. There were 10 of us in our group and they still managed to accomodate our needs. Our service was excellent! We received a very friendly welcome at the front door and our table was ready to go. The waiter and buspersons were fun and attentive. We were there for a special occasion, and lingered at our table for a long time without ever feeling rushed. This is the place to go if you want a great steak dinner, and I believe everyone in our group agreed that we got just that. In addition to the great staff inside the restaurant, I have to mention that the parking attendants are appreciated! Especially on an extremely busy Saturday night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Our 35 anniversary dinner for two
    Kate
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    The food was wonderful and service was superb. However, the Prime rib was way over priced compared to other places. Caesar Salad was mixed in front of our table, which was cool. The $12 each seemed a little high for the salad. Pisto is selling the restaurant so will food quality go down as well as prices?
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    The service was impeccable. I had a terrific steak--and the pineapple dessert was to die for!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • steak in Monterey, why? here's why
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We live in San Jose and when the temps rise we head to the coast for golf and dinner and consider ourselves 'foodies'. For whatever, reason- had not been to the Whaling Station prior but was looking for Abalone and decided to give it a try since it was on their menu. Waiter (John) was awesome and both decided to go with their house specialty for our entree, my husband had bone in rib eye and I had the petite filet. Both were amazing, perfectly cooked to medium rare. I very rarely order beef, but oh so glad I did! Wine recommendation was another hit! Will go back and will recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was not great for the price
    FoodJunkie
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Had the prime rib and it was really tough, the meat was not great!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great dinning experience
    Jbakes
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    We went to dinner and were welcomed by friendly informative servers. Who provided excellent food and service.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Such A Disappointment!!!
    TiaritchVIP
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    This restaurant has really gone down hill. Just as the prices have gone up, up, up. Fortunately it has been sold, so hopefully improvement is in the offing. Service, from the bar to the dinner table, was really abysmal. And the food, those famous steaks, were grim. Was looking forward to the Yorkshire Pudding with the prime rib. Any resemblance to Yorkshire Pudding was purely coincidental.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great dinning experience
    NeilsonW
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    The food was excellent, the dry-age steaks are all very delicious. I would recommend to all steak lovers! The waitress that served us was friendly and very attentive. Could not ask for a better waitress. Her name is Claire ! If you go, ask for her!. Staring form the appetizers to entrée and the grand finale desert. Every dish was impeccable. The only dissatisfaction was the large group sat behind me. The noise level was to a point of unpleasant. I would go back to the restaurant and ask to be seated away from large group next time.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 50th ann.
    SPOCC1964
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Our food was Outstanding,The Steaks AMAZING & done just how we liked them-definitely we will return. The Service wonderful & never had 2 wait or ask- they where right there to wait on us. OUTSTANDING Thank You was very Special.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous
    GlobetrotterVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    We've eaten here often & have always had great food & service. My Filet was not cooked to my liking this time---it was quickly removed & returned perfectly. They gave the three of us a complimentary dessert ....Totally impressive... Its our very favorite steakhouse in the Monterey area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Steakhouse
    livetoenjoy
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The person greeting customers needs training; it seems the phone is more important than the customer in front of him. Our waiter was great and very attentive to our needs. It is sad that the Cesar salad could not be prepared by the table side supposedly for lack of room. If they offer it the should make sure they can do it; it was good nevertheless. The steaks were superb.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    The prime rib was awesome and the service was amazing. Second time I have been here, and I will be back again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Steaks
    GlobetrotterVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    We eat here often & almost always get the Filets.. Not inexpensive, but delicious & cooked to perfection. Mashed potatoes were delicious as well. Service here is always impeccable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2000VIP
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    Great steaks, generous portions of everything. Prices are very fair. Service excellent. Dine there often and highly recommend it. Never disappointed.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome steaks and great service!
    DomerGirl98
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    One of the best steakhouses I been too. Service was excellent! would definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Outstanding!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Everything is always delicious and the service is excellent. Highly recommend the rib eye, cooked to perfection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Anniversary Corner
    Harrokittah
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    I went here with my sweetie for our 6 year anniversary. We booked through Open Table and we're cordially greeted upon entering and we got a sweet corner right next to the wine room that they dubbed as the anniversary corner. Claire was our waitress and she was the bomb.com Went absolutely out of her way to make our dining experience so fine. She explain the different cuts of meat, how they were dry or wet aged and recommendations without being pushy. Her expertise was on point and the service from all the staff was excellent. The food came out promptly and was hot. The steak itself was charred perfectly and PERFECT medium rare center. I mean, phenomenal experience for a dry aged steak. It's really something to try.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service
    Dbigleaguer
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The food was outstanding. Although our waiter John was knowledgeable of the steak his delivery of the information was scripted. Thanks goodness I reviewed the menu before going to the restaurant otherwise I would not have known about the porterhouse steak. The best steak I have ever had. worth every penny even though it took me two days to finish.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hummena hummena hummena
    HughGeeRection
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    It was like a culinary roofie! I dont know what melted down faster, the butter on the bread or her panties down her legs. If your looking to get in the old lady's pants this is the spot for you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 20 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 5, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 251 reviews are from the John Pisto's Whaling Station Steakhouse reviews archive.
