3.6
19 votes

World's Largest Artichoke

11261 meritt, Castroville, California 95012 USA

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“The Artichoke Capital of the World!”

Castroville California is home to the World's Largest Artichoke. Built in 1963 from concrete and rebar, this giant creation was the brainchild of Ray Bei, built as a part of a vegetable stand and restaurant complex along the main thoroughfare. It stands 20 feet tall and 12 feet across.  Castroville (population 6,724 ) is located along the coast beside Monterey Bay. Here the ideal combination of soil, sun and fog provide the perfect growing conditions for artichokes, making Castroville the Artichoke Capital. There's an annual Artichoke Festival and parade, and Marilyn Monroe was crowned the very first Artichoke Queen in 1947.  Ray Bei's Giant Artichoke Restaurant and Fruit Stand is open year-round and features artichoke delicacies that exist nowhere else. Frozen, fried, quiched or just plain steamed, the artichoke is “King” of this village known as “The Artichoke Capital of the World”  One of the featured menu items was fried artichoke leaves, which I was certainly game for. Although I believe that frying anything makes it better, it didn’t do much for the artichoke.  From the souvenir mug:  One of California’s outstanding tourist stops is the Giant Artichoke Restaurant in Castroville, CA, beside Monterey Bay. Here the ideal combination of soil, sun and fog provide the perfect growing conditions for artichokes. At this restaurant the visitor finds artichoke delicacies that exist nowhere else. Frozen, fried, quiched or just plain steamed, the artichoke is “King” of this village known as “The Artichoke Capital of the World” 

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Reviewed by
pfulop

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
November 03, 2019
Rated 5.0

When I saw this on Roadtrippers I knew I had to see it. My wife said “It’s not real!”, and I countered with “It’s as real as concrete!” It was a ten-minute diversion that provides endless conversation, as the previous review by the guy who is probably now divorced proves. I loved it.

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Reviewed by
leighmorum

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
September 08, 2019
Rated 1.0

Today was a sad day for me.

This stop was the beginning of the end of all my contribution to family trip planning as far as my relationship with my wife goes.

In an instant (as soon as we saw the giant artichoke), this stopover literally reduced my journey planning credibility to ashes.

I will never get back my loss of reputation. Nor will I ever fully recover from the nuclear fallout that ensued.

To think I did this deliberately ...i.e. with intent - leaves me questioning how much time and effort I put into planning my holidays during the few precious years I have left.

This was an intentional diversion - not a random stumbling upon something. I’ll never recover.

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Reviewed by
Tim

  • 16 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
June 21, 2019
Rated 4.0

Enjoy the artichoke platter and a cold beer.

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Reviewed by
mabra

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
February 24, 2017
Rated 4.0

Freaking awesome!

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Reviewed by
stkmgr00

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 16, 2016

its a restaurant NOT a visiting spot.

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World's Largest Artichoke

11261 meritt
Castroville, California
95012 USA

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  • Independent
  • Outdoor Seating

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