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a close up of a tower

Carmel-by-the-Sea’s annual Tree Lighting and Sunset Center Holiday Party takes place this year on December 6th. The majestic tree stands at Carmel’s major crossroads at the intersection of Junipero Street and Ocean Avenue. The celebration begins at 4:30pm at Ocean Avenue in Devendorf Park. Carmel’s festive season comes to life with the Holiday Tree Lighting which will feature a number of local school choirs, a theatrical reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Rub shoulders with city dignitaries and the Mayor of Carmel while you enjoy treats and hot chocolate provided by the Red Cross. Once the tree has been illuminated, you can enjoy Carmel Plaza’s open house, or a fine meal at one of the following restaurants:

La Bicyclette

If you enjoy locavore, French-influenced cuisine, you won’t be disappointed by Carmel’s taste of Continental Europe at La Bicyclette. The bistro is open all week long and offers fantastic breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that change weekly. Chef de Cuisine James Anderson’s signature dishes include creations like lemongrass Jidori chicken, black striped pumpkin gnocchi and membrillo stuffed natural pork loin. You’ll love their locally grown organic ingredients prepared with a unique European twist.

Casanova Restaurant

When you want a romantic evening, Casanova has the perfect menu for diners that are hungry for love. Once you set foot inside this family-owned restaurant, you will be transported to the traditional, rustic inns of Italy and France. The ever-evolving dinner menu offers delights including Mount Meadows Lamb Rack, Seared Jumbo Scallops, 38 Degree Petaluma Duck, and Cannelloni Romagnola, prepared daily by Executive Chef Johnny De Vivo. The restaurant’s impeccable service and delicious fare keeps diners returning for more.

Flying Fish Grill

Carmel’s renowned Asian restaurant is a guaranteed pleaser, with its great service, ambient lighting and traditional décor. You’ll feel right at home in this family-owned restaurant where you can choose from delightful seafood platters including cod, lobster, abalone, and shrimp, as well as authentic clay pot noodle dishes. The Flying Fish offers a pleasant dining experience at a price that won’t hurt your wallet.


If you’re looking for a dining experience that’s out of the ordinary, Mundaka is the place to go. Combine a love of great food, wine and music and you get the idea behind this  Spanish style tapas restaurant. Enjoy traditional live music while you feast on delights such as Chef Brandon Miller’s paella, shrimp bisque, stuffed sand dab, and fried garbanzo beans with white truffle salt.


One of Carmel’s top chefs Kurt Grasing is famous for his signature dishes, which though created with simple ingredients, pack an intense burst of flavor to the palate. His menu at Grasings is comprised of ingredients fresh from the Carmel coast and local valley region. You won’t be disappointed with his award winning California wines, which you can pair with mouthwatering meals including Ahi Tuna Tartare, Truffle Mushroom Ravioli and Lobster Mac n’ Cheese.

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