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Moving to 2nd street in Santa Monica, What's good that I can walk to?

2nd and Hill St.


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  1. Depends. My sister the New Yorker could probably walk to Rustic Canyon (the restaurant, not the neighborhood) from there...

    More realistically, tons of stuff on Main Street. What's "good" in my opinion:

    Sunny Blue for omusubi. We go at least once a month.
    Brick + Mortar was decent but I've only been once.
    Urth Caffe's not bad.
    Rita's Italian Ice.
    Stella Barra is great. Might be a little far, but again it depends how much of a walker you are.

    Haven't been to Chinois or Chaya Venice but they're classic choices. Like I said, lots on Main.

    If you add a bike to the mix, then more opens up. Fast-casuals ShopHouse, Tender Greens, Burger Lounge, etc. on the Promenade (The Misfit, not a fast casual). Gjelina, and all the other places on Abbot Kinney.

    11 Replies
    1. re: TheOffalo

      Another vote for Stella Barra and Chinios on Main. A little farther Superba Snack Bar.

        1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

          I like their lattes, my older daughter likes their tomato soup. No one dish will blow you away, it's a nice neighborhood cafe kinda place.

          1. re: TheOffalo

            You will be right by 800 Degree Pizza and you could walk
            to Mondo Tacos at cloverfield and colorado. Also Frito Misto at 6th. Bay Cities at Lincoln nr Broadway. Wahoo's Fish on Wilshire nr 6th, Fromin's Deli (great tuna fish) on Wishire at 18th and Earth Wind and Flour at 23nd and Wilshire. But be alert on a bike. S.M. cops are intense! My husband was on a bike, just about to enter the promenade when cops stopped him and prevented
            his entry...

            Santa Monica peeps are walkers, bicyclers and eaters.

            1. re: TheOffalo

              You will be right by 800 Degree Pizza, next best is Santa Monica Seafood Cafe, Wilshire and 10th. Also Frito Misto at 6th before it closes. Bay Cities at Lincoln nr Broadway. Wahoo's Fish on Wilshire. You could probably walk to Fromin's Deli (great tuna fish) on Wishire at 18th and Earth Wind and Flour at 23nd and Wilshire. Mondo Tacos at Cloverfield and Colorado is also possible. But be alert on a bike. S.M. cops are intense! My husband was on a bike, just about to enter the promenade when cops stopped him and preventedhis entry...

              Santa Monica peeps are walkers, bicyclers and eaters.

              1. re: VenusCafe

                That 800 Degrees is awful. I don't think anyone who works there has ever tasted a real neapolitan pizza. I've eaten there twice and the pizza is always a slimy mess. My last visit I complained to the manager but even the replacement pizza he personally made was soggy. The Westwood location is better but I've completely soured on that place after a great initial impression.

                1. re: m3tan

                  Good to know, I only did Westwood 1X, but the noise level was way too much to bear and I've never been to SM one except to buy the Italian branches of oregano.

                  1. re: m3tan

                    Ummm, are you under the impression that a Neopolitan pizza is supposed to be crispy?

                  2. re: VenusCafe

                    OP lives at 2nd and Hill, below Ocean Park Blvd.. That would be more of a bike ride than a walk.

                    1. re: Ogawak

                      I agree. I live right near the OP's area, and love to walk, but hoofing it to 23rd and Wilshire or Cloverfield/Colorado would stretch the limits of what I'd consider an easy stroll for food. Might as well head to Abbot Kinney instead.

                2. Wild flour pizza is pretty good
                  Lula Mexican Cocina is fine
                  There's always Finn McCool's, the Galley and Chez Jay for stiff drinks.

                  1. Too bad not second and hill downtown food wise. Lots close.

                    1. Fathers office on Montana and 10th st makes a mean burger, The walk from 2nd and Hill oughta work up a hearty appetite, Sometimes I park almost that far.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: heybaldy

                        That would be a three mile walk from Hill

                        1. re: Ogawak

                          Yes, many of the places that are being recommended are 2 - 3 miles from 2nd and Hill. Walkable, maybe, but not exactly a leisurely stroll to dinner. I would have to say that there isn't much in that immediate area that I absolutely love other than Stella Bara. Chaya Venice and Enterprise Fish Co. are both decent for happy hour. La Vecchia is good if not cutting edge Italian.

                          Also someone may have already mentioned but you're not too far from all the places on Rose in Venice - Venice Beach Wines, Superba Snack Bar, Cafe Gratitude, Hostaria del Piccolo.

