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 WinnerSpecial Occasion
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSteak
John Pisto's Whaling Station Steakhouse reviews from OpenTable diners
49 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
85% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (30)fit for foodies (15)good for groups (15)notable wine list (13)neighborhood gem (9)romantic (8)kid-friendly (2)hot spot (2)great for brunch (1)great for lunch (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • 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
  • Good experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    The service was excellent. Thought the grilled artichoke appetizer was fantastic, as was the stuffed spinach that came with my steak. My wife's chicken was good but a little tough and my steak had great texture (though a little rare), but lacked any taste until I salted it. I'd go back on a special occasion.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary pleaser, can't miss!
    Meet2Eat
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    We've been coming here for over three decades and have never been disappointed by either the food or the service. I can't think of a better restaurant on the peninsula!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Impressed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Our food was cold, the steak was just mediocre, and the calamari was more crumbs than fish. The restaurant was over priced and just not worth the money.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome Experience
    Butch
    Dined on 3/17/2014
    Went there for my Birthday,was not disapointed.Great waiting on our table,good bartender,excellent presentation for the steaks and our salad.Not to mention the best steaks we have had in a long time.We vacationed from San Diego and went there because of the reviews which were very good.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous Service!
    FLGal
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    We had a family celebration dinner here, and the food was excellent, the steaks were divine, but the service was FABULOUS!! We felt like we were the only table in the restaurant, but our staff didn't hover as they do in some establishments. Johnny-on-the-spot with cocktails, water, anything we needed. A MUST for a visit to Monterrey!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    LocalVIP
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    Both had NY steaks. Both had fat running through them. A $250 dinner I did not eat. This place has lost its luster.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always go here when in Monterey
    Mightymorsel
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    Service was great, got seated right away and waiter was very attentive. All the steaks are dry aged and prime cut so we always look forward to a real treat. However the steaks this time tasted just a little "off". Both of us noticed it but could not pin down what it was. We may not go back next time we are in town but this has always been a destination for us so shall see how we feel than.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Sunday Evening Meal
    OuttoLunch
    Dined on 3/2/2014
    Celebrated with a small family gathering on an early Sunday evening. Service was very attentive and discreet. Waiter very friendly and knowledgeable, chatty but not intrusive. Food was delicious and menu selection comprehensive. Although a steak house, I appreciate their vast seafood selections. Left satisfied and happy start to finish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing Steakhouse
    Mike
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    I ordered filet mignon with lobster and my girlfriend ordered filet mignon. We ordered our filets to be cooked medium. My filet arrived medium well and was blackened. My girlfriend's filet was obviously well done and blackened. We sent back her steak and I chose to keep mine despite their offer to replace mine. I wish I would have sent mine back because the charcoal taste became overwhelming the more I ate. My girlfriend's second filet was cooked medium as requested, but was blackened again. As she ate the second filet, the charcoal taste overrode any flavor of the filet. We advised our waiter of our disappointment and he removed one of the meals from our bill. The service was good, however, I will likely not ever go back due to this issue.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We have dined here for several
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    We have dined here for several years and the food is always excellent. Service is superior.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service, fancy steak
    Alboutfoodz
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    The feel in this restaurant is great. They nailed the lighting and the servers are all cheerful, professional, knowledgable, and efficient. I'm not the steak eater but my boyfriend is. I got sand dabs that were delicious. He got the boneless ribeye rare. It was cooked and seasoned perfectly. The sides were a nice, if a bit salty, compliment. The grilled artichoke appetizer was very tasty. Their portions are generous. The fabulous creme brûlée I had for dessert was the biggest I'd ever seen. No complaints here ;) For a pricey, special occasion, romantic dinner, it really fit the bill.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • As expected
    Michael
    Dined on 2/10/2014
    As we expected, The Whaling Station was exceptional. Excellent service, great food and appropriate portions (i.e., plenty of food, but not too much!). Always perfect for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • overall dissapointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    My first time here. I had asked if we could have a table in a both or somewhat quiet area. Upon arrival we were seated just off the bar and main walk way. I noticed open seating off in the corner that would have been a better fit for my request. Our waiter was not very helpful. We noticed that he would bring a meat selection tray to other tables, and explained the different cuts of meat. This was not done for us. The steak was good but the service and ambience was mediocre. I was very disappointed that my seating requests were not considered. I must have had my seat bumped by 8 different people on their way out.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food was not worth the price
    Mike
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    Sorry but if I'm paying 44 dollars for a filet it had better be delicious. Not charred and tasting like it's bathed in butter. Service was slow and unattentive. We are a younger couple and hope we weren't profiled by our older waiter. I'm not not shy when it comes to tipping.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great dinner date!
