Readers' Poll

110 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 specialty foods Best Calamari Abalonetti Bar and Grill 57 Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey (831) 373-1851, Most local restaurants source their calamari from Monterey-caught squid that is shipped to and processed in China and then shipped back to the U.S. Not Abalonetti. They deal directly with local fishermen to purchase the squid and then clean and process these delicious cephalopods in-house. That’s what Ed Ricketts would have wanted. The chefs have over a dozen calamari preparations, offering everything from fried and grilled preparations, with a gluten-free option. Enjoy dining indoors or outdoors with a full food and drink menu. Best Poké Marina Poké House 266 Reservation Road, Marina (831) 384-7898, The poké craze has arrived in Monterey County, and while other restaurants are elbowing each other for second, Marina Poké House comfortably rides in first. Sure, it didn’t introduce poké to the local market, nor is it the only place to offer a build-your-own-bowl system. But it’s foundational components really throw them across the finish line. They use the freshest fish from their ready-to-marinate scallops and octopus, to their already-mixed spicy tuna. Their toppings are plentiful and their sauces equally numerous. Plus, they even offer dessert like macaron ice cream sandwiches and Spam musubi… that’s dessert, right? Best Burger In-N-Out 1350 Del Monte Blvd., Seaside 151 Kern St., Salinas The first In-N-Out location opened in 1948, after Steinbeck returned from his travels through the Soviet Union with photographer Robert Capa. After such a journey, a burger, fries and a shake would have appealed to the pair. But it doesn’t take that much to set off the In-N-Out cravings in most Californians. At both Monterey County locations, lines for the drive-through often extend from the parking lot out into the street—sometimes for a block. Don’t worry, traffic headed elsewhere (inexplicable!) can get by. Best Chicken Wings Woody's at the Airport 200 Fred Kane Drive, Monterey (831) 373-1232, woodysmontereyairport. com With Chef Tim Wood in the cockpit, you knew these wings would take off… sorry. Couldn’t resist. When Steinbeck Best Deli Sandwich | Compagno's Market & Deli