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Your road map to Carmel's Best

Carmel Life's Favorite Restaurants

Terry's Lounge
@ The Cypress Inn

Carmel-by-the-Sea, a favorite among celebrities, was especially beloved by the late screen idol Doris Day. Captivated by its charm, she made Carmel her home and purchased the historic Cypress Inn. Terry's Lounge, named after her son, Terry Melcher, offers a cozy atmosphere and is a popular spot to mingle with locals.

Doris Day's affection for dogs is evident at Terry's, which hosts a "Yappy Hour" with special menus for canine guests. For human visitors, culinary highlights include Breaded and Pan-Seared Fresh Monterey Sanddabs with Tarragon Cream Sauce, Doris Day's Favorite Chicken Salad, and the Cypress Burger, touted as "the Best Burger in Carmel."

La Bicyclette

This casually chic French-Italian bistro effortlessly impresses without trying too hard. Rustic touches, like scribbled chalkboards and hanging copper pots, evoke the charm of a countryside bistro, while the delicate plating and attentive service underscore its sophisticated Carmel setting.

Start with some delectable hors d’oeuvres, such as the spinach gnocchi and Provençal mushrooms with Pernod and hazelnuts. Then, share a fig, arugula, and prosciutto wood-fired pizza. It’s an ideal spot for a romantic yet unpretentious lunch, whether you’re heading to the beach or strolling through town. The ambiance strikes a perfect balance, making it a delightful choice for a relaxed yet refined dining experience.

Little Swiss Cafe

This cozy breakfast café is a delightful find with stunning decor, featuring beautiful paintings, murals, and intricate glass art. The friendly and attentive staff enhance the inviting atmosphere.

The menu includes freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices, and breakfast options like the Y Ole Eggs, which come with toast, a choice of meat, and a side of pancakes, French toast, or the best waffles in the world. Vegan options include oatmeal, bagels, and fruit. The café is also renowned for its cheese blintzes, which are to die for.

Overall, this café offers a charming breakfast experience with delicious food and a lovely ambiance.

Edwin's Carmel

Edwin's offers an exceptional dining experience with its eclectic Ring of Fire cuisine. Indulge in the Kare Kare plate, featuring generous portions of oxtail in coconut cream sauce, accompanied by garlic fried rice and mixed sautéed vegetables.

The service was impeccable and attentive. One of our guests requested their Island Basket, an off-menu item, and the staff graciously accommodated her request. Our late dinner reservation allowed us to enjoy live music afterwards and the performance was outstanding.

Overall, Edwin's is a must-visit dining destination in Carmel, offering excellent food, service, and entertainment.

Vesuvio

Carmel-by-the-Sea, a favorite among celebrities, was especially beloved by the late screen idol Doris Day. Captivated by its charm, she made Carmel her home and purchased the historic Cypress Inn. Terry's Lounge, named after her son, Terry Melcher, offers a cozy atmosphere and is a popular spot to mingle with locals.

Doris Day's affection for dogs is evident at Terry's, which hosts a "Yappy Hour" with special menus for canine guests. For human visitors, culinary highlights include Breaded and Pan-Seared Fresh Monterey Sanddabs with Tarragon Cream Sauce, Doris Day's Favorite Chicken Salad, and the Cypress Burger, touted as "the Best Burger in Carmel."

Dametra

This cozy yet high-energy restaurant is an excellent choice for Mediterranean specialties, pizza, and pasta, all served in a charmingly rustic space. The warm, inviting atmosphere is complemented by a lively ambiance that makes every dining experience memorable.

The menu features a variety of Mediterranean dishes crafted with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Guests can start with traditional appetizers such as hummus, baba ganoush, and stuffed grape leaves, each bursting with authentic flavors. 

Rio Grill @
The Barnyard

Rio Grill is a standout dining spot in Carmel, known for its southwestern flair and fresh, local Californian cuisine. Impressing both food critics and foodies, Rio Grill has earned distinguished culinary awards over its 36-year history. The restaurant offers creative American food at its best, complemented by a full bar, excellent wine selection, and impeccable service.

Katy's Place

Katy's Place is renowned for its Eggs Benedict, boasting more than twenty varieties on the menu. "We extol this dish by calling Katy's Place 'The Capital of Eggs Benedict,'" says Randall the owner, proudly. This beloved restaurant is also a favorite of celebrities and royalty alike. Local resident Jim Nantz, who created a signature omelet that holds a permanent spot on the specials board. With its diverse and expertly crafted offerings, Katy's Place continues to be a cherished destination for breakfast enthusiasts and locals alike.

Chez Noir

Chez Noir in Carmel is a hidden gem offering a sophisticated dining experience. Nestled in a quaint corner, the restaurant exudes charm with its intimate ambiance and elegant decor. Known for its French-inspired cuisine, Chez Noir delights guests with dishes that are as visually stunning as they are flavorful. From classic escargots to expertly prepared steak au poivre, each dish showcases a commitment to quality and taste. The attentive service and thoughtfully curated wine list complement the culinary offerings, making Chez Noir a must-visit for those seeking a memorable dining experience in Carmel.

Robata

Robata Grill and Sake Bar in Carmel offers a vibrant dining experience centered around Japanese robatayaki cuisine and a wide selection of sake. Located in a stylish setting, the restaurant combines traditional Japanese grilling techniques with a modern flair. Guests can enjoy a variety of skewered and grilled dishes, from tender yakitori to flavorful seafood and vegetables cooked over charcoal.

The sake bar features an extensive collection of sake, curated to complement the robust flavors of the grilled dishes. Whether you're a sake enthusiast or new to Japanese cuisine, the knowledgeable staff is on hand to guide you through the menu and help pair dishes with the perfect sake.

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