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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Sublime view with Worthy Wine List” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Nepenthe

Nepenthe
Ranked #1 of 22 Restaurants in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Scenic view, Romantic, Kids, Families with children, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
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
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
89 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Sublime view with Worthy Wine List”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2014

This is a must stop for snack and wine place with a gorgeous view. I always stop here when driving north or south on the Pacific Coast Highway.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TakeTheHighRoad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,691 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,307
    912
    327
    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
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
134 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Going to San Francisco”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2014

The view is fantastic, food is OK, but WAY overpriced. $20 for a hamburger and a soda before tax and tip. Stop at the vistas and bring a picnic lunch to eat at one. My wife had soup (chowder) and salad and she had much better chowder 3 other times on our trip.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Ray H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
100 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Delicious Burgers”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2014

We stopped here on a rainy day after visiting Julia Pfeifer Burns state park. The ambrosia burger was delicious, one oft he best Ive ever had. We couldn't sit outside (the rain), but it was still cozy inside by the fire.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Gomez22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
190 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“What a place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2014

I wonder how they can build and keep such a sophisticated place in such a wild and rather isolated area. It was foggy, it got suddenly cold, but what a wonderful experience. Reservations are mandatory. It's quite a long trip, and it's kind of pricey, but no regrets.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Leonardo P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Lives up to the hype!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2014

After reading the reviews on here with some people saying that the view is better than the food or that its not really worth it, we stopped by Nepenthe for lunch regardless with not-too-high hopes.

First of all, it is true what people say. The view is amazing and what better place to sit and have a nice breakfast, lunch or dinner overlooking the hills and ocean stretched below you and into the horizon. We were lucky in that the day was beautiful - clear, sunny and warm. There are plenty of seating outside with parasols to shade you from the sun, but most of the really good seats (the ones right by the edge of the balcony) were taken. No worries, as it seemed a bit too hot to sit outside anyway so we sat inside the restaurant where you can get equally good views. The restaurant is a lot bigger than I’d imagined with a really relaxed, warm, lodge-like yet classy feeling and not in any way pretentious. It is well kept, light, airy and most important of all, clean. I could imagine that even at peak time, you wouldn’t feel cramped dining here.

Service was really good and our waiter was very helpful in explaining what the soup and salad of the day was and also answering our questions about their famous triple berry pie and apple pie.
Of course, we came here to try their most popular dishes. My hubby had the Ambrosia burger which was done ‘medium’ with a side of bean salad. The burger bun was not your typical round, sesame seed kind but more like a ciabatta which is a nice change. They did the meat just right… just done with slight pink in middle and still moist and succulent and the ‘secret sauce’ accompanied the meat very well. Included was a large slice of pickle/gherkin and fresh crunchy carrot.
I went for the soup of the day which was mushroom puree and also went for the side salad of beans. The soup was gorgeous and just the right consistency. The beans were smothered in an oily vinaigrette which was really nice and surprisingly the combo was rather filling!
We did get a side of ‘half fries’ though, which turned out to be a lot more than we expected (could probably share between 3 people) and we were kind of regretting it as we wanted to make room for the pie, but nevertheless, we managed to take our time whilst enjoying the atmosphere and food.
Our waitress was very attentive to our needs and always checking to see whether we needed anything and also topping up hubby’s iced tea. Always smiling and helpful.

We did end up making room to share the triple berry pie between us and boy are we glad we did. It was the most amazing berry pie we have ever tasted. It was served just slightly warm with two generous scoops of vanilla ice-cream. The crust was lovely and slightly crunchy and the filling moist and fragrant with berry. It was not too tart at all and the ice-cream was the perfect accompaniment. To say we were full, we wolfed the pie down within minutes.

All in all our meal cost about $60 which is slightly on the expensive side for a lunch meal but it was very satisfying and we felt it was worth every dime. We would certainly come here again if we ever get the chance to visit Big Sur again and would definitely recommend to anyone passing by.
Go on and treat yourself!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank stardustbay
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