Affina

4.0
63 reviews
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$30 and under
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Californian
Top Tags:
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Local Ingredients
Affina is a modern American & Fusion eatery that focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients. We have created an open, light and airy restaurant where you can enjoy a drink or a full meal at our U-shaped bar, in a window seat in the dining room or at the communal table next to the beautiful white Kimball Viennese classic grand piano. Our wine-friendly, new American cuisine "with a little bit of French” features dishes such as A la Minute Clam Chowder, Hand Crafted Pasta and the local, seasonal and fresh Fish of the Day! Affina is the face of new casual dining and we hope you will join us very soon!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Californian, Asian, Contemporary French / American
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Hours of operation
Mon– Sun 11:00am- 11pm
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Phone number
(831) 250-7744
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Nicolas Izard
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Catering
We are available for catering private events & weddings. Please call 831-250-7744 for more information.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
6th and San Carlos Streets, Carmel by the sea, 93923
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 63 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on all time ratings
3.9
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

Service not good, inattentive. Food sub par.

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CA
Sacramento
7 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 3

We enjoyed our pre-Big Sur International Marathon dinner; however, the food was not that special and so we felt a bit overpriced. Smoked salmon crostini were delicious. Boneless chicken dish was dry and overcooked. Creme Brulee dessert was not prepared properly. The entire dish had been warmed in an oven and the normally crips brulee was carmel-gooey and top 1/4"of custard was like hard boiled egg yolk. Service was excellent. Live piano music is a plus.

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G
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

Limited menu executed poorly. Location and live jazz are good, although many restaurants in Carmel are offering some form of entertainment now. Open table availability suggests others think the same......

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GR
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2017
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

There are so many good choices in Carmel it's hard to go wrong, so I decided to try somewhere we hadn't been before. Sadly, Affina was a big disappointment.

The menu is small, but that can be a good thing. We had the cauliflower starter and the poutine. Under cooked french fries is never a good sign, we should have been warned.

For entrees we chose the seasonal vegetables and I played it safe with the bolognese. It's fall so the stores are full of interesting vegetables, but we got cauliflower, again, and not much else. My bolognese was thin, oily and had a strange metallic taste. We had time for dessert, so we ordered the creme brulee which was lumpy and broken.

We had 3 courses of unimaginative, poorly executed food, a glass of wine and two coffees and the bill came to just under $100.

The service was fast and friendly. There was interesting live music and the place was pretty busy with a good atmosphere.

If the food was even reasonable this could be a good alternative to the usual Carmel favorites, but I can't forgive food this bad. We won't be going again.

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j
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

Ate here last minute while in Carmel for the evening. Broth in clam dish had no evidence of lemongrass, tamarind or Thai herbs. Very bland (tasted like plain chicken broth) and clams were overdone. Waiter was nice enough to remove from bill. Presentation of burrata dish was underwhelming. Just chunks of burrata strewn across plate. Toast was so garlicky that it overwhelmed the wine. Also had to send fries back because first batch was undercooked. Too bad because Affina has a cool, casual atmosphere with music and good service.

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B
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We booked a reservation for breakfast and arrived to find the restaurant closed!!!! We all almost missed flights.

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W
Western NC
80 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed our brunch omelets & "bottomless mimosas!"

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SF
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unbelievable find in Carmel. On a backstreet and amazing food,service and live music. A very memorable experience. N

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a
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Probably one of the neatest culinary discoveries this year. The food and ingredients are first class and superbly presented. Intriguing wine list. Excellent service, with Luis the chef and Andres as our server it was perfect.
Wish them all success, apart from anything else we want to return as often as we can when in Carmel.

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NF
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Affina has become my favorite restaurant in Carmel. The food is always fresh and flavorful, and the servers are attentive and friendly. The piano music adds to the ambience.

