Where to Drink in Monterey, California

Independent cocktail bars, hip craft breweries, and venture further afield to the satellite villages dotting the peninsula, sustainable vineyards to rival Napa’s begin to appear. These are the bars, wineries and brew houses we're raising a glass to in Monterey.

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Folktale Winery & Vineyards

Surrounded by five acres of sustainably-grown vines and a dazzling garden that’s in full bloom come summer, this organic vineyard serves up a clean, crisp menu and a three-glass wine flight of the area’s best organic bottles, however small the plate you order. Relaxed and unpretentious, Folktale makes a point of showcasing this region’s newest bins: all bright, acidic chardonnay and pinot noir. Pick at sharing boards of charcuterie and cheese, snack on wood-fired flatbreads and sip the estate’s Nouveau 2021 or the oaky shiraz and grenache Joseph’s Blend from neighbouring Le Mistral vineyard. Stop by the homeware store Provisions before you leave – it’s a masterclass in elegant kitchen implements and perfectly packaged pantry items.

Address

8940 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93923

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Other Brother Brewery Co

Our favourite place for a lazy Sunday beer, this smart brewery and taproom in sunny Seaside, just north of Monterey, has only been going a year but is already the talk of the bay. The skating and surfing crowd are regulars here, so ask them for their takes on the latest, regularly changing brews. Past hits have included a peachy Strata Smash pale ale and a crisp Sunbelt Rye IPA, plus guest beers from around the coast. There’s also a well-stocked cellar of minimal-intervention natural wines and – in case you get peckish – a minimart packed with locally produced snacks.

Address

877 Broadway Ave, Seaside, CA 93955

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Pearl Hour

One of Monterey’s first cocktail bars, this eye-catching turquoise joint is a guiding light for future bartenders in the city (which is apt, considering it’s on Lighthouse Avenue). Katie Blandin’s establishment pours a colourful menu of regularly changing tipples, many of which play with the greenery growing beyond the city limits. Past hits have included Sunrise in Japan, a Reverse Martini made using sake-based vermouth, Komasa gin, bergamot cordial and locally foraged mugwort tincture, and the Pearlescent, a heady mix of mezcal, gin, bergamot liqueur and dry vermouth, with notes of yarrow – a plant you’ll find freely growing across the state.

Address

214 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, CA 93940