First Awakenings, in the American Tin Cannery in Pacific Grove has a charming outdoor patio (with fire pit). Dishes include California Crepes, Sonoran Frittata, Heartland Frittata, pancakes, eggs Benedict, and more.
Trail Side Café and Coffeehouse on Cannery Row, along the walking trail, is a charming little place where you can dine inside or on the outside heated patio. Along with traditional breakfast fare (including Eggs Benedict, omelets, pancakes, etc.), they have breakfast burritos, Huevos Rancheros, French Beignets, and more. http://www.trailsidecafe.com/
Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room in Monterey has a fun vibe, tropical setting, great food – BBQ ribs, fish tacos, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, bowls, salads, sweet potato fries, etc. – and specialty cocktails. http://www.hulastiki.com/
Campagno’s Market & Deli in Monterey makes substantial sandwiches and delicious broccoli salad, which are great to take on a picnic at the beach. The sandwiches here are made to order and really are the best! They’re also huge, so it’s a good idea to split one with someone or order a half. Located at 2000 Prescott Ave., Monterey. 831-375-5987.
17th Street Grill in Pacific Grove is casual and inexpensive. You can eat outside near the big fire pit. It’s known for its wraps and burgers, but I really like the Chinese chicken salad. 617 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 831-373-5474.
Fresh Cream in downtown Monterey (overlooking Heritage Harbor and Fisherman’s Wharf) romantic and elegant with a French touch and amazing food including filet mignon, lobster tail, sautéed sea bass and much more. It’s a great pick if fancy schmancy is what you’re looking for. http://www.freshcream.com/
Cibo in downtown Monterey is an elegant Italian restaurant that has an extensive and authentic Italian menu – with lots of different appetizers, salads, pasta dishes, pizzas, and steak and seafood specialties. It also features great live jazz, and is a fun place to come and have a glass of wine while hearing great music. http://www.cibo.com/
Tarpy’s Roadhouse is located at 2999 Monterey Salinas Highway in Monterey. It’s set in a 1917 roadhouse on five landscaped acres, and features Five Star American Country Cuisine. Last time I was there, my husband and I had the Cajun Philly Steak Spring Rolls as an appetizer, and I ordered the Angus Filet (served in a balsamic-port wine reduction with asparagus) and my husband ordered the Smokey BBQ Baby Back Ribs (with corn on the cob). The food and the atmosphere were excellent. http://www.tarpys.com/
The Chart House on Cannery Row has a Hot Chocolate Lava Cake that features chocolate liqueur, molten center, ice cream, warm chocolate sauce and Heath Bar Crunch. This is also a great place to have dinner as the food’s really good, it’s right on the ocean, and has a romantic atmosphere. http://www.chart-house.com/
London Bridge Pub on Wharf No. 2 is a fun place to hang out and have a beer. They also offer a large menu selection with fish and chips, bangers and mash, clam chowder, lots of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and more. http://www.lbpmonterey.com/
A Taste of Monterey in Cannery Row overlooks and Monterey Bay and offers wines from over 70 regional wineries. It’s a relaxing place to enjoy a tasting or a glass of wine while taking in the spectacular view. http://www.tastemonterey.com/