Santa Monica Specialty
A Cut Above Butcher Shop
2453 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica
Being that it’s a butcher shop first and foremost, ACA is very serious about their meat-centric menu. The hot sandwiches—BBQ pulled pork, roasted turkey club, lemongrass flank steak banh mi with fried egg, and house-smoked pastrami—can be eaten at one of the few tables on-site or taken to-go. The Italian salumi travels particularly well.
1517 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica
This is one of the main lunch go-tos in Santa Monica, which means there's almost always a line. The Godmother sub is the order of choice for everyone, us included, though we like to swap the pepper salad for pepperoncini for a little extra heat. Also on point: their tuna salad, and the turkey pesto and eggplant parm. While you wait for the deli to call your number, browse the market—it's stocked with authentic, imported Italian goods; the pasta and sauce selections are particularly impressive.
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.
Belcampo Meat Co.
1026 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
Anya Fernald is a bit of a badass: Not only is she the co-founder and CEO of Belcampo Meat Co., which has quickly become the go-to purveyor of humanely-raised, sustainable meats, and poultry in California, she’s also a mom, cookbook author, and a master of open flame grilling. Go to her shops for whole-animal butchering (and the interesting, rare cuts of meat associated with it), seriously good hamburgers, and the best bone broth. There are also locations in West Hollywood and Downtown.
925 Montana Ave.
This place serves some of the best coffee on the West Side, including real Northern Italian style espresso, and delicious lattes and cappuccinos with what they call "milk foam art." It can be difficult to find a seat during rush hours, but if you do grab one, it's a lovely place to linger. There are two locations in Malibu off the PCH, and in the Country Mart.
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.
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.
930 Broadway, Santa Monica
The people at Santa Monica's Funnel Mill are serious about ambiance: There are live plants, couches, communal tables, window seating, and a strict no-phones-allowed policy if you want to hang—all good things for getting stuff done in peace. Most drinks are made to order using ancient techniques, which require various beakers, siphons, and crazy-looking butane systems. Yes, you'll have to wait a bit for your single estate organic or biodynamic coffee, Indian chai, or personal pot of white, green, or red tea. Feeling baller? Try the $75 Esmeralda Especial.
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.
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 donuts and Cheesy Eggs & Toast. You can eat in (the tables turn over quickly), or always take your turkey meatballs to go.
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