340 days of sunshine, al fresco dining with ocean views, an award-winning Farmers Market and a laid-back California beach lifestyle make Santa Monica an international dining destination. It’s no wonder Zagat Survey has named Santa Monica the best neighborhood for dining in all of Southern California for two consecutive years. Ocean breezes, beachfront views and spectacular sunsets complement various culinary experiences and events throughout the city all year round.
The reputed birthplace of both "California" and "fusion" cuisine, Santa Monica has become a treasured home to innovative chefs from around the world. As creative as Santa Monica's chefs get in their kitchens, they find much of their inspiration from the beautiful settings and sustainable community that surrounds them. Santa Monica's chefs don't just work and live in town; they personify the local emphasis on an active, healthy lifestyle where great food plays a central role. Santa Monica chefs are often seen surfing the waves, bicycling to and from their restaurants and connecting with growers at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.
Named one of the best in the country by Travel + Leisure, the farmers' markets set the tone for Santa Monica dining. With nearly 200 different growers and food purveyors at the beach city's four weekly farmers markets, Santa Monica continues to attract famous chefs who value locally grown food and the celebrities and the foodies who want to explore the diverse culinary offerings.
Ready to dive into the flavors of Santa Monica? Enjoy these tasty tips for creating your own edible outing:
- Explore Santa Monica’s Farmers Markets – With each market offering its own flavor, you can taste, touch and smell your way through colorful produce, baskets of freshly cut flowers, live music, breads, cheeses, and delicious food samplings.
- Enjoy Your Meal Al Fresco – Santa Monica’s eight distinct districts offer an array of outdoor dining options where you can sip and snack, sunshine and ocean views included.
- Spot a Top Chef – Santa Monica is home to many renowned chefs who encompass the city’s healthy, farm-fresh culture. Put your culinary glasses on, white chef coats can be spotted throughout Santa Monica, from strolling the farmers markets to out on the surf.
- Get Your Brunch On – Start your day with a little flavor! From farm-fresh dishes to bottomless beverages, explore Santa Monica’s many diverse and delicious brunch options.
- Shop The Market at Santa Monica Place – Independently owned shops and cafés line the indoor-outdoor market atmosphere where you can find heirloom coffee, organic meats, local cheeses, fresh-baked breads, sweet confections and more to create your own artisanal flavor palate.