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The Steinbeck House / Best Cellar Gift Shop

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Address: 132 Central Ave., Salinas, CA 93901
Phone Number: 18314242735
Website
Monday
Closed
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Hours:
Tue - Sat 11:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Activities: Dining, Group tours/day tour
Description: This Queen Anne style Victorian was the birthplace and boyhood home of...
This Queen Anne style Victorian was the birthplace and boyhood home of author John Steinbeck. Built in Salinas in 1897, the Steinbeck family moved into the house in 1900. The Valley Guild was formed by eight enthusiastic women who shared a common interest in gourmet cooking and wanted to showcase Salinas Valley produce. The volunteers of Valley Guild purchased and renovated the house. It was opened to the public as a restaurant on February 27, 1974 -the 72nd anniversary of John Steinbeck's birth. The house is operated by volunteers with a minimum of paid staff, and recently celebrated the 40th Anniversary. The Best Cellar is in the original basement of the Steinbeck House. The Best Cellar is a delightful gift shop featuring unique gift items as well as vintage and new Steinbeck books. Original furniture from the Steinbeck family is on display including the headboard of the bed in which John Steinbeck was born.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
  • 23
    Excellent
  • 13
    Very good
  • 1
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Painted Lady Victorian Beauty of a House

The family house of John Steinbeck was closed the day we visited the National Steinbeck Center a couple of blocks away. Although we didn't get to see the inside or have lunch at... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 27, 2015
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39 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Level Contributor
57 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2015 NEW

The family house of John Steinbeck was closed the day we visited the National Steinbeck Center a couple of blocks away. Although we didn't get to see the inside or have lunch at the highly recommended tea room there, it was still a very worthwhile visit because we took the time to walk all around the grounds and examine the... More 

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Larkspur, California
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2015

Once a month on Sunday they have a special tour on the original home of John Steinbeck. The docent was great and was very knowledgeable. The gift shop employees were great as well. Tuesday thru Saturday they have lunch and the profits go to support the upkeep of the house. They all did a great job.

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Eagle River, Alaska
Level Contributor
313 reviews
142 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2015

The tea (and the full luncheon that comes with it; scones, quiche, a variety of tea sandwiches, and numerous desserts) was fabuluous. We asked for a tour of the house after we finished our tea, and our request was granted. I stood in the room where John Steinbeck was born!

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California
Level Contributor
115 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2015

This is a restaurant. We thought we would learn about the place where JS was born and raised. not! We were allowed to see the sitting room. We were not allowed upstairs we did not want to bother the diners do we just glanced into the eating areas. I repeat. THIS IS A RESTAURANT, NOT AN ATTRACTION.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
181 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2015

We went for lunch, wife liked lunch a lot better than I did, the menu is really ladies' lunch. The house itself has been restored very nicely and is very photogenic. The volunteers are nice as can be, helpful and they know what they are talking about. Need to do this in tandem with the Steinbeck Center a couple blocks... More 

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South Jersey
Level Contributor
221 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015

Travelling through the Salinas valley was a treat for me. Acre after acre of produce that is shipped all over the world. People working in the fields in a variety of tasks but all tending to the produce. I could understand what influenced John Steinbeck. The center showed film clips of the books he wrote and how he obtained the... More 

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Level Contributor
268 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 238 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2015

Visiting the rooms: We were on our own, which worked; Several of the rooms were occupied with other diners, including a relatively large group. Food selection: Limited, which makes sense considering the setting; Quality was very good; Service: Very friendly and attentive.....thanks to the volunteers; Cost: Fair and reasonable; Location: Older section of Salinas; we did not have any problem... More 

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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015

This is where John Steinbeck spent his boyhood years. The Steinbeck House consists of a restaurant on the first floor and a gift shop with souvenirs and books of John Steinbeck on the lower level. Lunch was great and generous portions at $14 or so for one. Service was equally great with waitresses that may also serve as tour guides... More 

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Bothell, Washington
Level Contributor
101 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015

This is a well restored and beautiful old house. I did go in to the gift store which was nice and well kept and had all things Steinbeck. I did not go into the cafe. Wish that it was open for tours.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
219 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2015

Of course we had to go here for lunch after visiting the National Steinbeck Center. It was so cool! The house is completely staffed by volunteers, which is amazing. Lunch was good...but my favorite part was going down to the Best Cellar Gift Shop, finding some unusual Steinbeck books and books about him, and then getting them embossed! John Steinbeck... More 

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Additional Information about The Steinbeck House / Best Cellar Gift Shop

Address: 132 Central Ave., Salinas, CA 93901
Phone Number: 18314242735
Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Salinas
Open Hours:
Tuesday 11:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Wednesday 11:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday 11:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Friday 11:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Saturday 11:30 pm - 2:00 pm

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