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GT
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was well prepared. Atmosphere was fun and energetic. Terrific service in a casual environment. Highly recommended

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M
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Busy wee place. Jazz in background. Clams, cauliflower, spring rolls, chicken tenders, were all good appetisers. Pasta also good. Decent wine list. No liquor licence, only beer and wine, so no cocktails. Enjoyed it.

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OT
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

VERY NICE AND IF YOU GET LUCKY
YOU MAY HAVE A BIG SURPRISE AT THE PIANO
WE DID MAKING IT AN UNFORGETTABLE EVENING

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B
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Had salmon with potatoes and veg. Sauce was supposed to be lemon-cream, but was served orange-colored and buttery, on the flavorless side. Our second entree was a carbonara pasta. Not traditional but very tasty. Service was great. Jazz pianist was a special treat.

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such good food and the service was really good. The live piano was a nice touch as well! Recommend to anyone who wants a lovely night out!

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L
New York Area
107 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2017
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

With all of the dining options available in Carmel-by-the-Sea, I would not recommend Affina. It's a lovely little place with a young lad playing the piano. When asked if he takes requests, he replied that he did not because he only knew a few pieces. Oh well. He played well enough. We were warmly greeted and there were only 2 people at the bar and 2 people at another table, so it was rather quiet. Our waiter, who greeted us at the door & seated us, attempted to take our drink orders before we even had a moment to settle down and take a look at the wine list. He gave us a minute & when he returned he wanted to take our order. We hadn't even heard the specials. I'm not sure why he was in such a rush. After we ordered, he literally brought the salad and appetizer (both of which we ordered to share) at the exact same time and didn't bother to ask if we wanted refills on our empty wine glasses. The moment our utensils were set down after the salad/appetizer combo, the entrees arrived. I have literally never been so rushed and I have no idea why. As far as the food goes, the beet & goat cheese salad was average, nothing to write home about, and the smoked salmon appetizer was one I could have easily put together at home with store bought ingredients. The pasta bolognese was tasty & the fish special (sea bass) was also tasty and chock full of vegetables. The food was fine, but not special, and the service was way too rushed. That may have been the quickest meal I've ever been served and I was definitely not in any hurry.

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OT
Central Coast
39 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The steamed clams were awesome. The rest of the menu was pretty limited. Our entrees were ok, and dessert was good. Piano is a nice touch and the service was excellent.

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OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We spent three nights in Carmel. We live in Napa, so have a fairly high bar for restaurants. Our last dinner was at Affina. This was by far the best of our three dinners. We were warmly greeted. The wait staff was friendly and helpful. Each item we had was perfectly prepared. I had the fish special which was snapper. My wife had a pasta. For dessert I had an apple tart, my wife had a warm chocolate cake. The wine selection by the glass was good. The ambience was excellent with a live piano player playing in the background. The classic movie Casablanca was playing on a a flat screen TV without the sound which interestingly was a nice addition to the overall warmth and character of the restaurant. I highly recommend Affina. We are already planning to come back for our anniversary in December.

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OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved the lively atmosphere! We had a great time. This place has an excellent vibe and good energy. My food was bland, I had to add salt but otherwise was great. Service was friendly and prompt.

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OT
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

On my short list.. Fantastic!

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P
Austin
4 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Pasta bolognese was terrible. Nothing like the pasta from bologna. Too creamy and rich. Not at all how bolognese sauce should be.

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NF
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Carmel. I highly recommend giving it a try.

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c
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2017
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

This was our 4th time dining at Affina - twice 2 years ago when the restaurant was fairly new and innovative - and twice this year. This evening we were celebrating our 41st wedding anniversary. A few nights earlier we dined here - spoke with the owner/chef - who also noticed we were coming again for our special night. He made the effort to enter some notes in the computer tablet and we thought - gee - our special night here may be noticed with a treat - albeit a small one. Once we arrived for dinner no recognition of the evening was made - by the owner who was there - the food - Pasta Bolognese was lackluster with little flavor - the one time joie di vive of the place was totally missing. The best part of the evening though was a waiter Robbie (from Maryland) - and Gabe (the piano player). Hope the spirit of great food - that's both creative and delicious that once existed in Affina returns - Carmel is a very competitive restaurant market.

