It used to be shopping was the thing to do when you went to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Though you can still do some serious damage at the likes of Tiffany & Co., Coach, and Kate Spade, there are plenty of good spots to sit and sip for a spell. From creative cocktails and happy hours to good wine, cozy Carmel’s got you covered.
Terry’s Restaurant & Lounge at Cypress Inn
It’s all about classic cocktails here, with inspiration from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Surrounded by movie posters sporting the iconic images of silver screen greats like hotel owner Doris Day, Clark Gabel and Rock Hudson, drinks poured here are tried and true. The Orange Blossom, a favorite of Ronald Reagan, is served with jellybeans. Then there’s the Stinger, created during prohibition to cover the less than pleasant taste of homemade booze. Check out the cocktail menu for yourself, it’s bound to make you smile and thirsty. If you’re in town with your pooch, this is a must visit. Dogs enjoy star status here and can indulge in Muttinis. All drinks are 15 percent off during Happy Hour, Monday – Friday, 4:30pm-6pm.
La Playa Carmel
Timing is everything with this deal, but it’s a steal if it works with your schedule. La Playa Carmel recently revived its Bud Allen Hour offering martinis for 10 cents, Sundays from 5pm to 5:10pm. Exact change is required, so dig out those coins collecting dust in the car. The Bud Allen Hour is named after La Playa's owner in the 1950s, who ran the same weekly special.
Pépe Winery Tasting Flight at Vino Napoli, Photo by Dana Rebmann
Open late-ish –10pm – but if folks are still around, closing time can get flexible. Vino Napoli is the type of place to get comfortable before or after dinner. Actually, you can just skip dinner. With a good selection of appetizers, pizza and salads, numerous wine tasting flight options, and a toasty fireplace, it can take motivation to move. There are also televisions if you’re looking to catch game day highlights. Vino Napoli is also one of the stops on Carmel’s Wine Walk Passport.
After deciding to move from Carmel Valley’s East End Wine Row to downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea, Silvestri is settling into its new digs. Another taste of Tinseltown, the winery is owned by Hollywood composer Alan Silvestri. The family estate vineyard produces approximately 3,000 cases per year of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc varietals. The tasting room is open daily until 7pm.
When you walk in you’ll think more wine bar than tasting room. Open until 10pm on weekends, Caraccioli pours Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sparkling wines. It's also covered by Carmel’s Wine Walk Passport. Shirley Temples are available if you’ve got any non-drinkers in the pack.
Dana can be found on Twitter @drebmann