Village Corner California Bistro

4.1
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33 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Bistro
Village Corner California Bistro is a dining institution in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea, that locals and travelers have been frequenting for 70 years. Experience our new menu as we work to carry on the tradition guests and Locals have enjoyed for decades.

**WE ONLY TAKE RESERVATIONS FOR DINNER - we do not take reservations for breakfast or lunch**

Illy Cafe Full Espresso menu
Full Wine List featuring Local & California Wine
Enjoy Bloody Mary, Bellini, Mimosa
Certified Green Restaurant
Local Fish Specials
Prime Steaks
Wild Foraged Mushrooms
Vegetarian Dishes
Vegan Dishes - Daily Vegan Specials
Impossible Burger
Al-fresco Dining
Outdoor Patio
Dog Friendly
Kids Menus
Gluten Free Menu, Gluten Free Corn Pasta, Gluten Free Hamburger Buns, Gluten Free Breads, Gluten Free Bagels & English Muffins, Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas.
Brunch
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Wine Dinners
Full Beer Selection
We accept We Chat Pay




What 33 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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c
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 3

Terrible bad and very bad

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very pleasant! We’ll be back!

AS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food here was delicious! A California take on comfort food, with a lot of seasonal, local touches. Sitting outdoors and watching the pedestrians walk downtown Carmel is a delight.

AP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Mellow spot, not super deluxe. Service was fair. Had to put our plates on a neighboring table to make way for desert. Probably won’t be back.

G
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

Don't go here if you expect a reservation to mean anything, or if you want exemplary food. We have been coming here for 15 years, and rated it 5 star. The ownership changed recently and it shows. We arrived on time for a reservation, gave our name, and received blank looks from the staff. All tables were full, including many who had obviously arrived in the last 15 minutes. We were told we would be seated "when space became available". When I asked the value of a reservation, the 20-something host said "it put us at the top of the list," which is not my understanding of a reservation, nor have I ever encountered such a ridiculous attitude before. Luckily, but at our suggestion, they agreed to move some utensils and napkin storage off a table and seat us. The food was only so-so: rubbery steak, tasteless polenta appetiser, bland carbonara, tiny piece of cornbread with chili - nothing memorable at all. Our server was excellent, which is the only reason this review is not one star. Village Corner has always been a key dinner destination for us, but no longer.

CJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The burgers looked great, unfortunately we did not order them.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the place. Atmosphere was very pleasant. My children and spouses were celebrating one of my daughters Birthday. I have been there in one occasion before this visit and was delighted. My other daughter works for Monterey Visitors Bureau and she recommended this place. I will definitely will go back.

HT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Pretty bland menu and food. Ours were not very well cooked. I had the chicken which was over cooked and a bit burnt tasting my partner had a french dip and salad. It was bland and lacking much flavor and or character... Not the worst meal but far from somewhere I'd recommend. The place seemed confused. Was it a diner or a failed attempt at being an upscale place? Maybe your experience would be better.

DG
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Average meal...hamburger bun was overly soggy

c
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great night! Host was hilarious and totally took care of us. Service and food was great.

"As a matter of fact, its colder inside!" ;)

L
Jacksonville
18 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We had an early reservation at 6:30 and ate inside as we had our 15 month old granddaughter. Service was quick and attentive. I was tentative about the pork chop as they are often over cooked and dry but it was perfect! My wife had the meat loaf and she had to negotiate with the one year old about who got what portion.

The outside patio looked awesome and would have been out there if we did not worry about the baby.

This felt like a neighborhood place and several tables made that feel true. Would definitely go there again with or without the baby.

SA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service! It has better vegan options than some places in the area as well

LS
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a quiet night but service was great. Food was delicious and atmosphere was very peaceful (but again, I did not go at a busy time). I would recommend the bistro due to excellence of both food and service (and they were understanding when I was late for the reservation as I had driven a long way that evening to get to Carmel).

EF
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was beyond amazing and it was so great that dogs could hang out on the patio. It gave the atmosphere a really warm homey feeling. The vegan options were great. We all enjoyed it so much we stayed for desserts!!

SM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Excellent service!!!

TP
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

I enjoyed my experience here but had a couple of criticisms. First off there were a lot of tables with very noisy screaming children. I did not expect this coming to an upscale bistro in Carmel. Certainly not the ambience I would have selected for a late dinner on Sunday night. Also, I ordered the seasonal ravioli and was quite upset when I discovered it was covered in mushrooms and even the filling had mushrooms when this ingredient WAS NOT listed on the menu. Luckily the staff quickly made me another dish that was lovely and was kind about it however all ingredients should be listed on the menu to avoid the embarrassment I felt & the hassle of having to finish my meal after the rest of my party. Inside the restaurant was quite cold, I wish we had been seated outside with heat lamps. I also mentioned that we were there for a birthday and no mention of the birthday or celebration was included from the staff. Lots of money for a subpar experience, however all of our food was quite delicious and the staff was accommodating and friendly towards us

CO
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Did not honor reservation and was not apologetic or accommodating.

