From Beach Bites to Michelin Stars: Santa Monica's Best Restaurants

Lee LaPlante  |  April 16, 2024

From Beach Bites to Michelin Stars: Santa Monica's Best Restaurants

Santa Monica, CA is a city renowned for its picturesque beaches, vibrant cultural scene, and, notably, its diverse culinary landscape. From the delicious classics of beachside bites to the creativity and excellence found in Michelin-starred restaurants, Santa Monica offers a rich tapestry of dining experiences that cater to every palate. Whether you're a local resident or a potential homebuyer, exploring the restaurants in Santa Monica is an essential part of understanding the luxury and lifestyle the area offers.

A Culinary Journey Through Santa Monica

Santa Monica's dining scene is as varied as its landscape, offering everything from laid-back, beachfront eateries to upscale, fine dining establishments. Each restaurant not only serves delicious cuisine but also offers unique atmospheres that reflect the city's coastal charm and cosmopolitan flair.

The Lobster

Located at the start of the iconic Santa Monica Pier, The Lobster specializes in seafood and offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Renowned for its fresh, locally sourced seafood dishes, The Lobster has been a staple in Santa Monica for decades, attracting both locals and tourists alike. Named one of Santa Monica's Michelin Guide's Michelin Plate Restaurants, its menu offerings include the signature whole Maine lobster and the Santa Monica seafood tower. 

Rustic Canyon

Rustic Canyon offers a seasonal and sustainable menu that showcases the best of California's local produce. This Michelin-starred gem is renowned for its farm-to-table approach, creating a menu that changes with the seasons and features the freshest ingredients available. The ambiance is casual yet chic, perfect for a night out in Santa Monica.

Via Veneto

Via Veneto brings a slice of Italy to Santa Monica, serving authentic Italian cuisine in a romantic setting. The restaurant's intimate ambiance, coupled with its exquisite pasta dishes and extensive wine list, makes it a favorite among those looking for a special dining experience.


Cassia, a Southeast Asian brasserie, blends the rich flavors of Southeast Asia with Southern California's fresh produce, creating a unique and vibrant dining experience. The restaurant's expansive menu features everything from seafood platters to grilled meats, all prepared with a distinctive flair.
Tar & Roses
Tar & Roses offers a globally inspired menu with a focus on small plates that are perfect for sharing. The restaurant's wood-fired dishes are a nod to traditional cooking methods, while the moody atmosphere is warm and inviting, making it an ideal spot for both casual dinners and special occasions.
Élephante Beach House
Élephante Beach House brings Italian flavors and chic ambiance to the heart of Santa Monica. This rooftop dining destination is known for its breathtaking views of the ocean and its menu that features fresh, coastal cuisine. The laid-back yet sophisticated vibe makes Élephante a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike.

The Santa Monica Dining Experience

Dining in Santa Monica is more than just a meal; it's an experience that embodies the city's lifestyle. From the casual eateries that offer a taste of the local beach culture to the upscale restaurants that showcase culinary innovation, Santa Monica's dining scene is a testament to the city's diverse cultural fabric and its status as a culinary destination.

Supporting Local Farmers and Sustainable Practices

Many restaurants in Santa Monica pride themselves on sustainability and support local farmers by sourcing ingredients locally. This not only ensures the freshness and quality of the food but also contributes to the local economy and reduces the environmental impact of transportation.

An Experience for Every Occasion

Whether you're looking for a casual spot to dine with family or an elegant restaurant to celebrate a special occasion, Santa Monica's dining scene offers options for every taste and occasion. The city's commitment to culinary excellence and innovation means that diners can always expect high-quality, delicious food, regardless of the setting.

Lee LaPlante: Your Gateway to Santa Monica's Luxury Lifestyle

For those considering making Santa Monica their home, the city's vibrant dining scene is just one aspect of the luxurious lifestyle that awaits. Lee LaPlante, a leading real estate agent in Santa Monica, offers unparalleled expertise and insight into the local market, helping clients find their dream homes in this picturesque city. Whether you're drawn to Santa Monica for its culinary delights, its beautiful beaches, or its cultural offerings, Lee LaPlante can guide you through the process of finding a property that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.

Discover how Lee LaPlante can help you experience the best of Santa Monica's luxury lifestyle. Contact Lee LaPlante for more information and to begin your journey toward calling Santa Monica home.

*Header image courtesy of The Lobster

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