Carmel-by-the-Sea Classic Food Tour



Our Classic Carmel Food Tour includes five to six food and drink tastings at some of the best locally owned restaurants and specialty food shops in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The tour lasts for approximately three hours and offers enough tastings that add up to an adequate lunch for most. Expect a variety of delicious eats from farm-to-table restaurants, samples of chocolates made from the same recipes for over a century, and more.
Throughout your tour, you’ll get to take in beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea just as the locals do. Strolling through the hidden passageways and exploring the less-traveled side streets, you’ll get to discover what gives this small beach city its unique charm. Along the way, your guide will be happy to share with you recommendations for accommodations, meals, and even where to find the best architectural gems and the best sights of the beach, foothills, and more. 


  • Enjoy five to six food and drink tastings — enough to make up a lunch
  • Discover the beautiful scenery and rich history of Carmel-by-the-Sea
  • Try recipes that have been enjoyed for generations
  • Visit farm-to-table restaurants, shop local products from specialty shops, and more
  • Following this classic Carmel Food Tour, you will receive a digital album of photos from your experience


The restaurants and specialty food shops visited vary, however we always choose a good variety to explore for each tour. 
The restaurants and shops visited for tastings may include:
Alvarado Street Brewery & Bistro –  Mixed fermentation brewery with leveled-up pub fare.
Anton & Michel –  Modern European with signature tableside service.
Cafe Carmel –  Mouthwatering baked goods, all prepared on-site.
Caraccioli Cellars – Elegant, local winery specializing in sparkling wines.
Carmel Honey Company –  Raw, unfiltered honey from a company started by a 5th grader.
Dutch Door Donuts –  Homer Simpson would trample a crowd for these fresh donuts.
La Balena – Tuscan-style, hearty, fresh menu with simple ingredients that feed your soul.
La Playa Hotel (Bud’s) –  Iconic hotel with beautiful views and traditional bar lounge with unique nuances.
Lula’s Chocolates –  Locally made confections, family-owned for more than 100 years.
Mission Bistro –  This history-rich location is warm, charming, and above all cozy. With local sources, they serve what is fresh and seasonal.
Nielsen’s Market – One of Carmel’s oldest businesses, with everything from the finest wines to fresh-grilled sandwiches at lunch.
Promesa Carmel –  Tapas kitchen with a passionate, creative chef and eclectic Spanish wines.
Social Hour Carmel –  Unique retail store that puts a twist on the cocktail experience.
The Nut Hut – Organic and locally prepared nuts (and fruits) in the best varieties and flavors. 


Every tour features five to six tastings.

Meeting Points

We’ll meet in the courtyard of Carmel’s Sunset Cultural Center , located at 9th Avenue and San Carlos Street. Use this intersection for GPS navigation, as Carmel-by-the-Sea doesn’t have addresses. The courtyard is located exactly at the 9th and San Carlos intersection, down a set of steps. (Note: The Gothic architecture of the building makes it look similar to a church, but it isn’t. You’ll get the whole story on this during your tour.)
Your guide typically arrives approximately 10-15 minutes prior to the start of the tour and will be looking out for your arrival.
Starting Location
We'll meet in the beautiful courtyard in front of the main entrance to Carmel's Sunset Cultural Center, which looks like a church, but isn't. The Sunset Center is located on San Carlos Street, and the entrance is exactly at the intersection of 9th Avenue, across from the Carmel Woman's Club. The courtyard is located at the bottom of the stairs. If you can see the ticket office, you're in the right place.
The Sunset Cultural Center property comprises two city blocks between San Carlos and Mission Streets, and between 8th and 10th Avenues. The main entrance is located at the intersection of San Carlos St and 9th Avenue.
Carmel by the Sea does not have street addresses. GPS users may be able to enter "Sunset Center" as a "Point of Interest", or the Intersection of 9th Avenue and San Carlos Street, along with zip code 93921, in order to pinpoint the location.
Street parking is available for free along the perimeter of the Sunset Center except on 8th Avenue, and a free lot is accessible from 8th Avenue between Mission and San Carlos Streets. As this area is largely residential, we ask that guests respect driveway access when considering parking locations.
Ending Location
Please note the Carmel-by-the-Sea Gourmet Food Tour finishes 1-1/2 blocks from the starting location. Please consult the map in your tasting guide (given during tour), or ask your tour leader for directions or an escort if needed.

By Car

From Highway 1 (Monterey/Big Sur): 
  • Turn west onto Ocean Avenue. 
  • Continue to San Carlos Street (4th stop sign).
  • Turn left on San Carlos Street and go 2 blocks to 8th Avenue. Street parking is free south of 8th Avenue if available.  
  • There is a free parking lot on 8th avenue between San Carlos and Mission Streets as well.
  • Park and meet in front of the main entrance on San Carlos at 9th Avenue.

On Foot

From Ocean Avenue:
- Walk south on San Carlos to 9th Avenue.  The stairs lead down into the courtyard right in front of the main entrance.

Public Transit

- There is a Monterey-Salinas Transit bus stop near the Sunset Center. For specific routes, check 

Additional Information

  • Important Information

    All food tastings provide enough for lunch, for most people
    This tour is geared toward adults and is an easy walk for most
    Our tours take place in rain or shine
    Wear comfortable clothing and shoes for walking
    Tickets must be purchased in advance – book yours now
  • What fitness level is recommended for this tour?

    This is a walking tour, yet the walks are relatively short distances with breaks at the tasting locations. This experience is appropriate for most fitness levels.
  • Where can I find parking?

    There is free street parking on San Carlos Street all day south of 8th Avenue — just be aware of driveways. Additionally, there is a free parking lot on the north end of the Cultural Center that is accessed from 8th Avenue.
  • Are kids allowed to take this tour?

    This tour is geared towards adults, however all ages may join with a full price ticket.
  • What should I wear for the tour?

    Wear comfortable clothing and shoes appropriate for walking.

Cancellation Policy

  • No refund is possible if you cancel.