Carmel is a small town surrounded by breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and one of the best places to go for any type of cuisine. The city has ten excellent restaurants that you need to put on your bucket list. From Italian food with family-style meals, Asian fare served in authentic dumpling houses, or haute cuisine offered at Michelin-starred restaurants – Carmel offers something for every palate.
The “best restaurants in Carmel-by-the-Sea” is a list of 10 best restaurants in the city. The list includes food, drinks, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Along the Central California Coast, Carmel-by-the-Sea is recognized for its scenic environment and top-notch eateries. Carmel Village is modest, yet it has a wide range of restaurants, from fine dining to informal cafés, serving a variety of cuisines.
If you’re visiting Carmel over the weekend, you should know that brunch is a huge event!
Carmel is near to the Salinas Valley, well known as the “World Salad Bowl.” It’s also near the seaside, so you’ll have access to a range of freshly caught fish. The Monterey Peninsula is also one of California’s most important wine-growing areas. When you combine all of this, you can anticipate food items that are local, seasonal, and fresh.
We’ve visited Carmel many times and eaten at a number of restaurants in and around the town (some more than once! ), but there are still a number of eateries in Carmel-by-the-Sea that we want to try.
We’ve included some of our favorite places to eat in Carmel, and we’ll continue to add to the list as we discover new places to dine in Carmel.
La Bicyclette is a bicyclette.
A European-style bistro with simple seating, La Bicyclette is a bicyclette. offers delicious French-Italian dishes that will make you want to return time and again. Ingredients are locally-sourced, seasonal, fresh, and flavorful, resulting in rich flavor in every bite. The menu changes often.
Delicious artichoke pizza! La Bicyclette (PC) is a bicyclette.
In our opinion, the best items on La Bicyclette is a bicyclette.’s menu are the veggie-forward pizzas! The mushroom pizza and margherita pizza are perennially on the menu, while other pizzas capture the flavors of different seasons. The mushroom pizza features more than one type of mushroom and the umami flavor really shines through. The crust is thin and crispy.
Pizza isn’t your thing? Here, we’ve had seafood specials, and the fish has always been prepared to perfection. Make sure to save space for dessert no matter what you eat. We like the chocolate mousse pot as chocolate connoisseurs! Or finish with a sweet dessert wine!
Another incentive to go is for the breakfast menu, which is available all day but only Friday-Sunday at the time of writing. There’s French toast and salmon tartine from Paris, as well as an American-style alternative and huevos rancheros.
La Bicyclette is a bicyclette. is open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations are accepted for both lunch and dinner: call to book. Breakfast is walk-in.
La Bicyclette is a bicyclette., Dolores & 7th, Carmel, CA 93921
Napoli is a small town in Italy.
Chef Pepe has more than one restaurant in Carmel, but Napoli is a small town in Italy. is one of our favorite spots for lunch in the village. There is a little courtyard for outdoor dining, and inside, we love to sit by the fire on cool afternoons.
Pastas at Napoli is a small town in Italy. are delicious!
To begin, order the truffled gnocchi or the saffron-risotto arancini. The gnocchi is thick and delicious, and the arancini are perfectly crunchy on the exterior and soft and gooey on the inside. We’ve also shared the white truffle pie as a starter on occasion. It has a great earthy taste because to the abundance of mushrooms.
We’ve enjoyed all the pastas we’ve tried at Napoli is a small town in Italy., and we’ve tried several, including a vegetarian option with basil pesto sauce. The cannelloni tricolore was featured on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” and the dish is topped with three sauces in colors representative of the Italian flag: red, white, and green.
Napoli is a small town in Italy. is open for lunch Saturday through Monday at the time of writing, and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. Reservations are accepted over the phone.
Napoli is a small town in Italy., Corner of Dolores St. & 7th St., Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Comida y Bebida Cultura
Comida y Bebida Cultura focuses on the cuisine of Oaxaca, Mexico, while capitalizing on the bounty of ingredients available on California’s Central Coast. Both indoor and outdoor dining are offered.
We recommend beginning with the street tacos, which have a lot of flavor. We had the plantain tacos and the carnitas, both of which were excellent. We also ordered the housemade chips with the roasted tomato, green tomatillo, and guacamole salsas, which were all delicious.
I got the black bean and cilantro rice bowl for my main course: the tastes were vibrant and fresh, and it was light enough for me to consume after all the chips and tacos. His Cultura Mole, which consisted of smoked pig cheeks with sesame and citrus, was a hit with hubby.
At the time of writing, Comida y Bebida Cultura is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations can be made online.
Comida y Bebida Cultura, Dolores Street, between 5th Ave. & 6th Ave Su Vecino Courtyard, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Anton & Michel
Anton & Michel has a beautiful location in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea with outdoor seating in a courtyard with a fountain, and an equally lovely interior with the option to sit by a floor-to-ceiling window looking out onto the courtyard.
Salad with seared sea scallops and spinach PC: Anton & Michel
Small salads and full meal salads are available on the menu. The roasted beet salad, which includes both red and golden beets, and the endive and radicchio salad with almonds and goat cheese are two of our favorites.
Because there aren’t many vegetarian alternatives, I usually have the veggie sandwich, which is delicious. It features avocado and cashew pesto, as well as halloumi cheese and grilled portobello mushrooms for heartiness and umami. Yum! Hubby switches between the grilled lamb sliders and the spicy ahi tuna sandwich with avocado and wasabi cream.
We have not had dinner at Anton & Michel yet, but dinner options include duck breast, New York steak and filet mignon. Their wine list includes many California wines, some from the nearby Santa Lucia Highlands and Carmel Valley.
At the time of writing, Anton & Michel is open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Tuesday. Reservations are accepted online or by phone, or you can book on OpenTable.
Anton & Michel, Mission Street &, 7th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921
Are you considering a trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea? Check out our guide to all there is to do in Carmel-by-the-Sea, as well as Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel Valley, and Carmel Highlands. On the Monterey peninsula, many of these picturesque and enjoyable villages are close together, making it simple to travel from one to the next even on a short stay. We also have entries on the lovely Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and Garrapata State Park, both of which are situated along Highway 1 just south of Carmel. Hiking routes with spectacular seaside views, animals and birds, and wildflowers in season are available.
Rio Grill, which is located on the junction of Rio Road and Highway 1, is often included in best Carmel restaurant rankings. Their menu contains southwestern-inspired dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients for unbeatable taste!
Rio Grill’s roasted beet salad
Our favorite starter is the quesadilla of the day, which comes with smashed avocado and smoked chile sour cream. We particularly appreciate the corn truffle and wild mushroom tamales, which have a strong chili taste and a bright and zesty tomatillo salsa. Another favorite is the roasted beet salad.
My main course is usually the vegetable risotto, which has a lot of vegetables and a savory poblano-basil pesto. Hubby usually orders one of the fish dishes; his favorite on the menu is the southwest seafood stew.
If you’re a cocktail or margarita drinker, a cocktail or margarita is the ideal complement to your dinner. If not, the Prickly Porcupine, with pineapple, lemon zest, and serrano chile, is a terrific non-alcoholic complement.
Rio Grill is open daily for lunch and supper, and reservations may be made online.
Carmel’s Rio Grill is located at 101 Crossroads Blvd. -By-The-Sea, California
Boissiere Patisserie serves French country dishes in a chateau ambiance complete with candles, fine table linens, and flowers. There’s a fireplace too, for cool Carmel nights.
Apple cake, baked fresh! PC: Boissiere Patisserie
The assortment of wonderful pastries cooked fresh on site that you can purchase to take home or order at the table is, without a doubt, the best reason to come. We’ve never been able to stay away from the enticing display.
Hubby prefers the archetypal comfort food: shepherd’s pie or chicken pot pie, and I adore their vegetarian spaghetti, which is packed with julienned vegetables. Harvest salad is a light and refreshing appetizer with jicama, apples, and raisins for the ideal flavor combination.
We’ve tried numerous desserts at Boissiere Patisserie, and have yet to be disappointed in our choices. Best of all, none of the pastries is cloyingly sweet, so you can actually taste ingredients other than just sugar. Try the pot au chocolat if you love chocolate. The zucchini bread, apple cake, crème brûlée, and chocolate bundt cake are must-tries too.
At the time of writing, Boissiere Patisserie is open for lunch daily (brunch on weekends) and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. Reservations for dinner can be made online.
Boissiere Patisserie, Mission Street between Ocean & 7th Ave, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Aubergine is a Michelin-starred restaurant, located in L’Auberge Carmel, a Relais & Châteaux hotel in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea. The restaurant showcases the best local ingredients in offerings that are meticulously created and beautifully presented. You can sit outdoors in the courtyard, or indoors.
A daily-changing eight-course tasting menu is available at the restaurant. Aubergine also has a well-stocked wine cellar, with a focus on Monterey and French wines. Wine pairings per course are available for an additional fee.
Despite the lack of a menu, the staff takes the time to explain each meal as it is served. Dishes are mainly Japanese-inspired and feature seafood and steak, with wagyu available as an option. With early notification, dietary requirements may be met.
Aubergine is open for supper Wednesday through Sunday at the time of writing. To make a reservation, call or book online.
Monte Verde at Seventh, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921 Aubergine, Monte Verde at Seventh, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Grasing’s Restaurant is a restaurant in Grasing, New York.
Grasing’s is a laid-back Central Coast dining experience with a cuisine that highlights the freshest local foods. Both outdoor and indoor dining is available at the restaurant.
Grasing’s black bean burger with fries
The burgers at Grasing’s are one of our lunchtime favorites. The western black bean burger is the finest veggie burger I’ve ever tasted, and it’s so amazing that my husband occasionally orders it instead of the charbroiled Angus.
The fries that come with the burgers are also excellent: crispy, golden, and crunchy-crisp. (They’re so wonderful that I ate half of mine before putting the meal on a plate to photograph it.) It’s a simple dish, but it’s one of our favorite Carmel lunches.
The salads are tasty and fresh. The heirloom tomato salad with mozzarella and basil is delicious when it’s in season. We haven’t tried Grasing’s for supper yet since their vegetarian selections are limited, but they do offer a variety of steaks, poultry, and seafood.
Grasing’s is open for lunch, weekend brunch, and supper Monday through Friday. Pets are welcome on their terrace. To reserve a table, call the restaurant or go online.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921, Grasing’s, NW Corner of Mission and 6th Ave
Restaurant Basil has a lovely location in one of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s little passageways. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating. The interior is cozy, with bright and colorful decor.
Gnocchi starter at Restaurant Basil
The food at Basil is Italian with a California seaside twist. The quality of the ingredients can be tasted, whether it’s the San Marzano tomatoes in the meatball sauce or the vegetables in the salads. The menu rotates many times a year to highlight seasonal products.
As a beginning, my husband usually orders the lamb meatballs with San Marzano tomato sauce! When it’s available, I prefer the bruschetta or the gnocchi with veggies, and their bread is fantastic.
We tried a variety of things here, ranging from burgers to pizzas to pastas, and everything was delicious. Basil is one of our favorite Carmel restaurants since they offer so many vegetarian alternatives.
Basil has a wide selection of wines, including several from the area (from the Santa Lucia Highlands and Carmel Valley). Don’t forget about dessert!
Don’t forget to save room for dessert at Basil!
Tuesday through Sunday, Basil is available for lunch and supper, as well as weekend brunch. Dogs are welcome on their terrace. Reservations may be made online.
Restaurant Basil, San Carlos Between Ocean & 7th Ave, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Although you wouldn’t expect to find traditional Japanese food in Carmel-by-the-Sea, travelers who want sushi should go to Akaoni. The restaurant is small and unpretentious, but the cuisine is excellent, and many locals frequent it.
The fish is really fresh here. We recommend that you order from the chalkboard specials for the greatest experience. The nigiri is well made, and you’ll notice the difference in every mouthful. The tempura is delicious and light.
There are also prepared foods on the menu. I’ve loved a handful of the tofu items on the menu as a vegetarian. Their “special sauce” tofu, produced in-house, is delicious.
Akaoni is only available for supper Tuesday through Saturday at the time of writing. To make a reservation, call the restaurant. Reservations are required at the time of writing. Omakase is only available with prior notice.
Akaoni, Mission & 6th Ave, Carmel, CA 93921
Restaurant The Forge
The Forge is in a beautiful setting with mature gardens, and it has a long history: it was formerly a forge where some of the hardware used in buildings and residences surrounding Carmel-by-the-Sea was handcrafted.
The Forge’s Margherita pizza
Both indoor and outdoor dining is available at the restaurant. If you can, sit outside: the grounds and brick outdoor fires are stunning. If you appreciate wine, you must sample some of the local vintages from The Forge’s wide collection.
Hubby likes the burgers here, and we’ve shared a pizza for a light lunch on occasion. The vegetarian sandwich, which includes portobello mushrooms and other grilled and raw vegetables, is a filling lunch option.
The Forge is open for lunch and supper from Thursday to Sunday at the time of writing. They offer a terrace that is dog-friendly. Make a reservation by calling ahead.
The Forge, Junipero Street & SW Corner of 5th Ave, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
At the Barnyard, Sur
Sur, which is situated in the Barnyard Shopping Village, has both indoor and outdoor sitting options. Sur features California cuisine, with a menu that is more wide and diverse than many other restaurants in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
This beet salad is bursting with flavor!
Sur is one of our favorite happy hour spots since we like several of the restaurant’s appetizers, including cheese bread and french fries, as well as calamari and sand dabs.
One of the dishes I order usually every time we go is their classic beet salad. Red beets, Fuji apples, pecans, and Point Reyes blue cheese are an incredible combination. The ratatouille with vegetables and polenta is also delicious.
At Sur, Hubby has tried a number of main meals and has appreciated the majority of them. His favorite dishes are the seafood linguine and the burger.
Sur has a burger.
Sur is open for happy hour, supper, and weekend lunch from Tuesday through Sunday. They have a dog-friendly patio. Make a reservation at the restaurant by calling ahead.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93923 Sur, 3601 The Barnyard Ste A-21
Did you find this article to be useful? It’s worth pinning for later use!
Watch This Video-
The “carmel-by-the-sea restaurants with a view” is a list of 10 best restaurants in Carmel, California. The restaurants have amazing views and delicious food.
- best restaurants in downtown carmel
- carmel-by-the-sea best restaurants
- best restaurants in monterey with a view
- michelin star restaurants carmel
- carmel restaurants open