Dine Local Guide
All of these restaurants emphasize local ingredients, and they also advertise in Edible Monterey Bay!
East End Gastropub
East End Gastropub is a sister eatery to the popular West End Tap & Kitchen, but aside from sharing owners and chefs, East End’s beautiful, modern interior is entirely different and offers its own robust, sophisticated, beer-friendly menu. Chef Geoffrey Hargrave has created dishes that are familiar yet innovative, such as crispy gigante beans with smoked crème fraîche and coq au vin. Shared plates, pizzas and salads come in generous portions for a family-style meal. The restaurant also offers a rotating selection of local beer and a strong wine list.
1501 41st Avenue
Margaritaville Capitola is a waterfront restaurant dedicated to serving made-from-scratch Mexican food in a first-class casual environment. With panoramic views overlooking the water our heated dog friendly patio is a great place to enjoy Baja fish tacos, ceviche and chile verde. We specialize in handcrafted margaritas, sustainably caught seafood and friendly service.
Serving the local community and visitors alike, Mijo’s Taqueria features bold and unique flavors in a new age taqueria setting. Chef Anthony Guajardo’s passion for cooking developed from being in his Mexican and Italian grandmothers’ kitchens growing up. Mijo’s is conveniently located just a quick walk from the beach.
200 Monterey Ave., Ste 2
A Santa Cruz County landmark since 1947, the world-famous Shadowbrook continues to be an overwhelming favorite with locals and visitors alike. Its fine food, extensive wine list and unparalleled setting and ambiance have earned it numerous awards, including Northern California’s “Most Romantic Restaurant” and “Best Date Night Restaurant.”
1750 Wharf Road
EDGAR’S AT QUAIL LODGE
Taste the fresh ingredients harvested from local farms and fisheries hand-selected by Edgar’s Executive Chef Brian Parks and exquisitely prepared by the culinary team. Edgar’s features casual elegance with its indoor and outdoor fireside dining against the backdrop of the golf course and Santa Lucia Mountains.
8000 Valley Greens Drive
LUCIA RESTAURANT & BAR
Indulge in artisanal California country cuisine, award-winning wines and an expansive heated outdoor terrace with the finest restaurant view in Carmel Valley. Named for the nearby majestic Santa Lucia Mountains and helmed by renowned Chef Cal Stamenov, Lucia showcases the creativity of a true artist who has championed the region’s bounty for over two decades.
415 W. Carmel Valley Road
The Wild Plum Café
Located in Old Monterey in a vibrant and diverse neighborhood, The Wild Plum draws locals as well as visitors from all walks of life with hand crafted comfort food based on organic and locally sourced produce, pasture raised meats roasted on site, custom-roasted organic coffee and amazing house-baked pastries and bread.
731 Munras Avenue
SPANISH INSPIRED, LOCALLY GROWN At the heart of the downtown Monterey dining scene, Estéban Restaurant serves Spanish influenced cuisine made from fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. Our team works with local farmers, wine makers, ranchers, fishermen and artisan producers to cook with the best California seafood, meats, and produce.
700 Munras Avenue
JULIA’S VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT
Voted the best vegetarian restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula for more that 10 years running. Julia’s is known for its wild and exotic mushrooms and house-brewed kombuchas on tap. The menu features a creative twist on vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free food. Try some of the most popular dishes like the fried “egg & bacon” sandwich, exotic mushroom sampler and buffalo cauliflower wings.
1180 Forest Ave. Suite F
Owners Liz and Kelvin Jacobs welcome you to feast on the bounty of nearby waters and farms at their 100% local and organic seafood house, enjoying exquisite dishes like crispy sablefish and swordfish au poivre, accompanied by succulent native seaweeds. Fresh oysters, innovative salads, house-baked bread and sides make this a dining destination.
545 Lighthouse Avenue
1188 Forest Ave.
With its cheerful beach stripes, wicker light fixtures and whimsical details, dinner at Barceloneta can feel like a holiday. Owned by chef Brett Emerson and his wife Elan, who ensures service is superb, Barceloneta offers Spanish tapas made with seasonal, farmers’ market produce and several types of authentic paella, along with Spanish wines, beers and cocktails.
1541 Pacific Avenue, Suite B
CHARLIE HONG KONG
Providing the Santa Cruz community with healthy, sustainable, affordable and high-quality food since 1998. The colorful, casual eatery’s delicious fusion of Southeast Asian influences and the Central Coast’s local organic produce has made it an inclusive, family-friendly, neighborhood favorite. Its slogan is “love your body, eat organic,” and its cuisine is proof that fast food can be good for you.
1141 Soquel Avenue
A perfect spot to enjoy breakfast and lunch or catch a dinnertime sunset over the harbor, the nautical-themed Crow’s Nest is a Santa Cruz institution that never goes out of style. There’s always something happening, from live music to comedy nights and happy hours. Famous for its salads, house-smoked salmon and seafood entrées, the Crow’s Nest is a member of Seafood Watch and is a certified green business.
2218 E. Cliff Drive
Exotic flavors of the Silk Road are served in a stylish dining room decorated in eggplant and pistachio colors and on a hidden candlelit patio. Locals rave about Laílí’s homemade naan served warm from the oven with a selection of Mediterranean dips and its wide variety of deliciously spiced dishes.
101B Cooper Street
Everything we serve is made in-house; from our delicate pastas to the gelati for dessert, featuring the very best of Santa Cruz’s small farmers and producers. Our wine list is wholly Italian, featuring autochthonous varieties and rare and delicious bottles from small producers who reflect the richness of the Italian wine world.
538 Seabright Avenue
PEARL OF THE OCEAN
Award-winning chef/owner Ayoma Wilen goes beyond the expected traditional spice-infused dishes of Sri Lanka, creating locally inspired daily specials using fresh, organic produce from farmers’ market produce and sustainably harvested seafood. Customer favorites include butternut squash curry, crab curry and wild salmon curry. To round out the flavor experience, there is a dizzying array of sides.
736 Water Street
THE PENNY ICE CREAMERY
Lines out the front door of its converted Spanish bungalow are evidence of Penny’s popularity. All ice cream, including bases, is made from scratch on the premises using local organic ingredients when possible. Dozens of exotic flavors rotate seasonally, but two favorites are chocolate caramel sea salt and strawberry pink peppercorn.
913 Cedar Street
THE PICNIC BASKET
Across the street from the main beach, owners of The Penny Ice Creamery have opened an alternative to boardwalk fast food. Sandwiches, organic salads, coffee and beer, all from local food artisans, and of course Penny’s popular ice cream, are all on offer to eat in or outside with your feet in the sand.
125 Beach Street
This festive taco spot draws its inspiration from food traditions around the world, with imaginative tacos created using the best fresh, local and sustainable ingredients. Great for a quick bite or gathering with friends and family. Choose from snacks, tacos, bowls and sandwiches on the menu, as well as draft beers and cocktails.
1108 Pacific Avenue
SOIF RESTAURANT + WINE SHOP
A local favorite for wine lovers and lovers of great food since 2002. Chef Tom McNary’s deep connection to the farmers and small producers here in Santa Cruz is reflected in a frequently changing menu rich in the freshest local produce and tastiest seafood possible. Everything is made daily in-house.
105 Walnut Avenue
Beer Mule Bottle Shop + Pour House
The Beer Mule has 40 brews on tap and hundreds more in the fridge, with an emphasis on local and NorCal beer. Food—courtesy of Butchers & The Mule—includes dishes like four-cheese mac and cheese, barbacoa short rib tacos, grilled tri-tip cheesesteak, hot or not fried chicken sando and Butchers’ jambalaya.