Some days, you want to pretend you spent the day on a beach in a Hawaii instead of at your desk in a snuggie because there’s an office civil war happening regarding the thermostat. On those days, you have dinner at Shaka Shack. This little burger place on Ocean Park looks just like a touristy restaurant in Honolulu, which would be annoying if you were actually in Hawaii, but is kind of charming in Santa Monica. The burgers are solid (get the Shaka Royale), the fries are good, and the owners are both grumpy and extremely nice at the same time.
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Lula Cocina Mexicana
Lula Cocina Mexicana is good-time cantina in Santa Monica with solid Mexican food and great margaritas.
Punta Cabras is a modern Mexican spot in Santa Monica with an all-day taqueria and a dinner-only restaurant.
Gilbert’s El Indio
A classic spot that’s perfect for giving out of towners an LA Mexican food experience.
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Stout is a neighborhood beer and burger spot, done very well. It's not groundbreaking, but it's become a Hollywood staple.
Suggested by our writers
Bondi Harvest is a breakfast and lunch spot bringing Australian vibes to Santa Monica.
Local Kitchen + Wine Bar
Local Kitchen + Wine Bar is the neighborhood spot in Santa Monica the rest of the city is jealous of.
Santa Monica’s HiHo Cheeseburger is home to the best classic burger in Los Angeles.
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