Nepenthe: Of Course the View Was Better Than the Food


When this is the restaurant’s view, it would be almost impossible for the food to trump the spectacular vista. Luckily, our meal at Big Sur’s Nepenthe wasn’t bad at all.


When we were in Big Sur last week (more on that later, I promise), we wanted to indulge in a good late lunch after our hike. And I knew just where we had to go: Nepenthe. This legendary establishment has been around since 1949, and has always had plenty of Hollywood connections. In 1963, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, shot a dancing scene for The Sandpiper right on the terrace. But forget its rich history — Nepenthe is a Greek word that means “isle of no care” and when you’re there in good weather you sure won’t be caring about anything other than the breathtaking view. On a clear day, the visibility can be up to 40 miles.

We sat right in those two red seats in the bottom left corner of this photo. So, for about an hour we sat and gazed upon the view that’s captured in the picture up top. We did manage to stop gawking long enough to eat a chicken sandwich and a “seasonal salad” that had grapes and blue cheese. Neither was a culinary masterpiece but we definitely enjoyed them. I had gone in with fairly low expectations of the food and they were far exceeded. And sure, it was a tad overpriced but it didn’t seem too out of line to this New Yorker. Spending time in that setting was more than worth the price. Don’t miss Nepenthe if you visit Big Sur.

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