Big Sur Travel Guide

USA  #2 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in the USA
Credit

Courtesy of David Toussaint/Getty Images

What to Eat in Big Sur

In Big Sur, it's hard to come by a restaurant that doesn't offer spectacular ocean views. With most restaurants perched high atop the area's famous coastal cliffs, the quality of food might be the least of diners' concerns. But in Big Sur, quality remains a central character in its culinary story. Spectacular sights of the Pacific are regularly complemented with fresh, locally sourced fare both from the soils of Big Sur as well as the nearby waters of Monterey Bay. Because in Big Sur, great views and great food aren't mutually exclusive.

Big Sur's eateries vary in style from prix-fixe fine dining menus to cozy cafes with casual cuisine, but many are unified in their pursuit to honor Big Sur and its contagious laid-back lifestyle. The Big Sur Bakery strongly adheres to the pace of the region opting to forgo speediness for quality and urging patrons to "slow down and come to your senses." The bakery serves up a variety of dishes, but it's known for its wood-fired concoctions including the house-made breads, pizzas and pastries.

Comfort food is also in high supply at Deetjen's Restaurant at Deetjen's Big Sur Inn. Nestled in the redwoods of Big Sur, Deetjen's serves grass-fed meat and seafood from local Monterey Bay fishermen in a cozy cottage-style setting. Deetjen's is also famous around Monterey County for its hearty breakfast menu, especially its eggs benedict made with chicken-apple sausage.

If ocean views are your only concern, look no further than the family-run Nepenthe Restaurant. Nepenthe features an outdoor terrace with rows of tables directly facing the Pacific Ocean, making sure no visitor's ocean-hungry eyes are left behind. Another restaurant that offers great views from the dinner table is Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn. Jutting out from the coastline, the restaurant gives diners the illusion of being suspended above the sea through its wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling windows. Along with an unbeatable location, Sierra Mar offers a variety of fine dining menus inspired by the geography and culture of Big Sur, including the nine-course Taste of Big Sur menu.

After you've gotten your fix of ocean views, head over to the Big Sur River Inn for some R&R on the Big Sur River. The miles-long river runs right along the Inn, and the restaurant allows visitors the unique opportunity to decompress in one of its various oversized lounge chairs sitting in the middle of the running river. Grab a cup of joe, take a seat among the flora and simply unwind.   

Find the Best Restaurants in Big Sur

  • #1
    Deetjen's Big Sur Inn Restaurant
    #1 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 525 reviewsTripAdvisor (525)
    $ - $$ | American
    48865 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9512
    Read More »
  • #2
    Sierra Mar
    #2 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 733 reviewsTripAdvisor (733)
    $$ | American
    47900 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9576
    Read More »
  • #3
    Ripplewood Resrt Restaurant
    #3 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 160 reviewsTripAdvisor (160)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    47047 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9556
    Read More »
  • #4
    Nepenthe
    #4 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 3185 reviewsTripAdvisor (3185)
    $ - $$ | American
    48510 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9549
    Read More »
  • #5
    Big Sur Taphouse
    #5 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 157 reviewsTripAdvisor (157)
    $ | American, Bar, Pub
    47520 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9632
    Read More »
  • #6
    Big Sur Roadhouse
    #6 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 350 reviewsTripAdvisor (350)
    $ - $$ | American, Healthy
    47080 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9556
    Read More »
  • #7
    The Sur House
    #7 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 608 reviewsTripAdvisor (608)
    $$ | Barbecue
    48123 Highway 1 Ventana Inn & Spa, Big Sur, CA 93920-9538
    Read More »
  • #8
    Big Sur Bakery
    #8 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 842 reviewsTripAdvisor (842)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    47540 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
    Read More »
  • #9
    Cafe Kevah
    #9 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 204 reviewsTripAdvisor (204)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    48510 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9549
    Read More »
  • #10
    Lucia Lodge Restaurant
    #10 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 401 reviewsTripAdvisor (401)
    $ - $$ | American
    62400 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9533
    Read More »
  • #11
    Treebones Resort Wild Coast Restaurant and The Sushi Bar
    #11 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 125 reviewsTripAdvisor (125)
    $$ | Sushi, Healthy, American, Seafood, Contemporary
    71895 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
    Read More »
  • #12
    Big Sur River Inn Restaurant
    #12 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 613 reviewsTripAdvisor (613)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar
    46840 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9507
    Read More »
  • #13
    Big Sur Deli
    #13 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 103 reviewsTripAdvisor (103)
    $ | American
    47520 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9632
    Read More »
  • #14
    Fernwood Resort Bar & Grill
    #14 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 182 reviewsTripAdvisor (182)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar
    47200 Highway 1 Fernwood Resort, Big Sur, CA 93920-9542
    Read More »
  • #15
    Big Sur Coast Gallery & Cafe
    #15 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 96 reviewsTripAdvisor (96)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    49901 Pacific Coast Highway, Big Sur, CA 93920
    Read More »
  • #16
    Big Sur Lodge Restaurant
    #16 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5 based on 160 reviewsTripAdvisor (160)
    $ - $$ | American
    47225 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9542
    Read More »
  • #17
    Big Sur Village General Store & Burrito Bar
    #17 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 18 reviewsTripAdvisor (18)
    $ | Mexican
    46842 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9693
    Read More »
  • Espresso Bar
    #18 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5 based on 3 reviewsTripAdvisor (3)
    Cafe
    19019 Highway 1 Ragged Point, Big Sur, CA 93452-9751
    Read More »
  • #19
    Whale Watchers Cafe
    #19 of 23 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 2.5 based on 363 reviewsTripAdvisor (363)
    $ - $$ | American
    CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, Big Sur, CA 93920-9801
    Read More »
  • Big Sur Smokehouse
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1 reviewsTripAdvisor (1)
    $ - $$ | Barbecue
    48123 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9538
    Read More »

Explore More of Big Sur

Recommended

The 12 Top Florida Keys Beaches

Relax on the sandy shorelines from Key West to Key Largo.

Gwen PratesiJuly 15, 2019

The 15 Best New Orleans Walking Tours

Take on the Big Easy with a stroll through its streets.

Lyn MettlerJuly 15, 2019

The 8 Best Charleston Ghost Tours

Experience the Holy City's history and haunts on one of these excursions.

Holly JohnsonJuly 12, 2019

The 5 Best Oahu Helicopter Tours

Tour this picturesque island from the air on one of these excursions.

John RodwanJuly 11, 2019

The 15 Best Los Angeles Tours

Maximize your time in Los Angeles with the insider tips and historical context provided by the best local tours.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 3, 2019

The 15 Best Las Vegas Tours

See a different side of Sin City – its attractions go beyond gambling.

John RodwanJuly 2, 2019

The 10 Best San Diego Boat Tours

Explore this coastal city's sights with a relaxing boat excursion.

John RodwanJuly 1, 2019

The 15 Best Nashville Tours

Engage with the city's country roots on one of these tours.

Lyn MettlerJune 28, 2019

14 Top Finger Lakes Wineries to Visit

Head to upstate New York's winemaking region for scenery, history and lots of vino.

Kyle McCarthyJune 27, 2019

The World's 30 Best Places to Visit in 2019-20

Using reader input and expert analysis, U.S. News identified the latest can't-miss vacations.

Tilly PeckerJune 25, 2019