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LA

Guide

Where To Eat Outside In Santa Monica

40 Santa Monica restaurants with patios open for outdoor seating.

Written by
40 Spots
Launch Map
40 Spots
Launch Map
Updated November 6th, 2020

Santa Monica has a lot going for it: The beaches, the dive bars, Bob Dylan’s weird boxing gym. Oh, and a whole bunch of restaurants with patio dining. So we put together this list, which includes incredible French food, killer lamb tacos, and even - possibly - LA’s best sports bar.

We’ll continue to update it as spots reopen around Santa Monica, and if there’s a patio you think needs to be included, email us at losangeles@theinfatuation.com.

We’ve also got a full neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to LA Restaurants Where You Can Eat Outside Today, and a running list of some of The Most Unique Outdoor Dining Options In LA.

THE SPOTS

Art's Table

$$$$
$$$$ 1002 Montana Ave

Santa Monica neighborhood spot Art’s Table has always had a great patio, and they’ve just reopened it with a wide-ranging menu that includes fish tacos, burgers, and salads.

Ashland Hill

$$$$
$$$$ 2807 Main St

Santa Monica spot Ashland Hill doesn’t look like much from Main St., but once you head to the patio, you’ll find a huge outdoor dining area with socially distanced crowds eating burgers and salads, and drinking from the bar’s very good local beer list. Reservations here.

Bardonna

$$$$
$$$$ 1601 Montana Ave

Located on Montana Ave. in Santa Monica, Bardonna is an all-day cafe specializing in salads, sandwiches, and a brunch menu that’s available all dang day. There’s now outdoor seating wrapped around the entire exterior, too.

Bergamot Cafe

$$$$ 2525 Michigan Ave #A3

Bergamot Cafe is an ideal place for a quick, affordable weekday lunch. This daytime spot off Olympic in Santa Monica not only serves an excellent veggie burger - a black bean and corn patty topped with chipotle aioli and cheddar - and a killer roast beef and avocado sandwich, but nearly everything on the menu is $10 or less. And, if you’ve got the time, It’s also a fun, low-key place to drink outside for an extended lunch, thanks to their beer and wine list.

Big Dean's Ocean Front Cafe

$$$$
$$$$ 1615 Ocean Front Walk

The classic Santa Monica hangout - located steps from the beach and basically, like, kinda behind the Pier? - has both their front and back patios open, and while you have to order food, you would’ve done that anyway. After all, Big Dean’s double cheeseburger is one of the best in the city.

Birdie G’s

$$$$
$$$$ 2421 Michigan Ave

One of our favorite restaurants of 2019, Birdie G’s in Santa Monica has reopened with an expanded outdoor space in the front corridor that wraps around to the back of the restaurant. They have a new seasonal menu (with plenty of old favorites), hand sanitizing stations, and virtual menus you can access through your phone as well.

Blueys Kitchen

$$$$
$$$$ 1814 Berkeley St

Formerly known as Bondi Harvest, Bluey’s is an Australian cafe in Santa Monica that’s open for patio dining 7am-9pm (8am-9pm on weekends). They’ve got a great breakfast plate involving eggs, bacon, Tabasco kale, roasted tomatoes, and avocado, along with a bunch of sandwiches (like coconut-marinated chicken) you’ll want to order, and a new dinner menu. Plus, the coffee is phenomenal. First-come, first-served.

BOA Steakhouse

$$$$ 101 Santa Monica Blvd

Clubby steakhouse BOA is on the corner of Ocean and Santa Monica in one of the busiest parts of the Westside. They’ve got sidewalk seating for you to eat all the lobster tails and ribeyes you can afford. So, like, one of each, maybe. Reservations recommended.

Bodega Wine Bar

$$$$
$$$$ 814 Broadway

Bodega is a casual wine bar in Santa Monica with a large sidewalk patio going down Broadway that includes potted plants and a trellis-like roof to cut out the midday sun.

Chez Jay

$$$$ 1657 Ocean Ave

The classic Santa Monica dive bar is back with a new patio in its parking lot, plus a recently renovated back porch as well. Though the quirky, nautical-themed interior will forever be one of our favorite places to drink on the Westside, being able to eat a buttered steak and lobster in their back parking lot is equally as odd... and exactly what we want at a place like Chez Jay.

Chinois On Main

$$$$
$$$$ 2709 Main St

Open since 1983, Wolfgang Puck’s Santa Monica staple Chinois On Main serves what they call Chinese-French fusion cuisine. They’ve got limited outdoor seating available - reserve here.

Citrin and Melisse

$$$$ 1104 Wilshire Blvd

Upscale spot Citrin - and the tasting counter in the back, Melisse - have reopened with an all-new, crossover restaurant in their recently-astroturfed parking lot. In addition to a four-course, $145 tasting menu, they’ll also have a la carte offerings like lobster Bolognese, lamb sugo, and truffle risotto. Reservations available online.

Esters Wine Shop & Bar

$$$$
$$$$ 1314 7th St.

The Santa Monica wine bar has always had a great patio, but after expanding along 7th St., it’s even greater (both literally and figuratively). If you want to know where we’ll be sipping wine, eating charcuterie, and remaining socially distant this summer, it’s here.

Fia

$$$$
$$$$ 2454 Wilshire Blvd

They took over the old Wilshire spot in Santa Monica last year, and remain one of the city’s best-kept secrets, thanks in no small part to their fantastic, tree-filled back patio. Now’s your chance to see it for yourself. While the Coastal Mediterranean menu’s not the most inventive (plenty of burrata, handmade pastas, and a raw bar), Fia makes the kind of crowd-pleasing food that absolutely anyone will enjoy. And, again, the patio

Gilbert's El Indio

$$$$
$$$$ 2909 Pico Blvd.

Gilbert’s El Indio has been serving Mexican classics on Pico in Santa Monica for almost 50 years - and the pandemic hasn’t slowed them down. Their patio is open for combo platters, margaritas, and more.

Giorgio Baldi

$$$$
$$$$ 114 W Channel Rd

The upscale Italian restaurant in Santa Monica Canyon is famous for its celebrity clientele and a cramped interior where tables are essentially up against each other. Fast-forward to today, and Giorgio Baldi has a new, socially distant parking lot patio with astroturf, hedges, and (hopefully) some very drunk celebrities.

Golden Bull Restaurant

$$$$
$$$$ 170 W Channel Rd

Santa Monica Canyon’s Golden Bull is an iconic spot that’s been around (almost) since the real Will Rogers lived next door. They’ve got steakhouse classics like crab cakes, French onion soup, and a burger, along with, of course, a bunch of different steaks.

Kazunori

$$$$
$$$$ 120 Broadway Ste 104

All four LA locations of the popular hand roll chain now have sidewalk patios perfect for all your outdoor dining needs.

La Boheme

$$$$ 8400 Santa Monica Blvd

One of the best restaurant spaces that everybody always forgets about, La Boheme is an American/Mediterranean spot in West Hollywood that recently filled-in their side parking lot with a patio. Expect astroturf, big cushy chairs, and plenty of foliage.

Lanea

$$$$
MexicanBar  in  Santa Monica
$$$$ 217 Broadway

The Santa Monica cocktail bar just opened up an outdoor seating area along the front sidewalk. All the tables are six feet apart, making it a great option for some al fresco drinking and tacos courtesy of Barbakush in East LA.

Loews Hotel Santa Monica

$$$$ 1700 Ocean Ave

Blue Streak, the outdoor lounge at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, is back open for dining with ocean views and firepits, serving cocktails, light bites like tacos and sliders, and brunch on the weekends. Reserve here.

Lunetta All Day

$$$$
$$$$ 2420 Pico Boulevard

Lunetta All Day is an (all day) spot in Santa Monica with three separate patios open for quarantine dining. Their breakfast and lunch menu includes sandwiches, salads, and bigger plates like steak frites, and at dinner they add options like house-made pasta. Make a reservation online.

Ma'Kai Lounge

$$$$ 101 Broadway

Makai Lounge is a clubby spot on the corner of Ocean and Broadway in Santa Monica. They’ve reopened their patio for dine-in, with wide-ranging options like sushi rolls, shrimp skewers, and cheeseburgers.

Margo's

$$$$
$$$$ 1534 Montana Ave

All-day Santa Monica spot Margo’s has reopened their patio - it’s dog-friendly, too - serving a wide range of comfort food like smoked bacon mac & cheese and medjool date BBQ ribs on their Montana Ave. patio.

Massilia

$$$$
$$$$ 1445 4th St

On Fourth St. in Santa Monica, Massilia has a covered patio where they serve a mix of French, Moroccan, and Italian food. This means options like tagliatelle with morel mushroom cream sauce, couscous with merguez sausage and lamb, and pizza with prosciutto. No matter what, don’t skip the white Negroni, made with Aviation gin and Lillet.

Milo And Olive

$$$$
PizzaPastaItalian  in  Santa Monica
$$$$ 2723 Wilshire Blvd.

