10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Monterey, CA

Monterey is famous for many things, like its aquarium and yearly jazz festival. However, it’s also a city known for having some of the best seafood restaurants in the country.

Up until the 1950s, Monterey Bay was a notable fishing hub. Although the industrial aspect of its impact on the fishing industry has lessened, access to fresh and delicious seafood has not.

This list of the best seafood restaurants in Monterey is organized by price and quality. So, you can include those two factors when deciding on a place to eat.

Just make sure that when you make a stop in the city, you don’t miss out on the chance to dine at an amazing place that serves some of the best seafood you might ever taste.

LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle

$ | 831-372-0568 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Part of the hype about LouLou’s Griddle in the Middle comes from it being featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. However, when Guy Fieri gave the place a national shout-out, it was because the food is actually good.

Located in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, some of LouLou’s most famous seafood dishes include its clam chowder and crab cakes. The calamari steak and seafood omelette are also menu favorites. This place is also one of the more reasonably priced seafood restaurants in Monterey.

 

 

Cibo

$$ | 831-649-8151 | WEBSITE

Monterey, CA Best Restaurant

Cibo is an Italian restaurant that specializes in authentic cuisine that makes sure that fresh pasta and seafood are the stars of its menu. Barbecued octopus, lemon caper-dusted calamari, mussels, and clams are some of the featured dishes on its antipasto menu.

Entrees include grilled salmon, grilled prawns, sea scallops, and freshly caught seasonal fish. The main house special is seafood pasta, a diverse dish featuring various types of seafood that are bathed in a butter-garlic-wine sauce with black squid ink linguini.

 

 

Crystal Fish

$$ | 831-649-3474 | WEBSITE

Restaurant in Monterey, CA

Crystal Fish is a sushi and sashimi restaurant. So, the seafood options are diverse and fresh. Everything from crab, shrimp, salmon, tuna, squid, and beyond can be found on its menu. There is a wide variety of sushi rolls and appetizers to choose from, but there are also quite a few seafood entrees on the list, too.

BBQ Squid and the Hamachi and Salmon Carpaccio are two notable seafood dishes from Crystal Fish. Teriyaki Salmon and Tuna-3-Way are popular entree choices. Seaweed salad and Salmon Tataki salad are also favorite choices.

 

 

Abanoletti Bar and Grill

$$ | 831-373-1851 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Anyone looking for seafood dishes can tell from Abanoletti Bar and Grill’s starter menu that this place is all about seafood. Clam chowder, shrimp cocktail, and calamari cooked in various ways dominate the appetizers. Crab cakes, grilled sardines, and oysters help round out the appetizers.

Salads include blackened salmon and Crab Louie. Entrees include meals featuring swordfish steak, Ahi tuna, lobster tail, abalone, and rockfish.

One of Abanoletti’s featured dishes is cioppino, a soup made with different types of seafood in a marinara and wine-based sauce. The Marty Special (calamari and eggplant) is also a fan favorite.

 

 

Monterey’s Fish House

$$ | 831-373-4647 | WEBSITE

Monterey, CA Restaurant

Monterey’s Fish House describes itself as a “rustic” establishment, but the seafood there is truly top-notch fare.

This place was also featured in Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives and it featured one of its most well-known dishes, Oak Grilled Oysters. This family-owned restaurant has also won multiple awards for its dishes.

Besides oysters, crab, calamari, prawns, mussels, clams, and octopus dominate the menu. However, fresh daily catches of fish are also the main attractions at Monterey’s Fish House, which includes snapper, salmon, and swordfish.

Sicilian Holiday Pasta, a pasta dish laden with various types of seafood, is another popular favorite.

 

 

Epsilon

$$ | 831-655-8108 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Epsilon is a family-owned Greek restaurant that specializes in authentic cuisine that features locally-sourced, fresh seafood. Grilled salmon and grilled boneless trout are two standouts from its lunch menu.

The dinner menu provides more seafood options for diners. Grilled salmon and trout are still available, but patrons can also order grilled octopus and prawns. A charbroiled prawn platter is a popular entree choice offered on the dinner menu.

 

 

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

$$ | 831-373-1884 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Yes, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is based on the famous film, Forrest Gump and its seafood dishes are well-known, too. Although it is a restaurant chain, the Monterey location has a unique advantage because of its immediate access to super fresh seafood.

Appetizers include peel-and-eat shrimp steamed in beer. Shrimp mac and cheese, Baja Ceviche, fried calamari, and shrimp cocktail are also available as starters.

Soups include shrimp gumbo and clam chowder. Glazed salmon, fish and chips, Jambalaya, and various shrimp dishes are also on the dinner menu. Shrimp Po Boy sandwiches and hush puppies are also popular choices.

 

 

Old Fisherman’s Grotto

$$ | 831-375-4604 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Old Fisherman’s Grotto is a restaurant of family tradition with the current owner taking over the business from his father. This restaurant draws inspiration for its seafood dishes from around the world.

So, diners will find different menu options, such as Oysters Rockefeller, Monterey-style clam chowder, and Mexican-style prawn cocktail – and those are just appetizers.

Seafood linguini, crab ravioli, linguini and clams, and seafood puttanesca are entree options. Sand dabs, grilled scallops, seasonal wild salmon, halibut, and sole are also popular choices for patrons. Fried shrimp and stuffed prawns are also available.

 

 

The Sardine Factory

$$$ | 831-373-3775 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Sardine Factory is as famous for its wine list as it is for its seafood. Between the two, this restaurant has won multiple awards and is one of the Monterey area’s more upscale seafood restaurants. Each night, a lobster tail dish is available during certain hours.

The signature dish is the restaurant’s abalone bisque, which was once specially requested by President Ronald Reagan.

Calamari puffs, escargot, and crab-stuffed mushrooms are popular items on the appetizer menu. Ahi tuna steaks, Maine lobster tails, and scampi rigatoni are other menu favorites.

 

 

Schooners Monterey

$$$ | 831-372-2628 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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One of Schooners Monterey’s main features is its various seafood towers that diners can choose to order.

In the spirit of its boating moniker, patrons can choose from The Kayak, The Schooner, or The Yacht. Each tower is made from oysters, ceviche, and prawns. Based on which tower is chosen, tuna and crab can also be added.

The raw menu includes oysters on the half shell, local ceviche, tuna tacos, and shrimp cocktail. Lobster spring rolls, steamed mussels, and shrimp tempura are options on the appetizer menu.

Cioppino, roasted salmon, and local black cod are some of the available entrees. Its signature seafood pasta features different types of seafood, including lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, and mussels.

 

 

Summary

Wherever you choose to go in Monterey, make sure that at least one place is a seafood restaurant. This city is a seafood haven and this list is a great guide for what to check out when you’re in town.

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