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.
Early birds flock to Amelia's Espresso & Panini for hot and cold brews and breakfast sandwiches. All-day offerings include salads, Italian soups and other sandwiches—ranging from cold (stacks such as prosciutto, tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil) to grilled (meldings like turkey breast, roasted peppers, basil pesto and cheese) to hot (with fillings like house-made meatballs). Shop for foodie gifts: handmade candies and pastries and imported teas, coffees, olives and vinegars.
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.
Cutting-edge looks, home and office décor, books, jewelry and a myriad of unusual gifts are on tap at Mohawk West. This shop prides itself on a meticulously curated selection of designer merchandise you simply will not find anywhere else.
Muji was founded in Japan and draws loyal shoppers for its minimalist and environmentally friendly inventory of high-quality furniture, apparel, home goods, stationery and more. (It’s so popular in the area that there’s another Santa Monica location on Third Street Promenade.)
A mandatory stop for your family-focused shopping expedition, Pebbles features a unique selection of whimsical and vibrant clothing and accessories for women, children and infants, and is expanding to include an inspired inventory of home goods.
Revolving art and cultural exhibits, special 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.
In honor of the people, places and experiences that make Santa Monica the premier beach destination it is, we’ve made a mini video series highlighting a sampling of Santa Monica’s small business community and the stories behind the storefronts. Here, we visit The Bike Shop, Accents Jewelry Design Studio and Amelia's Espresso & Panini on Main Street.