Mercado isn’t the best Mexican food you’ll ever eat. It is, however, as good as you’ll find in the immediate downtown Santa Monica area, and after a day of walking around the pier with your out-of-towner cousins, that’s good enough. The space is nice and relaxing and not as scene-y as you think it’d be.
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The Library Alehouse
If you’re a beer person on the Westside, The Library Alehouse in Santa Monica is your place.
Belcampo Meat Co.
For bistro style burgers, steak, and meat with a mission, Belcampo in Santa Monica is a great option.
Stout is a burger and beer bar with good food and a low-key space that provides a needed break from the chaos of downtown Santa Monica.
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Mexicali Taco & Co.
Home to the legendary Vampiro Taco, a meal at Mexicali Taco & Co is one of the best ways you can spend $12 in this town.
Papi Tacos & Churros
Papi Tacos & Churros in Jefferson Park is excellent at both of the things in its name.
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La Cabaña Restaurant
Mexican restaurant La Cabaña is a Venice landmark with huge burritos and a killer back patio.
No. 10 is about what you’d expect from an expensive Italian restaurant on W. 3rd St. So it’s pretty boring.
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