Where to Eat and Shop on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica

Find some incredible shopping and dining on Santa Monicas Montana Avenue
Find some incredible shopping and dining on Santa Monica's Montana Avenue | © Cayambe / WikiCommons
Dominic Bertolami

Freelance writer

Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue is a refreshing change from the city’s bustling promenade and famous neighboring pier. From locally crafted goods to bespoke luxury brands, you’ll find plenty to do, see, eat, and experience along this classically Southern California shopping street.

Only a few minutes’ walk or a short Uber ride from the downtown area, Montana Avenue is a perfect place to while away a Sunday afternoon or indulge in a day of much-needed retail therapy.


1. John Kelly Chocolates


© congerdesign / Pixabay
John Kelly’s signature truffle fudge and walnut clusters are enough to invite any passerby in for a delicious bite. These tiny morsels, handmade to perfection, are so visually stunning that it is surprising they are also an edible snack. This minimally designed boutique offers an ideal setting for an after-lunch delicacy, a decadent sugar fix, or an unexpected dainty delight.

2. Limonaia


© rovenimages_com / Pixabay

This bright and cozy boutique is an excellent stop when looking for that perfect gift to give or keep. Wander inside and feel as though you are in an authentic Italian casa. With a wide variety of handcrafted wares and other lovely items from around the world, it is easy to get lost among the handmade jewelry, cashmere throws, and one-of-a-kind home accessories.


3. R+D Kitchen

Restaurant, American

© Max Braun / Flickr

The lively and sophisticated atmosphere of this busy restaurant is fitting for anyone seeking a refined dining experience. From the attentive waitstaff to the high standards of presentation, this upscale outlet will guarantee comfort with a sense of style. Whether stopping in for an afternoon cocktail or sitting down to a dashing dinner with friends, this classy Santa Monica hub is an ideal Montana Avenue retreat.

4. Sweet Lady Jane

Bakery, Cafe, Pastries, American, European

© Sunnyfer / Pixabay

Walk by the storefront of this refined European-style hideaway, and become mesmerized by the elegant creations of the cake decorator working just inside. This quaint worldly bakery offers old-world charm with a modern twist. With a focus on elaborate custom cakes, this café also serves rustic handmade sandwiches and freshly baked desserts. Serving an extensive brunch daily (until 4 p.m.), this is a proper spot to start the day or to keep it going with a coffee and small bite.

5. Father’s Office

Gastropub, Bar, American

© Free-Photos / Pixabay
Inspired by the rich bar culture found in Europe, this refined gastropub is a superlative respite from the quiet diners and cafés of Montana Avenue. The tasteful yet rugged atmosphere, which focuses on comfort, offers famous chef-inspired hamburgers that boast dry-aged beef and gruyère cheese topped with bacon marmalade. With 36 craft beers on tap and carefully curated micro-producer wines, this hangout is a perfect mid-day breather for anyone less shopping inclined.


6. Aero Theatre

Movie Theater

© Manfred Werner/Tsui - CC by-sa 3.0 / WikiCommons

Home of the American Cinematheque, this fiercely independent movie theater first opened its doors in 1940. Playing classic films and 70mm films, it ran a continuous 24-hour movie schedule for aircraft workers whose shifts were around the clock. This modestly sized theater dedicates itself to preserving cinema history, offers vintage Hollywood and foreign films and hosts special screenings, events, and film festivals. Plan a night centered around a favorite movie or stop in and check out what is playing today.

7. Benefit Brow Bar

Beauty Salon

© agustino / Pixabay

Whether booking a beauty treatment or browsing the retro Americana cosmetic collection, this stop will be a fun confidence booster. Internationally known as the eyebrow experts, this bright pink-and-white beauty salon doubles as a makeup boutique. Make a dramatic statement with eyelash extensions or purchase that new shade of lipstick. The professional and accommodating staff will provide signature services such as eyebrow tinting and waxing for a more polished look.

8. Ten Women Gallery

Art Gallery

© robsonmelo / Pixabay

This funky, eclectic collection of 24 local female artists’ creations offers wide varieties of handmade crafts and works of art. Whether you are simply an art lover or are looking for a unique local treasure, ducking into this creative storefront will be time well spent. From hand-blown glass to painted clay necklaces, bring a piece of Southern California charm home. Follow this ever-evolving assortment on Instagram and help support female-created design.

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