I love having Main Street Santa Monica in my backyard. In fact, it's often my dining room. When there's nothing in the fridge, I can make a quick walk to Main Street, and have just about any cuisine in my belly. There's casual, take out, eat in, fine dining, outdoor patios, Christmas lights and picnic tables. There's something for my every whim. Here are my 10 favorite restaurants on Main Street in Santa Monica, with a few honorable mentions at the end.
Spanish tapas is what you'll be eating at cozy, little lovable Manchego. It's a great spot to share a bunch of plates with a group of friends. Grab a table on the pretty patio out back, and enjoy a warm LA evening outdoors. Tuesday's are a fun night to hit for half price bottle nights.
When only multi-colored Christmas lights will do, The Galley is the place to be. The Galley is Santa Monica's oldest restaurant and bar, opened in 1934. It's old school alright with stiff drinks being poured and a surprisingly solid steak and seafood menu. There is also a patio outback, but you're here for the nautical decor and colored lights.
Library Ale House
While Library Ale House has an extensive beer menu, it's more than just a brew pub. They serve a good range of dishes from unique burgers to interesting salads and tasty tacos. You can belly up to the bar in front, but if it's a nice day, you're going to want to grab a seat on the covered patio in back.
M Street Kitchen & Stella Barra
Ok, I'm totally cheating on this one as these are two great restaurants, but they're connected, so I'm listed them as one. M Street Kitchen has a nice outdoor patio where you can enjoy ocean breezes with your quinoa salad, burger, or tacos. Stella Barra has you covered for pizza and Chianti night.
Chaya Venice is one of the mainstays on Main Street, just a half block out of Santa Monica, which is close enough in my book. It's been around for many years for a reason. Whether you're interested in some sushi, a nice plate of miso marinated sea bass or a straight up martini with some good people watching, this is the place.
Casual vegetarian and vegan Indian cuisine has come to Main Street in Santa Monica with the opening of family-owned Samosa House.
With so many great dining options near the beach on Main Street in Santa Monica, your dining decision can sometimes be daunting. Here are my 10 favorite restaurants on Main Street.
Knuckle and Claw brings a taste of New England seafood to Main Street Santa Monica with a tight menu of lobster, shrimp and crab served on a casual, outdoor patio.
Bareburger Santa Monica's opening brings a healthy option to the burger restaurant category with a range of organic, grass-fed patties, including vegan and build-your-own choices.
Joe Jonas' first foray into restaurant ownership lands well on Main Street Santa Monica. The hip new Hinterland brings some classic dishes to the menu with modern twists.
Ashland Hill may not have the most creative menu in town with all the current kale - cauliflower California classics, but the preparation is solid and served in a relaxed outdoor patio setting near the beach.
The Anchor is a casual, laid back, seafood restaurant near the beach on the Santa Monica - Venice border. There's outdoor seating with oysters, mussels and cheese plates on offer.
They didn't make the top 10 list, but honorable mentions go to the following Main Street restaurants:
- Enterprise Fish Company has a nice patio with two fire pits and two happy hours per day
- Via Veneto serves nice Italian food and is probably the most romantic spot on Main Street
- A margarita and Mexican food craving always brings me to Lula's colorful patio
- Chinois on Main is the spot for fine dining on Main via old school Wolfgang Puck
- Greens Up, Thai Vegan, Shoop's and Samosa House are my go-to's when I'm looking for healthier, carryout, vegan fare