Like the tides of the Pacific just a few blocks away, Main Street is characterized by a slow shift in personalities. By day, it’s a favorite of up-at-dawn locals, who come for breakfast or coffee after a sunrise surf session or to patronize the eclectic collection of businesses with their dogs and children in tow. Visitors can join in, easily filling an afternoon at laid-back patio-lined cafés and indie boutiques. In the evening, trendy restaurants and watering holes glow with a lively mix of options for nightlife lovers.
Main Street Restaurants
Recognized by Zagat in 2017 and OpenTable in 2016, La Vecchia Cucina features fine Sicilian cooking in a homey atmosphere. From the risotto al funghi porcini to the bistecchine alla pizzaiola, the menu here promises guests a memorable culinary adventure.
Founded by a small group of friends inspired by an adventure-filled trip to Australia, Little Prince serves up brunch and dinner dishes, end-of-day bites and creative cocktails using fresh, local and seasonal produce, not to mention plenty of “down-under” warmth.
Treat your palate at Manchego, but be prepared to face some tough choices: spinach croquetas or mac and cheese with white truffle oil? Braised beef empanadas or Catalán chicken? Answer: Bring a group and order one of everything.
The continually changing menu at Stella Barra keeps customers guessing—and clamoring for more of the eatery’s seasonal artisanal pizzas (butternut squash white pizza with candied bacon and Fresno chilies!), along with the rest of this hot spot’s satisfying lunch, dinner and drink menus.
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Main Street Shops
Berry Lee Shoes, a Main Street staple, has been providing great-looking comfort footwear plus bags, hosiery and hats to Santa Monica shoppers since 1986. The store prides itself on its wide and impressively curated inventory, which includes Birkenstock, Teva, Dansko and much more.
The Hoorsenbuhs line of unisex jewelry is showcased in upscale stores throughout the U.S., but this flagship store truly brings the luxury brand center stage. The line’s signature chain motif has been seen on such trend-forward celebrities as Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams and David Beckham.
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Revolving art and cultural exhibits, special Santa Monica events, Tuesday-night food trucks and Sunday farmers markets attract locals and out-of-towners alike to California Heritage Museum housed in a charming late 19th-century residence originally built for a Santa Monica senator’s son.
Drop by the Main Visitor Information Center to consult with a friendly and knowledgeable travel counselor about the best the city has to offer in hotels, dining, culture, attractions and entertainment; pick up a map or guide; and shop the ever-changing selection of gifts and souvenirs.
Promising to prep clients for peak physical and cognitive performance, Upgrade Labs offers mind and body hacks via a combination of cutting-edge methods such as cryotherapy, infrared, LED, virtual floating, neurofeedback and more.