Edible Monterey Bay


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Carried Away
7564 Soquel Drive • 831.685.3926

A cozy, green-certified, take-out or eat-in café, Carried Away has a menu that changes weekly and features primarily organic, locally sourced ingredients. Owner/chef Tom McNary worked for many years at Chez Panisse, and his dishes reflect the seasons. Soups, salads, entrées and desserts are all made fresh daily. Thin-crust pizzas available on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Open M–F 11am–7pm, Sa 11am–5pm, closed Su.

Sanderlings/Seascape Beach Resort
1 Seascape Resort Drive • 831.662.7120

With magnificent panoramic views of the ocean and the manicured grounds of Seascape Beach Resort, Sanderlings is a good choice for a daytime meal. Their wide selection of salads and seafood dishes features locally grown produce and fish that meets the Seafood Watch guidelines. Santa Cruz County wines are highlighted on the beverage list, and Happy Hour on the patio from 3–7pm is an excellent value. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6am–midnight M–F and 7am–midnight Sa–Su.


The Restaurant at Ventana
48123 Highway 1 • 831.667.4242 • www.ventanainn.com

Nestled high on a ridge over Big Sur, this restaurant offers a stylish, rustic wood interior as well as legendary terrace with some of the most stunning views the Central Coast has to offer. The menu changes frequently, reflecting the restaurant’s emphasis on fresh, seasonal and sustainable ingredients sourced from local farms and foragers. The wine list is award winning. The Ventana Bistro is available for private events. Open daily for breakfast 7:30–10:30am, lunch 11:30am–4:30pm, dinner 6–9pm.

Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn
47900 State Highway 1 • 831.667.2800

Executive chef John Cox has taken an iconic restaurant and made it both more imaginative and more accessible. The nine-course “Taste of Big Sur” prix-fixe dinner tasting menu delivers an inventive and delicious take on the Big Sur experience through exceptional ingredients grown on site or procured from local foragers, fishermen and farmers. Meanwhile, lunch guests can enjoy truly breathtaking views from Sierra Mar’s floor-to-ceiling windows and a new three-course menu that gives a sample of the restaurant’s evening fare for a fraction of the price. Open daily for lunch 12:15–3pm and dinner 5:30–9pm.


New Leaf Community Market
13159 Highway 9 • 831.338.7211 • www.newleaf.com

The perfect place to stop for made-to-order sandwiches, trail mix and picnic supplies for hikers on their way up to Big Basin or Castle Rock State Parks. All ingredients are fresh and natural, meats are hormone free, produce comes from local growers. Open 9am–9pm every day.


New Leaf Community Market
1210 41st Avenue • 831.479.7987 • www.newleaf.com

The New Beet Café at the entrance offers great alternatives to fast food, serving economical daily specials, wraps, pizza and homemade soup and smoothies—with free wi-fi in the dining area. Inside, a full deli has made-to-order sandwiches, healthy takeout salads and entrée items. Open 8am–9pm every day.

The Penny Ice Creamery
820 41st Avenue • 831.204.2523

This outpost of The Penny’s flagship shop in Santa Cruz offers the same small-batch, made-from-scratch, organic ice cream as the original. Under the direction of Chef Kendra Baker, expect inventive flavors made with local, seasonal ingredients as well as friendly, engaged service. Su–Thu, noon–6pm; F–Sa, noon–11pm.

Whole Foods Market
1710 41st Avenue • 831.464.2900

Too busy to cook? Looking for a healthy eat-in café or source of picnic supplies? Head for the prepared foods section of Whole Foods Market, where everything is natural or organic, and as much as possible is locally grown. There are ethnic specialties, salads, soups, fresh pizza and a coffee bar. Open 8am–9pm every day. 


