PCH food

bennifer

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
My 16 day California adventure is coming up in a few weeks so now I'm looking for ideas of "must do" food. We'll be starting in San Diego, then hitting DL (I think I have my list of food done for here) and 1 day in LA before we head up the coast to San Francisco then over to Yosemite. A few places we've already decided on are:

Pinks
In & Out
Nepenthe
Pea Soup Andersons

Even though those aren't very adventurous, we are adventurous eaters! Any suggestions?
 

China Expat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Pea Soup Andersons has really gone down over the years. Maybe eat at Harris Ranch off the 5 freeway one you descend into the Central Valley? You MUST stop at Casa de Fruta if you go 5 north to to the 152 and then up the 101. It is an amazing stop with a park and lake, train, carousel, gold panning exhibit, huge produce store, bakery, candy and ice cream shop, deli, Mexcian food, and a sit down restaurant. Everything is made fresh and is a wonderful stop! You will also go through Gilroy via that route, famous for all things garlic, including garlic ice cream!
 

bennifer

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Oh I had no idea Gilroy was that close. That's a definite must stop! Thanks! And also - thanks for the other tips! I'll be researching more tonight!
 

DLgal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Baja Fish tacos and good Mexican Food in San Diego. Casa Guadalajara is my favorite. It's in Old Town.
 

SandyinMonterey

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
My 16 day California adventure is coming up in a few weeks so now I'm looking for ideas of "must do" food. We'll be starting in San Diego, then hitting DL (I think I have my list of food done for here) and 1 day in LA before we head up the coast to San Francisco then over to Yosemite. A few places we've already decided on are:

Pinks
In & Out
Nepenthe
Pea Soup Andersons

Even though those aren't very adventurous, we are adventurous eaters! Any suggestions?
Keep up to date with Nepenthe (Big Sur). Even way before Covid, there hours were unpredictable. Food is average, it's all about the views. Could head into Solvang, cute town with some places to eat. I second Casa De Fruita. Monterey Peninsula area is well worth a stop and look around, especially Carmel/Carmel by the Sea. Carmel has one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen and some of the best restaurants I've ever eaten ate...both in a beautiful scenic town. If you want specific names of restaurants, let me know. I lived on the Monterey Peninsula for 16 years.
 

bennifer

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Keep up to date with Nepenthe (Big Sur). Even way before Covid, there hours were unpredictable. Food is average, it's all about the views. Could head into Solvang, cute town with some places to eat. I second Casa De Fruita. Monterey Peninsula area is well worth a stop and look around, especially Carmel/Carmel by the Sea. Carmel has one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen and some of the best restaurants I've ever eaten ate...both in a beautiful scenic town. If you want specific names of restaurants, let me know. I lived on the Monterey Peninsula for 16 years.

Thank you! We'll be staying in Monterey for 2 nights, so yes! I would love some recommendations!
 

SandyinMonterey

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Thank you! We'll be staying in Monterey for 2 nights, so yes! I would love some recommendations!
Sure! These are our favorites/go to:
Mission Ranch: Carmel by the Sea. Clint Eastwood's place. Great food & atmosphere. Beautiful setting. Litte Napoli: Carmel by the Sea. From Scratch: Carmel by the Sea (cash only)., Vesuvio:Carmel by the Sea (good but LIttle Napoli better), Baja Cantina: Carmel Valley (on CV Road), Tuckbox: Carmel by the Sea: Cute/Adorable. Known for their scones but menu very limiting so are the hours. Roys (Pebble Beach/The Inn Spanish Bay): Absolute beautiful scenery. Time it to be there when the lone bag piper plays. Have to go thru security gate but if you say you're eating at Roy's, they won't charge. Entrance is off highway but there is a back way thru PG (Pacific Grove) which is a lot less busier. This is also entrance for 17 mile drive. Beach House: Lover's Point in Pacific Grove. Husband gave me my engagement ring here. First Awakenings: In Pacific Grove right across from aquarium in Monterey (Cannery Row). Monterey Fish House and Chart House.
 

Gladys Belcher

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 28, 2022
Can recommend a detour via Los Oso's road off Hwy 101 into Morro Bay and Tognazini's Dockside 2 is on the water right next to the Morro Rock. BBQed Oysters!

Also, you can grab picnic items at Grocery Outlet in Los Osos and sit out near the Rock watching the otters. Brian's sourdough bread is a 'cult' favorite in the 805 Central Coast.

In Monterey, we like Sea Harvest corner of Foam and Hoffman. It's near the acquarium. (Reasonable and locals eat there. BBQ oysters too! ) There is also the pier , but $$$ prices. Love the calamari!

Fun thing is to also grab picnic items and sit at Aeneas or McAbbie Beach and watch the sunsets.

Pay attention to HWY 1 traffic and fill up with gasoline. Ragged Point $10 a gallon....

Have fun!
 