                        1. Tar and Roses
                          Chaya Venice
                          Library Alehouse
                          Novel Cafe
                          Stella Barra
                          M Kitchen
                          on and on and on

                          It's a great neighborhood, it'll take you at least a couple month to try everything nearby. Also, you can walk to Abbot Kinney and there's so much there! Also, James Beach and Canal Club and everything by the boardwalk.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: yogachik

                            I don't think Tar & Roses would be considered "walkable" from 2nd and Hill, to the average L.A. resident.

                            I've heard decent things about Manchego but haven't been. Victorian makes a nice breakfast at the Sunday Farmers Market in their parking lot.

                            1. re: TheOffalo

                              Why wouldn't a half mile walk be walkable?

                              1. re: yogachik

                                It's 1.6 miles between 2nd/Hill and 6th/SM Blvd, where T&R is. I'm not saying it's an impossibly long distance, but it's much farther away from all the other options you gave, which are all "a half mile walk" or less. Actually, most of the ones you listed are more like a quarter mile away, with Stella Barra/M Street Kitchen just over a half mile away.

                                Edit: Unless you're thinking of Rose Cafe & Market on Rose, which IS a half mile away.

                                1. re: TheOffalo

                                  Ugh, was thinking Brick and Mortar, in the Edgemar Complex

                          2. Cafe Gratitude – Venice on Rose.

                            1. LA VECCHIA CUCINA for good neighborhood Italian on Main St.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: wienermobile

                                La Vecchia Cucina is a great recommendation and an easy walk for the OP. Open for lunch and dinner. Full bar. Good food and service.

                                1. re: maudies5

                                  I tried this place and it's my favorite so far.

                              2. For lunch there's a great taco truck on Rose and 4th, La Isla Bonita.

                                Tuesday nights at Heritage Square is food truck night. It's hit or miss, but I've enjoyed the Ludo Truck there.

                                  1. re: whatsfordinner

                                    Thank you. I'll probably try all of these. I'll miss my village pizza in larchmont. :(

                                  2. Most of the stuff up by the Promenade is either touristy, overpriced, or both.

                                    Bay Cities
                                    Tender Greens

                                    Dogtown Coffee
                                    Stella Barra

                                    M Street, Lula, and some of the better known places are just OK. I guess if I lived walking distance I'd go there but no reason to make a special trip. The best thing about M Street is that they have a great happy hour menu, kids eat free, and they send coupons in the mail frequently. Shockingly they let you combine discounts to where I've felt like I've eaten there for 60-70% off...

                                    1. Hi soon-to-be-neighbor! And welcome to the 'hood.

                                      You've already been given some good recs; here are a few of my local haunts on Main St.

                                      For breakfast/lunch, Amelia's Cafe; Shoop's Deli.

                                      For sit-down coffee, Spazio Caffe. For to-go coffee, Groundworks. There is also a brand-new tea shop, Gunpowder, just over the border in Venice (on Main St) that looks pretty nifty. And it's open late at night.

                                      For salad, right next door to Gunpowder, check out Greens Up.

                                      Oh, and if you want to sip an iced coffee with your toes in the sand, grab one at the Perry's beachside counter at the foot of Ocean Park Bl, and pull up one of their beach chairs and enjoy the music (they usually have nice older jazz playing). You will feel like you are on vacation!

                                      I would be remiss if I didn't caution you to avoid the abomination that is Half Life (er, Whole Life) natural foods market. Holy hell, that place is terrible.

                                      I'm sure more will come to me. Enjoy!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: spoonlicker

                                        Have you eaten anything at Perry's; Any recs? it just looks like a great place to enjoy the sunset.

                                        1. re: Ogawak

                                          Nothing I've seen come out of the kitchen looks particularly appetizing -- it looks like standard-issue overpriced beach food. Their iced coffee is a relative bargain, and has been consistently decent in quality, so I stick with that as the "price of admission" to use their chairs/tables/umbrellas. (Of course, a person could just buy a to-go coffee anywhere on Main St and sit in the sand gratis, but it somehow feels fun to buy it right there.)

                                          Also, I believe Perry's closes up shop before sunset...

                                        2. re: spoonlicker

                                          Thank you spoonlicker( I love that name). have you tried the fish n chips at the irish pub?

                                          1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                                            You are very welcome!

                                            Re: fish and chips and Irish pubs: So, we have two pubs nearby: Finn McCool's and O'Brien's. I'm pretty sure I've had the dish at both, but it's been so long, I can't recall whether it was good, bad, or indifferent.

                                            But now that you've put the idea in my head: McCool's has a Tuesday fish and chips special, so I may pop in this week to give it a whirl. I'll report back if so. (Tuesday is also Kids Eat For Free there, so if you happen to have wee bairn, that could be a value meal for your clan.)

                                        3. Had french toast at M Street Kitchen today and it was fabulous.