    Daizzy27
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    My husband and I went here for our weekend getaway for dinner on a Saturday night. We had reservations at 6:30 and were seated right when we arrived. It became more crowded about 7-730. Our server was very knowledgable about the menu and was extremely nice. We had a calamari appetizer which was yummy! Not too much breeding and extremely tender! I had the seafood stew for dinner which was amazing! I just wish it had more shellfish in it. My husband and the rib chop which was cooked perfectly and very flavorful. Only one slight downfall....drink prices were a bit ridiculous. My husband had a kettle one and tonic and it was $12! You can get that anywhere else for under $8. Would hate to see what the nicer vodkas cost! Lol.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always excellent
    gansine
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    We are regulars to this establishment. That food is wonderful. We continue to be loyal patrons.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent dinning experience.
    Pete
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    Excellent dinning experience. The food and the service were great
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Charming Delectables
    Foodie1
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    The table service for the Cesar salad was fun and absolutely delicious. Rack of lamb and prime rib was cooked to perfection. The only issue I had was the kale served with the rack of lamb, it was bitter and chewy. The key lime tart was the best, I am still thinking about it. The wait staff was fantastic always making sure we were being taken care of. My request for a booth was accommodated to the tee. I will be going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Prime Rib
    elkhead6x6
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    The prime rib was the best I have ever tasted and I have been eating it for over forty years.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Monterey landmark impressive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    My wife and I wanted to try the Station as we are locals that had never been. Very glad we did. For the quality of steaks we had, it was well priced. My wife had the filet(medium) and I had the dry aged rib eye(medium rare) plus the carpaccio appetizer. My steak was top three in my life. Even better was the service we received from every aspect. Wine list isn't incredible, so I wish the corkage was a bit cheaper($25), but I still had good wine with a great meal. Highly satisfied.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We came back!
    kshotloVIP
    Dined on 1/16/2014
    We have always had a top 5. This was on it for years. Have not been to area for 10 years. Of course, Waling Station went off our list (we travel a lot). We came back, went to restaurant, and now is back up on our list!!!! So excited, eating there again this weekend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Top Quality
    Rick
    Dined on 1/5/2014
    Monterey has a lot of restaurants to choose from, but there are a few that stand out above the rest. In my opinion The Whaling Station is not only among those, but one that is at the top of that list. For an amazing steak it simply cannot be beat. The dry aged beef is amazing. The last time I went I had the bone-in rib chop (ribeye) and it was perfect. My wife had a fish plate and was equally pleases. As far as the prices are concerned, you definitely pay for the quality, but considering the portions my wife and I both had plenty leftover for dinner the following night. The food and the dining experience are worth every penny. I highly recommend this place to celebrate a special occasion or impress a special person.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    Troymc
    Dined on 1/1/2014
    This was one of the best restaurants we have ever been to the food and service was excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Had dinner on New Years Eve.
    DaveP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Had dinner on New Years Eve. Great food but very noisey and I miss the more formal dress code. The people dining that night looked more like those you would anticipate seeing at Denny's, dress wise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What A Great Experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We decided to try a new place for dinner on New Year's Eve this year. Despite living in Monterey for decades, we had never tried the Whaling Station. I am soooo glad we did. We had a 5pm reservation (only time available) and I was worried they would try to get us in and out in a hurry to turn the table over quickly. Not so. Service was excellent. Wait staff was attentive but did not rush us. Food was outstanding. Prime rib was flavorful and tender. Calamari was some of the best we've had and we really love calamari. Drinks were tasty and definitely not watered down. Will definitely go back for the next special occasion. Pricey but well worth it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • BETTER DAYS AHEAD.
    BMT4DINERS
    Dined on 12/12/2013
    occasionally a very good restaurant falls on it's self, not to worry they will fix it...poor kitchen performance means more help needed with an absolute PRO on the grill if you are a renown STEAK HOUSE...enough said! BY the way that is EACH NIGHT of the week!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrible restaurant
    LarryVIP
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    This place is a perfect candidate for "mission impossible" , the show that tries to save restaurants. Ran out of menus to start, had a horrific FISH smell & a waiter that was almost eternally MISSING . The food was not tasty, nor even remotely what you would expect at an average restaurant. And to add insult to injury, after sending the "sour" butternut squash soup back for French onion soup (equally as bad), the waiter announces, "don't worry I didn't charge you extra for the French onion..." Wow, they took back FULL bowls back and he had NO clue....but hey, he was never there ....
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food........ A little
    toyoata42
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    Great Food........ A little Pricey on the Live Maine LOBSTER ; wow'''''''''''''''''''' But it was Very Fresh & Sweet
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing steak!
    lisa74
    Dined on 11/30/2013
    Filet Mignon was melt in your mouth delicious. Would definitely make a repeat visit next time we are in town
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fair service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/30/2013
    Sat at bar. Bartender not very attentive. Definitely sat for 10-15 minutes without any service without water or drink.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate