Where Do Locals Eat Seafood in Monterey CA

Ensconced in the breathtaking Californian coast Monterey does not only have beautiful scenery but also has more than that. This dreamy coastal community is a seafood lover’s paradise, rich in culinary arts with an endless supply of fresh lore from the world-famous Monterey Bay. Monterey’s restaurants can successfully satisfy all cravings for Dungeness crab, oysters plucked straight from the ocean floor and flaky fish beautifully prepared.

Key Takeaways

  • There is a wide variety of food flavors preferred in Monterey.
  • Fine-dining restaurants such as Schooner’s Monterey possess the room of elegance, with a focus on superb seafood sourcing and prime ocean views while putting them at center stage.
  • But if you prefer a more leisurely environment, casual diners such as Monterey’s Fish House
  • Sea Harvest Restaurant & Fish Market provides generous servings of fish and chips; chowders with fresh clams served in abundance; or an irresistible shrimp cocktail.

Also Read Where do Locals Eat Seafood in Myrtle Beach (Best In 2024)

Dive into Monterey’s Seafood Scene: Where do locals eat seafood in Monterey CA

Monterey, California, is a coastal gem where the Pacific Ocean laps against charming shores and the aroma of fresh seafood hangs in the air. Beyond the tourist traps, locals have their haunts – hidden gems and tried-and-true favorites where the emphasis is on quality, flavor, and the bounty of the Monterey Bay. So, ditch the guidebooks and follow the locals’ lead to these ten delectable destinations:

1. Old Fisherman’s Grotto

This wharfside gem, a Monterey institution, charms with sizzling steaks and generous seafood platters. Dive into Dungeness crab legs, cioppino teeming with mussels, clams, and prawns, and chowder so creamy it begs for a spoon bath. The red-and-white checkered tablecloths and nautical décor enhance the old-school charm. Come hungry, leave happy.

2. Flying Fish Grill

For an Oriental twist, Flying Fish Grill seamlessly blends Asian and American influences. Try the “Island Fire” cioppino with jalapeños, scallops, shrimp, and white fish or opt for the lighter Hawaiian poke bowls. A vibrant menu of sushi, stir-fries, and seafood specialties awaits.

3. Passionfish

In Pacific Grove, Passionfish isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a sustainable seafood haven. Chef Ted Walter’s creations, like pan-seared Alaskan halibut or grilled sand dabs, focus on pure, unadulterated ocean flavors.

4. A W Shucks Cocktail & Oyster Bar

Shuck your worries away at this oyster haven. A dazzling array of fresh oysters, from East Coast Bluepoints to Kumamotos, paired with craft cocktails or Sauvignon Blanc, creates a tantalizing experience.

5. Sandbar & Grill

A Monterey classic, Sandbar & Grill offers generous portions of fish and chips, burgers, and clam chowder. The diverse menu includes mahi-mahi tacos and creamy fettuccine Alfredo, perfect for a relaxed oceanfront dining experience.

6. Vivolo’s Chowder House

Cross the bay to Pacific Grove and discover Vivolo’s, a local favorite for hearty seafood chowders and grilled cioppino. The legendary clam chowder is creamy and rich, featuring tender clams, potatoes, and bacon.

7. Sea Harvest Restaurant & Fish Market

A bustling market-turned-restaurant, Sea Harvest offers a treasure trove of fresh seafood. Choose your bounty from glistening salmon fillets to plump prawns and Dungeness crab clusters. Cooked to order, the portions are generous, the service friendly, and the atmosphere lively.

8. Crystal Fish

For a taste of Japan, Crystal Fish blends traditional Japanese techniques with Monterey Bay seafood. Enjoy melt-in-your-mouth sashimi, delicate tempura, or their unique cioppino ramen in an intimate setting with attentive service.

9. Schooners Monterey

Set sail for breathtaking ocean views and exquisite seafood at Schooners. Panoramic windows overlooking the Monterey Bay create a picture-perfect backdrop for dishes like pan-roasted sea bass or grilled ahi tuna. Impeccable service and culinary artistry await.

10. Roy’s at Pebble Beach

For a touch of luxury, head to Roy’s at Pebble Beach. Stunning ocean vistas accompany a menu celebrating the Pacific’s bounty. Dive into Hawaiian poke bowls or indulge in miso-glazed Chilean sea bass. Impeccable service, an extensive wine list, and live Hawaiian music make Roy’s perfect for special occasions or romantic evenings.


What food is Monterey known for?

Seafood from the bay, fantastic produce coming out of nearby farms, and winemakers that rank among some of the best in all over California are Monterey’s most famous attributes. But the best known are seafood, steak, and abalone bisque signature.

What kind of fish can you catch in Monterey?

Saltwater fishing is a favorite among many people in Monterey. Salmon and Rockfish, Tuna, and Halibut are what you find if drop a line at different locations. Other such species are Barred Sand Bass, Black Rockfish, and Bluefin Tuna Cabezon among others.

What seafood is popular in Southern California?

Southern California is known for what kind of seafood? Southern California enjoys an abundance of sea life off its Pacific coastline. Indeed, the locals as well as tourists visit often these Southern California seafood restaurants. The common seafood includes fish, crab, lobster, shrimp, or oysters. It sees swordfish and prawns in Southern California.

What is the most frequently ordered item at seafood restaurants?

Machaca: During the arid desert of Northern Mexico in the 1930s, this dish was invented when there was no refrigeration. To dry in the sun and wind, people were forced to store meat. An inventive woman named La Tía Lencha also discovered how to make it compatible with eggs and a little chile piquin, which now tastes so delicious that even in Monterrey this dish is no less favored than those beyond its borders.

Carne Asada: One of the best products Monterrey has to offer is barbecue meat.

Frijoles con Veneno: Throughout Mexico, beans are a hit and the variety of bean used may differ depending on region. In Monterrey, the beans are most likely to be pinto. Some of the pinto beans that satisfy real flavour are frijoles con veneno a local favorite and meaning poison to refer to meat fat9.

Glorias: These are shiny red paper wrappers with goat milk and pecan candies for sale all over Monterrey8.

Cabrito: A Monterrey specialty is cabrito which means roasted goat kid.

Tacos: Tacos are the signature dish of Mexico and were introduced in 18th-century Mexican silver mines9.

Tripas: The dish in Mexico is called machitos or tripas which are pig intestines10.

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