Santa Monica offers a wide diversity of food options, going from casual to extremely fancy in a matter of blocks. It’s certainly confusing: one minute you’re standing in front of a laid-back beer joint and the next you see a meticulously decorated café full of sophisticated menu options. If you’re anything like me, and both of those options sound exciting, you’ll love your stay in this easy-going beach town.
Dune’s Mediterranean options are perfect for a day when you’re feeling like eating healthier. Their falafel and hummus plates are packed with flavor and organic ingredients.
Their Margherita pizza, fresh pasta, and cozy ambiance make it the perfect spot for a romantic evening. After trying the food I learned that the menu came from Michelin Star Chef Luigi Fineo, and wasn’t surprised at all! The minute I saw spaghetti with lentils and roasted tomato was an option I knew there was a creative mind behind all of it.
This was the very first place I visited when I arrived in Santa Monica. It’s the perfect spot for coffee, a hearty breakfast, or brunch. The place is plant-based and has locations in both New York and Venice.
Manchego is a Spanish tapas and wine bar located right in the middle of Santa Monica’s Main Street. Aside from a convenient spot, this place offers an amazing happy hour menu that you don’t want to miss. Great sangria, cheese, and curated meats in a cozy setting.
Venice Beach Wines
I’ll admit Venice Beach Wines wasn’t in my original plans. I was strolling around and the homey terrace caught my eye. It was definitely the best thing that could have happened to my evening! Great wine options and equally delicious appetizers to go along. I had a green hummus plate that had me Googling a similar recipe for hours.
FIG Santa Monica
FIG is located inside the Fairmont hotel. I went for brunch and found the décor and meal options incredibly tasty. The place is close to downtown shops and cafés, making it a great starting point for your day.
I hereby declare my love for Tocaya Orgánica. Yes, it’s a chain. Yes, I know chains sometimes mess things up. Also yes, I’ve followed this brand from coast to coast. My first Tocaya experience was in Miami (has since closed), where we were honestly tired of eating meals that felt overwhelming and excessively reliant on processed foods. Tocaya has locations all over California now and I’d suggest trying their modern and organic Mexican options.
Huarique, for a quick, yet healthy bite when you’re on the boardwalk.
Rose Cafe for a nice evening with friends. Great tea!
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. for a family-friendly spot right on the pier. Bonus points for sitting on the “Forrest Gump Bench”