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Best Restaurants to Dine in Salinas

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The culinary scene of Salinas is vast pleasing a wide spectrum of foodies. The city is known for its agricultural industry and vegetable sector. The major draw is that the restaurants in Salinas use fresh and local produces. Another thing that attracts most people is the creativity and distinctiveness they bring in their food offerings. The city has myriad of restaurants serving an array of cuisines that it may leave you wondering as to where to dine. To help you dine at the best place, we’ve compiled a list of the best restaurants in Salinas with the best reputation, food, ambience and appeal. These restaurants promise a taste of Salinas and an unparalleled experience. 

Best Restaurants
Image By Ewan Munro from London, UK [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Salinas City BBQ

When only the best will please you, Salinas City BBQ is just the place. Diners at Salinas City BBQ tell their family and friends of the delicious food, stellar service and relaxed vibe, and it isn’t long before they too come here to dine. If smoked meats and succulent steak is what you’re craving for, Salinas City BBQ is the spot to go. This place has a wide variety of barbecue options from steak, BBQ sandwiches to combo meals, along with basic sides. This place has gained lot of popularity and been featured in many local articles and magazines for its top-quality steak and meat that draws the crowd.  It also has an impressive rotating menu of craft beers. Come here any time and be ready to have a pleasant dining experience!

Address: 700 W Market Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-758-2227
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 11:30am-9:00pm; Sunday: 11:30am-8:00pm

First Awakenings

First Awakenings is a popular and favoured breakfast place any day of the week. Just ask anyone. This famous spot was opened in 1993 and has bagged the title of “The Best Place for Breakfast in the Country”. It is an inviting place that will become your favorite in no time. The restaurant serves comfort American fare, including the classics like Eggs Benedict and Roasted Portobello burger, to name  a few. Dive into the delish homemade Belgian waffle, which is just out of the world. With so many mouth-watering options on the menu, the decision of what to order would be a difficult one. So, gather your family and friends and get ready for the delicious and best breakfast, and the friendliest vibe and service around.

Address: 171 S Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-784-1125
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:00am-2:00pm

El Zacatecano

Praised by the locals and visitors alike, El Zacatecano is a gourmet Mexican restaurant that offers a delighting experience every time you arrive here. It delivers authentic Mexican plates at an affordable rate. With a delectable menu and inviting setting, El Zacatecano is an experience that you would not soon forget. It serves up everything from eggs to burrito and enchiladas, and you’ll surely be coming back. The laid-back surroundings and friendly service enhances the overall experience.

Address: 655 E Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93905, United States
Phone: 1 831-796-0818
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 8:00am-10:00pm; Friday to Sunday: 8:00am-11:00pm

Elli’s Great American Restaurant

Elli’s Great American Restaurant is a popular place for those hankering for something unique. The list of dishes here is diverse inspired by several cultures of Ellis Island. This restaurant draws a huge crowd because of its culturally diverse menu. The food menu has a section by the name “Melting Pot” that includes fusion dishes and reflects the diversity. This place has received excellent reviews for its innovative and fusion dishes. The menu changes so each visit offers mouth-watering options that will keep you coming back time and again.

Address: 1250 S Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-759-8455
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 8:00am-10:00pm; Friday & Saturday: 8:00am-10:30pm; Sunday: 8:00am-9:00pm


Trendy and rustic best describes Gino’s, an Italian restaurant that is known for serving authentic Italian cuisine in a warm space. It is adorned with wooden beams and the vibe is cozy. Locals rave of this restaurant and it is a perfect spot to raise a toast to special moment in your life.  The wine list is impressive. The portions are hearty and satisfying that will compel you to come back.  So when the craving for Italian food hits, you know where to get your fix!

Address: 1410 S Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-422-1814
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:00am-9:00pm; Friday & Saturday: 11:00am-10:00pm

Eagle Restaurant

Eagle Restaurant is unanimously regarded as the best Asian eatery in Monterey County. It serves up authentic Chinese food. It offers a delish experience to its customers. The food is full of flavors, texture, aroma and varying levels of spiciness. In addition to traditional Chinese fare, several unique fusion dishes are also on the menu with different flavors and aroma. The interior is simple, but the food and service is great. Eagle Restaurant is an experience that awaits you!

Address: 26 W Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-751-2312
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 11:00am-9:00pm; Saturday & Sunday: 12:00pm-9:00pm 

Pajaro Street Bar & Grill

Pajaro Street Bar & Grill is a relaxed eatery that serves up delicious comfort food and drinks. It is considered a community restaurant that hosts events and creates an atmosphere where locals can socialize and celebrate together.  And for a unique experience, live performances are held here. It has a bar with ample seating space and huge wine list, martinis, shooters and spirits. The bar has flat screen peppered throughout and board games to keep you occupied. The comfort food menu at the restaurant is diverse with plenty of delicious delights. Furthermore, reasonably priced!

Address: 435 Pajaro Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-783-1235
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 5:00pm-9:00pm

La Casa Del Sazon

La Casa Del Sazon specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine and you’re sure to find yourself eating plenty as the fare served here is excellent that you can’t stop. With delicious eats, top-notch service and laid-back atmosphere, customers keep on returning. The menu comprises of traditional Mexican options with a few twists. 

Address: 22 W Romie Ln, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-751-2300
Opening hours: Monday & Tuesday: 9:00am-4:00pm; Wednesday to Sunday: 9:00am-8:00pm


Praised by the Salinas denizens and several local magazines and news, Patria is gourmet European restaurant that serves up a wide array of cuisines, including French, German and Italian dishes. From farm plates to pastas and pizzas to European salads to traditional German schnitzel, this bistro satisfies every taste bud. It has a rustic-style setting with relaxed vibe that makes everyone feel comfortable. It also has an extensive list of wines and other cocktails. You surely won’t be disappointed by the drinks or the food, both of which are a delight to devour. With a cozy atmosphere, mouth-watering food menu and impressive drinks, Patria is an experience you won’t forget soon!

Address: 228 Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-424-5555

The Steinbeck House

The Steinbeck House is a Victorian-style house where the Nobel Prize writer and author John Steinbeck spend his childhood days. The house has a Queen Anne-style Victorian restaurant that serves up appetizing American cuisine in a historic setting. The menu changes daily and is made from the local ingredients and Salinas Valley produces. It possesses a legendary status in Salinas and is liked by visitors and locals alike.

Address: 132 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901, United States
Phone: 1 831-424-2735
Opening hours: Lunch hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 11:30am-2:00pm; Dinner hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 5:30pm-8:00pm

Avatar Indian Grill

Craving for spicy food, make your way over to Avatar Indian Grill. Avatar Indian Grill serves up mouth-watering Indian cuisine. The aroma, flavors, presentation and taste, everything is top-notch. It is known for its tandoori specials, biryani and chicken entrees. The fare served here will fill every nook and cranny of your stomach. 

Address: 1568 Constitution Blvd, Salinas, CA 93905, United States
Phone: 1 831-443-2156
Opening hours: Lunch hours: Monday to Sunday: 11:00am-3:00pm; Dinner hours- Monday to Sunday: 4:00pm-9:00pm

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