photo credit: Nina d'Onofrio

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Sogno Toscano


Santa Monica

$$$$Perfect For:LunchCoffee & A Light Bite


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There's never been much happening on Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue, unless bowl-sized lattes do it for you. Then along came Sogno Toscano, a so-called “lifestyle cafe.” We're not sure what that means, but if eating cured meats accurately describes your lifestyle, you’ll love this daytime Italian spot. There’s a spacious outdoor patio to stretch your legs, plus a long menu with salumi plates, Roman-style pizzas, and eggy breakfast dishes. That’s all fine and good, but the focaccia sandwiches are what makes this cafe our go-to lunch in the area.

There are two types of people here: those sipping strong espresso and those who have transitioned to Aperol spritzes. Either way, pair them with what we like to call a B.I.S. (Big Italian Sandwich). The focaccia is pleasantly chewy, and everything between these slabs of bread reads like something Giada De Laurentiis would smuggle back from vacation. Order the Bolognese if you, like us, prefer your sandwiches stuffed with a mattress of cold cuts (in this case, pistachio-studded mortadella). It also had a thick layer of milky bufala and a generous slathering of pesto to punch everything up. Again, these sandwiches are big, so split one with a friend if you want to save room for a pastry.

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Suggested Reading

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Lorenzo is a tiny Beverly Hills spot serving luxurious Florentine-style sandwiches.

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Tre Mani is a lunchtime collab between Santa Monica's Ghisallo and Jyan Isaac. Their Roman schiacciata are some of the best sandwiches in LA.

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Ggiata is an Italian deli in East Hollywood with a fantastic, old-school menu.

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