Seafood, seafood, seafood! You cannot get enough of it at Monterey's restaurants. The Monterey Bay is a veritable breadbasket of fish and shellfish in which local fishermen bring in the freshest catches daily. Area seafood restaurants now the value of providing the best in quality and taste to its customers, and every restaurant listed here goes above and beyond to serve the best fish dishes on the Central Coast.
The Number 1 ranked Old Fisherman's Grotto knocks it out of the park again and again when it comes to serving the best seafood in the region. Their clam chowder is superb, and simple dishes like the steamed clams, lobster tale and seafood paella let the seafood speak for themselves.
A very close Number 2 on this Top 10 is Phil's Fish Market. Featured on "Throwdown," the Food Network program that features Bobby Flay going head-to-head with local restaurants claiming to serve the best version of a certain dish. Phil's took Flay down with their cioppino, a hearty seafood stew Phil's struggles to keep stocked. Phil's Fish Market is in Moss Landing, about a 30-minute drive out of Monterey on scenic Highway 1, so it doesn't take the top spot, but its fresh and award-winning seafood is well worth the extra mile.
The Whaling Station, Number 9 here, is an upscale, old-school steak and seafood restaurant that has customers coming back year after year. It is on the pricey side, but because it serves equally good surf and turf, it's on the list as a people pleaser that offers an awesome dining experience.
Short of catching your own fish and cooking it on your own stove, all the restaurants here have it all-fresh fish, great cooks, good service and welcoming ambiences.
7600 Sandholdt Road
444 Cannery Row
400 Cannery Row
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
50 Fishermans Wharf, Suite 1
763 Wave St
(between Irving and Prescott Sts)