68 Monterey Area Restaurants to Love This Valentine's Day

OpenTable

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.

Restaurants:Passionfish, Ventana Grill, Fish Hopper
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Seafood, Latin American
Neighborhoods:Pacific Grove, Pismo Beach, Monterey

Passionfish

$$$$·Seafood·
Pacific Grove
5,069 reviews
  • Notable Wine List
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
Amazing experience! The service was great and on top of safety and health protocols. We sat on their rooftop patio, which is super cute with nice light garlands. The food was absolRead more
95% recommended
Fit for Foodies in California Central Coast
54 people mentioned the Bread Pudding

Ventana Grill

$$$$·Latin American·
Pismo Beach
2,251 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Special Occasion
It was great to sit outside with my husband and enjoy a great meal with an exceptional view of the ocean!
95% recommended
Great for Lunch in California Central Coast
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
2,599 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Special Occasion
Service was friendly and fast. Food was not what I would have hoped.
89% recommended
Scenic View in California Central Coast
50 people mentioned the Calamari
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Anton & Michel Restaurant

$$$$·European·
Carmel
1,889 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for Anniversaries
Excellent restaurant that has maintained its charm through the COVID restrictions.
90% recommended
Special Occasion in California Central Coast
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
3,545 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
This is an upscale restaurant with flavorful food and fine service. Please remember to order something on the menu with bacon, such as the romaine salad with bacon, tomatoes and blRead more
94% recommended
Californian in California Central Coast
130 people mentioned the Short Rib

Stella Mare's

$$$$·French·
Santa Barbara
1,020 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date
Despite Covid, we chose to dine in the glass atrium because there were very few diners at the hour we were there. Delicious duck a a'orange, escarole/apple salad. Server was aRead more
97% recommended
Best Overall in California Central Coast
19 people mentioned the French Onion Soup
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Tarpy's Roadhouse

$$$$·American·
Monterey
2,129 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Lunch
One of my most cherished restaurants for birthdays, special occasions, or just any excuse for a great meal.
94% recommended
Most Booked in California Central Coast
25 people mentioned the Calamari

Olio e Limone Ristorante

$$$$·Italian·
Santa Barbara
1,463 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic
Food, hospitality, wine selections were all outsanding. Silvio was a great server too.
92% recommended
Notable Wine List in Santa Barbara
34 people mentioned the Duck Ravioli

Fandango

$$$$·European·
Pacific Grove
2,865 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Neighborhood Gem
It was patio dining only.... they made the best of it. As always the food and wine were OUTSTANDING so who cares that it was patio dining only. 😎
92% recommended
Notable Wine List in California Central Coast
139 people mentioned the Rack Lamb

Loquita

$$$$·Spanish·
Santa Barbara
619 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
Best Spanish restaurant in California!! Wonderful patio.
96% recommended
84 people mentioned the Paella
Not available on OpenTable
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Harbor Restaurant

$$$$·Seafood·
Santa Barbara
592 reviews
  • Waterfront
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
By and large the food is excellent and well prepared so long as you don't get lobster or anything with sliced tomatoes
87% recommended
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
2,803 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Good for a Date
Great food, service & location! Had the San Dabs Almondine, so good!
93% recommended
Scenic View in California Central Coast
60 people mentioned the Early Bird Special

Casanova Restaurant Carmel

$$$$·Italian·
Carmel
946 reviews
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
Quick get away with my sister in law. We enjoyed the open air courtyard and our meals were delish!
90% recommended
Best Ambiance in Monterey / Carmel
25 people mentioned the Gnocchi
Table for 2 today

Intermezzo By Wine Cask

$$$$·American·
Santa Barbara
949 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Notable Wine List
  • Special Occasion
Very quiet birthday dinner dining
87% recommended
11 people mentioned the Bread Pudding
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Holdren's Steaks & Seafood

