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Cheap but Good Eats on 3rd St Promenade or Santa Monica Pier

Will be going to either or both locations and would like recommendations on cheap but good eating in the 3rd St Promenade and Santa Monica Pier areas.


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  1. Fritto Misto
    Houston's (if you like it, it's there)
    Bravo Cucina is a little more expensive
    Ye Old King's Head Pub

    1. If you like English food there's the Tudor House on 2nd (E side) S of Santa Monica, Ye Olde King's Head on Santa Monica at 2nd (SW corner), and another place whose name I forget on Santa Monica (S side) E of 3rd street. Tudor House has the best/most authentic [some would claim this an oxymoron] food of the lot, though the menu isn't huge; but the others have draft beer and full bars; if this is an issue King's Head is the place to go.

      1. I just has a quick bite at wolfgang puck express and it is always good. above mcdonalds on the 2 nd floor. they serve wine and beer too. the bbq chicken quesidilla is great.

        1. there's good food and poor food, but for dining with table service it doesn't really come cheap on the locations you're asking about. Ocean Ave Seafood has a nice little happy hour (I don't know about weekends) with a fresh oyster bar. The lunch menu at The Lobster is not outrageous, considering the delightful view it offers. If you are out here on the weekend, Joe's in Venice offers a fine brunch for about $15 bucks. It's neither at the pier or the prominade, but only a 10 minute drive away. On Abbott Kinney


          1. I just though of something: If you want the best-est cheapest, go to Bay Cities Deli on Lincoln Blvd. Order some fantastic sandwiches (call ahead by phone order or you'll wait a looong time. Then take your sandwiches to the pier and eat on a bench.

            1. Right on the Promenade you're not going to find a lot that's cheap (this to me means under $10 for an entree) and good -- there's an OK crepe place, you might be able to get away with Typhoon (the place right off 3rd and Wilshire with the creepy eyes painted on the side), Ye Olde King's Head. There's a Fatburger if you like that kind of thing.

              It's a tourist zone. Tourist zone food is never cheap.

              Slightly outside that zone are some better options -- if you're willing to splurge a bit, Musha on 5th and Wilshire is excellent. There's Santa Monica Pizza Kitchen on 14th and Wilshire, Tacos Por Favor on 14th and Olympic, Bay Cities on Lincoln (which is secretly 8th) between Broadway and Colorado, Fritto Misto on 6th and Colorado, Chandni Vegetarian Indian Cuisine on 19th and Wilshire.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                I think it's Monsoon on 3rd street. Typhoon is at the Santa Monica Airport

                1. re: mikebietz

                  Monsoon, Typhoon, whatever. I think you're right. :)

              2. While not exactly cheap, Musha is very inexpensive when you consider the quality of the food. Check out the photo's in this web blog and then try to keep from trying it yourself...(good luck with that).


                3 Replies
                1. re: tony michaels

                  I've always been able to have a big dinner with a beer or two at Musha for less than $30 per person. I'm a big eater, so surely it would be much cheaper for lighter meals. Great, great place.

                  1. re: glutton

                    I agree. I've never spent more than $25/pp for food, and that's either with two normal eaters ordering a few of the more expensive items, or with a bunch of starving young people reminding themselves not to order the expensive stuff (but to still order enough to get full).

                    The braised pork and brown rice risotto, for example, are both fairly big portions. I don't think one person could eat both without feeling much too full.

                    1. re: Pei

                      Well, that doesn't fall into my "cheap" category which is why I said so... cheap to me is $10pp. That said, it's WELL worth the extra money to me.

                2. I like Gaucho Grill on 3rd at Arizona. Not inexpensive but great quality and consistency. their chicken and beef dishes are great. I like the spicy chicken breast. The Manager's Special is a great entree salad. Kid friendly if that matters.

                  1. Happy hours are the only good bargains in that area. There are several places with HH's with 1/2 price appetizers and drinks , but many are Monday-Friday. I cuguini has one 7 days a week from 5-8 in the bar area only- My recomendation - beef carpachio, pizza margherita and a glass of red wine - under $20 including tip.

                    1. Damon and Pythias is pretty good. That location is a bit "industrial" looking, but the food (esp. the LA Cheesesteak sandwhich) is good.

                      Right next to Sur La Table on Wilshire.

                      1. I haven't tried it, but for something extremely low-key, i keep reading about the new Japanese convenience store chain, Famima, and their over-the-counter grub. Only if you're having too much fun and just want something quick, like buns or soup.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: brekkie_fan

                          their steamed pork buns are horrible. Only thing I really like there are the drinks.

                          Oh yeah, I like the Happy Hour at Ma'Kai right on the ocean @ Broadway....lots of good, inexpensive bar food items........

                        2. Bravo Cucina on the Promenade - directly on the Pier not too promising, so maybe venture up to Chez Jay or Cora's

                          1. If you like sushi, you should try Lighthouse off of 2nd and Arizona. It's pretty cheap, like $12 for lunch and $20 for dinner for all you can eat sushi. It's pretty decent. Much better than Todai but of course, not as good nor as pricey as the best sushi bars. I like it, and I've had some pretty good sushi before.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: WHills

                              It's actually owned by Todai. Or it was, I haven't felt courageous enough to eat there in a long time.