Basil Carmel
San Carlos Street between Ocean and Seventh avenues (Paseo Courtyard)
831.626.8226 • www.basilcarmel.com

Locally sourced and seasonal aren’t just buzzwords at Basil. General manager/owner Denis Boaro and chef/owner Soerke Peters have created a restaurant that turns out beautiful dishes with intense flavors—like black squid ink linguine with sea urchin sauce and Monterey squid, or Monterey abalone in vermouth butter sauce on fingerling potato hash. This cozy restaurant in the Paseo Courtyard has heated and dog-friendly outdoor seating. There’s a full bar and a good selection of California wines, including many organic choices. Recipient of two stars from the national Green Restaurant Association. Open daily for lunch and dinner from 11:30am.

California Market at Hyatt Carmel Highlands
120 Highlands Drive
831.622.5450 • www.highlandsinn.hyatt.com

Locals and visitors alike enjoy the rustic elegance of this casual bistro. Whether dining al fresco overlooking magnificent Yankee Point or indoors by the pot-bellied stove, the California Market menu offers an eclectic array of offerings. At breakfast, look for frittatas, omelets, breakfast paninis, sticky bun French toast; lunch includes fresh seafood, pastas, sandwiches and daily specials. Service begins at 7am.

Carmel Belle
Doud Craft Studios • San Carlos Street at Ocean Avenue
831.624.1600 • www.carmelbelle.com

Passionate about sourcing the best ingredients and meticulous about identifying them on the menu, Carmel Belle has long been a local’s favorite for breakfast and lunch—and now it offers dinner. Almost everything is organic, from the coffee to the meats and cheeses. Faves created by chef Jay Dolata include a warm slow-cooked Berkshire pork sandwich with red onion-currant chutney on ciabatta, and their housemade mozzarella and asparagus panini. Open daily 8am–7pm. Dinner served from 4pm.

Earthbound Farm’s Farm Stand and Organic Kitchen
7250 Carmel Valley Road • 831.625.6219

Organic is essential at Earthbound Farm. In addition to fresh organic produce, prepared foods and gourmet groceries, the farm stand has a colorful salad bar and a certified organic kitchen. Under the direction of executive chef Sarah LaCasse, the kitchen turns out homemade soups and bakery goods daily. Take out or eat on site at tables set in the garden. The Farm Stand also hosts cooking demonstrations and other classes and activities. Open M–Sa 8am–6:30pm, Su 9am–6pm. 

La Balena
Junipero Avenue between Fifth and Sixth avenues
831.250.6295 • www.labalenacarmel.com

La Balena’s seasonal menu changes daily but always expresses a spectacular and inventive take on the rustic food of a classical Tuscan trattoria. Chef Brad Briske has a deep love for and knowledge of the bounty of ingredients that grow here in the Monterey Bay region and purchases all produce from local organic farmers. Much of the charcuterie is housemade, and pasta and slow-cooked meats are prepared from scratch daily. Owners Anna and Emanuele Bartolini have created a charming atmosphere complete with back garden seating. Open 11:30am–10pm, Dinner Tuesday-Sunday & Lunch is Thursday-Sunday. 

Le St. Tropez • Jardin des Artistes
Dolores Street between Ocean and Seventh avenues
831.624.8977 • www.lesttropez.com

Created by owners chef Jean and Mary Medora Hubert, Le St. Tropez expresses the unique warmth of the culture found along the French Riviera. Enjoy the exquisite flavors of the region’s bountiful cuisine, prepared with local, sustainably raised and organic ingredients that create a menu to celebrate the seasons. Experience the charm of the South of France in the distinctly Provençal dining room or al fresco, nestled among the fountain and flowers of a hidden courtyard, the Jardin des Artistes. Sip cocktails fireside, indoors or out. Garden is also available for private parties. Open daily 11:30am–10pm.

San Carlos Street between Ocean and Seventh avenues
831.624.7400 • www.mundakacarmel.com

A convivial Spanish restaurant and tapas bar hidden away at the back of a Carmel courtyard, Mundaka is named for a coastal town in the Basque country and has a loyal following of locals who come for both the food and the live music. A surprisingly authentic kitchen, led by acclaimed chef Brandon Miller, produces organic specialties to share like patatas bravas, croquetas, tiny lamb chops and paella. Across the courtyard, Mundaka Café offers Ritual Coffee Roasters coffee, Five Mountains organic teas, Parker-Lusseau pastries and house-made sandwiches on Lafayette Bakery’s bread. Café open 8am–3pm, restaurant 5:30–11pm daily. Next door bar, High Tide, open from 5:30pm.

