Readers' Poll

86 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 restaurants wide level acres of the valley the topsoil lay deep and fertile.” From that deep and fertile valley sprang forth the Salad Bowl of the World and the produce that Monterey County’s Best Restaurant for Vegetarians, Julia’s, uses for its delightful and inventive dishes. Besides using the freshest produce possible, Julia’s is also known for foraging and incorporating local wild mushrooms into its menu. Don’t let the vegetarian focus fool you: This is one of the best restaurants in the county that will satisfy even omnivores. Best Food Truck Big Sur Taco Locations vary (831) 917-1244, This year, with Highway 1 closed at Paul’s Slide, Saul Reos’ Big Sur Taco truck has been spending a lot of time back where it all started, at Lucia in Big Sur. (Reos started his business during a similarly wet and destructive winter season, in 2016-17.) This creates a kind of bad news/great news situation: No, you cannot keep driving south on Highway 1 like Doc did on his way to a beer milkshake. But, while you’re here, you can eat tacos (on homemade tortillas!) from the food truck voted Monterey County’s best. Best Dog-Friendly Dining Forge in the Forest Junipero and 5th, Carmel (831) 624-2233, John Steinbeck’s travelogue through America, Travels with Charley, features the name of his beloved poodle. If Steinbeck and Charley had to make a stop in Carmel for some chow they couldn’t do better than the Forge. The scenic patio is perfect for sitting with your pup over some inventive dishes like Reuben eggrolls and smoked salmon flatbread. Your furry friend can indulge from a menu special for dogs, with treats like grilled chicken strips or a New York steak. Just don’t expect them to be satisfied with fake bacon treats after this. Best Restaurant At A Golf Course The Grill at Point Pinos 79 Asilomar Blvd., Pacific Grove (831) 375-1313, Best French | Chez Noir