Salinas /səˈliːnəs/ is the county seat and largest municipality of Monterey County, California. Salinas is an urban area located just outside the southern portion of the Greater Bay Area and 10 miles (16 km) east-southeast of the mouth of the Salinas River. The population was 157,218 as of 2016. The city is located at the mouth of the Salinas Valley roughly eight miles from the Pacific Ocean and has a climate more influenced by the ocean than the hot-summer interior. The majority of residents live in single-unit detached homes, built between 1950 and 2000, while one third of the housing stock has three or more units per structure. Salinas serves as the main business, governmental and industrial center of the region. The marine climate is ideal for the floral industry, grape vineyards, and vegetable growers. Salinas is known for its vibrant and large agriculture industry and being "The Salad Bowl of the World" as the hometown of writer and Nobel Prize in Literature laureate John Steinbeck, who based several of his novels there.
Things to do in Salinas
4.5 based on 306 reviews
We were seated but friendly smiling staff right away. The menu is vast including crepes! The service was friendly but a little spotty. It took our server a while to come back and get our order. When we asked for water, they said they would bring a pitcher. We had to ask again. The food was very good and decent servings. Overall it was good. I think we caught them at the end of the brunch rush and the serving staff was slowing down.
4.5 based on 264 reviews
Wonderful Italian ambience and menu. we enjoyed seafood fettuccin perfectly prepared. Service was excellent. The owner stopped by to greet us and the young employees were polite and courteous. I had not been there for many years and was pleased to see they have maintained their high standards.
4.5 based on 179 reviews
We had driven many hours through Sunday traffic and checked Trip Advisor for restaurant suggestions and got this one. Their ribs and brisket were outstanding, as well as their homemade sides (coleslaw and potato salad) and their homemade berry cobbler. The service was great and their beers were good. A must stop if you are in the area.
4.5 based on 206 reviews
Lovely restaurant. Right when you walk in you feel at home. It’s rustic French country with a beautiful bar. Great menu, wine, and craft cocktails. Loved my beet and goat cheese salad. My friend had the roasted 1/2 chicken which was great and the scalloped potatoes which she wanted to order more of. The service was gracious and perfect.
4.5 based on 254 reviews
At In-N-Out Burger, quality is everything. Stop by to enjoy our menu of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries and shakes. In-N-Out makes fast food the old fashioned way.
Quality hamburger at a bargain price! Be it secret menu animal style or simply a single hamburger they are great. French fries and milk shakes finish an ideal meal.
5 based on 124 reviews
It's always nice to enjoy a great meal and also feel that you are contributing to the community. The Friday night dinners allows the culinary students to show off their skills and learn how to provide service, while the guests enjoy wonderful local food and a nice view. My server (Gabriella) told me a little bit about her difficulties in life and how much she was gaining from the cooking school. The fixed price menus is a bargain at $36, but you can also enjoy $6 appetizers on the patio without a reservation. Instead of a tip, you are asked to leave a donation so that they can continue to help disadvantaged youth. So far, I have had the pasta and the seafood entrees, and plan to return to try the short ribs and the chicken fricassee in the future. Amazing chocolate mousse, very imaginative salads.
4.5 based on 62 reviews
We visited Steinbeck House because I love John Steinbeck's writing. Even if you don't like Steinbeck's work, if you are in the Monterey Peninsula, you must visit if you enjoy traditional early 20th century American food!! It is run by a non-profit group, and serves lunch. The week we were there, the hot item on the menu was beef stroganoff. As I'm a vegetarian, We ate potato and leek soup (large bowl and delicious) and a large salad (consisting of locally grown vegetables) for $13.00. The meal came with homemade rolls. The salad dressing was made from scratch by the chef, as was the brownie pie we shared for dessert. Plus the ambience and service were great. I expected to learn about the author when I went, but it was so much better and way more than I imagined. If you have the opportunity, go.
4 based on 123 reviews
Elli's serves a variety of food and recently simplified their menu. They used to have just way too many choices so I'm glad that they redesigned the menu; it makes things simpler for the customers and for the kitchen as well, which explains why their quality has become very consistent. Always a solid choice for pizzas, pasta, and burgers and their desserts are great too.
4 based on 139 reviews
This restaurant/brewery is nestled in a nice, clean part of Salinas and right next to a movie theater. Of note is the tourist attraction right down the street with the National Steinbeck Center.
Service...When my family and I showed up, they honored our reservation and were prepared. Prompt service...we had our drinks within 5 minutes of being seated, which was nice. The staff were polite, engaging and very gracious with our young children. You could tell they really try to balance out the family-friendly aspect with the brewery crowd, and they did it nicely.
Menu...we've been to this restaurant before, and again I was disappointed that the seafood choices are limited considering their relatively close proximity to the Monterey Bay area. They redeemed themselves with a good selection of kids' menu items.
Food...I ordered their grilled artichoke appetizer, and it is to die for! They cooked it so perfectly...even my picky little kids were into it! My steak had a great flavor and temperature. I was disappointed with the lack of flavor in the mashed potatoes. I am aware that the steak is supposed to be star of the dish, but the mashed potatoes needed help. They were too overpowered by the steak. The veggies also lacked anything magical. All our portions were big, which was a good value for our family.
Overall: I gave this restaurant a grade of "A-". The booths are a really nice, somewhat private option to the tables. I give the food a thumbs up; they honor the local harvests and also give a little shout out to the regional seafood fare as well. Although my dish did lack some flavor in regards to the sides, there was plenty of it to fill my belly.
If you're passing through Salinas and/or end up staying here, give this brewery a try. Sure, it doesn't have the stunning views that restaurants closer to the touristy areas have, but it is a good meal for a good value!
4 based on 190 reviews
I usually try to only post positive reviews as I think every place can have an off day, but this place was really bad value.
Overcooked fish, seasonal veg was inedible because it was undercooked. My husband's full size dinner portion of slow cooked meat was actually small - he's not a big eater but he was left hungry.
Service was lukewarm at best, waiter never asked if the food was good (I guess he knows...) And was more interested in flirting with a table of girls.
None of the food was fresh or had any quality - I could go on but I'll just say if you enjoy fresh, properly cooked meals then this isn't the place for you.
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