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Santa Barbara
491 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
Very good food and service. Make reservations otherwise you might not get in.
92% recommended
13 people mentioned the Filet Mignon
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Blue Heron

$$$$·Californian·
Los Osos
151 reviews
  • Local Ingredients
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
Brunch was wonderful. Eggs Benedict with special homemade bread , and the crispy pork belly omelette, were the dishes we shared. Outdoors on a beautiful day. Has a pet friendly Read more
95% recommended
8 people mentioned the Short Rib
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Brothers Restaurant at Red Barn

$$$$·American·
Santa Ynez Valley
890 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
Excellent customer service! Delicious food, and great prices.
92% recommended
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
2,757 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for Anniversaries
We had a lovely dinner for my moms birthday, they made it special. Delicious food.
92% recommended
Romantic in California Central Coast
118 people mentioned the Prime Rib
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Oliver's

$$$$·Vegan·
Montecito
816 reviews
  • Vegan
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good Vegetarian Options
Great food, service and atmosphere!
97% recommended
Best Overall in California Central Coast
16 people mentioned the Pad Thai

PortaBella Restaurant

$$$$·French·
Carmel
772 reviews
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
Excellent dining experience!
92% recommended
Outdoor Dining in California Central Coast
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
806 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
Outside atmosphere was romantic and entertaining. The food was on point. I’ve had more expensive Italian dinners that didn’t hold a candle to this meal.
95% recommended
Kid Friendly in California Central Coast
6 people mentioned the Calamari

Salt Wood Kitchen and Oysterette

$$$$·Seafood·
Marina
642 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date
Life food was great service excellent
91% recommended
Seafood in California Central Coast
22 people mentioned the Fried Chicken
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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milk & honey

$$$$·Tapas / Small Plates·
Santa Barbara
409 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Hot Spot
The staff were amazing and very knowledgeable. The food was amazing with the chicken flautas being our favourite. We would definitely go back when next in Santa Barbara.
94% recommended
12 people mentioned the Sweet Potato Fries
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Roy

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Santa Barbara
306 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Authentic
  • Good for a Date
What a great value for a $20 prix fixe menu! Terrific chicken Marsala and ravioli, plus all of the included courses delicious. Possibly the best value high end dining experienceRead more
82% recommended
Neighborhood Gem in California Central Coast
19 people mentioned the Chicken Marsala

Sardine Factory

$$$$·Seafood·
Monterey
3,581 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for Anniversaries
Birthday dinner, and it was lovely, even with outside seating
89% recommended
Special Occasion in California Central Coast
226 people mentioned the Abalone

Aly's Restaurant

$$$$·Californian·
Solvang
395 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
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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The Whaling Station Steakhouse

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Monterey
1,372 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
Although Monterey was still only allowing outdoor dining, Whaling Station pulled it off, utilizing a large special events tent with patio heaters. Service was friendly and efficienRead more
92% recommended
Best Food in Monterey / Carmel
92 people mentioned the Prime Rib
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Schooners

$$$$·Californian·
Monterey
1,501 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
Fun place to have lunch, good service, and great view!
83% recommended
Scenic View in California Central Coast
40 people mentioned the Cioppino
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Rio Grill

$$$$·Californian·
Carmel
1,563 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Lunch
  • Neighborhood Gem
Really enjoyed sitting out on the patio at Rio Grill.
94% recommended
Californian in California Central Coast
35 people mentioned the Skirt Steak

Oyster Loft

$$$$·Seafood·
Pismo Beach
2,177 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Romantic
We shared a number of the cold and small plates. Everything was wonderful. Octopus salad- was probably the best octopus we've had. Dessert was great, as was our server
95% recommended
Seafood in California Central Coast
41 people mentioned the Black Cod
Table for 2 today

Sea Venture

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Pismo Beach
1,318 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
This was our 20th wedding anniversary and everything was so nice! If I had to change anything, I would have gone earlier to maximize our view of the ocean.
93% recommended
Scenic View in California Central Coast
27 people mentioned the Prime Rib

Arnoldi's Cafe

$$$$·Italian·
Santa Barbara
553 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Authentic
We love the food here! The service is always friendly and accomidating. I haven't tried anything on the menu that I didn't end up just loving!! Thanks Arnoldi's!!
94% recommended
Best Value in California Central Coast
13 people mentioned the Gnocchi

SY Kitchen

$$$$·Italian·
Santa Ynez Valley
1,767 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
Outstanding! It was so good we went 2 nights in a row!
98% recommended
Best Overall in California Central Coast
35 people mentioned the Octopus Salad

Convivo

$$$$·Italian·
Santa Barbara
972 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Scenic View
  • Fit for Foodies
Wonderful evening celebrating our wedding anniversary!
95% recommended
Best Ambiance in Santa Barbara
7 people mentioned the Focaccia

