68 Monterey Area Restaurants to Love This Valentine's Day

Whether your idea of a good time is a fancy, festive dinner out or cold sesame noodles and binge-watching on the couch, we're here to help you find it—since the greatest love of all is the love of food. Dig in.

OpenTable
Restaurants:Passionfish, Ventana Grill, Fish Hopper
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Seafood, Latin American
Neighborhoods:Pacific Grove, Pismo Beach, Monterey
Party Size
For 2
Date
Time
7:00 PM

Passionfish

$$$$·Seafood·
Pacific Grove
5,696 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem
Wonderful as always!
Seafood in California Central Coast
54 people mentioned the Bread Pudding

Ventana Grill

$$$$·Latin American·
Pismo Beach
2,431 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Lunch
Great experience l loved the food and drinks And the waitress was great
32 people mentioned the Fish Chip
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Fish Hopper

$$$$·Seafood·
Monterey
2,897 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Special Occasion
Amazing service and atmosphere!
Scenic View in California Central Coast
50 people mentioned the Calamari

Anton & Michel Restaurant

$$$$·European·
Carmel
2,243 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
Very attentive and thoroughly trained staff. Excellent menu with something for everyone. Worth the price.
Best Overall in Monterey / Carmel
117 people mentioned the Rack Lamb
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Montrio Bistro

$$$$·Californian·
Monterey
3,536 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem
Under Covid conditions 12/12 right before shutdown, the service could not have been better, the food perfectly prepared and brought out hot (one side dish came out 30 seconds laterRead more
130 people mentioned the Short Rib
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Stella Mare's

$$$$·French·
Santa Barbara
1,337 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
We had the sweetest evening for our 19th Anniversary with delicious food, ambiance and our server and everyone there was hospitable and wonderful. Everything we had was delicious aRead more
Great for Brunch in California Central Coast
19 people mentioned the French Onion Soup

Tarpy's Roadhouse

$$$$·American·
Monterey
2,640 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Lunch
We are regulars at Tarpys - always a good time
American in California Central Coast
25 people mentioned the Calamari

Olio e Limone Ristorante

$$$$·Italian·
Santa Barbara
1,806 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies
Good food. Great service. A bit pricy. I would return here again.
Italian in California Central Coast
34 people mentioned the Duck Ravioli

Fandango

$$$$·European·
Pacific Grove
3,157 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Notable Wine List
We come here every time we’re in town. The food is yummy and the service is very good
Romantic in California Central Coast
139 people mentioned the Rack Lamb

Harbor Restaurant

$$$$·Seafood·
Santa Barbara
585 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
By and large the food is excellent and well prepared so long as you don't get lobster or anything with sliced tomatoes
18 people mentioned the Prime Rib
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Beach House Restaurant at Lovers Point

$$$$·Californian·
Pacific Grove
3,168 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Waterfront
I’ve had dinner there several times and have never been disappointed.
Scenic View in California Central Coast
60 people mentioned the Early Bird Special

Casanova Restaurant Carmel

$$$$·Italian·
Carmel
1,287 reviews
  • Romantic
  • Notable Wine List
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
It's so wonderful to visit Cassnova again! The food and wine were perfect. The patio is as charming as ever. Thanks for a memorable double birthday celebration.
Notable Wine List in California Central Coast
25 people mentioned the Gnocchi
Table for 2 today

Intermezzo By Wine Cask

$$$$·Californian·
Santa Barbara
1,176 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
  • Notable Wine List
Paul was outstanding server and guided us to some special items. Restaurant is in redevelopment phase but manages very well. Will continue to improve from a high standard.
Outdoor Dining in California Central Coast
11 people mentioned the Bread Pudding

Holdren's Steaks & Seafood

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Santa Barbara
493 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
Very good food and service. Make reservations otherwise you might not get in.
13 people mentioned the Filet Mignon
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Brothers Restaurant at Red Barn

$$$$·American·
Santa Ynez Valley
908 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
I'm a big meat eater. I usually order filet when I'm out. I decided to try the ribeye. Absolutely delicious!
Best Overall in California Central Coast
101 people mentioned the Prime Rib
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Alex Madonna’s Gold Rush Steak House, at Madonna Inn

$$$$·Steakhouse·
San Luis Obispo
3,133 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date
We had a wonderful experience! Service was great !
Best Service in California Central Coast
118 people mentioned the Prime Rib

Oliver's

$$$$·Vegan·
Montecito
1,131 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Vegan
  • Fit for Foodies
A classy place in a beautiful setting. The service was impeccable and the food was terrific. Very pleased with the overall experience. So lucky to have grabbed the last reservationRead more
Best Overall in California Central Coast
16 people mentioned the Pad Thai

