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Santa Monica by the Pier recs please

We are staying this weekend at a friend's apartment right next to the Pier. I'm looking for recs for breakfast/lunch and dinner that are not super pricey (less than 30pp for dinner and under 20 pp for lunch) and that are kid friendly--
I'd rather not do anything too touristy-
so what are the must dos? Thanks!

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  1. Assuming you want to walk:
    Cora's coffee shop for breakfast and hamburgers but crowded and not kid-friendly.
    Richie Palmers for NY pizza. Kid friendly.
    Joes for NY pizza, but no seating.
    Annisette is very well liked, but I've never been.
    Saturday Farmer's Market on Third Street and Arizona has a Border Grill booth.

    Best restaurant with a view: The Lobster. Under budget if you stay away from the lobster.

    1 mile or so away:
    Father's Office for hamburger (kids not allowed. It's a pub)
    Bay Cities deli: best sandwiches in the area.
    Musha: Japanese tapas

    10 Replies
    1. re: Ogawak

      Another easy walk to and child friendly restaurant, Cha Cha Chicken on Ocean at Pico just south of your location. For higher end and new try Riva on Wilshire at 3rd in Santa Monica.

      -----
      Cha Cha Chicken
      1906 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

      Riva
      312 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

      1. re: Ogawak

        Gotta agree with Bay Cities Deli, at the corner of Broadway and Lincoln. It's about a half mile or so away from the pier, but worth the trouble. Try the God Mother, it's a classic. The pastrami ain't half bad either. Considering this is a deli, you can even buy the fixin's for your own sando. The cheese selection is nice and the fresh bread is a steal at under $2 a loaf. I've heard about Santa Monica High School kids going there before school just to grab a loaf and some hummus. Also, SMPD loves the place. I've learned that cops often know where the good stuff is.

        1. re: Ogawak

          fwiw, musha is only open for dinner, and i've never gotten out of there within dreamprfct's budget. also, most kids i know would not understand the food served there.

          for extremely good 'healthy' (but not 'strange') food that comes within your budget for both lunch and dinner (i'm not sure if they are open for breakfast) i'd go to the INTERIM CAFE on wilshire blvd.

          1. re: westsidegal

            Interesting. I've never spent more than $30 pp @ Musha's & that's w/ sakes and very ample amounts of food. You can also choose how much to order there & control the budget. All kids are different, but my visiting nieces & nephew (2, 6, 8) love the place. They're enthralled by the torched mackeral, love the rice mixed in the parmesian wheel (a great kids' dish), the mini-hibachis, etc.

            1. re: archer

              I second (or third) the Musha recommendation. The musha fried chicken is very kid-friendly, whatever that means. I like to think that kids like good food as much as adults do. For this reason I strongly disagree with the Buca de Beppo recommendation below. It's really dreadful. For children and adults.

              Tacos por Favor on Olympic at 14th is good for a quick, inexpensive and delicious lunch, as is Bay Cities (get the Godmother with the works).

              1. re: whatsfordinner

                "I strongly disagree with the Buca de Beppo recommendation below. It's really dreadful. For children and adults."

                I'd rather stick needles in my eyes.

              2. re: archer

                FWIW, I also think i've only ever spent more than $30 pp at Musha when I've had a ridiculous amount of alcohol. Most of the plates are around $6-$9.

            2. re: Ogawak

              is is really possible to get out of annissette within dreamprfct's budget?

              1. re: westsidegal

                For breakfast or lunch, yes. For dinner, not so likely. Jinky's might be another good breakfast option for them.

                1. re: New Trial

                  I second Jinky's. Their huevos rancheros were very good.

            3. Anything on Main Street - most fall within that range and are kid friendly (except for Chinois).
              Good suggestions above, I would add California Pizza Kitchen which kids LOVE.

              To avoid tourist places and bad food just follow this rule: do not eat at any restaurant on the Promenade (the Promenade itself, restaurants surrounding it are very good: Riva, Houston's, Anisette, Pain Quotidian, Joe's, etc).

              1. Lula and the Galley on Main, Tacos Por Favor at 14th/Olympic, Houston's is a chain, but decent value and tasty. If the weather's nice, it's hard to beat a piece of pizza from Perry's and watch the world skate by on the boardwalk down by Ocean Park . . .

                1. to add to the above... Fritto Misto for Italian on 5th IIRC

                  1. Rusty's is a good spot to grab a beer and burger. I know it isn't super gourmet, but it is on the pier and kid friendly — sort of. The lobster is the obvious choice, but is a bit pricey. Buddah's Belly on Broadway isn't bad either. Joe's Pizza on Broadway offers super thin crust, NYC style pies. If you want a little history, check out the Hot Dog on a Stick at the pier. Gotta love that lemonade.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ohdaylay

                      Broadway Deli - if you stick to their appetizers you can have a pretty interesting meal on the cheap. Nearby - right on the corner there is Il Fornaio which is pretty solid Italian food. Get the polenta with porcini and carrots, and the smoked salmon on crunchy potato pancake and you're not quite to 20 bucks, add a mini pizza and you've managed to make a bargain of the place.

                      1. re: foodiemahoodie

                        Buca de Peppo on 2nd St. is family friendly and serves large portions for a family style meal. It is also kid friendly

                        1. re: CCDiner

                          Avoid the above! It's expensive, and truly lousy.

                          Don't know why you're getting so many Broadway Deli rec's, it's overpriced and just bad.

                      2. re: ohdaylay

                        Hot Dog on a Stick - Definitely historic as the first HDOAS. Also for the most indifferent service you will ever experience. I usually break in their personal conversations with "are you still open?".