Whether you’re a Monterey Peninsula local or just planning a vacation in our beautiful area, today’s travel guide shares five of our favorite Insta-worthy restaurants (that also offer great food) in Carmel and Pebble Beach. From epic ocean and golf course views to picturesque courtyard garden settings, these Monterey Peninsula restaurants are truly fantastic for so many reasons. So make sure to bookmark (and pin!) this post.
Mission Ranch in Carmel
This iconic landmark restaurant in Carmel, California is beloved for so many compelling reasons.
To start with – it’s owned by famed actor and director, Clint Eastwood (who used to be the Mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea a couple of decades ago). Secondly, its charming country-inspired architecture and decor instantly make it a warm and inviting atmosphere. Beyond these factors, this indoor/outdoor restaurant boasts some of the best views in Carmel. From the restaurant, you can watch sheep casually grazing in the meadow, with views of Point Lobos and Carmel Bay in the far distance.
When it comes to food, they offer everything from delectable Short Ribs to healthier options, like Grilled Salmon with vegetables. Be sure to try their freshly-baked garlic bread (and ask for the Crudite Veggies, to start).
One thing I can’t forget to mention is that Mission Ranch also has a lively piano bar, which even encourages restaurant guests to try their hand at singing in front of everyone. It’s definitely a fun hotspot, whether you come for drinks with a view, or stay for dinner and dessert.
Anton & Michel Restaurant in Carmel-by-the-Sea
With a gorgeous garden courtyard setting, roaring firepits, and dancing fountains, Anton & Michel has long been one of our favorite Insta-worthy restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula. Not only does this upscale indoor/outdoor offer gourmet dishes (like Wild Mushroom Risotto, Baked Tri-Color Gnocchi, and Hawaiian Tuna Tartare), in 2013, the restaurant underwent a chic contemporary renovation.
From their relaxing lounge (which encourages you to relax and unwind with a glass of wine) to their beautiful courtyard patio, this renowned local restaurant is truly one of the prettiest places to wine and dine on the Monterey Peninsula.
La Playa Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea
With sweeping vistas of Carmel Bay and the spectacular manicured gardens surrounding the property, La Playa hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of the locals’ and tourists’ favorite Insta-worthy restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula. While they offer a limited menu, their historic bar & lounge is a fantastic place for light bites during Happy Hour.
On the covered, heated patio you can relax by the firepit while noshing away on a delicious fruit & cheese plate while sipping on a glass of Champagne or a refreshing libation. If you come on a Sunday, be sure to show up with dimes in hand (you read that right!) at 5 o’clock, so you can join in on the fun by participating in the 10 Cent Happy Hour. This lively tradition is a beloved community event that happens every week, paying homage to the congeniality of the hotel’s past owner, Bud Allen.
STICKS in Pebble Beach
Whether you come for the outstanding food and stay for the nightly Bagpiper’s riveting live performance on the famed Spanish Bay Golf Links, a visit to STICKS in Pebble Beach is always a great idea. This casual, indoor/outdoor sports bar and restaurant overlooks the Pacific Ocean with unparalleled views of the renowned golf course.
If you choose to sit outside, you’ll enjoy epic coastal views while staying warm by the firepits. This popular destination spot is one of the best places to visit, especially during peak times of year – like Monterey Car Week and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Golf Tournament, as you’ll often be rubbing elbows with celebs and the social elite.
When it comes to food, we highly recommend the Pulled Pork Sliders, Kale & Butternut Squash Salad, and of course… the Sticks Classic Cookie Skillet. Come hungry, because you’ll definitely want an appetite here!
Stillwater Bar & Grill in Pebble Beach
Another Insta-worthy restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula is the elegant contemporary coastal restaurant known as Stillwater Bar & Grill in Pebble Beach. With sweeping views of the famed 18th hole on the Pebble Beach Golf Links overlooking Stillwater Cove (with views of Point Lobos and Carmel in the far distance), this impressive hotel restaurant offers one of the most beautiful settings in the area.
Boasting superb service and outstanding gourmet dishes, we often visit Stillwater Bar & Grill to celebrate special occasions, like my parents’ Anniversary or when we have clients visiting from out-of-town. The restaurant serves a variety of freshly made dishes, featuring local produce and organic ingredients. From oysters and caviar to lobster, fresh fish, and even steak – there’s something for everyone on this menu.
Not to mention – they’re open from morning-to-night. So you can come for the hearty breakfast buffet or take in a romantic dinner while watching a dreamy sunset on the picturesque coastline.
For more Insta-worthy restaurant recommendations, visit the Travel section on Inspirations & Celebrations.