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La Balena

Certificate of Excellence
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Junipero between 5th and 6th, West Side, Carmel, CA
+1 831-250-6295
11:30 - 22:00
Closed now
See all hours
Tue - Wed 17:00 - 22:00
Thu - Sun 11:30 - 22:00
More Info
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248 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 226: English reviews
Level Contributor
135 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We had a great experience. As a tourist many of the reviews had me worked, but the service was better than I expected. The ambiance was ok. Our server even offered me a glass of Chardonnay to pair with the fish that was "not available by the glass" according to the menu. The food was greatly good. The fried cauliflower... More 

Thank Paul S
Alamo, California
Level Contributor
302 reviews
157 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We ate dinner here to celebrate my birthday. We read lots of tripadvisor reviews to aid our dining selections. Unfortunately, while they were spot-on for the quality of the food, the reviews failed to mention the complete lack of atmosphere in the dining room. We were warmly greeted, but seated at a table right next to the bookcase -- despite... More 

Thank LLCJ54
Wausau, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 March 2017

This is a really authentic place for Italian wine, cheese, pasta, entrees and desserts. We had a smattering of all of these and found good examples of all, with excellent service as well. The atmosphere was very charming with outdoor, garden-like seating, and the meal as a whole was very good.

Thank Noah F
Redwood City, California
Level Contributor
163 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2017

There are many good food options in Carmel and we always want to try something new when we are there. We booked a table at La Balena, primarily because there were no reservations available at Grasings. We decided to walk by as they opened for lunch to see if we could change our reservation for dinner to an earlier time.... More 

Thank Maya002
Tiburon, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2017 via mobile

Small quiet intimate and away from the touristy area of Carmel. Four of us had an excellent meal there with delicious Italian food and an accessible wine list. Try it

Thank George R
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
76 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2017 via mobile

La Balena is an excellent restaurant on the middle of Carmel. All of the good is great as is the service. A very pleasant atmosphere and a nice place for a leisurely enjoyable meal. Fully stocked bar and great bartender.

Thank BirdmanSiSenor
Modesto, California
Level Contributor
63 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2017

On our frequent visits to Carmel we have wanted to eat at La Balena. We finally had the opportunity to eat there and we are very sorry we did. We arrived on a Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. and no patrons were in the restaurant . We were greeted by a young man who asked if we had a reservation. When... More 

Arlington, Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2017 via mobile

Small cozy with wonderful food. Had to wait maybe 5 min for our table and we're treated to complimentary glass of wine. The owner is from Italy and knows great Italian food. The cauliflower appetizers is a must try. The wines are all top notch as well as the food. A favorite with the locals so you know it's good.... More 

Thank kim s
San Rafael, California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2016

We were not expecting an outstanding dining experience in a tourist-dominated town like Carmel, but we were pleasantly surprised with one of the most memorable meals we have had in a while. We've lived in Italy, we know good Italian food, and our meal here was simply sensational in all respects.

1 Thank Tom K
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
51 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2016 via mobile

This restaurant is the best food in Carmel.. italian food which is handcrafted by the hands of the owner and chef who is from Italy.. he changes the menu depending on what is good locally and what is in season.. all fresh.. you will not see many tourists here, it is a well known great restaurant for the area..

1 Thank nyani46

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Italian, Mediterranean, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol
Good for
Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic, Child-friendly
Open Hours
11:30 - 22:00
17:00 - 22:00
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 22:00
11:30 - 22:00
11:30 - 22:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: Junipero between 5th and 6th, West Side, Carmel, CA
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Monterey County  >  Carmel
  • Phone Number: +1 831-250-6295

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of La Balena and other visitors
3 questions
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Saratoga, California
over a year ago
Pacifica, California
over a year ago
South Lake Tahoe, Ca
over a year ago

See all questions (3)

Questions? Get answers from La Balena 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?