Readers' Poll BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 83 restaurants Best New Restaurant Of 2023 Kona Steak & Seafood 1200 Del Monte Center, Monterey (831) 920-2911, If restaurateur Bill Lee is true to his word, Kona will be the last of a string of successful kitchens he has operated. Clearly he saved his best for last. Kona traces the Pacific islands with its flavors and offers something for everyone—including a cool bar space and a shave ice shack that transports you instantly to Hawaii. And the staff is the definition of hospitable. The Western Flyer to the Sea of Cortez? Not on your life. You want to head straight to the figurative islands conjured by the Kona kitchen. Best Outdoor Dining Schooners Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, 400 Cannery Row, Monterey (831) 372-2628, Situated at the epicenter of old Cannery Row, Schooners would’ve been the go-to place for the higher-end clientele of madam Dora and her girls at the nearby Bear Flag. Perched along the shores of the Monterey Bay inside the charming Monterey Plaza Hotel, Schooners is the perfect intersection of land and sea. There is no better place to enjoy a seafood cocktail or an ice cold beer while sitting above the tidepools once combed by Steinbeck himself. Best Parklet Wild Fish 545 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove (831) 373-8523, As George and Lennie (Of Mice and Men) make their way to the ranch, George wisely decides to hang back and eat a simple dinner of beans on the banks of the Salinas River around a small fire. Al fresco dining has become a favorite activity of restaurant patrons since the pandemic, especially in downtown Pacific Grove, which has Best New Restaurant Of 2023 | Kona Steak & Seafood