Santa Monica has evolved from a simple beach town into a foodie’s dream come true. Home to many renowned chefs and their restaurants, this California town is synonymous with an incredible gastronomic scene. Credited as the birthplace of “California Fusion,” the restaurants of Santa Monica embody artistic creativity, international flair, and fresh, organic flavor.
The variety of eateries in this town is seriously astounding. Everything from tiny taco bars, bursting with attitude to delectable, fresh catch-of-the-day sushi to reinvented American classics can be found along the iconic beach promenade. Here are 10 amazing food experiences you can’t miss when you visit Santa Monica.
1. Father’s Office
@fathersofficeofficial tops our list of favorite places to visit. It's clear to see fry, I mean why! 📷: @mr.cheamPosted by FE Design & Consulting on Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Father’s Office has been a local favorite since 1953 and is still generating buzz as one of the best burger experiences in the Los Angeles area. A forerunner of the gourmet burger movement, Father’s Office now serves up a revitalized menu of American classics in its cozy Montana Avenue location. The restaurant has received many accolades over the years for its amazing modern bar food and its incredible selection of 36 local craft beers.
The Office Burger, created by chef Sang Yoon, is probably the most iconic item on the menu. However, you should know that if you order the food here, you have to play by the Office’s rules: no modifications, no substitutions, and most definitely, no ketchup. With the burger bursting with the flavor of caramelized onions, blue cheese, crispy bacon, and arugula, you probably won’t want to change anything, anyway!
Address: 1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA
Website: Father’s Office
WE'RE HIRING! We are currently looking for LINE COOKS, RUNNER, BUSSER! Send us your best people! Send your resume to email@example.com #CassiaLAPosted by Cassia on Thursday, 24 August 2017
Vivid and vibrant, Cassia beautifully blends flavors of Southeast Asia and traditional French cuisine with the freshness of California produce. The restaurant is co-owned by Bryant and Kim Ng, and Josh Loeb and Zoe, who have made it their mission to utilize quality ingredients and provide equally delectable food and wine menus.
Cassia is both contemporary and modern, as well as expressive and classic, and it’s serving up some truly inventive dishes. Order the Vietnamese Pot Au Feu, for an elevated take on a traditional Vietnamese dish, or enjoy the spicy tang of the Vietnamese “Sunbathing” Prawns. The menu is eclectic but every dish is bold and flavorful and draws large crowds to linger on the restaurant’s patio, every day.
Address: 1314 7th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
3. Tar & Roses
It's Wine Wednesday! Call us, we'd love to pour you a glass! 310-587-0700 for a reservationPosted by Tar & Roses on Wednesday, 20 September 2017
The smell of the wood-burning fire lures you into the elegantly beautiful Tar & Roses. Balancing both the casual and the classy, the restaurant is an upscale American eatery that serves up wood-fired small plates. While the serving sizes are small, the flavors that emanate from the dishes are big.
Chef and owner of Tar & Roses, Andrew Kirschner, has an ingredient-focused philosophy that emphasizes the unique tastes and aromas of the ingredients. While you’re here, don’t miss the signature oxtail dumplings, crispy pig tails, and the popular whole fried snapper.
Tar & Roses
Address: 602 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Website: Tar & Roses
4. True Food Kitchen
Flip your burger inside out with our protein-packed Quinoa patty on the outside and lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, feta and tzatziki in between.Posted by True Food Kitchen on Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Healthy food gets an upscale makeover at True Food Kitchen. An emphasis on fresh, sustainable, quality ingredients drives the philosophy and the menu of this delectable restaurant. Food here is delicious and nutritious and caters to many special diet preferences, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
The dining menu is complemented by a drinks selection of unique cocktails, specialty craft beers, and local wines. The staff in the kitchen dedicate themselves to bringing out the best flavors from local, organic produce, and the result is creative, tasty menus sure to please even the pickiest eaters.