  • Steaks in Monterey
    MontereyGuy
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Prime steaks with incredible service. Our local gem!!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great steaks
    Dave
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    My wife and I ate here after running Big Sur Marathon, feeling the need for some protein. And we were not disappointed. The dry aged rib-eye and the filet were both fantastic and perfectly cooked. Also great was the Caesar Salad with dressing made from scratch table side. Exceptional service topped it off.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Local Spot - Monterey, CA
    PistosMonterey
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    We celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary at John Pisto's Whaling Station (it was recommended by our hotel The Clement Monterey). The main entree (8 oz filet minon and age-rubbed boneless ribeye) and accompanying side dishes were delicious...better than our expectation. When making the reservation through OpenTable, we indicated we were celebrating our anniversary, yet the host nor the server seemed to be aware of this. Previously when making this notation when booking, the celebration was acknowledged and we received a special dessert at the end of the meal. While we did not expect anything free, an acknowledgment would have been nice. We would still return when visiting Monterey.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding
    OldGuysRule
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    As usual, great food and service by John. Filet mignon was mouth watering with ahi tuna filet incredible.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • VERY GOOD!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    I took my two adult sons (21 & 23) to dinner here while we were in Monterey. We arrived about 30 minutes early to our 5pm reservation. The host kindly offered us a seat at the bar to wait for our table. The bartender was very friendly and made some great cocktails. We were seated promptly and our waiter and other staff were very attentive and friendly. I don't think our water glasses ever got less than half full! Both my sons had sea food and I had the Beef Wellington. Everything was very good! Their Dutch Apple Pie ala-mode was fantastic! If you are looking for a great place to have dinner while in Monterey go to The Whaling Station!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meat Heaven
    JimSee
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    If you love beef this is the place! All of the food served was excellent but the beef was outstanding. It is an expensive restaurant but for those special occasions you could do much worse. The service was attentive without hovering. We went during the early evening and sat at a front window table with lots of light and a street view. Later at night the natural light is gone and the romantic lighting kicks in. This could be the best place to go if you want to eat like a man but your lady doesn't. There is a varied menu with something for everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Usually better
    Dogtor
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    We like this place a lot. It is usually beyond reproach. The last time we were here (4/5/14) however, they were very busy and we (as well as one of the tables next to us) received undercooked food. That being said, it is very likely that we will return, with the hope that it was just a one time problem.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Golf weekend
    ChiefVIP
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    Was in Monterey with buddies for a golf weekend. Had been to the Whaling Station prior and suggested we go. Service was good and loved the Caesar salad made at the table. Steaks were good however the food was not hot when we received it. Other than that it was a good experience,.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Octopus yum, but knives were dull
    rmay
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    The octopus appetizer was great. It was suggested by the waiter And not something we would have normally tried. I guess I'm just old school I think of salad should come with a meal. We had the 2 pound aged rib eye steak to share. It was good. However, the knives were Not sharp. At this type of restaurant when you spend nearly $300 for two people to eat dinner give us real sharp knives. We won't steal them. Felt like we were tearing through the meat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never Disapoints
    Susie
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Once again this place does not disapoint. We asked to let us take our time and they really did give us all the time we wanted. Food snd servicevwere excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Whaling Station Gets Harpooned
    CabernetVIP
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    We have dined at WS several times and always had a great experience. Unfortunately that was not the case this time. Let's start with the wine. We ordered a '06 Cain a Five. The waiter brought a bottle of Cain Cuvée. Upon letting him know this was the wrong bottle, he returned with an '09 Cain a Five...wrong again. I then ordered a '07 Goldschmidt...but they only had an '08. Suggestion...Update your wine list. Another suggestion, when a guest orders a $250 bottle of wine, provide Bordeaux glasses, not your house level glasses. Also, the booth seat had Green Tape covering cracks in the seat portion of the booth. Whaling Station charges top pricing and in return has an obligation to deliver a top level dining experience. Details matter John.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic