Where To Eat After Hitting The Beach

A beach-by-beach guide so you know exactly where to eat after your day in the sand.
Where To Eat After Hitting The Beach image

photo credit: Ashley Randall

LA has some truly fantastic stretches of sand offering everything from beach volleyball to fire pits to watching a guy charm a snake out of a Dodgers hat. But after four hours in the blazing sun, you and your friends are ravenous. That bag of chips you brought was gone before noon, and you need something substantial before everyone loses it. That’s why we’re here. We’ve broken down your best options beach by beach. No matter which part of the coast you end up at, you’ll have your eating plans covered.





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Broad Street Oyster Company is a seafood shack in Malibu that’s filled with so many oysters, mussels, shrimp, and uni you’ll wonder if their “local source” is actually the Aquarium of the Pacific. You’ll want to order a bit of everything here—oysters and spot prawns from the raw bar, a cup or two of their excellent clam chowder, maybe even a caesar salad if you’re craving something green—but make sure to include their lobster roll. We like it served hot and absolutely smothered in butter, this luxurious sandwich is sure to impress even the pickiest seafood eaters. Yes, we’re looking at you, East Coasters.

photo credit: Jakob Layman

Malibu Seafood is the ideal post-beach spot after a long day of floating around in the ocean and burying your friends under mounds of sand. Not only can you find the best seafood along PCH, but it’s also casual and fun, meaning swimsuits are always acceptable. Get the ubiquitous fish and chips, as well as the squid and fries (a less common order but incredible). There will definitely be a line, but when things are this relaxed and beautiful, who cares?

As far as we’re concerned, no trip to Malibu is complete without a stop at Neptune’s Net. This random seafood shack on the side of the PCH is as no-frills as they come—you order at the counter, wait for someone to call your name over the intercom, then enjoy baskets upon baskets of freshly fried clam strips and bowls of clam chowder. The crowd here ranges from intimidating-looking biker gangs to groups of twenty-somethings, to families making life-long memories, all enjoying the kiss of the brisk sea air and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

If you took a natural wine shop, a retro vinyl store, and a pizza parlor, threw them in a blender, then dropped them off in Topanga Canyon, you’d get Endless Color. Wind down in this fun dining room after basking in the sun—with wiggly light fixtures, blob-shaped tables, and disco balls hanging above a cactus-lined patio. Make sure to get a Neapolitan pie (they’re the main deal here), which sports charred and puffy crusts and is topped with gooey globs of mozzarella.

This grocery store off PCH is perfect for both pre- and post-beach snacking. It has all the prerequisite gourmet health food items you’d expect: green juices, non-pasteurized specialty cheese, and adaptogenic whatevers. But the deli is where the real action is. There’s a hot tri-tip sandwich with sautéed onions and bell peppers on a pressed panini baguette that’s fully satisfying, especially when the only thing you’ve ingested all day is a mouthful of sand. And that wasn’t intentional.


Few cocktails hit harder than a gin and tonic after a day in the sun. That’s why you’ll find us at Isla on the weekends, drinking and snacking in their sunny dining room two blocks from the beach. This California-ish spot stays open all day with a solid menu of skewers and salads. And while eating is certainly a recommended activity, the drinks steal the show. Whether it’s funky orange wine, a spiced zero-proof cocktail, or a gin and tonic that feels hydrating despite its alcoholic nature, Isla is the ideal post-beach drink moment. 

photo credit: Ghisallo



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There’s something idyllic—even romantic—about eating pizza while grains of sand are still stuck to the bottom of your feet. If you share that sentiment, head to Ghisallo. This order-at-the-counter pizzeria on Ocean Park is open all day and serves both New York-style slices and 12-inch Neapolitan pies, plus small stuff like arancini and salads, and decadent desserts (get the key lime parfait). Between the two styles, we like the bubbly, charred Neapolitan crust more, but with a crisp beer in hand and the sun setting as you relax on their front patio, who’s really picking favorites?

This Westside institution at the end of the Santa Monica Boardwalk is so close to the beach, you can walk up barefoot. Big Dean’s has been around since the 1970s and offers spacious front and back patios, TVs playing sports, and a fantastic burger. It's not fancy—two perfectly greasy patties, american cheese, lettuce, tomato, and house special sauce— but it’s exactly what you need after a long day of being thrashed in the waves.

Located on the somewhat soulless Santa Monica Main St., Alfalfa serves some of our favorite breakfast burritos in the entire city. Plus, their back patio is a sunny little nook that’s ideal for catching up with a friend over coffee and pastries, or a burrito filled with silky eggs and charred shredded potatoes that you’ll want to hug before dousing it in salsa, and devouring it.

The colorful Caribbean spot right off the sand is one of the few true BYOB joints in the entire city—and also just a great place to grab some lunch with friends. Their leafy patio is the ideal place to head to with a couple of six-packs, order a plate of coconut chicken served with mango and jerk dipping sauce, then continue to soak up even more of the Santa Monica sun.

photo credit: Meghan Reardon

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After a particularly harrowing day at Santa Monica Beach witnessing tourists trying to get a tan on top of the one they received yesterday, what you probably need is a trip to Tallula’s at the bottom of Entrada Drive near PCH. It’s a perfect place for Happy Hour margaritas, guacamole, and a few tacos. Just know Tallula's isn so casual that you can roll up in your bathing suit (at least throw on a cover-up or something).


Willie Mae’s is New Orleans royalty and home to some of the country's greatest fried chicken. Translation: really long lines. At their Venice location, though, the fast-casual set-up means you can sit down with your spread of fried chicken, cornbread, mac and cheese, and gumbo in under 20 minutes. If you’re in a post-beach energy crash and need something fast but fulfilling, Willie Mae’s is a perfect option. 

Gjusta might be an obvious choice—the Venice deli a few blocks from the beach is big, busy, and usually filled with everyone from locals to tourists and their suitcases. In addition to their grab-and-go menu, they now have an extended patio, where you can sit back and discuss whether you saw Tom Felton at the beach or just a guy who looks like him. Try the burrata and tomato sandwich or open-faced bagel with an entire farmers market’s worth of produce and house-made gravlax stacked on top. You’ll understand why Gjusta has so many devotees.

If you’re looking for some good seafood on the Westside, head immediately to Dudley Market. This neighborhood restaurant in Venice is located steps from the boardwalk and has a front patio with excellent views of the beach and ocean. There’s a casual atmosphere here, so it doesn’t matter if you roll up in a silk ball gown or just a beach towel. And if eating delicious oysters and fish tacos while staring off into the surf isn’t your ideal post-beach dinner setting, we don’t have that in common.

Hinano Café is the kind of dive bar we presume Venice used to be full of during the Jim Morrison era. This is where you go in for one drink that turns into several. There’s a daily 4-8pm Happy Hour, free popcorn, pool tables, sawdust on the floor (can’t imagine what that’s for), and a legendary burger. If you’re looking for a low-key spot to grab drinks after dodging tourists and close-up magic magicians on the boardwalk all day, Hinano is your spot.

Grilled on a flat-top with onions, topped with american cheese, pickles, and house sauce, and served on a potato roll (and costs only $4.25), the burgers coming out of this walk-up window are low-brow but high-quality. Pair that with one of the best patios in town—a sandy, colorful oasis that doesn’t not resemble your elementary school playground—it’s perfect for when you’ve got seaweed in unmentionable places and just need something to eat, stat.

As relaxing as the beach may be, there’s also that part that involves getting sand in every crevice of your phone and flocks of seagulls chasing you down. Head to La Cabaña instead. They’ve got one of the most colorful, relaxing patios around (with a fountain and all), ideal for winding down with quesadillas, then thanking the beach gods that a seagull didn’t poop on you. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the house mariachi band perform on the roof.


Eating raw fish at the beach is perhaps a bit macabre for some, but for us, it’s just another opportunity to order lunch from Ali’i Fish Company. This order-at-the-counter cafe in El Segundo serves incredible poke. From spicy ahi to ponzu-soaked salmon, the menu here is on par with anything you’d get in Hawai’i. Which makes sense—the owner used to be a buyer at the Honolulu Fish Auction, so all the seafood they serve is shipped in from the islands.


Ryla is a stand-out Japanese-Taiwanese restaurant just a hop, skip, and a tiny jump from the Hermosa Pier. Its intimate, candle-lit dining room is a welcome contrast from all the other breezy beach cafes and beer-laden sports bars in the area. Get the Hokkaido milk bread, a slightly sweet pull-apart loaf that comes with a side of nori and tobiko spread, and New Zealand Tai snapper that sits in a pool of silky lime-coconut broth that strikes the ideal balance between sweet and tangy.

A pier filled with knock-off t-shirt shops might not be the first place you’d look for an incredible seafood spot, but you’ll find one on the boardwalk in Redondo Beach. Quality Seafood is a completely chaotic fish market, where you select what you want from a case loaded with freshly caught fish on ice, and they cook it however you want. We usually opt for deep-fried red snapper and steamed Dungeness crab, but you really can’t go wrong.

Gabi James is a little fancy for Redondo Beach—i.e. still pretty casual for everywhere else— and a nice option if you want a relatively quiet meal after the beach. The food here is excellent, and the people at the bar all look like they’ve been coming here consistently for the last twenty years (always a good sign), so order a tortilla espanola, some jamon, and a glass of albariño, and brainstorm how to get their kind of life.

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