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The Steinbeck House / Best Cellar Gift Shop

132 Central Ave, Salinas, CA 93901-2651
+1 831-424-2735
Review Highlights
Cute house

Cute house but older. A short walk from the Steinbeck Center. The yard at the house is very well... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Lynn C
via mobile
Volunteers cook and serve delicious food with Steinbeck anecdotes and history just for the asking!

Lunch only with menu selections changing weekly. Surround yourself with John Steinbeck, his three... read more

Reviewed 15 September 2017
Orinda, California
Read all 72 reviews
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This Queen Anne style Victorian was the birthplace and boyhood home of author John Steinbeck. Built in Salinas in 1897, the Steinbeck family moved into the house in 1900. The Valley Guild was formed by eight enthusiastic women who shared a common interest in gourmet cooking and wanted to showcase Salinas Valley produce. The volunteers of Valley Guild purchased and renovated the house. It was opened to the public as a restaurant on February 27, 1974 -the 72nd anniversary of John Steinbeck's birth. The house is operated by volunteers with a minimum of paid staff, and recently celebrated the 40th Anniversary. The Best Cellar is in the original basement of the Steinbeck House. The Best Cellar is a delightful gift shop featuring unique gift items as well as vintage and new Steinbeck books. Original furniture from the Steinbeck family is on display including the headboard of the bed in which John Steinbeck was born.
  • Excellent65%
  • Very good27%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“boyhood home” (5 reviews)
“old house” (4 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 11:30 PM - 2:00 PM
132 Central Ave, Salinas, CA 93901-2651
+1 831-424-2735
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Reviews (72)
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1 - 10 of 70 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Cute house but older. A short walk from the Steinbeck Center. The yard at the house is very well maintained. Worth visiting when in Salinas

Thank Lynn C
Reviewed 15 September 2017

Lunch only with menu selections changing weekly. Surround yourself with John Steinbeck, his three sister, parents and grandparents photos and memorabilia throughout the public access rooms in the historic home. Beer and wine available! Save room for dessert and be sure to walk to the...More

Thank kathy-mgt
Reviewed 24 August 2017

I attended the Wine Makers Dinner at the Steinbeck House on Friday night August 4, 2017. This event was the week end prior to our Food and Wine Festival in Salinas. I had the Salmon which was Heaven on Earth. Chef Augie did a superb...More

Thank CentralCoastCAMissy
Reviewed 17 August 2017

The servers here are volunteers, so I always get to see friendly faces and get good service. Unfortunately, the quality of the food coming out of the kitchen is a bit inconsistent. For example, the salads were good but the chicken cordon bleu had a...More

Thank mikegrattan
Reviewed 8 August 2017

We called by the house after visiting the museum which was a nice add on, we didn't stop to eat only because we were a large party and it felt a bit like we were gatecrashing someone's home. Menu looked good though.

Thank AnnieD14
Reviewed 31 July 2017

We stopped by "The Steinbeck House" on our way through Salinas. This house-restaurant is beautifully restored and lovely to look into, but is mainly a place to eat.

Thank burls1
Reviewed 14 July 2017 via mobile

We were in Salinas to visit a family member & had some time to kill. I had been here many years before but wanted to take my husband to lunch here. The home is beautifully restored and the lunch was great. The women volunteers were...More

Thank Carol A
Reviewed 10 July 2017 via mobile

Great place for lunch and s great little gift shop. Servers and gift shop folk are great - couldn't be friendlier or more helpful. Best card selection in Salinas. Steinbeck house is a hidden gem.

Thank Louise B
Reviewed 22 April 2017 via mobile

Beautiful house, immaculately restored to the glory it enjoyed when Steinbeck lived here. A real experience and privilege to walk through his home and see some of his furnishings and possessions. A great bookshop on site too featuring all his works as well as curios,...More

1  Thank Bozeman-Dublin
Reviewed 22 April 2017

The lunch meal in the restored first floor was delicious. Save room for desert! The volunteer servers were attentive and friendly. They cared about their customers’ experience and were happy to answer questions about the home. The tables filled up, and I recommend making a...More

Thank Explorer100
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Questions & Answers
5 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from budhall2016 | Reviewed this property |
Not a bad idea to have reservations. You do not want to miss the opportunity to enjoy this great house and food.
Kate J
25 October 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from budhall2016 | Reviewed this property |
You should have no problem parking on the street. The house is on a corner and parking is not usually a problem.