Pacific’s Edge at Hyatt Carmel Highlands
120 Highlands Drive
831.620.1234 • www.pacificsedge.com

Hyatt Carmel Highlands offers awe-inspiring views of the Pacific, stellar service and food that draws inspiration from local farms and purveyors. Built atop a craggy cliff overlooking the dramatic Big Sur coastline, there is no better perch from which to view the setting sun or a breaching whale. Start your experience with a craft cocktail at the Sunset Lounge, followed by dinner in the glass-walled dining room at Pacific’s Edge (daily 6–9pm), featuring sophisticated California coastal cuisine from chef Matt Bolton.


New Leaf Community Market
150 San Mateo Road • 650.726.3110 • www.newleaf.com

Green plate specials offer healthy natural lunches for $5 daily and full dinners for $9.99. Lunches like Diestel turkey wraps and tri-tip sandwiches change daily. Hot dinner specials include classics like meatloaf with mashed potatoes and Smart chicken parmesan. Open 8am–9pm every day


New Leaf Community Market
6240 Highway 9 • 831.335.7322 • www.newleaf.com

New Leaf offers the best fresh food made and grown here on the Central Coast. Made-to-order sandwiches, salads and hot foods are all natural. No nitrates, hormones, antibiotics or artificial ingredients. Open 9am–9pm every day.


Wild Thyme Deli & Café
445 Reservation Road • 831.884.2414

Chef Terry Teplitzky offers a dizzying array of influences on the menu at his quaint and cozy café. A tantalizing slate of salads includes everything from traditional tuna and Greek to Asian cabbage and Chinese noodle. Also on offer is some of the best mango-chutney-bursting curry chicken in the region. East Coast classics, such as massive submarines, housemade corned beef and pastrami, as well as great Jersey-style cheesesteak might smack of fast food, but everything is prepared with organic, locally sourced ingredients. Open M–Sa 10am–5:30pm.


A Taste of Monterey Wine Market & Bistro
700 Cannery Row, Suite KK • 831.646.5446

This sophisticated-yet-accessible wine bar on Cannery Row is a feast for the senses. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Monterey Bay provide views that nourish the soul, and Aqua Terra Culinary chef Adam Foster makes tasty, locally sourced fare to accompany wines from nearly 100 Monterey County vineyards. Make a meal or just a snack of various creative small plates. The menu ranges from warmly spiced Tikki Masala Chicken to fennel sausage flatbread pizza, goat nachos to salads and panini. Open Su–W 11am–7pm, Th–Sa 11am–8pm.

 Bay of Pines
150 Del Monte Avenue, 2nd Floor
831.920.4560 • www.facebook.com/BayOfPines

Bay of Pines offers cuisine prepared with nearly 100% organic ingredients in a setting that is family friendly at lunch and dinner hours and then welcomes night prowlers for live music and a bar menu from 9pm. Owner Dana Mills Helman and director of operations Jim Farah have made the most of the spot’s sweeping, bay-facing windows, installing a teak pirate ship-shaped bar and floor-to-ceiling murals of the Monterey Bay’s diverse coastal ecosystem. Chef Fel Ian Rabaino sources only grassfed beef, free-range chicken and local produce. Open for lunch 11am–2pm and happy hour 4–7pm Tu–Su. Dinner 5–9pm Tu-F and 5–10pm Sa–Su, bar menu 9–11:30pm Tu–Su.

Jacks Restaurant & Lounge
Portola Hotel & Spa, 2 Portola Plaza • 831.649.2698

At Jacks, you’ll find a deliciously unique Monterey flavor and a cozy location in the heart of historic downtown Monterey. Executive Chef Jason Giles uses the freshest local ingredients available, supporting local farmers, fishermen and cheese makers. Try Jacks’ signature Dungeness Crab and Clam Chowder, Seared Day Boat Scallops or the Harris Ranch New York Strip with wild mushrooms and Shallot Bourbon Sauce. For a glimpse behind the scenes, an oyster bar with champagne is tucked inside the kitchen. Open for breakfast M–F 6–10:30am, Sa–Su 6–12pm; for lunch M–F 11:30am–2pm, Sa–Su 11–2pm; for dinner daily 5–10pm. 