True Food Kitchen
Address: 395 Santa Monica Place #172, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Website: True Food Kitchen
5. Belcampo Meat Co.
Don't feel like cooking on Christmas Eve? Come to Belcampo, we're open and serving delicious specials! Make a reservation on our website, www.belcampo.comPosted by Belcampo Meat Co. on Wednesday, 21 December 2016
This farm-to-table restaurant focuses on providing diners with the best meat possible. With an emphasis on sustainability and quality, Belcampo delivers organic, full-flavored cuts of meat, year-round.
The menu is both elegant and rustic and inspired by the pasture-raised, grass-fed meat from their farm. Whether you’re stopping by for brunch, lunch, or dinner, you can count on delicious cuisine, paired with their brilliant farm-inspired craft cocktails.
Belcampo Meat Co.
Address: 1026 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Website: Belcampo Meat Co.
Revel in the fine dining of chef Josiah Citrin’s restaurant, Mélisse. This restaurant is about so much more than eating: instead, you partake in a culinary experience. The menu is a compilation of modern French dishes, replete with silky soups, rich sauces, and luxurious, season-driven ingredients.
Mélisse is one of the few two-starred Michelin restaurants in LA and balances refinement with inventive gastronomical style.
Address: 1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
7. Rustic Canyon
The menu of Rustic Canyon is energized by the dynamic, refreshing flavors of the local produce from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. Under the hand of head chef Jeremy Fox, the dishes served are constantly changing but always adhere to the restaurant’s dedication to the principles of seasonality, simplicity, and quality.
The restaurant is an ideal experience for friends and families, as the delectable selection of small plates are meant to be shared. Rustic Canyon is a neighborhood favorite for its casual, yet stylish, farm-to-table offerings, as well as the extensive and delicious wine menu.
Address: 1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Website: Rustic Canyon
8. Sweetfin Poké
Set in a bright and airy restaurant, Sweetfin Poké is refreshing, delicious, and committed to sustainable agriculture. Come here for a taste of Hawaiian cuisine that meets California creativity, for teas, taro chips, and customizable poké bowls. There are eight suggested signature bowls on the menu, with a wide variety of “add-on” items that incorporate fascinating flavors and textures like wasabi toasted coconut, pickled shitake mushrooms, and chile-marinated oranges.
For the adventurous, try building your own bowl. The hardest part will be choosing which delicious sauce to smother your fish or vegetables in!
Address: 829 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Website: Sweetfin Poké
9. Bay Cities Italian Deli
For unbelievably scrumptious, over-stuffed sandwiches, look no further than Bay Cities Italian Deli and Bakery. Lunchtime fare doesn’t get much better than this Italian sandwich shop. The shop is filled with locals picking up gourmet cheeses, buying aromatic baked loaves of bread, and stocking up on the fresh pasta that lines the shelves.
You can grab a hot pasta dinner while you’re here, but the most iconic thing on the menu is the “Godmother;” a sandwich stuffed with Genoa salami, prosciutto, mortadella, capicola, ham and provolone cheese. Make sure to get “the works”, for additional tastiness.
Bay Cities Italian Deli
Address: 1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Website: Bay Cities Italian Deli
10. Milo and Olive
It's officially fall and we're thrilled to be bringing this deliciousness back - Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with caramelized onions, fontina cream, thyme and aged balsamic.Posted by Milo & Olive - Pizza, Pastries, Bread on Thursday, 28 September 2017
Pizza is the main attraction at Milo and Olive, an artisan-style bakery and pizzeria. The menu reflects the commitment to seasonal ingredients and the flavors of the wood-fired dishes change with the growing cycles of local California produce.
The incredible pizza selection is rounded out by rich pasta, inventive small plates, and refreshingly zesty salads. Milo and Olive also have an amazing curated list of wines, beers, and craft cocktails that highlight small, local, creators and unique global businesses.
Milo and Olive
Address: 2723 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Website: Milo and Olive
Sample the best of Santa Monica
Fresh ingredients, boundless creativity, and artisan style are the symbols of the Santa Monica food scene. The restaurants here are constantly developing, changing, and growing, and create some of the best food experiences in California.