A List of Fav Eats & Drinks in Santa Monica

santa_monica_3rd_street thecityunveiled

In my last post, I mentioned I would start keeping track of all my favorite restaurants since moving out to the West Side. I happen to spend most of my day in Santa Monica around the 3rd Street area, so I’m starting there. Here are a few of my favorite places with links to their websites or to Yelp:

Blue Stove ~ This place is tucked away on the 3rd floor of Nordstrom’s. It has an impressive menu, including appetizers and seasonal items, and most importantly, a nice selection of wine.

Copa D’Oro  ~ This is a bar. Cocktails are great, and they just added a food menu.

Burger Lounge ~ Great tasting burgers, and super nice, thoughtful service. It’s slow, fast food.


Jinky´s ~ Just a nice “corner establishment”. Feels like a Norms or Denny’s, but smaller and better. Their everyday cup of Joe is super. Oh, and their pumpkin waffle is TO DIE FOR.


Locanda del Lago ~ I kept avoiding this place during my lunch break for 2 seemingly very good reasons. It looked upscale/expensive, and I thought the service would be slow. Boy, was I wrong. My sister came to visit me at work recently and we both opted for the lunch special, which included a hearty and tasty salad buffet, with pasta or another main dish. This is probably one of the best lunch deals around. All for $15 and served in under 30 minutes. (They even promise this!)  Lesson learned: Looks can be deceiving, so don’t judge a book by it’s cover!

Nektar ~ I am a card-carrying member of this fabulous establishment, and have already gotten 2 free smoothies! You get one free for every 10, so as you can see, I come here often. Way better than Jamba juice and even Earth Bar, in my opinion, though they don’t have protein (or other supplement) options. Oh, and their fruit bowls are heavenly, too. (I sometimes go to the one in Weho, too.)

Pain Cotidian ~ Good coffee, pastries and soups. I haven’t tried much else, but the place is always full, so I imagine the salads and paninis are just as good. Oh and their BREAD looks amazing. Also, the service staff is friendly.

Rocken Wagner ~ Nice little cafe with good, cheap takeaway salads, and a good overall selection of healthy (and not so healthy) treats. 


Seasalt Fish Grill ~ If you’re in the mood for seafood, this is a fabulous new option. I tried the cajun shrimp burrito, which was big, but light, though not too cajun, as well as the fish and chips and the fried zucchini. Everything was super fresh and tasty.

Sugar Fish ~ I don’t go here as often as I should, but every time I have been, I’ve enjoyed the sushi. It’s usually pretty crowded, but I’ve never had to wait, even if I have to sit at the bar.

Tender Greens ~ This is probably one of my favorite place when I am really craving a full, healthy, and balanced meal, AND I don’t want to break the bank. Self-service, cafeteria dining has some perks. (There’s also one in Weho!)

Thai Dishes ~ Fairly decent pan-asian cuisine. They’re lunch specials are awesomely inexpensive and you can order online. Also, if you order the spiciest option, it really will be spicy. So, no need to order up! (There are at least 2 locations in Santa Monica, I believe. I usually go to the one off Broadway and 2nd.)

Real Food Daily ~ Staff is super friendly and it’s always full, but for the most part, I’ve found this place to be insanely overpriced. Their lemonades are amazing, but like TFK below, seems like I always end up spending more than $20 on what I can get for at least 3/4 of the price elsewhere. Must be super, plant-based organic. (There is one in West Hollywood off La Cienega, too!)

True Food Kitchen ~ See above. I tend to like the tastes and options here better, but it can be a tad pricey. Must be super, plant-based organic again.

Urth Caffe ~ Two words: Spanish latte. Enough said. I haven’t tried the food, but the drinks are amazovitch. (Love the one off Main in Santa Monica, but my favorite is the one in Weho. Have yet to try the one in Beverly Hills.)

Stay tuned, other places I’ve yet to try nearby and in other areas of L.A. include: Animal, Brick & Mortar, Sushi Roku, Blue Plate Oysterette, Misfits, MAKE 

I’ve now tried the following throughout other parts of L.A., too: Lemonade, AOC, Little BearMasa of Echo Park, Bestia, Post & Beam, The Tripel & Tower 42.


I’ve also left tons of tips on these and other places on Foursquare, so make sure to check that out, too!

Signing Off,

~ Erica

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