Santa Monica’s menu is healthy, playful, exciting and diverse – just like the city itself. Of course, Mother Nature takes centre stage here: all that sunshine (300-plus days a year, to be precise) makes for delicious, vitamin-packed produce, and the local waters are home to delicious fish and succulent seafood. Come hungry and thirsty: Michelin-star restaurants, relaxed taquerias, bustling farmers’ markets, beachfront wine bars, nocturnal bars and enticing delis await.
The good news is, Santa Monica’s relaxed spirit prevails throughout – gents don’t have to don a tie and jacket anywhere (unless they want to, of course). In addition to noteworthy cuisine, California is famous for its world-class wine: sign up for a Wine and Hiking tour with Malibu Discovery to familiarise your palate with the region’s best bottles.
Santa Monica, the birthplace of Cali-Fusion food, has always had a soft spot for farm-to-table produce. To meet the region’s friendly farmers and artisan producers, visit one of the weekly markets. There are worthy contenders on Main Street and Pico Boulevard, but the Wednesday Farmers’ Market in Downtown Arizona Avenue is particularly ripe for the picking. Head here and you’re likely to see celebrity chefs stocking up their larders and scouting for next-big-thing ingredients. Get tips from the pros by having a cookery lesson in Santa Monica: the Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savouries offers a range of excellent classes. You’ll learn about classical cookery techniques and be introduced to a tastebud-tempting array of local ingredients.