BS
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Disappointing. I had read great reviews about this restaurant, but (1) we were seated in a tight remote corner with no views (2) the waiter forgot about us multiple times, (3) the impossible burger was not cooked thoroughly, (4) the kids pasta Alfredo was very bland, (5) room noise was rather loud. French fries were tasty though. For a table of 2 adults and 2 kids, we were out $98.

KH
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We’re Seaside residents and I took my two daughters, ages 10 and 17. They absolutely love dining in Carmel. The food, the service, the ambiance and the BLANKETS were impressive! They definitely want me to take them again. My husband was out of town when we went and they told him all about it and said he HAS to go. We’ll be back.

RG
Phoenix
6 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really enjoyed having several vegan options to choose from AND that tasted great. My husband and I enjoyed so much for dinner that we returned for lunch the next day in order to try out some other dishes. Would highly recommend!

PP
Hawaii
12 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Everything that was ordered was delicious. I had the meatloaf- it was fabulous! We did feel a bit rushed from our server however and the resturant wasn’t even that busy. I am a local in Carmel and hadn’t been to Village Corner since the patio was remodeled. It is beautiful! The fire pit was wonderful and kept us warm. I did notice that they have space heaters also.
We will return and next time not allow the server to rush us!

F
Los Angeles
29 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. Carmel is cute all over. the patio looks invitign. The choice of club music at 5 pm was ill advised

SS
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Seating is limited. Outdoor seating has extra heating, if required. But no view of the water, and very little pedestrian traffic on nearby streets. Food was pricey; quality and taste not on par with cost. There are better dining choices on Ocean Ave.

DO
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Been going to Village Corner for years during the Monterrey Historics. Surprised to see new ownership but food was different; but good!

e
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Favorite lunch place. Great outdoor space with a nice fire pit. Creative cuisine.

OT
Orlando
3 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent 5 star

GC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 3

We were 14 minutes late for our reservation because I remembered the time incorrectly and had been written off as a no show. But the hostess was very accommodating and seated us as there were a number of open tables. That was the best part of our meal.
Three of us ordered the meat loaf sandwich because it sounded sooo good. Two of us opted for coleslaw .
One ordered the Impossible burger (vegie) with fries.
Took a while for our order to come out. Very busy time, Antique Car Week in Carmel and Monterey, so could understand the delay.
Our meatloaf sandwiches were extremely disappointing. Very thin meatloaf slice which had way too much bread filler to be even tasty. Was supposed to have pepper ketchup, but was just a thin smear on the top bun. The coleslaw was shredded cabbage without any dressing, not coleslaw. When I requested dressing, the waiter brought a creamy Italian that was not suitable at all for coleslaw.
My granddaughter, who ordered the vegie burger was not sure that it wasn't meat so we tasted and it was not meat. I commented that it actually tasted much like our 'meatloaf' and everyone agreed.
A pretty patio with heaters if needed. A single uni-sex bathroom with a line at all times.
Would not recommend this restaurant because of the quality and lack of taste of the food. Was expecting so much more!

L
Central Coast
55 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We sat on the patio near the fire. Received excellent service from Andre us. We ordered a number of appetizers and the ravioli and shared the dishes. They were all excellent. The fried shrimp and artichoke hearts and the calamari were both very good. Ravioli is covered with the light sauce and lots of perfectly cooked asparagus.

y
Los Angeles
130 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

On a Monday night, the place was nearly empty. We ate outside by some heaters which was nice. The menu selection was a bit limited for vegetarians but the "Impossible Burger" was amazing.

p
Orlando
16 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

The staff here is excellent. The ambience is lovely. This is also a dog friendly spot. I think if I had ordered the hamburger, I would have been happier. I just have a hard time with fish served with mashed potatoes and gravy.

CF
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was attentive and fun. Food was excellently prepared, delicious and creative. Prices were correct. Would definitely return. Love the Tuesday night 1/2 price wines!!

OT
Palm Springs
65 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Never disappoints. We had friends visiting so it was their first time here. They loved it. My husband's lamb was a bit overcooked but this was the first time as he has had it several times. My short ribs were very good as were the meatball appetizer. My friend raved about the polenta appetizer. The service is always excellent.

TK
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Outside patio nice; Didn't care for the music--it clashed with the atmosphere.