10 Best Santa Monica Restaurants: Where to Eat for Every Mood

Whether you're looking for a relaxing eatery where you can enjoy some comfort food like chicken wings and piled high sandwiches, or you want a fine dining establishment for a special occasion or just a nice night out that involves white tablecloths, stellar service and top notch cuisine with a fine wine list, you can find it in Santa Monica. From trendy Third Promenade Street to hip Main Street and all along the Coast Highway, you'll find some of the best restaurants in all of Los Angeles in the lovely beach community of Santa Monica that manages to be both laidback and cosmopolitan at the same time. This list of the 10 best restaurants in Santa Monica includes seafood establishments, eateries bordering the coastline, five star fine dining restaurants with savory cuisine and chill bar restaurants where you can grab a pint with an affordable entree and just relax. Though you may find that all these featured Santa Monica restaurants make you more at ease and ready to forget your worries and simply enjoy the southern California beach lifestyle. When you're done eating at the restaurant of your choosing you can go for a leisurely amble down Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade or the Beach Walk. 

Sam's By the Beach

Despite being by the beaches of Santa Monica, Sam's by the Beach has a European ambiance indoors with warm colors and wooden tables. Just outside its doors, though, is the golden beach and powerful waves of the Pacific Ocean. The cuisine also...  Read More

Library Alehouse
Photo courtesy of Gina Douglas Tarnacki

Library Alehouse is located on hip Main Street in Santa Monica and has an excellent menu of craft beers and gourmet comfort food. The interior has gleaming blonde wooden tables and a long bar that takes up nearly half of the narrow indoor dining...  Read More

BOA Steakhouse - Santa Monica

If you love a good, juicy steak you can't pass up dining at BOA Steakhouse while in Santa Monica. As soon as you walk into the restaurant you're embraced in dark soothing hues with red accents. The steak menu consists of just about every cut of...  Read More

The Lobster

Located right at the start of the Santa Monica Pier, the Lobster is a seafood restaurant that – you guessed it – specializes in lobster. But this seafood restaurant doesn't have just any old lobster menu. Choose the kind of lobster you want...  Read More

Santa Monica Seafood Cafe

Santa Monica Seafood Café isn't just a place to dine, it also has fresh seafood available for you to take home and cook yourself, which is the secret to its success as it focuses on high quality seafood for every facet of its business and those...  Read More

Rustic Canyon Wine Bar

The origins of Rustic Canyon has a unique beginning as the idea for it grew from the founder's community dinners he used to make in the neighborhood of Rustic Canyon, a Santa Monica community that managed to be rural despite being in the middle...  Read More

Sonoma Wine Garden - Santa Monica

With its large rooftop patio atop Santa Monica Place, Sonoma Wine Garden provides diverse cuisine in an airy setting that is ideal for soaking up the wonderful southern California weather. The restaurant puts an emphasis on wine, hence the name,...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Melisse Restaurant

Mélisse is one of the top fine dining restaurants in the United States, let alone Los Angeles, and has been awarded with two Michelin stars. The menu is traditional French thanks to the owner and chef who studied culinary arts in France, and it...  Read More

Enterprise Fish Company
Photo courtesy of Enterprise Fish Company

Enterprise Fish Company has an eclectic vibe thanks to its multitude of sailor decor and wood paneling that makes you feel like you've stepped onto an old wooden ship. An open wall patio and tanks on display teeming with live sea creatures also...  Read More


Meet Gina Douglas Tarnacki

Gina Tarnacki is a freelance writer and marketer and an avid traveler. When she's not busy finding a creative way to squeeze in a few more vacation days so she and her family can explore the...  More About Gina