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“Very good”
Review of Cafe Rustica

Cafe Rustica
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed February 25, 2014

I have been here many times for lunch - it is consistently very good. The service is usually just slightly above average, but their sandwiches, pizzas, salad and specials are delicious. As Carmel Valley has gained so much popularity as a wine destination, this place has gotten more and more crowded. However, I've never needed reservations (even on holidays). I have had a little bit of a wait at times, but nothing I minded. The prices are fair and it's a really cute place. The name suits it. This is my go to spot for lunch in the valley!

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Thank WorldsRoyster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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279 - 283 of 462 reviews

Reviewed February 23, 2014

Could be the best meal I have had, ever. Ordered the special, the sea bass, and it was incredible. My boyfriend had the lamb, which was equally good. Had previously reviewed this restaurant and mentioned that our waiter was rather surly. Had the same waiter this time, and warmed up to him a bit. He is rather typically French... but has his own charm about him.

1  Thank iodoggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

You can't order anything bad in this restaurant...wonderful choices and sunshine and an outdoor eating area...wine selection is lovely....salads are huge....pizzas are reminiscent of the
European variety and it is worth the drive to surrender to a delightful experience!! Make sure you do not miss the butterscotch pudding..it is divine!!!

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1  Thank BellaLosGatos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2014

If the summer sun has not yet broken through the fog in Carmel by noon, consider driving 10 miles inland, up Carmel Valley Road, to Cafe Rustica for lunch. You will be sitting on a sunny patio enjoying what Tripadvisor's reviewers accurately rate as the best restaurant in the Valley. We have a summer place nearby, and have eaten here more than a dozen times in the past year or two. The interior of the restaurant is cosy at other times of year, with a low ceiling, stone walls, bustling staff, and a warm pizza oven. There are 7 seats at the bar where a single diner can usually snag a spot even on a busy weekend evening. The room has a nice buzz but is not too noisy.

The menu includes pasta and pizza but classifying it as Italian is a misnomer. One of the perennial favorites is Hungarian Paprika Beef Goulash on Egg Noodles, and the first 2 pizza listings are Alsatian in origin. The restaurant is faultlessly managed in the European tradition by a large omnipresent gentleman with graying hair. Service is attentive, faultless and friendly. The wait staff appear to enjoy their work. The 3-4 nightly specials are always an excellent choice. Vegetables are not neglected and are perfectly cooked. At least one vegetarian option is available.

If you are a foodie or want to splurge, go to Marinus at Bernardus and take your chances. But if you want to eat reliably well and feel pleasantly satisfied, Cafe Rustica is your best bet.

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Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2014

Surprisingly good! We shared pizza and pasta and it was better than some I've had in Italy. Portions were huge though!! We had a nice little table outside. Worth a visit.

Thank Liz H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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