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.
Start off your day by paying a visit to Sweaty Betty
, an ideal place to pick up some new workout gear. Get into the L.A. spirit with a pair of brightly patterned yoga pants. Or simply browse the wide variety of activewear and be inspired by the West Coast’s culture of running, hiking, and all things healthy
John Kelly Chocolates
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.
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.
Restaurant, American, $$$
The lively and sophisticated atmosphere of this busy restaurant
is fitting for anyone seeking a refined dining experience. From the attentive waitstaff to the high standards of presentation, this upscale outlet will guarantee comfort with a sense of style. Whether stopping in for an afternoon cocktail or sitting down to a dashing dinner with friends, this classy Santa Monica
hub is an ideal Montana Avenue retreat.
Sweet Lady Jane
Bakery, Cafe, Pastries, American, European, $$$
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.
Gastropub, American, $$$
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.
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.
Benefit Brow Bar
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.
Ten Women Gallery
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.