Santa Monica Specialty
1518 Montana Ave., Santa Monica
We're big fans of this genius lunch spot on Montana, which serves self-named KyeRito’s: In lieu of beans and tortillas, though, you’ll find things like wild seared salmon and macro-pressed veggies wrapped in nori, collard greens, or romaine leaves. And to keep the mini burrito from getting soggy, the interior ingredients are packaged in a slip-wrap that you pull out before eating. It's a grab-and-go place, though there are a few tables and benches.
Thyme Café & Market
1630 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica
While many grab a seat at one of the tables to linger over eggs and cappucinos, we like this place best for its takeout. Fridges and freezers—loaded with pre-made soups and crowd-pleasing lasagnas—line the shop, and they also do take-out catering with minimal on-site prep. If you want a real sit-down affair, try their new spot, Local Kitchen + Wine Bar.
Hot Dog on a Stick
1633 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica
For many reasons, the Santa Monica Pier is a like a siren song for the under 10 set, so you will invariably find yourself on the hook for a few turns on the Ferris Wheel. Don't eat there, though, as Hot Dog on a Stick is just a few steps away.
1426 Montana Ave., Santa Monica
Beaming is most famous as a smoothie shop (the Rockstar is a goop staff favorite), but their whole-food cleanses are extraordinarily powerful. There are one- and three-day options available, but customers can expand up to as much as a 3-week cleanse for a full-on reboot. Each day includes one of their super-food smoothies, followed by cold pressed juices, shots, and raw soups and salads. Their bride-to-be program gives brides (along with their grooms, bridesmaids, mothers) a clean countdown to the big day. Besides Santa Monica, there are locations in Brentwood and West Hollywood.
John Kelly Chocolates
1111 ½ Montana Ave., Santa Monica
From the traditional (chocolate and sea salt) to the exotic (dark chocolate with Habanero and Jalapeno chile), everything here is handmade and delicious. There is also a John Kelly boutique in Hollywood.
808 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
From their yummy fried chicken sandwich to the delicious salted caramel 'cutie' pies, this is the place to indulge. There's soda floats, beer, and wine to boot. (Simplethings also has locations in Burbank, Westwood Village, and West Hollywood.)
Sweet Lady Jane
1631 Montana Ave.
Prettily decorated cakes and baked goods are mainstays here, though we hear the best thing on the menu is actually the tuna fish sandwich. They make their own mayo, and serve it on freshly baked rosemary bread. There are also Sweet Lady Jane bakeries in West Hollywood and Encino.
3101 Main St., Santa Monica
This sweet, corner spot offers consistently excellent espresso drinks, along with a full case of croissants and the like. Many pull out laptops, though it's a good option for meeting up with friends, too.
1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
With lines out the door by 10am, this is one of those spots where parents with early risers win: We go for the quinoa, veggie, and egg bowls, while our kiddos are bigger fans of the homemade doughnuts and Cheesy Eggs & Toast. You can eat in (the tables turn over quickly), or always take your turkey meatballs to go.
1525 Broadway, Santa Monica
This is a distinctly Californian one-stop-shop for fresh and local produce, delicious ready-made food, and all the organic products you could ask for. Plus as the name suggests, members are also owners, making it local and sustainable in every way.
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