Monterey’s diverse landscape and picturesque location on the Central California coast makes it a beautiful destination throughout the year. In the summer, as the sun casts its glow long into the night, it’s especially lovely. Of course, one of the best parts of summer is the refreshing meals to be enjoyed. Here’s our guide to eating right in Monterey during the season.
You don’t have to travel far for one of our favorite summertime restaurants here along Monterey Bay. Led by Executive Chef Paul Corsentino, who was a contender on Iron Chef America, the indoor-outdoor restaurant here at The Sanctuary Beach Resort celebrates the region’s coastal bounty that thrives during the summer months. Ingredients are drawn from the ocean and nearby farms and prepared wood-fired grill, the team at Salt Wood puts on a memorable dining experience.
Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette offers a seasonal oyster selection, along with other favorites like steak tartare, charred mushrooms, and the grilled catch of the day.
Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette. 3295 Dunes Dr. Marina, CA
Few places will give you summer vacation vibes like Hula’s Island Grill in Monterey. The restaurant has a tropical aesthetic mixed in with tikis, colorful cocktails, and island decor throughout. There’s also a lot of surf paraphernalia throughout the space, plus a happy hour daily.
Most importantly, Hua’s serves a delicious menu for summer diners. One of our favorite selections to enjoy during summer is the Hawaiian ceviche with white fish, citrus, coconut milk, chili, cilantro and garlic. The seared ahi wontons with wasabi ginger cream sauce are worth the visit.
Hula’s Island Grill. 662 Lighthouse Ave. Monterey, CA
Ask any local for a charming, summertime, beach-town restaurant, and they’ll point you to Monterey’s Fish House. The family-owned restaurant has been working with the local fishing community to score fresh fish daily for years, and has been voted Best Seafood in Monterey on numerous occasions.
You can always enjoy raw oysters on the shell, and specialty oak-grilled oysters at Monterey Fish House. Some of our other favorites included the BBQ baby octopus, and the breaded calamari steak. Some heartier selections that stand out include the cioppino, and the bouillabaisse with herbs de Provence and saffron mixed in.
Monterey Fish House. 2114 Del Monte Ave. Monterey, CA
This unassuming waterside restaurant offers diners beautiful waterside views, and more delectable seafood dishes. Sandbar has an excellent menu that’s always complemented by weekly specials, and the occasional view of otters playing in the bay out the window. We are also fans of the Sunday brunch at Sandbar & Grill.
The summer atmosphere is heightened not only by the large windows with views of the bay and surrounding marina, but also by the menu. One dish that’s especially great to try on a hot summer day on the beach is the Louie Salad, which comes with fresh Dungeness crab and prawns. This is also the best spot in town to get sand dabs.
Sandbar & Grill. Wharf II. Monterey, CA
Planning a visit to the shores of Monterey Bay? Experience the region like a local, following our insider recommendations on the Sanctuary Beach Resort blog!