Restaurants in Santa Monica
Given the high standards of its residents and its guests, you'll find plenty of top-notch dining experiences among Santa Monica's restaurants, from California cuisine to fresh sushi and artfully rendered comfort food. If there's a food trend you love anywhere in the U.S.—creative cupcakes, upscale burgers—there's a good chance it has roots in Santa Monica. Here are some of the best Santa Monica restaurants:
Father's Office. This Santa Monica restaurant and bar takes its burgers very seriously. You're not allowed to put ketchup on your burgers, but you probably won't miss it – the high-quality beef, carmelized onions and Maytag cheese is a delectable replacement. The gastropub also offers a rotating selection of craft beers.
Huckleberry. This café on Wilshire specializes in creative classics, from the "green eggs and ham" (with pesto and prosciutto), to the Valrhona chocolate croissants and the sandwiches with spicy, house-made pickles.
FIG. Even if you don't stay at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows, this Santa Monica restaurant is worth the trip. Its renowned farm-to-table menu features ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmers Market. The ambiance is upscale but not stuffy, with a charcuterie and cheese bar, as well as a taco bar at the Sunday brunch.
Sunny Blue. This Japanese restaurant is one of the few places around where you'll find omusubi, rice balls stuffed with fillings like beef, spicy salmon or Japanese pickles.
Japanese street food has arrived in Santa Monica with the opening of this perky omusubi shop. The tasty, grab-and-go treats consist of warm Japanese rice balls stuffed with fillings like chicken curry or miso mushrooms and wrapped with nori (seaweed).
The French- and Mediterranean-kissed American fare at neighborhood fine-dining gem Josie is some of the most highly regarded on the Westside.
This French bistro from chef-owner Raphael Lunetta opened in 1996, and stops just short of fine dining. The restaurant has brown awnings and arched windows outside, and inside, canary-yellow walls, ground-floor and mezzanine seating, and crystal chandeliers.
Located at the upscale Shutters at the Beach hotel, this restaurant is noted for its proximity to Santa Monica's pier and beach, both of which are visible from large windows throughout the dining room.
Cora's Coffee Shoppe, a short walk from Santa Monica beach, is part coffee house and part cafe. The interior of this smooth-stucco building has lots of wood accents and a black and white tiled floor. Seating consists of a few small tables and a bar area with stools.
Interior designer Thomas Schoos transformed this former German eatery into a trendy restaurant. From the main dining room with its ambient lighting and elaborate mirrors, to the private rooms and outdoor patio's heat lamps and simple woodwork, the restaurant offers a warm, eclectic atmosphere.
Santa Monica native Josiah Citrin opened Mélisse in 1999, and it remains one of the city’s last bastions for fine dining. The space is decorated wtih violet and white walls, a central chandelier with a black-linen shade, and hand-blown crystal sculptures from France.
Bruce Marder’s flagship Italian restaurant has been by the Santa Monica beach since 1999. The space includes a brick front, vaulted wood ceiling, wood plank flooring and art-lined walls amidst banquette, stand-alone, and bar seating. Capo focuses on fine-dining, at luxury prices.
Despite its infamously strict dining policies (no substitutions, no subtractions, and no ketchup, to name a few), this lively gastropub still manages to draw crowds with its two specialties: a rotating selection of 36 craft beers, and the signature Office Burger, often named the best burger in Lo
After training at San Francisco’s renowned Tartine Bakery, pastry chef Zoe Nathan teamed up with husband Josh Loeb to open this popular café, known for its use of local, organic ingredients.