Photo by Lisa Corson, AFAR Media
Big Sur BakeryYou might drive right by the Big Sur Bakery as you make your way along the wild coastline that artist Francis McComas once called the “greatest meeting of land and sea.” But if you do miss it, turn back. This casual roadside bakery and restaurant—which used to be known as “that place behind the gas station”—is a can’t-miss destination for its freshly baked bread and pastries, as well as sit-down meals. At breakfast, lunch, and dinner, perfectly seasoned dishes emerge from the wood-fired oven. Chef Michelle Rizzolo has devoted herself to making the best chicken anyone’s ever had—and you should absolutely order it. But there’s also delicious pizza, homemade meat balls, grilled octopus, and desserts you won’t want to share. Big Sur Bakery is also a community hub, where locals drop by to have a scone and a cup of coffee, and catch up with friends. Pro tip: Go early for freshly baked pastries. Get more than you think you’ll need. You’ll eat them all and you won’t regret it.