Peter B’s Brewpub
Portola Hotel & Spa, 2 Portola Plaza • 831.649.2699

Monterey’s first craft brewery and one of the few breweries in the country to be found in a hotel, Peter B’s has a loyal following of beer geeks and sports fans. With charming brewmaster Kevin Clark at the helm, the pub stocks five housemade craft beers, along with an ever-changing menu of seasonal lagers, ales and stout. Delicious appetizers, pizzas, burgers and sandwiches fill out the menu, including the locals’ favorite: House Made Sausages. Open M–Th 4–11pm, F–Sa 11am–1am, Su 11am–11pm.

Stone Creek Kitchen
465 Canyon del Rey Boulevard • 831.393.1042

A glass-walled kitchen in the middle of a spacious cookware shop turns out imaginative Mediterranean deli treats and sweets to take away or eat under the market umbrellas outside. Petite baguette sandwiches—like grilled chicken, artichoke hearts and Boursin cheese—are little works of art. Don’t miss the pistachio/cherry chocolate bark or the paella Fridays. Open M–F 10am–7pm, Sa 10am–4pm, closed Su except during November and December. 

The Wharf Marketplace
290 Figueroa Street at Wharf No. 2 and Del Monte Avenue
831.649.1116 • www.thewharfmarketplace.com

Former Sardine factory executive chef Brant Good offers a diverse menu of salads, sandwiches, panini, soups and pizzas, all made with freshly picked, locally grown ingredients from owner Tanimura & Antle and other area growers. The hot breakfast includes specialties from at least three local bakeries as well as Acme Coffee and Baker’s Bacon. Indoor and outdoor seating. Open W–M 7am–7pm, Tu 7am–2pm. 

Whole Foods Market
800 Del Monte Center • 831.333.1600

This busy market at the Del Monte Center has everything needed for a delicious, healthful dinner at home, picnic at the beach or quick bite at the store’s own café tables. Fresh to-go dinner entrées, side dishes, sandwiches and salads are all made with natural or organic ingredients. Open 8am–9pm every day.


The Haute Enchilada
7902 Moss Landing Road • 831.633.5843

Gourmet Latin fusion dishes await those who venture off Highway 1 and into this fanciful restaurant with its new entertainment venue out back. Fiesta-colored walls are crammed with enormous gold leaf paintings by co-owner Luis Solano. Try dishes like Peruvian Ceviche, Squash Blossom Empanadas, Crab and Huitlacoche Enchiladas or the popular Pescado Cubano—line-caught red snapper in a pistachio/pumpernickel crust served with tomatillo avocado sauce. Ingredients are organic as much as possible. Open M–Th 11am–9pm, F–Su 9am–9pm.


Happy Girl Kitchen Co.
173 Central Avenue • 831.373.4475

The menu changes daily at Happy Girl’s airy and bright Pacific Grove café, but the food is always delicious, organic and reasonably priced. The sandwich of the day is $6, and a bowl of the soup of the day is $5. To drink, you’ll find kombucha on tap and Blue Bottle Coffee brewed freshly. Homemade baked goods include a daily scone, cookies and turnovers. Open daily 7:30am–3pm.

701 Lighthouse Avenue • 831.655.3311

If you’re looking for a restaurant with playful, spectacular food and a scrupulous commitment to sustainability, this green-certified restaurant is hard to rival. The elegant dining room is celebratory yet relaxed, and the award-winning wine list features many sustainable names and is priced at retail. Chef Ted Walter’s menu is ever changing with the seasons, but always includes delicious organic local produce, inventive slow-cooked meats and an array of sustainable seafood choices. Open daily 5pm.

