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Nepenthe & Café Kevah, Big Sur

48501 Highway 1 (29 miles south of Carmel)
Big Sur , California
Tel: 831 667 2345's insider take:

Perched 800 feet above the Pacific on a spectacular promontory (once owned—at separate times—by Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth), this place has been a major tourist draw since it opened in 1949. The view is far more dramatic than anything else here: The dining room is casual and utilitarian, with an open-truss ceiling and lots of crowded tables, and the food is standard and overpriced (burgers and sandwiches at lunch, steaks at dinnertime). The vistas from the wall of windows, though, are truly showstopping—and if you'd rather avoid the clamorous main dining room, you can grab lunch downstairs at Café Kevah, an order-at-the-counter outdoor café with the same views as the main room. The adjoining gift shop has an unexpectedly good selection of regional books and home furnishings.

Nepenthe open daily 11:30 am to 10 pm. Café Kevah open March through the first week of January 9 am to 3:30 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.