Restaurant Review – Melville Tavern, Monterey

Melville Tavern has been in my top 5 for several years after it was introduced to us by some good friends. We’ve now had just about everything on the menu, and it’s our go-to restaurant when family and friends come to visit and want to experience the “local spot,” which is often times an entirely different experience than going to the wharf or Cannery Row. 

Melville was recently purchased by a friend of ours named Ian, who used to bartend at Baja Cantina, another local favorite in Carmel Valley with great margaritas and Mexican food. When we arrived at Melville a few weeks ago for happy hour, Ian spotted us at the bar and informed us that he is the new owner. We were so excited to hear about his new endeavor.

We’ve never had to wait for a table at Melville, and for us this is great because we love it so much, they have great hours, and we can always count on it as a reliable source of fun and flavor. However, it is very odd that it’s not more busy, and I do believe as the word gets out we’ll have to plan our visits in advance because I truly struggle to find a better choice for casual dining.


We’ve had several servers and bartenders at Melville and have never had even close to a poor experience. The waitstaff is attentive, they anticipate our needs, and are the perfect balance of friendly and informative. 


Melville is located a bit off the beaten path in downtown Monterey near Alvarado Street at 484 Washington. The elegant brick exterior with industrial accents inside create an inviting setting perfect for most occasions. We opt for Melville when we’re craving a juicy burger, a hearty blackened shrimp salad, spicy slow cooked tacos, and pasta that goes pound for pound with some of the best Italian restaurants I’ve experienced. 


The menu is expansive, but balanced and digestible. The prices are very reasonable for the outstanding quality, and every dish is prepared immaculately with a thoughtful presentation. 

If you haven’t tried Melville Tavern, give it a shot and say hello to our friend Ian!