Point Pinos Grill
79 Asilomar Boulevard • 831.648.5774

With sweeping views of the coast near Point Pinos Lighthouse and a relaxed clubhouse vibe, this scenic spot has blossomed under the direction of executive chef Dory Ford. Choose from huevos rancheros, chicken fried steak, eggs benedict and an array of tasty omelets. Enjoy dishes like Ale Steamed Mussels, Heirloom Tomato Tart and all-natural beef burgers. Bistro-style dinner entrées change with the seasons. Open daily 7:30am–3pm for breakfast and lunch, 5–8pm W–Sa for dinner. Happy hour drinks and appetizer specials from 4–6pm M–F.


Cascade Bar and Grill/Costanoa Lodge
2001 Rossi Road at Highway 1
650.879.1100, x4 • www.costanoa.com

Just a short drive up a gorgeous stretch of pastoral coastline from Santa Cruz’ Westside, Cascade Bar and Grill aims to reflect its setting in its menu. Chef Mo L’Esperance offers seasonally driven dishes featuring the harvest of Cascade’s garden and those of neighbors like Cascade Ranch Historic Farm and Swanton Berry Farm. She also serves many sustainable seafood dishes, such as sturgeon, and a number of local, biodynamic and sustainable wines. As it is part of the Costanoa eco-adventure resort, guests may stay the night in a tent bungalow or the luxurious lodge. Open daily 7:30am–9pm.


The Bakery Station
202 Monterey St. • 831.783.1140

In a repurposed gas station, bakers Ana Melissa Garcia and Erika Olivarez fire up a traditional stone hearth oven to produce crusty Old World breads, scones and muffins. The Bakery Station is also a popular lunch stop, turning out sandwiches like the Road Hog—with pulled pork and whiskey sauce on a brioche roll. Open M–F 6am–4pm, Sa 7am–2pm, closed Su.


1108 Pacific Avenue

This full-service restaurant from Kendra Baker and Zach Davis, founders of The Penny Ice Creamery and The Picnic Basket, offers rustic California cuisine based on local, seasonal and sustainably sourced ingredients and offered at everyday prices. Executive chef Carlo Espinas combines traditional preparation techniques with a contemporary twist to create an approachable yet intriguing menu complemented by engaging craft beers and wines. The restaurant’s wood-metal-stone décor radiates from the long community table that anchors the center of the dining room, which is filled with natural light in daytime and bathed in the soft glow of copper accents at night. A cozy bar and sidewalk patio offer additional seating options. Open 11am–11pm Tu–Su. Brunch offered on weekends.

The Buttery
702 Soquel Avenue • 831.458.3020

Tantalizing cakes, pies, tarts, pastries and European-style breads fill the display cases inside this friendly, only-in-Santa Cruz bakery and café. On the deli side, everything is freshly made, from soups to salad dressings, using local produce from places like Live Earth Farm as much as possible. Lots of take-out options are available including daily special dinner entrées, but you can’t go wrong ordering their famous turkey potpie. Open daily 7am–7pm. 

Charlie Hong Kong
1141 Soquel Avenue • 831.426.5664

Charlie Hong Kong has been providing the Santa Cruz community with healthy, fresh, high-quality food since 1998. The restaurant’s fusion of Southeast Asian influences and the Central Coast’s local organic produce is what has made it a neighborhood favorite. Its slogan is “love your body, eat organic,” and its cuisine is proof that fast food can be good for you. Open daily 11am–11pm.

Companion Bakeshop
2341 Mission Street • 831.252.2253

After five years on the farmers’ market circuit, Companion has opened its own bakery/café. It has a brick oven, where organic sourdough bread is baked throughout the day, and there is a long communal table for sharing a coffee with your neighbors. Eight kinds of sourdough bread and seasonal pastries are made with local, organic ingredients. Tuesday night is pizza night and Thursday, fish tacos. Open Tu–F 7am–1pm, Sa–Su 8am–2pm, closed M. 

101B Cooper Street • 831.423.4545

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. There is a wide variety of deliciously spiced vegetable dishes, organic whenever possible, and all meats are hormone free and free range. Open daily for lunch 11:30am–2:30pm and for dinner 5–9:30pm.

