Where to eat for under $40 in Santa Monica

Santa Monica Travel Blog

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A few weeks ago I set myself the challenge to find the best places to eat in Santa Monica for under $40. My girlfriends and I love meeting up to eat lunch or dinner out but often feel like it’s an indulgence we can’t always afford to do.
I decided I needed to investigate and check out some restaurants that we could all enjoy on a budget but that still had delicious food, a cool and fun atmosphere and of course a great location (Plus it was a perfect excuse for me to spoil myself with some delicious meals!) These are my top picks…

My first stop was dinner at the Coast Café and bar at Shutters on the Beach. This is such an elegant and charming place to relax with an incredible ocean view (basically you’re dining right on the beach). I was hooked before they even brought me the menu! Every Wednesday night at Coast Café you can choose the Farmers market meal where you get an appetizer, entrée and dessert all for $28. The dishes are based on whatever is fresh and in season and chosen by the chef at the farmers market that morning.

A few days later I visited Cha Cha Chicken on Ocean Avenue for lunch. This place is really affordable and so cute and colorful with a beach style shack and outdoor patio. I ordered the famous jerk chicken with their own special hot jerk sauce and a side of fried plantains �" a perfect lunch complete with ocean breeze - delicious! Another good place for lunch with a similar vibe is Joe’s pizza on Broadway. Joe’s motto is “Pride, Knowledge and Ingredients” and you can certainly tell! At Joe’s you can grab lunch for as little as $2.75 for a thin slice of hot pizza that melts in your mouth. It’s a simple but tasty menu and with this New York legend you cannot go wrong whatever you order.

If you’ve been busy shopping all day on the Third Street Promenade I would highly recommend the Border Grill on Fourth Street as it’s so convenient and has a great urban and hip atmosphere. The menu is based on authentic Mexican dishes from Oaxaca and Yucatan and is delicious! My boyfriend and I arrived in time for happy hour, which runs from 4 �"7pm, with a great range of drinks and appetizers for reduced prices. We loved the green corn tamales for just $3 and guava glazed riblettes ($7).

I adored Violet on Pico for its buzzing atmosphere and menu full of all my favorite comfort food dishes with a creative twist. I fell in love with the Mac and Cheese with Serrano ham, leeks and Gruyere! Divine! There are some great deals to be had here too, Tuesday and Wednesdays they offer the “7 before 7 menu” where seven of the menu items are $7 and select wines are $7 a glass too. Of course you have to be there and eat before 7pm! On Sundays you can have a three-course prix fixe dinner for $25 along with a bottomless glass of wine for $10.

My girlfriends and I love Italian food so I was really excited to check out Locanda Del Lago on Arizona Avenue. The inside of the restaurant has an old world Italian charm, it’s as though you’re sitting in an outdoor garden of an Italian vineyard. A great place for people watching while enjoying a pizza or pasta dish from its extensive menu. The service is great and the happy hour menu offers a 50% discount on some dishes.

I really wanted to try some good quality seafood that was still within my $40 budget so I went along for dinner at the Enterprise Fish Co on Kinney St. On Mondays and Tuesdays you can get a lobster dish for $29.95, which includes a 2lb lobster and 2 sides of your choice. If lobster isn’t your favorite, don’t worry there is a huge variety of flavor and style in dishes with influences from Mexico and South America to Hawaii and Asia to Alaska! Aside from the great menu it’s also fun dining in the nautical setting.

Finally, for something really unique and full of charm I have to recommend the Tudor House located right off the promenade. It’s a well �"liked favorite and the perfect place for a typical English afternoon tea. Enjoy homemade baked goods and traditional sandwiches like egg & watercress or cucumber & salmon. Don’t miss out on the freshly baked scones with strawberries and cream! You can also choose from the full lunch menu if you want something different.

The great thing about all these places is that not only can you find incredible food at reasonable prices but they are also all within walking distance of the beach and/or the main shopping attractions of Santa Monica so its very easy to navigate. For detailed information of these places visit online at SantaMonica.com or Google them individually.

pretty_girl says:
Thanks for sharing:) Useful information
Posted on: Feb 16, 2012
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