Readers' Poll

specialty foods do: The non-vintage Sparkling Rosé from Folktale Winery. Its secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel, lending the wine a light, friendly aspect. It’s cheerful and fun, which makes the sparkler perfect when gathering on Folktale’s grounds for a day of music, pizza, laughter and, of course, bubbles. BEST LOCAL BEER / BREWERY Alvarado Street Brewery 426 Alvarado St., Monterey, (831) 655-2337 Carmel Plaza, Suite 112, Ocean Avenue and Mission Street, Carmel, (831) 2938621 301 Main St., Salinas, (831) 356-0219 Tasting room at 1315 Dayton St., Suite E, Salinas, (831) 800-3332 There is perhaps no other local business—at least in the service industry— that has fared better than Alvarado Street Brewery since it launched a decade ago on the street it’s named after. It immediately established a reputation for excellent beer, but also, good food, service and vibes in a beautifully designed spot. The beer became so popular that they needed to start making it elsewhere, so the company built a production facility in South Salinas to brew even more—it’s also accompanied by a taproom—and now there are also restaurants/bistros under the beer’s name in downtown Carmel and downtown Salinas. It’s a local success story, built on the back of great beer. BEST CAPPUCCINO / LATTE Alta Bakery 502 Munras Ave., Monterey (831) 920-1018, In John Steinbeck’s writing, coffee is more than a drug to keep us alert—it’s a tool of community ritual and gathering. In Grapes of Wrath, disenfranchised farmers headed West bond over coffee, for example. And there’s no better cup for this daily ritual than at Alta Bakery, where you can enjoy a perfectly frothy cappuccino or latte— or perhaps the rotating latte of the month, if you’re feeling fancy. Place your order and stay awhile. BEST SMOOTHIES Perfectly Pressed 961 W. Alisal St., Salinas, (831) 998-8770 491 Alvarado St., Monterey, (831) 747-1127 With two stores, online ordering and a delivery option, the freshest juices in the county are easily accessible. Perfectly Pressed sources its ingredients locally and makes sure to change the menu with the seasons—no beer milkshakes here. Some unique addins include cordyceps (helps with cardiovascular health), blue spirulina (helps fight inflammation) and maca root (helps uplift mood and energy). They also offer one-day and three-day cleanse protocols, to take the guesswork out of giving your body the rest and refresh that it needs. BEST DONUT Red's Donuts 1646 Fremont Blvd., Seaside, (831) 394-3444 433 Alvarado St, Monterey, (831) 372-9761 In 1950, John Steinbeck published Burning Bright, and he was likely already deep into his next works, Log from the Sea of Cortez and East of Eden—reasonable accomplishments, mind you. But in 1950 Red’s Donuts opened with an award-winning origin story. Herman “Red” O’Donnell hated Arizona heat and relocated to Monterey, charmed by moderate temperatures and ocean breeze. One day while walking along Alvarado Street, he saw a small donut shop for sale and bought it on impulse. That’s how the story begins. Now, Red’s Donuts offers over 50 different donut varieties, including raised, filled, French, frosted or old-fashioned. Conveniently for the Weekly staff, one location is just around the corner. BEST BAGEL Bagel Bakery Locations in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel, Sand City and Salinas John Steinbeck spent much of the later part of his life in New York City, which 104 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 1-4s 4.6” x 4.94” Red House Cafe 662 Lighthouse Avenue, Paci c Grove 831-643-1060 ’15 ’14 ’16 ’17 ’18 ’19 ’21 ’22 Try our Weekend Brunch Friday-Monday 8am-2:30pm Fresh, Contemporary American with European Flair Open Daily Breakfast & Lunch served Tues- urs Breakfast 8am-11am Lunch 11am-2:30pm Tues-Sat 5-9pm Dinner Tues-Sat 2:30-5pm Wine Bar Service BEST BRUNCH ’23 Thanks for voting us Open Daily 6AM-2PM MONTEREY 271 Bonifacio Plaza • 646-1620 seaside 1232 Broadway • 394-7798 Celebrating Our 38th Anniversary! We could not have done it without your loyal support! ’23 EXPIRES 10/30/23 THANK YOU MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY READERS FOR VOTING US BEST BAKERY AND DESSERTS Seaside monterey