La Posta
538 Seabright Avenue • 831.457.2782

A cozy neighborhood bistro not far from the Santa Cruz yacht harbor, La Posta chef Katherine Stern prepares northern Italian cuisine using local ingredients—some foraged and some grown on nearby organic farms. Charcuterie is house cured, and the rest of the menu reflects whatever produce is freshest right now. Visit the chickens in the restaurant’s backyard and enjoy the eclectic atmosphere. Open Tu–Th 5–9pm, F–Sa 5–9:30pm, Su 5–8pm, closed M. 

New Leaf Community Market
1134 Pacific Avenue • 831.425.1793 • www.newleaf.com

New Leaf’s headquarters in an old bank building on Pacific Avenue is a worthwhile stop for all foodies. Crowded with gourmet natural foods, it also has a deli with sandwiches, salads and hot entrées. A dining area out front is great for people watching and listening to street musicians. Open 9am–9pm every day.

New Leaf Community Market
1101 Fair Avenue • 831.426.1306 • www.newleaf.com

The Westside New Leaf has a large deli counter and coffee bar, with a big selection of sandwiches, salads, bakery items, soups and other hot foods. You can eat at an in-store counter or at tables outside. There is a community classroom here for frequent cooking classes. Open 8am–10pm every day.

The Penny Ice Creamery
913 Cedar Street • 831.204.2523

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. Flavors change seasonally, but two favorites are bourbon bacon chocolate and strawberry pink peppercorn. Open Su–W noon–9pm, Th–Sa noon–11pm. 

The Picnic Basket
125 Beach Street • 831.427.9946

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. Open daily 7am–9pm.

Ristorante Avanti
1917 Mission Street • 831.427.0135

This popular, Mediterranean-style bistro recently moved into a lush, more upscale location with a larger bar and expanded seating to better accommodate its loyal fans. Avanti’s menu remains true to its long-time commitment to supporting local organic farms as well as local ranchers, foragers and fishermen. The menu changes with the seasons, and specials are offered every day using local organic produce and meats, wholesome oils and imported Italian cheeses. Open for lunch M–F 11:30am–2pm, for dinner Su–Th 5–9pm, F–Sa 5–9:30pm.

Soif Restaurant and Wine Bar
105 Walnut Avenue • 831.423.2020 • www.soifwine.com

This wine-centric downtown restaurant is housed in a hip, loft-style building and includes a wine shop next door. Food reflects chef Santos Majano’s love for Mediterranean flavors, and each dish is paired with a wine suggestion from the vast wine list. Monday evenings there is a raw oyster bar with live jazz. Tuesday is tapas night. Restaurant and wine bar open Su–Th 5–9pm, F–Sa 5–10pm.

Uncie Ro’s Pizza
Santa Cruz Area Farmers’ Markets • 831.419.8191

New York-inspired pizzas made with fresh, organic California produce and meats make Uncie Ro’s a favorite at five farmers’ markets in the Santa Cruz area, where they are served bubbling hot from a unique mobile Mugnaini pizza oven. Follow the wood-fire scent Tuesdays at the Felton Farmers’ Market and Companion Bakeshop, Wednesdays at the Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market, Saturdays at the Westside and Scotts Valley Farmers’ Markets and Sundays at the Live Oak Farmers’ Market. Also offering fine Italian specialty catering with sustainable ingredients for the holidays and beyond.

Vivas Organic Mexican Restaurant
1201 Soquel Avenue • 831.425.8482

A splashing fountain suggests an old Mexican patio, but the food is a modern, organic and delicious take on south-of-the-border classics like tacos, tostadas, quesadillas and burritos. All meats and vegetables are organic. Local juices, organic white and brown rice are available, as well as vegan options. Open M–F 10am–10pm, Sa–Su 9am–10pm. 

Whole Foods Market
911 Soquel Avenue • 831.426.9901

Too busy to cook? Head for the prepared foods section of Whole Foods Market, where everything is natural or organic, and as much as possible is locally grown. There are ethnic specialties, salads, soups, fresh pizza and a coffee bar, with tables out in front of the market. Open 8am–9pm every day.