PortaBella Restaurant

$$$$·French·
Carmel
954 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Romantic
  • Neighborhood Gem
The lamb shank and wild mushroom risotto were outstanding. The corn and crab soup was a great starter. Service was good as the restaurant was totally booked.
Hot Spot in Monterey / Carmel
23 people mentioned the Short Rib
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Mama's Meatball

$$$$·Italian·
San Luis Obispo
844 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Authentic
Great birthday celebration with family.
Kid Friendly in California Central Coast
6 people mentioned the Calamari

Salt Wood Kitchen and Oysterette

$$$$·Seafood·
Marina
721 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
Wonderful time from wine recommendation to dinner service. They also had live music that was just right.
Seafood in California Central Coast
22 people mentioned the Fried Chicken
Experiences available
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Roy

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Santa Barbara
340 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic
  • Casual
ROY is a long time unique local treasure! Roy IS a person and this is his restaurant with a great menu and many choices, local art and live music! Just the right size with bar, tRead more
Vibrant Bar Scene in Santa Barbara
19 people mentioned the Chicken Marsala

Sardine Factory

$$$$·Seafood·
Monterey
3,889 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for Anniversaries
Wonderful experience. Very friendly staff. Drinks and apps were delicious. Entire staff was 5 star. Thank you for a special Monterey experience.
Romantic in California Central Coast
226 people mentioned the Abalone
Table for 2 today

The Whaling Station Steakhouse

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Monterey
1,645 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for Birthdays
Another great dinner at the Whaling Station. The food and the service was excellent!
Vibrant Bar Scene in California Central Coast
92 people mentioned the Prime Rib

Schooners Monterey

$$$$·Californian·
Monterey
2,082 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Waterfront
Great food and service dined her for breakfast and the view was amazing. The food came out at a reasonable time and the host and waiter provided great customer service. Five starsRead more
Scenic View in California Central Coast
40 people mentioned the Cioppino

Rio Grill

$$$$·Californian·
Carmel
1,927 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
We have been coming to Rio Grill for years. My parents have lived in Carmel over 50 years. We celebrated my moms birthday which was wonderful with rose petals on the table. Our sRead more
Great for Lunch in California Central Coast
35 people mentioned the Skirt Steak

Oyster Loft

$$$$·Seafood·
Pismo Beach
2,503 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Scenic View
  • Fit for Foodies
Loved this place. Great experience! Food was amazing!!!
Seafood in California Central Coast
41 people mentioned the Black Cod
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Sea Venture

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Pismo Beach
1,614 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Romantic
Service was OUTSTANDING! Food was delicious and we all enjoyed the bottomless mimosas!
Scenic View in California Central Coast
27 people mentioned the Prime Rib

Arnoldi's Cafe

$$$$·Italian·
Santa Barbara
610 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Comfort Food
  • Good for Groups
Amazing outdoor experience. The food was incredible and was so fun to play games after!! Service was very accommodating. Will be back
Good for Groups in California Central Coast
13 people mentioned the Gnocchi

SY Kitchen

$$$$·Italian·
Santa Ynez Valley
2,353 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
Fantastic meal and fun environment. Listened to the reviews of the octopus salad and wasn’t disappointed. Chocolate gelato is the way to finish the meal
Best Food in California Central Coast
35 people mentioned the Octopus Salad

Convivo

$$$$·Italian·
Santa Barbara
1,294 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Scenic View
  • Fit for Foodies
Superbly fresh and tasty food and a wonderful location on the terrace outside. So glad we found this place. Staff were also very nice and helpful. Highly recommended.
Outdoor Dining in California Central Coast
7 people mentioned the Focaccia

Barbareño

$$$$·Californian·
Santa Barbara
1,048 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Creative Cuisine
Fantastic experience! Local, delicious fine dining in an un-fussy atmosphere.
Best Food in California Central Coast
52 people mentioned the Tri-tip

Il Cortile Ristorante

$$$$·Italian·
Paso Robles
3,008 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Notable Wine List
The food, service & ambiance are outstanding!!! I highly recommend reservations as they get busy quickly upon opening.
Italian in California Central Coast
53 people mentioned the Veal Chop
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Leonardo Ristorante & Pizzeria

$$$$·Italian·
Solvang
801 reviews
  • Notable Wine List
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
The restaurant was lively but not noisy and our party of 5 loved every morsel. We shared the octopus salad, several had wonderful pizzas and a special beet salad with burrata & arRead more
Italian in California Central Coast
10 people mentioned the Cioppino

Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel

$$$$·Californian·
Carmel
1,090 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Notable Wine List
  • Romantic
Superior service and exciting food in a comfortable and elegant setting. I wish it was closer so we could visit more often. Looking forward to the next trip, Michelin one star Read more
Best Overall in California Central Coast
24 people mentioned the Abalone
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Goat Tree Restaurant

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Santa Barbara
387 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Brunch
Very special outdoor restaurant. Very attentive service and great food.
Great for Brunch in California Central Coast
5 people mentioned the Flat Bread

Tides Waterfront Kitchen

$$$$·Latin / Spanish·
Monterey
26 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Casual
The best part of the experience was the view. The service was cordial but a little slow. The food was excellent and the key lime pie was to die for!
Kid Friendly in California Central Coast
2 people mentioned the Cioppino
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Domenico's on the Wharf

$$$$·Seafood·
Monterey
1,058 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Special Occasion
View is gorgeous. Great service. We had crab cakes, blue cheese wedge, hamburger, clam chowder, scallops and rib eye. All delicious!
Scenic View in California Central Coast
27 people mentioned the Calamari

Far Western Tavern

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Orcutt / Santa Maria
1,072 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
We were approached and seated immediately by the host. Our waitress was friendly and polite. This was not our first time being there and the courtesy of employees was great. We hadRead more
Vibrant Bar Scene in California Central Coast
22 people mentioned the Filet Mignon
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Mistura

$$$$·Peruvian·
San Luis Obispo
932 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Creative Cuisine
Great food beautiful presentation
Fit for Foodies in California Central Coast
13 people mentioned the Short Rib

Cambria Pines Lodge

$$$$·Organic·
Cambria
718 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
First time my husband and I have been to Cambria Lodge. We had an awesome time! The place, location and the food were excellent. In fact, the food was so good, we ate there again Read more
43 people mentioned the Prime Rib
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Willows at Chumash Casino

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Santa Ynez Valley
791 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
Everything was stunning, a romantic atmosphere 7nder the moon light.
Special Occasion in California Central Coast
6 people mentioned the Filet Mignon

Chase Restaurant

$$$$·Italian·
Santa Barbara
535 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
  • Notable Wine List
Good was delicious, waitstaff ( and bus staff!) we’re helpful, charming and accommodating, and the food was delicious. A bit spendy, but it was a very nice date night out!
Outdoor Dining in California Central Coast
13 people mentioned the Chicken Piccata

Succulent Cafe

$$$$·American·
Solvang
533 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
The lamb chops & the pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon was very tasty!
23 people mentioned the Short Rib
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Hitching Post II

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Buellton
4,506 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Notable Wine List
  • Neighborhood Gem
A true gem in the Santa Ynez Valley. Angel and the entire team do an amazing job and the food best around!
Steakhouse in California Central Coast
132 people mentioned the Filet Mignon

Estéban Restaurant at Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa

$$$$·Spanish·
Monterey
503 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Tapas
  • Fit for Foodies
Small plates are great. Enjoyed the empanadas and the burrata was exceptionally good. Top notch service and seated in a beautiful outdoor patio with heaters. Good location as weRead more
Fit for Foodies in California Central Coast
45 people mentioned the Paella

The Gathering Table

$$$$·Californian·
Santa Ynez Valley
997 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic
Wonderful dining experience with our toddler and dog on their comfortable heated patio
Californian in California Central Coast
18 people mentioned the Hamachi

L'Escargot - Carmel

$$$$·French·
Carmel
866 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic
While pricey, L’Escargot dining is a special experience. The sweetbreads with wild mushrooms in a creamed sauce, puff pastry and pear salad/gorgonzola were delicious and enough to Read more
Neighborhood Gem in California Central Coast
27 people mentioned the Rack Lamb
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Cantinetta Luca

$$$$·Italian·
Carmel
2,026 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies
Fantastic Anniversary Dinner! Staff was terrific and food was incredible.
Notable Wine List in Monterey / Carmel
35 people mentioned the Salami
Table for 2 today

Epsilon

$$$$·Greek·
Monterey
271 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
Our go to greek restaurant, very good food. Especially the Humus.
16 people mentioned the Greek Salad
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Granada Bistro

$$$$·Californian·
San Luis Obispo
801 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Romantic
  • Neighborhood Gem
Prices have gone up, food quality down. Wonder if new chef?
Californian in California Central Coast
5 people mentioned the Avocado Toast

Aly's Restaurant - Permanently Closed

$$$$·Californian·
Solvang
395 reviews
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
This is a quiet, understated gem in an otherwise overly fancy town. The food was fresh, creative, and confidently presented.
7 people mentioned the Filet Mignon
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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