Bordered by two major thoroughfares, Wilshire and Olympic boulevards, and two Expo line stations, this easily accessible neighborhood gets plenty of attention for its arts and entertainment offerings, particularly Bergamot’s galleries and The Broad Stage’s shows, as well as top-notch
eateries. No wonder it’s home to a growing crop of interesting restaurants and shops
Butcher Eddy Shin at A Cut Above Butcher Shop is all about the best cuts and the finest natural meats. Hosting a party or barbecue while in town? Score the Backyard grill pack containing sweet Italian sausage, airline chicken breasts, grass-fed burgers, and primo hot dogs.
Selling donuts for 37 years, DK’s Donuts & Bakery has it down. It’s well known for hybrids like the waffle + donut combo they call the Wow-Nut. They serve up the classics, but really shine with adventurous flavors like ube (purple yam) and treats like the Spam Donut and the Pizza Donut.
Budget friendly, welcoming, and a favorite among locals, Tacos Por Favor brings authentic Mexican cooking to Olympic Boulevard. Color outside the lines and order a watermelon agua fresca, or perhaps a veggie soft taco—a tasty, quick meal of lettuce, guacamole, and tangy pico de gallo.
It’s guilt-free, sustainable shopping at the upscale Assistance League Thrift Shop since the venue is the primary fundraising activity supporting the league’s programs. Browse vintage and designer clothing, toys, jewelry, and a media department brimming with books and music.
Helen’s Cycles has been wheeling and dealing since 1936. This professional Santa Monica institution is the place for rental bicycles including carbon road bikes, hybrid bikes, and e-bikes. Join one of the shop’s rides, which include excursions for beginners and groups as well as women-only rides.
Whether you play guitar, piano, drums, violin, reed instruments, brass, flute, or recorder, Santa Monica Music Center is the place to find instruments, accessories, and sheet music. You can also score private or group lessons and instruction in music theory and digital audio production.
Wine Expo sells an extensive selection of wines (mostly European), artisanal beers, and spirits. At the wine bar, which opens daily at 5 p.m., you can try an ever-changing selection of 17 wines by the glass, starting at $3.
The ghost of the Red Line Trolley runs through what is now a sprawling art complex containing 40 galleries. Join one of the 600,000 visitors a year who drop into Bergamot, this easy-to-navigate, one-stop art center. Cool your heels at the on-site café.
The 500-seat Broad Stage hosts stellar performances featuring artists from around the globe, from Bobby McFerrin to Sir James Galway. The Broad also has the more intimate 100-seat theater, The Edye, for developing and innovative productions.
The Clayhouse is a communal pottery studio has been going strong since 1971. Professionals rent out space and hobbyists drop in to take classes, working the pottery wheel, applying glazes, and firing their creations. It’s also a great place for buying tools and equipment.
Bliss out at the Asian-influenced Willow Spa, where you’ll be enveloped in an ambience of fragrant flowers amid lantern-lit walkways. Need a quick pick-me-up? Check out the spa's Zen Express menu.