For the first time ever, Milo and Olive is offering outdoor sidewalk seating. That means that whether you come for a cup of coffee in the morning or wine and our favorite pizza on the Westside at night, you can do so in the comfort of the outdoors.

The Misfit Restaurant + Bar

$$$$
$$$$ 225 Santa Monica Blvd

One of the best places to eat on the Third Street Promenade, The Misfit is open daily for lunch, Happy Hour, and dinner. They’ve got burgers, sandwiches, salads, and stellar cocktails. Happy Hour until 6pm daily.

Pasjoli

$$$$
$$$$ 2732 Main St

Santa Monica’s excellent French spot Pasjoli is back open, with a newly redesigned back patio and a pared-down menu that still includes many of our favorites. That means house-baked brioche with chicken liver mousse and shaved truffle, a caramelized onion tart with gruyere, and crispy duck breast with duck leg bread pudding. Reservations recommended for lunch and dinner.

Rustic Canyon

$$$$
$$$$ 1119 Wilshire Blvd.

Rustic Canyon has been one of Santa Monica’s best dinner spots for years now, and with new and expanded seating along the sidewalk, you can safely take advantage of this classic spot all summer. Expect seasonal summer dishes to be added each night.

Shutters On The Beach

$$$$ 1 Pico Blvd

One of our favorite boutique hotels on the beach, Shutters has gotten into the al fresco game with a new outdoor dining space spread throughout their courtyard.

Socalo

$$$$ 1920 Santa Monica Blvd

Santa Monica Cal-Mex spot Socalo reopened (and expanded) their outdoor dining area. They’ve also got margaritas and some Mexican craft beer available all day, as well. Reservations are recommended for dinner, but it’s first-come, first-served at lunch.

Solidarity

$$$$ 1414 Lincoln Blvd

Santa Monica Polish spot Solidarity has a secret back patio that’s a great place to eat pierogies and drink a few too many Warsaw Mules (made with Zubrowka). If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, the golabki (stuffed cabbage, beef, and jasmine rice) is one of our go-tos, but with comfort classics like schnitzel, stroganoff, and handmade gnocchi in mushroom cream sauce on the menu, you can’t go wrong.

Sonny McLean's

$$$$
$$$$ 2615 Wilshire Blvd

The popular pub in Santa Monica has reopened with a gigantic back patio that used to be their parking lot. Expect picnic tables, astroturf, a lot of day drinking, and plenty of Celtics and Red Sox fans now that sports are back (sigh).

Sonoma Wine Garden

$$$$
$$$$ 395 Santa Monica Pl

This massive spot on the dining deck of the Santa Monica Place mall has been doing outdoor dining for more than a decade now, and they’re open for weekend brunch and nightly dinner, with an updated menu that includes pizzas, pastas, oysters, and burgers.

Spumoni Trattoria & Pizzeria

$$$$ 713 Montana Ave.

Spumoni is an Italian spot in Santa Monica with an absolutely massive menu, which includes handmade pastas, pizzas, and a gnocchi bar (yes, you read that right). Reserve here.

Tallula's

$$$$
$$$$ 118 Entrada Drive

This Mexican-Burmese-Indian cantina in Santa Monica has always had one of our favorite spaces in the neighborhood, and with their brand new front patio a block from the beach, we’ll double-down on that statement. Because at the end of the day, drinking margaritas and eating masala tacos by the ocean is a combination you can’t really pass up.

Jakob Layman

Tar & Roses

$$$$
$$$$ 602 Santa Monica Blvd.

This Santa Monica spot has reopened with a brand new patio space, extending outdoor seating to include a sectioned-off portion of Santa Monica Blvd. They’re continuing to serve the classic dishes we’ve always loved, like oxtail dumplings, charred octopus skewers, and an excellent duck breast with carrot harissa.

Uovo

$$$$
$$$$ 1320 2nd St A

Uovo’s locations in Santa Monica and Mid-Wilshire are both open for sidewalk seating with a pasta-heavy menu, and a new $32/person tasting menu that includes an appetizer, three pastas, and a dessert.

Jakob Layman

Via Veneto

$$$$
$$$$ 3009 Main St

If you’re looking for a very fancy night out on a very nice patio in Santa Monica, Via Veneto is a great bet. This upscale spot has been a local staple since 2001, serving handmade pastas, risottos, and grilled meats on Main St.

Vito Restaurant

$$$$ 2807 Ocean Park Blvd

Vito has been a staple of Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica for 40 years, and for the first time ever, they recently added outdoor seating. It’s a classic spot, so we recommend going old school here; their martini, Caesar salad, and lasagna taste just as good on the patio.

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