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Santa Monica - Good grub recommendations

Hello Chowhounders,

I am a food blogger headed to sunny Santa Monica in 9 days for a blogging conference (IFBC). There will be lots of food at the conference, but I want the freedom to check out good spots that the locals recommend during our down time.

We will be staying near the Santa Monica Pier, so anything within a 20-30 minute walk would be great. I'd even hop in a cab for great food.

We love everything, so hit us with your best shot!

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  1. Here is a link a few months old but it might be a good starting point. Welcome to LA:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/762973

    1. Bay Cities is a great Italian Market and Deli. I won't be the only one in this thread recommending their Godmother sandwich, which is just a truly excellent Italian sub, but I'd recommend any sandwich from them or a nice loaf of bread. They are truly fantastic. Order online, it gets hectic in there.

      Wurstkuche is very good for Sausages and Belgian food.

      The whole foods on Lincoln near Rose is HUGE, so if you like shopping at WF, this is the mother of them all.

      I would skip the Indian and Mexican in the area. I'd also skip the places on the Venice boardwalk but YMMV.

      Abbot's Pizza co. is good and there's rumors of other good pizza in the area, I haven't tried them however. Gjelina is a nice restaurant. If you specify something you're after in particular, people can definitely help you out.

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      Wurstkuche
      800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

      Gjelina
      1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

      3 Replies
      1. re: BrewNChow

        I agree with everything BrewNChow posted except that i've never tried Wurstkuche but i hear it's good. Joe's pizza is really good in Santa Monica. Also, hit up the Wed or Sat Farmers Market!

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        Wurstkuche
        800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

        1. re: Clyde

          +1 for Wurstkuche Venice. Great sausages. Love their Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeño Peppers.

          625 Lincoln Blvd.
          Venice, Ca.

          1. re: wienermobile

            Definitely Wurstkuche, don't forget the beers!

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            Wurstkuche
            800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

      2. My two favorite places to eat in Santa Monica are Warsawa and Le Petit Café, the second one being definitely a cab ride. Warsawa (1414 Lincoln) offers Polish food of the more aristocratic sort; Le Petit Café is more of a bistro, owned by an Alsatian (not the canine variety!). Aside from those, there are the recs on the suggested earlier thread; I generally don't think of SM as a foodie destination except for the places I mentioned. One off-the-wall suggestion, if you're around the Civic Center: there's a bowling alley across Pico from there that has (or possibly had) a remarkably good coffee-and-sandwich shop, run by a good and somewhat inventive cook. I was last in it three years ago, though, so it may or may not still be as I remember it.

        Enjoy your visit!

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        Le Petit Cafe
        2842 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404

        1. I really like the great farm to table cuisine at Fig.
          Stella Rosa Pizzeria on Main St.
          and Gjelina, a little farther south in Venice.

          also don't miss the wonderful Santa Monica Farmers market on Wednesdays on Arizona and 2nd Streets.

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          Santa Monica Wednesday Farmers Market
          2nd St and Arizona Ave, Santa Monica, CA

          Gjelina
          1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

          Fig
          100 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Stella Rossa Pizza Bar
          2000 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

          2 Replies
          1. re: wienermobile

            i enthusiastically second ALL of wiernermobile's recommendations

            if you go to Fig (which is located inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel) at dinnertime, i recommend that you sit at the bar in front of the charcuterie station, and let Eric, the charcuterie guy, assemble a tour for you of his stuff (especially his cheeses).

            even when you're sitting in front of Eric, you can still order everything else off the regular menu--you won't be limited to charcuterie.

            1. re: wienermobile

              if you go to Stella Rossa, be aware that they open for dinner at 5pm monday through Saturday.
              their hours are more like those of a bar than those of a restaurant.

            2. where do you live?
              would like to try to think of stuff that may be different from what you eat every day. . . .

              2 Replies
              1. re: westsidegal

                Be sure to check out Huckleberry for breakfast and Rustic Canyon for dinner, owned by Josh and Zoe. Two of the best restaurants in S.M.

                1. re: maudies5

                  +1 for Rustic Canyon. Their fried cauliflower is amazingly good.

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                  Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
                  1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401