Carmel by the Sea is one of California's top culinary destinations for its size of city. While the population is modest, Carmel looms large in the art world, hospitality and food.
The romantic, twisted Monterey pines, white sugar-sand beaches, stunning rocky cliffs and coves, and fog-shrouded days & nights create romantic appeal, courtesy of nature.
When you arrive in Carmel by the Sea, you feel good. And so do chefs who come to Carmel to do what they love--cook and create. With the salad bowl of the nation just miles away (Salinas valley), the produce is exceptional--especially the lettuce and vegetables.
The garlic capital is nearby in Gilroy, and artichoke capital a few miles distance in Castroville. Wineries such as Chateau Julien, focus one fresh ingredients, and the celebrity audience (Carmel Pine Cone newspaper even advertised they'd pay for celebrity photos taken around town) all come into play when a chef decides to accept an assignment at a luxury hotel, or set up his very own cafe or bistro in Carmel.
For years Clint Eastwood was partner in Hog's Breath Inn similar to the cafe shown in the photo, and many chefs reckon that if an actor and politician can open a restaurant and succeed, why cant we?
The food scene is constantly changing in Carmel by the Sea. Some our favorite haunts are places such as the main dining room at Carmel Valley Ranch, where elegant meals can be had in elegant surroundings.
Cafes and markets sell delicious ready-made salads for take-out, or you can grab a seat at a cozy place such as the Tuck Box English Tearoom, a tea house in downtown Carmel that has been around for decades.
Great options and great locations for dining make Carmel one of the best places to sit and people watch while you sip, savor and taste. Bon apetit!