Carmel is well known for its variety of excellent restaurants. Within a one square mile radius, you can find so many great places to eat that it may be hard to make the right choice. Add the restaurants located outside of downtown Carmel, at the Barnyard and Crossroads Shopping Centers, and it is even more difficult. Here are some well-rated dining choices (as voted by local residents) that you can feel safe making a reservation:

  • Carribean Inspired: Bahama Billy's, The Barnyard
  • Creative Californian/Martini's: Bixby's Martini Bistro, The Barnyard
  • High end Fine Restaurant with Personalized Service: Bouchee, Mission btw Ocean and 7th
  • Fun, Hearty, Californian with ambiance: Forge in the Forest, 5th and Junipero
  • Piano Bar, Ocean Views, Ecclectic and Famous: Mission Ranch, Dolores Street
  • Romantic, Views, High End: Pacific's Edge at the Park Hyatt Highlands Inn
  • Fun, Something for Everyone menu, nice ambiance: Rio Grill, The Crossroads
  • Romantic European Style Splurge: Casanova, 5th between Mission and San Carlos
  • Swiss Fondue Fun: Lugano Swiss Bistro, The Barnyard
  • Romantic, Italian, Off the main street: La Dolce Vita, San Carlos btw 7th and 8th
  • The best Chinese Food tucked in a small place: Tommy's Wok, Mission between Ocean and 7th
  • Best Breakfast: Katy's Place, Mission btw 5th and 6th and Il Fornaio, Ocean Avenue at the Pine Inn

For more information on great places to eat, you can check out the local Coast Weekly when you get in to town, consult your hotel's concierge or front desk agent or check out a local online visitors guide called Monterey Bay Visitors Guide. Beware of the touristy restaurants (there is only one in particular I can think of in Carmel and I will not mention it). If you are interested in a extra special romantic dining experience, you can try a service called Romantic Room Designs which will decorate your restaurant table (or they can decorate your hotel room, build a bonfire on Carmel Beach). For more information on Carmel, check out their chambers visitors center when you get into town or their web site at