The Old Fisherman's Wharf is better than San Francisco's (SF) Fisherman's Wharf, in my opinion. First off, there's plenty of parking available, for a fee. Second, if you stay in any of the hotels in Cannery Row, walking to the Fisherman's Wharf is a pleasant experience, because the walking trail is by the Beach and along the Harbor.
Unlike SF, I did not hear any "boombox" noise from street peddlers. Instead, there were stations of food tasting tables in front of most restaurants. The pleasant smell of seafood would make anybody hungry. The whole atmosphere was more pleasant in Monterey by far compared to SF because the wharf is smaller and it has a less urban feel. There are no buildings taller than two-storeys, which gave the wharf a more open feel.
There's an area on the wharf where one can view the ocean and, if lucky enough, spot harbor seals. Souvenir shops abound and there's definitely plenty of places to eat for fine and casual dining. We went to Domenico's as it was the only place that we found that made Bouillabaisse.