Fresh Fish. Fine Wine. The Perfect Breeze, Gorgeous Produce and Even Better Views.

We invite our esteemed ComCap17 conference-goers to make the most of their upcoming trip, and experience the very best of what the historic Monterey Peninsula region has to offer, which is tremendous! In this post, you’ll find highlights and recommendations for our team’s best of the bay, plus, a bunch of what’s caught our eyes as we’ve researched our meals and leisure time for the upcoming conference! 

Did you know? Monterey was established at the capital of both Baja (lower) and Alta (upper) California in 1776 by the Spanish! Read more about Monterey’s history on

Plus! We’re a proud participant in See Monterey’s Flash Your Badge program, which offers discounts all throughout the region on food, drink & fun!

All you need to do is reference your conference-going, show your official name badge (pick it up at registration Monday/Tuesday morning at Golden State Theatre), and mention that you’re there for the “Flash Your Badge” discount. We’ve got a list below, and you’ll even spot the participating business logo in many storefronts and windows across the area. Mmmmm, discount.

Where to drink coffee: Cafe Lumiere 365 Calle Principal

Not only is this a sweet coffeeshop with an upstairs coworking nook and outdoor patio, it gets major bonus points for excellent coffee, seasonal housemade sweet and savory treats, and most of all — for being located inside one of our conference venues, arthouse Osio

Cafe Lumiere, image source:

Where to enjoy locally-grown Mediterranean goodness: Saffron Cafe 317 Alvarado St

Somehow, both Amy and Timothy have been to this restaurant and Jess hasn’t, which needs to be remedied, because their aromatic bowls of Ghormeh Sabzi, Ghaymeh Stew and Oven -Roasted Vegetables over your choice or white or brown basmatic rice sounds like a perfect lunch….or location for a “Birds of a Feather” lunch group!

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Where to get your oh-so-hip “POKE-BOWL” on: The PoKe Lab 475 Alvarado St

It’s trendy for a reason, Hawaii’s “poh-kay” is delicious!  It’s for sure a super smart choice for a fast between-sessions lunch break. Here’s what the Monterey County Herald had to say about their opening: “The Poke Lab celebrates the myriad poke possibilities. The menu offers three signature bowls: the Poke Lab bowl (spicy tuna, ahi tuna, salmon, avocado; $11), citrus salmon bowl (salmon, edamame, avocado; $11) and the vegetarian bowl (tofu, edamame, shiitake mushrooms, avocado; $11). But it’s the build-your-own bowl menu that offers intrepid epicures a laboratory to test new culinary combinations. Diners can craft a custom bowl with choice of seafood, vegetables, sauces and toppings.”

Poke Lab’s famous sushi burrito! Image source: Yelp

Where to get your Bohemian coffeehouse vibe on: East Village Coffee 498 Washington St

You know what’s great? When a coffeeshop offers up caffeine, beer, wine, light music and a bunch of cozy nooks and casual outdoor seating options for whatever suits your fancy. Check it out.

Mangia, Mangia! There’s a special Italian vibe and history though out the Monterey Peninsula region, including an awe-inspiring meet-up that takes place at a certain cafe inside Osio, and the annual Italian festival, taking place Sept. 8-10.

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Here are some of our favorite places to enjoy some ‘delizioso’ dishes:

Frutti De Mar Grill, image source:

Moving on, it’s Monterey — do be sure to hit the water! Okay, not food (yet!), but you can have a awesome and discounted experience at Chris’ Fishing Trips, one of our conference supporters and Flash Your Badge participants!

Image source: Chris’ Fishing Trips

And for even more fresh seafood, flash your badge and get a complimentary appetizer at Scales Seafood on Steaks! 30 Fishermans Wharf Ste 1 Monterey, CA 93940

Serious business: Where to get your happy hour cocktail on! Lalla Grill at both downtown Monterey and Oceanside locations

The Flash Your Badge goodness grants badge-holders $5-off of a 2nd cocktail at either location!

Inside Lalla Grill Oceanside

Where to pick up seasonal small batch pickles, jam and hang out over a cup of coffee, muesli, and California olive oil adorned avocado toast? Happy Girl Kitchen 173 Central Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Bonus point goodness for conference badge holders — get a free coffee or tea when you flash that badge at the counter!

Happy Girl Kitchen, image source:

Feeling in the mood for some plant-based Mexican indulgence? El Cantaro Vegan Mexican Restaurant 791 Foam St, Monterey, CA 93940

Get down with some beans, rice, vegan chickin’, epic combos, housemade salsas, and everything nice, just around the corner from Cannery Row! See the full menu at

El Cantaro enchilada, image source:

Wondering what’s rumored to have the very best sushi in Monterey? Sushi By the Bay! 2240 N Fremont St, Monterey, CA 93940

Please enjoy and report back! Check out their Tripadvisor for more feedback.

Mmmm, sushi! Image source:


See all of the Flash Your Badge discounts 


“I love the light. I love the calm. I love the ocean. The creatures are just right there. It gives you this sense of calm. I love being by the ocean.” – Amy Pearl