Top 6 Best Restaurants in Santa Monica with Michelin recognitions

Top 6 Best Restaurants in Santa Monica with Michelin recognitions

Santa Monica is known for its sustainability, multitude of cultural activities, and days upon days of gorgeous sunshine. However, as any foodie who owns one of the Santa Monica luxury homes knows well, it also has fantastic restaurants. Santa Monica has swept this year’s guide with its mere 8.4 square miles capturing fourteen (14) individual Michelin recognitions.

At the top of the culinary honor roll is Chef Josiah Citrin whose intimate 14 seat tasting menu restaurant Melisse earned two stars. He is kept in good company by Chef Andy Doubrava and Chef Jeremy Fox of Rustic Canyon and Chef Dave Beran of Pasjoli, whose restaurants each earned one star. 

TUMBI Indian restaurant and Colapasta Italian restaurant both earned the prestigious Bib Gourmand Michelin award, which recognizes exceptional food at a price point that won’t break the bank.

Ten other Santa Monica restaurants clinched a Michelin Plate award, which is a less competitive honor, but nonetheless marks very high food quality. These include three Rustic Canyon Family restaurants—Milo + Olive, Birdie G’s and Cassia—alongside Citrin, Fia, Elephante, The Lobster, Chinois on Main, Lunetta and Michael’s.


Whether you want a casual lunch or a romantic date night, you won’t have to look far for an eatery that suits your needs. Here are some of my favorites in town for those who already live here as well as tourists and those looking for Santa Monica real estate.

Santa Monica’s finest restaurants


If sushi is on your list, you need to visit Soko. Located in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Soko has just eight seats at the counter and several tables for an intimate and memorable dining experience. Due to the limited seating, diners should make reservations in advance. If you do score a seat, you can expect to be treated to some of the finest sushi and sashimi available in the area. Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa is unparalleled in presentation, quality, and technique. Owners of Santa Monica luxury homes always make a point to bring their sushi-loving out-of-town guests here for a memorable meal.


A modern California restaurant named after chef Josiah Citrin, this restaurant is the epitome of excellence in fine dining. You can experience the best of the best when you order the four-course menu that is priced at $145 per person and includes selections like egg caviar, lobster bolognese, venison, and a dessert of dark chocolate cake or key lime pie. You can also order à la carte from a menu that includes choices such as crudo of wild Japanese fish, ricotta and squash agnolotti, and duck ragout. Citrin is also known for its excellent craft cocktails. While you are waiting for your dinner, you can sip on a Ready for Love (tequila, King’s Ginger, shishito shrub, Yuzo, and Regan’s Orange) or a So Divine (bourbon, Averna, black tea honey, and Fee Bros Aztec Chocolate). You can also choose from the restaurant’s extensive list of wines.

Wednesday - Sunday: 5:30pm to 7:00pm
*Happy Hour Available at the bar for walk-ins only*


Imagine a Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant decorated like your grandma’s house, and you’ve got the unlikely (but very successful) Santa Monica restaurant Cobi’s. This comfy restaurant is a favorite of those who own Santa Monica real estate and want a unique experience for dinner. Open seven days a week from 5-10 p.m. (11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday), Cobi’s serves stir-fries, curries, and noodle dishes as well as beef short ribs and dry-aged branzino on a wood-fired grill. If you’re not hungry for a full meal, ask for a great glass (or bottle) of natural wine and enjoy a snack of curry puffs, pork and shiitake dumplings, or grilled prawns.


Dine on some of the award-winning chef Dave Beran’s dishes at the elevated French bistro Pasjoli when you’re in town looking at Santa Monica real estate, and you won’t be disappointed. Beran has been named one of the best new chefs by Food & Wine Magazine and received the James Beard Award for Best Chef. His beautiful restaurant opens nightly at 5:15 p.m. for dinner and offers indoor and outdoor seating. Sip on a craft cocktail (The PJ Martini is highly recommended) or a glass of fine French wine while perusing the menu. Choose from hors d’oeuvres like confit de champignons or quenelle et caviar and main dishes such as pan-roasted sea bass and braised short ribs, accompanied by potato gratin or braised and roasted cabbage. Finish off your meal with a delicious rice pudding or chocolate souffle. If you live in a Santa Monica luxury home and would rather not leave the house, invite your friends over, and Pasjoli will collaborate with you to create a six-course menu to delight your guests.

Fia Steak

There’s no better way to celebrate making a winning offer on one of the Santa Monica luxury homes than with a luxurious meal at Fia Steak. Whether you dine in one of the restaurant’s two distinct dining rooms, on their cozy outdoor patio, or at the Cerra marble bar, you’ll create memories that last a lifetime. Michelin-recognized chef Brendan Collins sources his ingredients from local farms and prepares everything in an open kitchen. If you really want a unique experience, choose a tableside presentation of bluefin tuna tartare or a steakhouse salad. Another favorite at Fia is the Bubbles and Bumps, a pairing of fantastic champagne and caviar. Whether you choose one of these selections or go with a bone-in filet from Creek Stone Farms accompanied by Fia Steak truffled mashed potatoes or grilled Maine lobster risotto followed by a glass of Taylor Fladgate 10 year tawny port, you’ll come away from dinner with a story to tell your friends.

Birdie G’s

Craving a fine Midwestern meal while you’re on the coast? Look no further than Birdie G’s for some wood-grilled chicken, cast iron cornbread, or matzo ball soup. Don’t mistake “Midwestern” for dull, though. The restaurant also serves upscale dishes like striped bass Newberg, Koji flatiron steak au oivre, and beets with smoked trout roe. Of course, you can’t leave Birdie G’s without trying one of their signature Bird’s Nest Cocktails. Recommended tipples include Birdie Spills the Tea (lemon, honey, passion fruit, meletti, iced tea, and angostura) or the Prickly Fizzness. You can also get flights of mezcal or rare bourbon if you want to try something new.

Reach out to a top Santa Monica real estate agent today

Whether you live in the area or you’re in town to look at Santa Monica luxury homes for sale, you need to put these restaurants on your list. Decided you want to live here but haven’t chosen an agent yet? Reach out to trusted local agent Alena Lehrer for assistance. As a passionate entrepreneur with a background in sales and marketing, Alena has a wealth of local knowledge and the determination to see your dreams come true.

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