Barbareño

$$$$·Californian·
Santa Barbara
798 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Local Ingredients
The food is outstanding and the presentation is excellent
94% recommended
Fit for Foodies in California Central Coast
52 people mentioned the Tri-tip
Table for 2 today

Ciopinot

$$$$·Seafood·
San Luis Obispo
191 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
Dinner for 9 business partners from different countries, the experience was perfect and they all enjoyed the evening.
93% recommended
15 people mentioned the Cioppino
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Cava Restaurant & Bar

$$$$·Mexican·
Montecito
565 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
Great experience! Had a blast and food was amazing!
84% recommended
24 people mentioned the Paella
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Il Cortile Ristorante

$$$$·Italian·
Paso Robles
2,485 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies
Absolutely perfect!!
96% recommended
Notable Wine List 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
637 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
We had a great time at Leonardo’s! Food was the delicious, the restaurant is small but has too really cute patios. The hostess was very friendly and welcoming. The only downside weRead more
95% recommended
Italian in California Central Coast
10 people mentioned the Cioppino
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel

$$$$·Californian·
Carmel
943 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Notable Wine List
A most excellent experience all the way around. Easy to see why they rate the Michelin Star. It has been awhile, however, since I paid almost $500 a chair. I will save up and reRead more
91% recommended
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
325 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
A very nice place to have brunch and dinner. Not too far of a walk down to the beach. The service was superb and the food was good. But not enough value for your money. A frittata Read more
91% recommended
Great for Brunch in California Central Coast
5 people mentioned the Flat Bread

Tides Waterfront Kitchen

$$$$·Latin / Spanish·
Monterey
160 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Lunch
  • Quiet Conversation
Food was good but the view was magical
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
824 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
My fiancé and I had a wonderful time, the waiters were very attentive and helpful. The food was amazing.
93% recommended
Kid Friendly in California Central Coast
27 people mentioned the Calamari

Far Western Tavern

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Orcutt / Santa Maria
1,069 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
It was a real nice dinner everything was perfect waitress and waiter we're perfect had a great time highly recommended will return soon
96% recommended
Best Food in California Central Coast
22 people mentioned the Filet Mignon

Mistura

$$$$·Peruvian·
San Luis Obispo
750 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
As always, an amazing experience trying wonderful dishes
90% recommended
Fit for Foodies in California Central Coast
13 people mentioned the Short Rib

Apple Farm Restaurant

$$$$·American·
San Luis Obispo
694 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
OVER ALL EVERYTHING WAS GREAT CAN'T WAIT TO COME BACK VERY SOON
84% recommended
15 people mentioned the Prime Rib
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Cambria Pines Lodge

$$$$·Organic·
Cambria
651 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Cozy
The restaurant has a great setup for Covid requirements. The outdoor space is beautiful and they either have live music or music playing. The staff is wonderful and the food is tRead more
87% recommended
Good for Groups in San Luis Obispo / Paso Robles
43 people mentioned the Prime Rib

Willows at Chumash Casino

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Santa Ynez Valley
569 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
The restaurant was really cute. The oysters were so good! Steak and scallops was also great. Calamari was greasy and the lobster bisque was so so in texture but decent flavor
96% recommended
Romantic in California Central Coast
6 people mentioned the Filet Mignon

Chase Restaurant

$$$$·Italian·
Santa Barbara
388 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
Enjoyed a rare night out with the family. The restaurant has built out their outdoor seating for Covid. The food was excellent and we had great service. We will definitely be back!Read more
88% recommended
Hot Spot in Santa Barbara
13 people mentioned the Chicken Piccata

Succulent Cafe

$$$$·American·
Solvang
533 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Cozy
The lamb chops & the pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon was very tasty!
92% recommended
23 people mentioned the Short Rib
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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Seventh & Dolores

