When friends come to visit from out of town we always like to give them well planned out days of fun. Since we’ve both lived here for 9 years we have a pretty good sense of what’s around, and are able to keep up with the changes in the different areas. Because of this we’ve decided to provide you (every once in a while) with a mini guide to different parts of the city for your explorative pleasure.
We will start with Santa Monica because that is where we met.
In the morning you have to go to Bagel Nosh and get a bagel. It’s on the corner of 17th and Wilshire, and it is hands down the best bagel in Los Angeles, sit down, grab a newspaper, and enjoy while watching the other weirdos eating bagel sandwiches. I (Natasha) always get a pumpernickel bagel toasted with cream cheese and cucumbers and Julianna gets a fresh everything everything bagel with cream cheese. Truthfully, you can’t go wrong, unless you get the jalapeño and cheese one, because that is just gross.
You might be inclined to get a delicious cup of coffee at this point, if that’s the case to go to Funnel Mill. They have a huge selection of rare coffee and teas and they make every cup with such attention to detail that it is a combination of enthralling and a little bit hilarious.
If it’s a Wednesday, or a Saturday, after your bagel you should stroll down to the promenade and check out the farmers market. The produce is amazing, the flowers are gorgeous, watching the chefs run around with the giant carts is amusing, and most of all the farmers are all really nice and excited to tell you about what they’re selling. If it is neither one of these days you should hit Bergamot Station, which is the largest art gallery complex in Southern California, you can stroll around, check out the art, and perhaps buy an odd thing or two in the gift shop, or paper store.
For a healthy lunch you should check out Real Food Daily, it is one of the most successful health food restaurants in the city and where Julianna and I met (both working as waitresses). If you want to sit outside, enjoy the fresh air and eat some delicious jerk chicken and plantains, then head over to Cha Cha Chicken (it’s BYOB too!).
We love spending afternoons at The Santa Monica Public Library, reading books in the aisles, and drinking a million cups of tea. For a little down time, this is the place to go, not to mention they have a great audiobook selection… if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s also fun to hit up Vidiots if you have time to rent and watch a few movies. It’s one of our favorite gems in the city because they specialize in hard to find/obscure films.
Before dinner, get a drink at The Penthouse Bar (located on top of the Huntley Hotel) the drinks are pretty good, but what’s really amazing about this place is the view. Then walk over to Tar & Roses for dinner and you MUST order the whole fried snapper for 2. It is so delicious, and who doesn’t love to eat with their hands!
You might be exhausted at the end of this busy & food heavy list but you’ll know that you’ve won the day.
Click on the links below to check out our favorite Santa Monica spots:
- Bagel Nosh
- Funnel Mill
- farmers market
- Bergamot Station
- Real Food Daily
- Cha Cha Chicken
- The Santa Monica Public Library
- The Penthouse Bar
- Tar & Roses