Nepenthe is always busy, but with one of the best wine lists in Big Sur, ample seating on their terrace, and stunning ocean views, it’s worth getting all dressed up and coming here after you’ve spent the day hiking or beach bumming. Nepenthe’s menu is short and sweet: choose between one of three steak options, the Jidori half-chicken, the Alaskan halibut, or the diver scallops, and know that you can’t go wrong with any of the dishes. Even for Big Sur, prices are on the high end (think $40-60 for mains), but there’s no better place for a romantic candlelit dinner to follow up the sunset.

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