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Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
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48510 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9549
+1 831-667-2345
11:30 - 16:30
17:00 - 22:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 11:30 - 16:30
17:00 - 22:00
More Info
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2,661 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,437: English reviews
Level Contributor
56 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Once upon a time, Nepenthe was magical. That's was a long time ago. It is now a sadly declined and ghastly place, overrun with visitors being served up overly expensive and truly awful food. I first visited Nepenthe in the 90s and on and off since then. Last time, until last week, was 2010. Even then the food was still... More 

Thank TrevorBrussels
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

This magical spot is very "sixties" in design with fabulous views, good food and friendly staff. Whenever I am in Big Sur, I always make sure I stop for lunch or dinner or just a drink at this historical landmark restaurant.

Thank dswingsing
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
64 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This is beautiful restaurant and what you're really paying for is the view. Our server was pretty emotion-less but the quality of the food and the beautiful scenery did sort of make up for that. The prices are definitely "treat worthy" and we had that in mind before going in. We really enjoyed this place after a very long drive... More 

Thank HoneyLea
Georgetown, Texas
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Driving south from Carmel to Big Sur is a spectacular experience in both the drive and the view. It is a part of the distinguished, rewarding coastal Hwy 1 drive. Arriving at Nepenthe Cafe is another notable experience. The climb, the view, the ambiance are a just reward for the effort. Food was good - pricey - staff was working... More 

Thank 510dele
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The view is enough however the service and food puts the cherry on top. Everyone should experience this place, if not for the amazing ambroisa burger, for the view.

Thank Neerellyn H
San Diego, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A truly incredible view at this throw back to the hippy days restaurant in Big Sur, get there for sunset, grab a drink and delight in the experience. At the restaurant that is in a house that was once built by Orson Wells for his wife (but never moved there) I usually opt for the burger and the best bottle... More 

Thank James P
Level Contributor
50 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We stopped in at Nepenthe for lunch on our drive south from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We all ordered the house favorite- ambrosia burger- delicious. There is a 45-75 minute wait- the views are spectacular and you can order off the bar menu and have a drink while you wait. You cannot make reservations.

Thank sapoypato
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Nepenthe is an old staple in Big Sur. The food isn't out of this world. It's good, but it's incredibly over priced. $6.50 for a latte. $17-20 for a sandwich/burger. Once you're seated, the food comes out quickly, which is a plus. However, if you go for anything, go for the view!

Thank Ashley W
Marina del Rey, California
Level Contributor
447 reviews
179 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I've been lucky enough to eat here several times. The views are simply breathtaking. We lucked out this time and it was in the 70s and sunny! It was actually a pretty hot day. We had to wait about 30 minutes before we were seated. The parking is quite hard here. We parked very far away and walked back. Also,... More 

Thank Sally B
Grand Cayman
Level Contributor
43 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The service was friendly and attentive; the foot was good; but that view beats them all. We were taking a memorable, meandering drive up from Santa Barbara when we decided to stop at Nepenthe restaurant. Well worth a quick, or longer stop.

Thank Marie C

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$7 - US$30
Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Groups, Local cuisine, Kids, Child-friendly, Bar Scene, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic, View
Open Hours
11:30 - 16:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 16:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 16:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 16:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 16:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 16:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 16:30
17:00 - 22:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 48510 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920-9549
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Big Sur
  • Phone Number: +1 831-667-2345

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Nepenthe and other visitors
5 questions
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Questions? Get answers from Nepenthe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?