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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Big Dean’s Ocean Front Cafe
Big Dean’s is a classic Santa Monica Beach bar where the drinks are cheap, the bar food is solid, and the people-watching is second to none.
Circle Bar is on Main St. in Santa Monica and where you go when you want to make mistakes.
Santa Monica’s Bagel Nosh is your best bet for NYC-style bagels (and the best tuna melt) on the westside.
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A burger joint in Hollywood on La Brea, Burgers 99 serves great fast food-style burgers that pay homage to everything from In-N-Out to McDonald’s.
Suggested by our writers
Santa Monica’s HiHo Cheeseburger is home to the best classic burger in Los Angeles.
Local Kitchen + Wine Bar
Local Kitchen + Wine Bar is the neighborhood spot in Santa Monica the rest of the city is jealous of.
Jus’ Poke in Redondo Beach serves poke like you’d get in Hawaii, with a few kinds of tuna options and really good toppings.
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