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OT
Palm Springs
2 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am a local Carmel resident and most of us have a rotation of restaurants we frequent. Affina has now cemented itself in my grouping. It's so unique to Carmel: bright, fun, vibrant and original. The live music is a great touch and so are the old B & W movies on tv. You can find you self in great conversation with your party, servers, or other guests. The menu is somewhat small but each dish is very different. My favorite are the Clams and whatever the local special is that night. Affina is a fantastic find in Carmel. The bright open windows bring the excitement of Downtown in to the place. Many people stop and peer in when the music gets going and one can only assume they are saying, "I wish I ate there tonight."

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f
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Great service, good food. It is a good solution close to our hotel.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family had an outstanding experience dining at Affina. The food was excellent in both presentation and taste. They had live music: piano & flutist which was just the right volume to enhance the meal. It was also very kid friendly- we had our 10 & 12 year old daughters with us, and they seated us right in front of the piano to keep them entertained. Highly recommend this place!

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D
Los Angeles
95 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The food was overall quite good. I'm not giving them excellent since two of the 10 items or so we ordered were just ok. The best things we had were the Caesar Salad and the Bolognese Pasta as well as the lemon creme brulee and apple tartan. The restaurant was cozy with a live piano player which was a nice touch.

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Food was local and genuine. Service was friendly and showed ownership.
Healthy options. Great for all sized groups. Lovely setting.

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EY
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2017
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

Was very disappointed in the service here. Waiter forgot who ordered what as soon as the order was complete, special request was attached to the wrong meal so neither of us got the proper dish and the check was brought before we were finished eating without asking if we wanted we dessert. (We did so we went somewhere else down the street).

While the menu was limited, it does allow them to concentrate their efforts such that the food was very good.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice setting and menu. Great and caring service.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great place, a touch under the radar. Excellent food, fresh ingredients

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DB
Phoenix
30 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was exquisite - especially the Pasta carbonara. Apple Tartin was perfection. The music was a delightful accompaniment to our meal. We'll visit again and again.

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J
Central Coast
35 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

Not much ambiance, but food was great and service very good. Piano music was a nice touch. I strongly recommend.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to Affina with some friends on our vacation. Dexter was so accommodating! Two friends ended up singing for everyone and we sat around after hours, drank and told stories. Such an enjoyable experience. We will definitely be back when we return to California :)

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H
New Mexico
10 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and food. But wine we ordered was not available, and replacement was horrible and way over-priced.

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S
Las Vegas
41 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love love love the live music: please keep the pianist!! Enjoy the menu very much and would like to go again on a next visit to Carmel.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a lovely meal with a co-worker. We just missed the wine festival the night before so we were the only ones there. Service was prompt and warm. Our server was very friendly and made great recommendations. We had the sautéed cauliflower which was amazing- different colors and the right "tooth" and flavor was spot on, I had the NY strip steak with veggies and found my steak to be cooked perfectly. The ambience is modern and clean, which is nice considering most places are more packed with ambience. Overall I'll be there again.

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T
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the creative and delicious good. Some if the best trout I've had, and I'm not generally a trout fan. Every dish in our group of 5 was a winner. Excellent food for a reasonable price in Carmel.

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M
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2017
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

We stumbled across Affina because of its great corner location off Ocean Ave. The ambience seemed quaint French country kitchen and the hostess was very nice and accomodating. Beyond that it felt like the owners and chef had taken a successful menu template and tried to recreate it. The food although modest in creativity, sounded like it had the potential to be tasty. In reality, some of the food was overcooked and none of the flavors really jumped into my mouth. The wine list also left alot to be desired. I guess I would put this all in context of the quality to price ratio. Had this been two-thirds of the price, I might have rated the food higher.

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S
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Overpriced wine list.

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