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The Steinbeck House / Best Cellar Gift Shop

132 Central Ave, Salinas, CA 93901-2651
+1 831-424-2735
Review Highlights
A bit of history & a delightful lunch.

We were in Salinas to visit a family member & had some time to kill. I had been here many years... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Carol A
Draper, Utah
via mobile
A hidden gem in Salinas

Great place for lunch and s great little gift shop. Servers and gift shop folk are great... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Louise B
Salinas, California
via mobile
Read all 66 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.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good28%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“boyhood home” (5 reviews)
“old house” (4 reviews)
“few blocks” (4 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 23:30 - 14:00
132 Central Ave, Salinas, CA 93901-2651
+1 831-424-2735
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Reviews (66)
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1 - 10 of 64 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago 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 2 weeks ago 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
Reviewed 13 April 2017

The cellar gift shop book store is below the Steinbeck House. It has a random selection of various items. Purses, Mugs, jewelry etc. But the true gem is the selection of 1st edition and special edition Steinbeck novels for reasonable prices. Very friendly staff volunteers...More

1  Thank trra
Reviewed 11 April 2017 via mobile

This is an extra treat as they are open for lunch five days a week. This is run by the Woman Guild of Salinas valley. The menu is a choice of meat or fish main course. Last Friday was prime rib..OMG melt in your month....More

1  Thank Rolland F
Reviewed 18 March 2017

It was fascinating to visit John Steinbeck's home and walk through his family's personal spaces. The Steinbeck home has been amazingly restored with period finishes and furnishings and, in spite of once being a family home, now operates as a wonderful restaurant. Tours are handled...More

1  Thank SueFromWinnipeg
Reviewed 1 March 2017

We walked down a few blocks from the amazing John Steinbeck museum to eat here. No reservations, but it was early, midweek, and Feb. It was awesome to be in his home. The volunteer wait staff knew lots of stories about the home and Steinbeck's...More

Thank CarolynVan
Reviewed 18 January 2017

Wonderful place for lunch in a beautiful Victorian home, the place where John Steinbeck was born and raised. The home is now operated by The Valley Guild--a group of volunteers. The chef is exceptional and the service (by volunteers) warm and friendly. The gift shop...More

Thank budhall2016
Reviewed 30 December 2016

Stopping at the Steinbeck House was really a treat we'll not soon forget! The home itself was beautiful Victorian masterpiece and very tastefully restored. Some of the local women of Salinas have purchased the property and turned it into a restaurant. The service was very...More

2  Thank john m
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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.