Dine + Drink in Coastal LA




1014 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica | (310) 451-2311

The beloved crown jewel of the Rustic Canyon restaurant empire puts out dishes we crave all day long. A sunshine slice of what home cooking should be, this is Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb’s love letter to their hometown, sealed with the kiss of a lemon posset or oozy blueberry brioche.




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Cora’s Coffee Shoppe

1802 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica | (310) 451-9562

They’ll have you at the vintage signage at this casual patio spot but make no mistake, this is brunch fare at its best.

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Cafe Vida

15317 Antioch St, Pacific Palisades | (310) 573-1335

We love the tasty simplicity of the healthy smoothies and wholesome entrees at this three-squares spot.



1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice | (310) 450-1429

It’s a toss-up deciding whether breakfast, lunch or dinner is best at this thoroughly original Venice mainstay. From lemon buckwheat ricotta pancakes to their legendary pizza combos, it’s the best possible version of a next-level neighborhood bistro.

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Juice Crafters

15324 Antioch St, Pacific Palisades | (310) 459-4200

Our fave take on the LA juice craze, Juice Crafters strikes a nice balance between uber-healthy and ‘I can actually pronounce that!’ ingredients.



Three-Rosé Lunch

Superba Food + Bread

1900 Lincoln Blvd, Venice | (310) 907-5075

Everything about this spacious indoor/outdoor bakery-meets-café is classic California dining, as sophisticated as it is casual. Ditch your diet and don’t skimp on the bread: trust us.

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Ivy at the Shore

1535 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica | (310) 393-3113

The picket-fenced Robertson location may be the more famous of the Ivy restaurants but this kitschy Ocean Avenue outpost serves one of the best classic salads (and fries) in the city, sans the paparazzo-packed sidewalks.

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320 Sunset Ave, Venice | (310) 314-0320

We’re still dreaming of our last meal at this cute-as-a-button nod to a utilitarian lunch counter. From creative sandwiches like the Porchetta Banh-Mi to sweet little coffees like the Whippersnapper, Travis Lett and his cheery staff have another hit on their hands.

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Santa Monica Seafood

1000 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica | (310) 393-5244

This bustling hive of fishmongering is the spot for fresh catches and their accoutrements. And a seat at the counter for fresh oysters and a glass at happy hour is the definition of ‘good afternoon’ as far as we’re concerned.


Milo & Olive

2723 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica | (310) 453-6776

A clean-lined concept centered on the massive pizza oven, M&O makes the city’s best meatballs as well as a mean pizza pie. Salads, Italian wines and a blissful baked goods selection have made us regulars.

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1427 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice | (310) 392-7575

Gjelina Takeaway is Gjelina’s mellowed out, come-as-you-are younger sister. Order up a slice and claim a makeshift seat beneath the climbing Bougainvillea.

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Cocktails, Coffee + Treats

Esters Wine Shop & Bar + Cassia

1314 7th Street, Santa Monica | (310) 899-6900

A lively homage to all that’s most convivial about wine, Esters is the kind of place you’ll find any excuse to visit. It’s a cozy yet Deco-glamorous spot for happy hour inside, yet it’s an equally al fresco dream during balmier nights. The array of delicious bites curated by Rustic Canyon prove the food is more than mere afterthought. Pop on over to neighboring Cassia for a complementary meal to cap off your wonderful evening.

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Sweet Rose Creamery

225 26th St #51, Santa Monica |(310) 260-2663

This vintage-inspired ice cream shop churns out small-batch artisanal flavors to pine for (we’ll see you again shortly, Salted Caramel).


Caffe Luxxe

925 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica | (310) 394-2222

In a land overrun with artisanal coffee klatches, Caffe Luxxe stands out for its signature roasts and inventive drinks. The Shakerato and the classic cappuccino are staples.

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The Bungalow

101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica | (310) 899-8530

The Fairmont Miramar Hotel got a much appreciated revival with the opening of The Bungalow, a hip day-to-night destination for drinks, snacks and general merriment ‘where Wilshire meets the sea’.


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Cadet (R.I.P.)

2518 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica | (310) 828-3300

Angelenos, especially westside ones, tend to be viewed as soft on proper cocktailing. Thanks to Cadet, we’ve suddenly come a very long way. The scent of kindling firewood filters this warm redbrick tribute to a faintly Parisian cirque and though the brunch and dinner here are fantastic, Joey’s concoctions (like the French Margarita or the Gin & Juice) steal the show.







Dinner Dates

Blue Plate Oysterette

1355 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica | (310) 576-3474

This beachy-chic take on a New England crab shack never fails to warm our Maine-loving hearts.

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Rustic Canyon

1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica | (310) 393-7050

A ceaselessly inventive ode to seasonality, this wine bar and kitchen has been with us for the better part of a decade and has cemented its status as a date night standby.

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1810 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica | (310) 394-5550

The stars may come out for Giorgio Baldi, but we prefer this special occasion Italian mainstay when we’ve got something to celebrate.

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Salt Air

1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice | (310) 396-9333

This light-filled little boho brasserie turns out splendid seafood dishes and fresh takes on bites like pea toast and grilled octopus.

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Caffé Delfini

147 West Channel Rd, Santa Monica | (310) 459-8823

We love this dimly lit no-fuss Italian classic tucked into a little corner of Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon neighborhood.

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Contributing Photography: Helen Brooks

© Refresh: Gather’s Guide to Where to Eat in Coastal LA, the best Los Angeles restaurants.