NVDISFamily

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach has some great clam chowder. The copper cafe in the Madonna inn (San Luis Obispo) is also nice. Also agree with the recommendations to go spend some time down the road in Los Osos or Moro Bay. That central coast area is awesome.
 

wabbott

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2021
We did two extended Cali trips last year, and we thought our best meal was in Malibu at the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe. We've had breakfast and lunch there, both excellent. I'm biased, as that is the filming location of my favorite old TV show, The Rockford Files. Lots of history there. At Yosemite, the food in the Ahwahnee Bar was notably good. The main dining room is impressive. If you don't eat, be sure to go look at it.
 

sndral

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Sure! These are our favorites/go to:
Mission Ranch: Carmel by the Sea. Clint Eastwood's place. Great food & atmosphere. Beautiful setting. Litte Napoli: Carmel by the Sea. From Scratch: Carmel by the Sea (cash only)., Vesuvio:Carmel by the Sea (good but LIttle Napoli better), Baja Cantina: Carmel Valley (on CV Road), Tuckbox: Carmel by the Sea: Cute/Adorable. Known for their scones but menu very limiting so are the hours. Roys (Pebble Beach/The Inn Spanish Bay): Absolute beautiful scenery. Time it to be there when the lone bag piper plays. Have to go thru security gate but if you say you're eating at Roy's, they won't charge. Entrance is off highway but there is a back way thru PG (Pacific Grove) which is a lot less busier. This is also entrance for 17 mile drive. Beach House: Lover's Point in Pacific Grove. Husband gave me my engagement ring here. First Awakenings: In Pacific Grove right across from aquarium in Monterey (Cannery Row). Monterey Fish House and Chart House.
FYI, I don’t know how long ago you left the Monterey area, but things have changed since you left - First Awakenings moved over a year ago & is no longer across from the aquarium, it’s up the block on the busy David/Lighthouse corner in the old Coco’s location https://www.montereyherald.com/2021...o-rise-and-shine-in-bigger-space-in-monterey/. I haven’t been since they moved, but friends who have say the menu hasn’t changed.
These days when I take out of town visitors to the aquarium I prefer to have brunch/lunch at the more scenic Wave St. Cafe on the rec trail or at Fish Hoppers for the ocean front seating on cannery row. El Vecchio seems to be a popular near aquarium choice lately.
I like the Beach House at Lover’s Point (formerly the Bath House) but it’s small and during heavy tourist times hard to get into. BTW, there’s finally a new place in the old Latitudes location at Lover’s Point, I haven’t tried it yet, but I noticed it was finally open when I drove by the other day https://californiaseltzerco.com/lovers-point/.
Navigating to Roy’s, there’s actually 4 entrances into Pebble Beach on the Pacific Grove side (and one on the Carmel side.) The easiest for navigating to Roy’s at Spanish Bay is the gate at the corner of Sunset/68 and 17 mile Drive in PG. The road to the Spanish Bay Lodge is the first right after that gate. https://assets.simpleviewinc.com/si...ices_9bea0023-877a-4012-925e-4d6fca6a3122.pdf the Forest Lodge Gate isn’t noted on this map likely to avoid tourists clogging up the neighborhood.
Regarding Nepenthe on the Big Sur coast, I’ve had mixed results w/ dinner @ the restaurant and far prefer to have breakfast/brunch/lunch on the less pricey outdoor patio at Cafe Kevah.
Finally, about Casa de Fruita - it makes a nice stop to stretch your legs & grab some snacks if you’re traveling over Pacheco Pass from 5 to Hwy 101, but I wouldn’t have a meal there.
OP - enjoy your visit, it’s hard to recommend places to eat not knowing someone’s taste or priorities, but one thing the Monterey area offers is abundant choice :)
 
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wabbott

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2021
Here's a thought about "food for the soul." I've driven Hwy 1 between SF and LA four times. We'll be going again next year. It is the most stunning scenic drive on the North American Continent, imo. Take your time and allow for LOTS of stops. Food you can get anywhere. The sights and sounds you will experience along Big Sur are available nowhere else. Make use of that time and drink heartily of what you see and hear.
 

Gladys Belcher

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 28, 2022
^^ So totally agree that the Central Coast is special . Hwy 1 might be a challenge if anyone in your party has a queazy stomach. (Wink) Take lots of pix.

Agree on Wave Street and Fish Hopper. Thing I like to do is look at the current 'on-line' menus of restaurants. You can then gage walking/ driving distances from your hotel/ BNB.
 

CoachBeard

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 12, 2022
Pinks is meh in my opinion. But hey, hot dogs are never bad.

So, I work in Malibu and must say Malibu Seafood or Broad St Oyster Co. Is pretty legit but the best place is Lily’s cafe in Point Dume area for their breakfast burritos. Download the app and order ahead, it’s about 30-60min wait on weekends.
https://yelp.to/8z859GICxqb

Paradise Cove is a fun spot as well, but expensive. https://yelp.to/a5uViTMCxqb

If you hit the west side, specifically Venice, I recommend Baby blues bbq and Wurstekuche https://yelp.to/sf5AFFRCxqb

Also in Culver City there is Tito’s Tacos, and across the street is Maple Block BBQ which is incredible. https://yelp.to/XGP3uwVCxqb
https://yelp.to/KFBbHPWCxqb

There are so many great places along your route. Tito’s is an LA icon, also Philippe’s in downtown or the Pantry in downtown. Both are over 100 years old.
 

ChanaC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
What else are you doing in Los Angeles? Pink's is iconic, but like someone else said it's just hot dogs and I really don't think it's worth going out of your way for. It's nice if you happen to already be near by. Let us know what you are planning to do in LA and I'm sure we can come up with some better options!

I just did a weekend staycation trip in Malibu and also stopped by Lily's for a breakfast burrito. It was good, but the salsa was amazing! I saw a few people buy a jar and I regret not getting one too. I went up the road a little and parked by the side of Zuma beach to enjoy it. Speaking of Zuma, I would recommend that beach if you are planning on spending some time at one. Since it's further west and a little out of the way it's a much quieter beach with a lot more parking options, and you wouldn't have to fight to get a good spot. We spent half the day at Rosenthal Winery (on the eastern end of Malibu), which is more of a tasting room than a full winery. However they have lots to sample with lots of outdoor seating, you can bring your own food or snacks in or buy from their venders, and they often have entertainment. We happened to arrive right as a drag show was starting and it was a great time!
 








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