14 Restaurants Not to Miss on your Trip from LA to San Fran

On such a long drive, you’re sure to build up an appetite

 Very little compares to this “Big Sur” drive up the coast.

Terry’s Restaurant and Lounge

This hot spot is located in the Cypress Inn, which is co-owned by legendary Hollywood actress Doris Day. It’s nestled in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea, and has been a landmark hotel since 1929. So if you’re spending the night there, you won’t have to travel far for good food. Terry’s Restaurant offers a diverse menu of American fare, serving lunch and dinner. Try Monterey Bay calamari, grilled veggie baguette, or the crab and mango salad for lunch.

Casanova Restaurant

Revisit traditional fare of the rustic, regional cuisine of France and Italy, sprinkled with some Belgian influences. With generous portions, Casanova’s menu is designed to create a festive and family-style experience at the table. They use locally sourced produce and their meat, game, and poultry are vegetarian-fed, and hormone-free.. Dinner must-haves include the duck, risotto, and gnocchi Casanova.

Restaurant 1833

Operated out of one of the oldest homes in the Monterey, Restaurant 1833 has variety when it comes to both ambiance and menu. Choose from one of the five indoor areas, each with their own personality, or opt for outdoor seating on the terrace or by the fireside patio. Must-try menu items include bacon Cheddar biscuits, lemon butter chicken, and any of their seasonal pies.

Schooner’s Coastal Bar and Kitchen

Anywhere you look, you’ll see the stunning waters of Monterey Bay at this restaurant with a view. Executive chef James Waller prepares a creative menu of fresh, sustainable seafood. Schooner’s gets extra points for impeccable service from its staff. Ask for an outside table overlooking the Bay and try lobster risotto, fisherman’s cioppino, or the bacon-wrapped filet and prawns. On such a long drive, you’re sure to build up an appetite.


Located on the grounds of the Presidio inside the Presidio Officers’ club, Arguello is helmed by award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins. Des Jardins offers up a menu inspired by Mexican food and drink. Dine in an ultra-chic and clean atmosphere, enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner. Snag a seat outdoors and try taquitos, tacos, or the huevos rancheros.

Parallel 37

Referencing the Bay Area’s latitude line, Parallel 37 is located in the stunning Ritz Carlton San Francisco. Executive chef Rotondo prepares and presents unique dishes from locally sourced ingredients, creating a culinary journey for the patron. Menu items are based on the season, but you can’t go wrong with any of the chef’s many tasting menu options.

Michael Mina


Preserving the spirit of its namesake, Michael Mina is the crown jewel establishment of the restaurant group. Dishes are rich in flavors, drawing on Japanese and French influences. Don’t miss the Kona Kampachi Sashimi, Bolinas Black Cod, or the Campfire S’mores.