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Carmel
545 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
Great service, fun and insightful and she went the extra mile to make us happy. Fun drinks and delish food.
83% recommended
7 people mentioned the Calamari
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Jane

$$$$·Californian·
Santa Barbara
797 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
It was great. I think Jane could use more options on the menu. Service was great
95% recommended
37 people mentioned the Coconut Cake
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Bottlest Winery, Bar & Bistro

$$$$·Californian·
Buellton
330 reviews
  • Notable Wine List
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups
Looking for nice option in town and this is a real gem. You need to know it is here on a dead end industrial street. Huge bar and wine selection. New ordered every starter for oRead more
92% recommended
11 people mentioned the Bacon Wrapped Dates
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Hitching Post II

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Buellton
4,261 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Notable Wine List
  • Worth the Drive
Business dinner. Our server was amazing, tentative, and friendly. Top notch customer service.The food was amazing!
91% recommended
Most Booked in Santa Ynez Valley
132 people mentioned the Filet Mignon

Estéban Restaurant at Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa

$$$$·Spanish·
Monterey
374 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Tapas
  • Romantic
This was our first time out in months so we ventured out for our anniversary. It was wonderful to sit out on the patio. Anna makes a fabulous Mojito and the tapas were super yummyRead more
90% recommended
Best Overall in Monterey / Carmel
45 people mentioned the Paella
Table for 2 today

The Gathering Table

$$$$·Californian·
Santa Ynez Valley
801 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies
Awesome as usual. Service is outstanding and the food is phenomenal.
99% recommended
Best Overall in California Central Coast
18 people mentioned the Hamachi
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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L'Escargot - Carmel

$$$$·French·
Carmel
811 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
We are regulars, and will never change our 5 star rating or stop going.
93% recommended
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
1,859 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Notable Wine List
  • Good for a Date
Our waiter was great - all his recommendations were excellent including a great wine. Food was very good from start to finish. A little weird having people walk by you on the sidewRead more
94% recommended
Fit for Foodies in California Central Coast
35 people mentioned the Salami

Epsilon

$$$$·Greek·
Monterey
273 reviews
  • Authentic
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
Our go to greek restaurant, very good food. Especially the Humus.
84% recommended
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
634 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Romantic
  • Neighborhood Gem
Loved the ambiance and the drinks!!!
84% recommended
Romantic in California Central Coast
5 people mentioned the Avocado Toast

Cibo Ristorante Italiano

$$$$·Italian·
Monterey
389 reviews
  • Authentic
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
The service and the kitchen attention to detail were impressive. Cold food arrived cold and hot food piping hot. Taste and presentation were impeccable from appetizers to dessertRead more
86% recommended
10 people mentioned the Calamari
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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La Dolce Vita

$$$$·Italian·
Carmel
7 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Quiet Conversation
  • Cozy
Good food in what appears to be a family run operation. Service was attentive without being overbearing. The lamb shank was excellent.
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Sierra Mar - Post Ranch Inn

$$$$·Organic·
Big Sur
564 reviews
  • Scenic View
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
Wonderful setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean from a Big Sur cliff. High quality restaurant. Memorable experience
91% recommended
5 people mentioned the Abalone
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Smithy Kitchen+Bar - Permanently Closed

$$$$·Californian·
Santa Barbara
330 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
Love this place. We sat outside for cocktails and a light dinner before a show at the Granada. The ambience was fantastic, the service was very friendly And prompt, and the food waRead more
86% recommended
4 people mentioned the Korean Fried Chicken
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Les Marchands - Permanently Closed

$$$$·American·
Santa Barbara
167 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Notable Wine List
The Mgr was extremely nice and knowledgeable. Small pours on the white wine. The Brussel Sprouts were too sweet for a veggie. We will try it again.
94% recommended
15 people mentioned the Fried Chicken
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Chuck's Waterfront Grill

$$$$·Steak·
Santa Barbara
365 reviews
  • Waterfront
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
The braised short ribs were super. Everyone at our table enjoyed their food. We were the only ones there however so the atmosphere wasn’t very lively.
86% recommended
5 people mentioned the Cioppino
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Root 246 at Hotel Corque

$$$$·Californian·
Solvang
1,899 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
The service was slow. The food was delicious and the cocktails were delicious. This is a favorite stop of mine in Solvang, and the hotel next door is just charming.
92% recommended
36 people mentioned the Short Rib
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Favaloro's Big Night Bistro - Permanently Closed

$$$$·Italian·
Pacific Grove
416 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
Love the place. Great food. I come here when I come to Pacific Grove!
94% recommended
10 people mentioned the Fried Avocado
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