I lived in Santa Monica for a year. Here are the spots I remember.
1. Real Food Daily
Chrysanthe Tenentes: healthy veggie food, some macrobiotic.
2. Infuzion Cafe
Chrysanthe Tenentes: friendly boba tea shop
3. Bryan Kest Power Yoga
Chrysanthe Tenentes: intense but amazing power yoga classes by donation only. studios fill up but just stay in your zone.
4. Zuma Jays
Chrysanthe Tenentes: great surf shop if you need a wetsuit rental or board
5. Broad Beach
Chrysanthe Tenentes: park on the street and surf at this hidden spot (all california beaches are public below the waterline, so you can surf at this beach with views of multimillion dollar houses
6. Cha Cha Chicken
Chrysanthe Tenentes: sit in the garden and byob
7. Wonder Palms
Chrysanthe Tenentes: peep the interior courtyard. i lived on the second floor on the 5th street side for a year. smell the nice star jasmine.
8. Mao's Kitchen
Chrysanthe Tenentes: bike down the beach boardwalk with a bottle of wine in your bag. this place was byob when I used to go. tasty but healthy(ish) chinese food.
Chrysanthe Tenentes: pricey vintage with an attitude, but great selection
10. Border Grill Santa Monica
Chrysanthe Tenentes: go for happy hour for tasty cocktails and amazing appetizers at the bar for cheap.
11. Santa Monica Pier
Chrysanthe Tenentes: go on the ferris wheel. you can see out over the water and it feels like you're flying.
12. Nuart Theater
Chrysanthe Tenentes: go see an indie or classic movie here
13. Coral Tree Café
Chrysanthe Tenentes: great coffee and breakfast stuff. good lunch. very cali.
14. Château Marmont
Chrysanthe Tenentes: get a drink and celeb spot
15. Santa Monica Farmers Market - Sunday
Chrysanthe Tenentes: the sunday farmers market has a bit more going on than saturday. check out the surf-yuppie nabe, watch pony rides, eat tamales. so many items to sample and amazing california produce.
16. A Votre Sante
Chrysanthe Tenentes: how can chocolate mousse pie be vegan and SO AMAZING?!?
17. Whole Foods Market
Chrysanthe Tenentes: lots of paparazzi shots are taken in this parking lot. this place is teeming with celebs. you can tell who wants to be noticed by who is wearing sunglasses inside.
18. Marck's Brentwood NewsStand
Chrysanthe Tenentes: great selection of imported magazines and trade papers.
19. Father's Office
Chrysanthe Tenentes: people love the burger here. I love the french fries served in tiny shopping baskets. they won't give you ketchup but you just have to go with it. great craft beer on tap.
20. Point Dume State Beach
Chrysanthe Tenentes: watch the dolphins play with the surfers
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