We've combed the West for the very best flavor experiences, all worthy of a culinary pilgrimage
Imagine yourself in an aerie atop the jutting cliffs of the green, oak-studded Santa Lucia Mountains, with the sparkling Pacific Ocean 800 feet below. Now imagine that the view includes a fine burger and a glass or two of California wine to enjoy as the sun goes down. That’s the dreamy reality at Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur, California.
Designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, the restaurant was built from local redwood and adobe bricks and has been run by three generations of the same family since 1949. Over the years, Nepenthe has welcomed writers and artists as well as day-trippers for lunch and dinner. The menu includes soups, salads, and steaks, but the “ambrosiaburger”—a good beef patty topped with a spicy tomato mayo—remains a favorite. Come prepared to wait on weekends (after all, this is one of the most beautiful places in the world to eat, and the restaurant takes reservations only for large groups). While you wait, sit at the bar and check out appetizers like the California cheese plate.