We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Breathtaking views”
Review of Nepenthe

Nepenthe
Ranked #1 of 23 Restaurants in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Description: TEMPORARILY CLOSED - Nepenthe is closed until Mid-may due to road closures north and south. But we have a skeleton crew here for the duration cleaning, repainting, repairing, and preparing for the day we are back in business again
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
185 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Breathtaking views”
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Make it a point to stop here.

Beyond breathtaking views of the coast from high up in Big Sur. Warmers outside with piles of blankets so you can truly relax, enjoy and take in the views regardless of the time of day or year.

The food ... definitely not the reason you are heading there. Grab a burger and glass of something off of the very extensive wine list or keep you expectations of food at average. It's expensive for what it is but the location is to die for.

There is a surprisingly cool hippie type vibe in the Phoenix Shop downstairs with lots items to marvel from local jewelry and indie books to namesake tees and souvenirs.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jacqui B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,718 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,325
    918
    330
    91
    54
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bay Area
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“The best view”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

An old favorite from the 1970's until now. The food is good but the menu is short and never changes. The wine list is opposite: it is extensive and ever changing. They have a whole page of wines from Santa Lucia Highlands (just across the mountains) for example, and esoteric wines from Europe, South America, Australia, etc. The view is to die for, a thousand feet above the surf, on clear days or cloudy. I have to stop here when I am within a couple of hundred miles.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Harry T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
224 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 231 helpful votes
“Great view - below average food”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

Go to Nepenthe for drinks and the view....not the food. The view is truly stunning and the people are nice. The food, however, is basically fast food for an expensive price

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank andrew_branham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Come for the views, not the food”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

This place is definitely worth a stop when driving through Big Sur. We came at lunch hour on a very nice day and had to wait about 15-20 min. No problem, we grabbed a drink at the bar then walked around the deck and enjoyed the view. We sat inside to eat and we actually saw several whales from our seats. It was quite a sight! Even the staff was stopped in their tracks and cheering with the rest of us when the huge tails came flapping out of the water. Our server said it's not unusual to see whales, but this day was especially active. The food was just OK. A limited menu, and overpriced, nothing exciting. I had a salad and my husband had the veggie burger. He said his was OK, but it looked terrible. My caprese salad was average, but the drinks we had were good. My advice would be to stop here for a cocktail or glass of wine, enjoy the spectacular view, but eat somewhere else. Especially if you're a vegetarian.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JulieandDan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pleasanton, California
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“A+++ View (& Food is Good Too)”
Reviewed October 25, 2013

My hubby and I just came back from a 4 day road trip down to Big Sur with a travel trailer. He promised to take me to Nepenthe for the drop dead view and an early evening glass of wine. Neither the wine nor the view disappointed. We went at about 4 pm and the fog further down the coast was coming in so we asked for the standing heaters around us to be lit - the waiters were more than happy to oblige. In fact we had such a great experience we returned for a second visit the next evening - again we were not disappointed. The first visit was a table on the first deck as you arrive at the restaurant. The view is spectacular but I felt not as drop dead spectacular as the back deck. The second visit on the back deck brought wine and appetizers - the cheese plate was beautifully presented and included a very satisfying match of cheeses with preserves or compotes.

Kudos to our waiter Steve - and thanks for making our visit memorable!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Susan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Nepenthe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing