Travel Food Diary: California’s Central Coast

Nothing brings people together like good food.

Hello Everyone!

I am writing to you from the central coast of California, in the charming little city of Carmel. As I am sitting here on the balcony of my hotel with a slight view of the ocean—I feel truly calm. 

I love visiting this unique beach town. It is both relaxing and open for adventure. Traveling away for the weekend or on vacation is something I always look forward to, but being a vegan makes travel a burden. However, I have decided to start a new series here on the blog—a series dedicated to traveling and food. 

The restaurants I will document will be good for all food lovers—vegan and non-vegans alike. Join me on this adventure as I take to Carmel (and Monterey Bay) with my ever so large appetite.

Let’s dig in… 🙂  

I narrowed this trip down to one place from each city, Carmel and Monterey Bay. My sister, two cousins, and I were not able to eat around as much as I had hoped to, but I did discover two places that exceeded my expectations.

In Carmel, there was a quaint Mediterranean cafe called Dametra Cafe. It was a delightful cottage-like restaurant on the corner of Ocean and Lincoln.


Everything, from the food to the service, was spectacular. They served this amazing warm bread coupled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar—an easy five-star bread experience.  Nothing on the menu was vegan, however the chefs were willing to work with my dietary restrictions. I ordered a Grilled Roasted Vegetable sandwich which was priced at $14.95, a fair price in my book. Originally, the menu stated that the sandwich came with goat cheese and pesto. I tweaked the sandwich by taking out the cheese and pesto sauce, as well as making sure no butter was being used to make the sandwich—viola, it’s vegan! It was delicious and packed with juicy grilled vegetables! It was served with a salad and balsamic vinaigrette.



It was a very filling and satisfying meal, worth every penny. I would solidly rate this dish as a 9 out of 10. Not only was the food amazing, but the staff and waiters were eager to work with my diet and took care of our table. Overall, everyone enjoyed their meal, and we are definitely keeping Dametra Cafe as one of our go-to Carmel spots.

On our second day cruising the central coast, we drove 15 minutes from Carmel to Monterey Bay. We had a little biking excursion along the coastal walkway—I highly recommend this. After the bike ride, we were all starving. My cousin found a highly-rated Thai restaurant in the area, Zab Zab Thai Cuisine. It was this darling little indoor/outdoor restaurant with very speedy service. I ordered the Pad Thai with Tofu and made sure it was not cooked with fish or oyster sauce. It was one of the best Pad Thai dishes I have tried to this day, plus it was very reasonably priced at $9.99. I am very picky with Pad Thai because some places make it sickly sweet, but Zab Zab had the perfect sweet to savory ratio. This, again, was a huge hit and a favorite amongst everyone! I would solidly recommend this place as a 7 out of 10.


Overall, Carmel and Monterey have so many hidden gems to discover. Although I was not able to munch around as much, the food that I did have was worth going back for—and that says a lot! DSC_1596

Side Note: Biking along the Monterey coast is a MUST!! And yes, I was on this four person bike-cart-thing 🙂

I hope you all enjoyed this Travel Food Diary! If anyone has any suggestions for any food places in Carmel or even in the city where you live, leave a comment so we can all taste the wonders of each city!

Have an amazing weekend and I will talk to you all next week!

All the Best,



All photos are originals owned by @cupofteaforthought

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