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 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 518 reviewsTripAdvisor (518)
    $ - $$ | American
    48865 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9512
    Read More »
  • #2
    Sierra Mar
    #2 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 725 reviewsTripAdvisor (725)
    $$ | American
    47900 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9576
    Read More »
  • #3
    Nepenthe
    #3 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 3139 reviewsTripAdvisor (3139)
    $ - $$ | American
    48510 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9549
    Read More »
  • #4
    Ripplewood Resrt Restaurant
    #4 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 156 reviewsTripAdvisor (156)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    47047 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9556
    Read More »
  • #5
    Big Sur Taphouse
    #5 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 153 reviewsTripAdvisor (153)
    $ | American, Bar, Pub
    47520 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9632
    Read More »
  • #6
    Big Sur Roadhouse
    #6 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 347 reviewsTripAdvisor (347)
    $ - $$ | American, Healthy
    47080 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9556
    Read More »
  • #7
    The Sur House
    #7 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 593 reviewsTripAdvisor (593)
    $$ | American
    48123 Highway 1 Ventana Inn & Spa, Big Sur, CA 93920-9538
    Read More »
  • #8
    Big Sur Bakery
    #8 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 826 reviewsTripAdvisor (826)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    47540 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
    Read More »
  • #9
    Cafe Kevah
    #9 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 200 reviewsTripAdvisor (200)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    48510 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9549
    Read More »
  • #10
    Lucia Lodge Restaurant
    #10 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 401 reviewsTripAdvisor (401)
    $ - $$ | American
    62400 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9533
    Read More »
  • #11
    Treebones Resort Wild Coast Restaurant and The Sushi Bar
    #11 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 122 reviewsTripAdvisor (122)
    $ - $$ | Sushi, Healthy, American, Seafood, Contemporary
    71895 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
    Read More »
  • #12
    Big Sur River Inn Restaurant
    #12 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 600 reviewsTripAdvisor (600)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar
    46840 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9507
    Read More »
  • #13
    Big Sur Deli
    #13 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 103 reviewsTripAdvisor (103)
    $ | American
    47520 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9632
    Read More »
  • #14
    Fernwood Resort Bar & Grill
    #14 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 180 reviewsTripAdvisor (180)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar
    47200 Highway 1 Fernwood Resort, Big Sur, CA 93920-9542
    Read More »
  • #15
    Big Sur Coast Gallery & Cafe
    #15 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 95 reviewsTripAdvisor (95)
    $ - $$ | American, Cafe
    49901 Pacific Coast Highway, Big Sur, CA 93920
    Read More »
  • #16
    Big Sur Lodge Restaurant
    #16 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5 based on 154 reviewsTripAdvisor (154)
    $ - $$ | American
    47225 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9542
    Read More »
  • #17
    Big Sur Village General Store & Burrito Bar
    #17 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 17 reviewsTripAdvisor (17)
    $ | Mexican
    46842 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9693
    Read More »
  • Espresso Bar
    #18 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5 based on 3 reviewsTripAdvisor (3)
    19019 Highway 1 Ragged Point, Big Sur, CA 93452-9751
    Read More »
  • #19
    Whale Watchers Cafe
    #19 of 22 Places to Eat in Big Sur
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 2.5 based on 352 reviewsTripAdvisor (352)
    $ - $$ | American
    CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, Big Sur, CA 93920-9801
    Read More »
  • Highway 1 Taco
    1 Cabrillo Hwy, Big Sur, CA 93920
    Read More »

Explore More of Big Sur

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019