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“The old Bait and Switch” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Old Fisherman's Grotto

Old Fisherman's Grotto
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Ranked #10 of 297 Restaurants in Monterey
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $40
Cuisines: Steakhouse, Seafood, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Scenic view, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Scott Street
Description: Located on historic Fisherman's Wharf with stunning views of the Monterey Harbor, Old Fisherman's Grotto is a "must visit" restaurant. The "Grotto" has rightfully earned its worldwide reputation for only the finest cuisine in a superb atmosphere and service. Featuring fresh seafood from sustainable sources including Macadamia Crusted Halibut, Hawaiian Swordfish, Ultimate Seafood Pasta, live Crab and Lobster, the Grotto also offers a variety of the finest "Certified Angus Beef". Start with our award-winning clam chowder and finish by indulging in one of our fresh house-made desserts. Enjoy a bottle of wine from our 2014, 2015 Wine Spectator Award Wine list with over 200 selections specializing in local vineyards. AAA 3 Diamond Rating, Monterey Peninsula Chamber "Business Excellence" Award Winner. 2010 1St Place "West Coast Chowder Competition", "Best Chowder" Monterey County for 12 consecutive years , Winner "Best Calamari" three consecutive years in the Monterey County's Weekly Magazine "People's Choice Award". No high chairs. No strollers. No booster chairs. Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners and as such not permitted in the dining room.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The old Bait and Switch”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2013

We were given a complimentary appetizer voucher and let the server know. She recommended a couple and then when we offered our voucher we were told it wasn't good for the appetizer selected. It was my wife's birthday so I didn't argue the point but went back the next day to let them know. I was told it was too late and there was nothing they could do about it. Seems to me they know tourists are their customers and treat them like they won't be back anytime soon. Good food but horrible experience overall.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
93 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Will never go back - not family friendly AT ALL.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2013

We have lived in Monterey for about 6 months now and in that time we have enjoyed several places in the surrounding area and have sampled many many different clam chowders. While Fisherman's Grotto has good chowder, it is not enough to ever make me want to set foot in that place again. On Memorial Day weekend, we headed down to the wharf to enjoy the Calamari and Clam Chowder festival. My husband, myself and our three year old daughter wandered the booths, but decided that we would eat lunch on the wharf and come back to the festival for dessert. We had eaten at other places on the wharf, but decided that today we would finally go to Old Fisherman's Grotto. As we walked up to the host, stroller in tow, he gave us a glare and said "You need to take care of THAT (pointing at my daughter sitting quietly in her stroller) before we can seat you - take THAT outside." My husband and I looked at each other, promptly turned around and headed down to Crabby Jim's. The hostess there, waved us in before we could even get through the door, saying "Come on in, we've got a place for your stroller right here, would you like a high chair or a booster...oh and by the way, here's a coupon for a free appetizer." We've eaten at Crabby Jim's before and we weren't disappointed....this time, we were just in awe of their exceptional and friendly service in comparison to the treatment we received at Grotto. Crabby Jim's has great clam chowder and their food is tasty too. I can't speak for the food at Old Fisherman's Grotto (just the sample of clam chowder I had - which, while good, is about the same as everyone else's on the wharf) but I can speak for the reception families receive. If you are a family with young children, do yourself a favor and go someplace that won't treat you like dirt when you walk in the door.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank gretchiekc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fayetteville, AR
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Their Clam Chowder is the best I have ever had!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 30, 2013

They advertise their Monterey Clam Chowder as being the best . They are right! It is perfectly seasoned, full of flavor and the texture is perfect. I could not get enough and was so full afterwards but still wanted more.
This will become a dish that I plan to have everytime I come to Monterey.
Sevice at the restaurant was great and prices are reasonable for the area.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank JTR15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mountain View, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Best Clam Chowder on the Wharf!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2013

We sampled each and every clam chowder from one end of the wharf to the other, this one was by far the best! It had just the right amount of fresh clams and garlic. There were so many different ones to try, some had herbal tastes, some had smokey bacon and another all we could taste was onion. We loved sharing some of this clam chowder and the next time we get back to Monterey, I'm getting my own bowl!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank mochuisle77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
55 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“It's alright”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

It does have a very romantic atmosphere and they really hook it up for a special occasion. It was our 11yr anniversary and they had the linen tablecloth with a candle and rose pedals in a heart shape around it. But unfortunately the food was not very good. We both had steak and lobster(10 oz of each) and a couple appetizers. The steak was good but came with mushrooms on it which was not on the menu(can't stand mushrooms) scraped off..it's ok. But the lobster tail was one of the worst I have ever had. Overcooked, chewy, with hard dried out top covered in some seasoning that seemed like they emptied an entire salt shaker on it. Horrible!!! Appetizers ok. husband liked the steamer clams I had the roasted garlic which came with garlic bread. Bread was good, roasted garlic tiny and not good. Maybe other menu items would be good but spent a pretty penny on our meal only to be totally disappointed. Oh and the bloody mary with the shrimp..$15...no price on menu...yikes!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank tecnicole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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