Beach days are made of laid-back afternoons spent enjoying the sunshine, listening to the crashing waves, and noshing on casual eats.
And it’s that last part that concerns us here.
Our goal with the below list was to catalogue some of Los Angeles’ top coastal adjacent eateries, whether you need a spot that is chill enough for board shorts or elegant enough to cap off a day-long drive along the coast.
Wherever you end up eating, just know the food will be fresh, the ocean nearby, and the vibe pitch perfect.
Rundown starts after the jump, in no particular order.
1. The Albright (Santa Monica)
The Albright is named after a nautical knot, symbolizing the unity of the two generations that are behind this Santa Monica Pier staple. The menu features locally sourced goodies including oyster shooters, calamari, and mussels and fries. Poke is also available, for those looking to stay on trend.
2. Mickey’s Italian Deli (Hermosa Beach)
If you’re in search ofgood eats and a casual spot in the South Bay look no further than this mom and pop deli. Opened in 1953, Mickey’s has retained a hometown charm but extended the menu which initially only included pizzas. They’re known for their pasta sauce but if you want to indulge get the meatball sub. After all, you’ve been out in the sun all day. You deserve it!
3. Fishing with Dynamite (Manhattan Beach)
David LeFevre’s cozy Manhattan Beach restaurant delivers raw seafood paired with market fresh squash rolls, rosemary butter, clam chowder, and other select dishes. If you have room, end the meal with their pretzel bread pudding with salted caramel and mascarpone ice cream.
4. Neptune’s Net (Malibu)
Neptune’s Net has been serving seafood to Malibu for five decades (and counting). The outdoor seating area and chill vibe is everything you’d want a beachside restaurant to offer. Recommendations: The clam chowder, a seafood basket or both!
5. Captain Kidd’s Fish Market (Redondo Beach)
Captain Kidd’s has been a fixture in the Redondo Beach King Harbor for nearly 40 years. Part fish market, part patio restaurant, dishes are prepared daily, including several that are cooked using the in-house smoker. Try favorites such as cioppino, chowder, smoked salmon, oysters and sashimi and sample drinks from a mix of 20 different ice-cold beers on tap.
6. Locale 90 Neapolitan Pizza Market (Redondo Beach)
Locale 90 is a pizza joint that aims for local and authentic, and they nail it with their neapolitan pizzas. The menu is divided into “pizza rossa” (with tomatoes) or “pizza bianca” (no tomatoes) or you can build your own. You can always go the traditional route but where’s the fun in that? Try the egg and kale pizza with truffle oil and down it with some Italian beer.
7. A Basq Kitchen (Redondo Beach)
Basque cuisine originates from parts of Spain and France, and the Basq Kitchen revels in this specialized cuisine served tapas style. The items may be hard to pronounce but the tongue acrobatics are rewarded with unique flavors like the espelette aioli made from a Basque pepper in dishes like the Tortilla Vasca (potato omelette) and the kalimotxo, a mix of red wine and Coca Cola, a traditional Basque drink.
8. The Independence Tavern (Santa Monica)
The Independence Tavern boasts an extensive drink menu with cocktails, mocktails, and draughts. Their angus burger is for the beef-lovers who appreciate the All-American burger that’s leaning more toward refined than messy but still damn good.
9. El Segundo Beach Café (Playa Del Rey)
The All-American menu at El Segundo Beach Cafe includes both breakfast and lunch options. A quick glance at the burger section and you’ll find the “S*** Pipe,” a beef patty on sourdough with Thousand Island dressing, American cheese, and all the fixings. Way more delicious than the ambiguous name might imply.
10. Blue Plate Oysterette (Santa Monica)
Let the line of people guide you to this 3rd street hotspot where they serve more than oysters but you really should just get the oysters. But ok, if you’re not exactly down with that go for the lobster roll.
11. Bacari PDR (Playa Del Rey)
If the ceiling covered in wine bottles and the logo didn’t tip you off, this bacari (Venetian for “bar”) and cicchetti (small bites) spot is the place to go for elevated bar food and drinks. They’ve developed quite a following for their lamb-stuffed eggplant, oven roasted bone marrow, and crab crostini but the real draw for those who want to enjoy a night of libations is their $25/per person open bar special (90 minutes) that includes house reds and whites, champagne, sangria, and Bacaro beer.
12. C & O Trattoria (Venice)
C & O serves portions that are family-style sizes without the sharing and the waiters regularly break out in song to the tune of “That’s Amore” so there’s the commercial appeal but the food is hardly generic. Their complimentary garlic rolls put most other complimentary breads to shame and are highly addictive but it’s good to save room for the hearty dishes of pasta. It’s patio seating only (heated), a block from the beach, and the wine bar functions on the honor system.
13. Malibu Farm Pier Cafe or Restaurant (Malibu)
For a casual lunch affair head to the café but if you’re looking for a nice beachside dinner you’ll find the restaurant at the beginning of the pier. If you want food as fresh as the breeze you’ll find a treasure trove of options at both; try the fried egg sandwich at the café and the Alaskan halibut sandwich with artichoke aioli at the restaurant.
14. Venice Ale House (Venice)
In true LA fashion, Venice Ale House has great drinks and a menu full of organic, local, and sustainable options. They’ve got 32 taps of West Coast craft beer and for the more adventurous drinker there’s the coco sake bomb served in a coconut.
15. Redondo Beach Crab House (Redondo Beach)
The RB Crab House is a Korean seafood eatery so you’ll find kimchi on the menu but here the crab is king. They’ve got Dungeness crab, Maine lobster, and a fried clam platter but they’re probably best known for their live shrimp. Seafood lovers and those who like their food as raw as it gets will have no problem tucking into a dish of live shrimp that may or may not still be twitching when they arrive.
16. North End Caffe (Manhattan Beach)
It’s a block away from the beach and it was featured on Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives so it’s got the Fieri seal of approval. The Kahlua Pig Monte Cristo Egg Rolls and the fettuccine carbonara attracted the cameras and the crowds but they’re also serving up some delectable sandwiches including cubanos, a wide variety of eggs (try the huevos divorciados) and they’ve even got beignets so chances are you’ll find several dishes you’ll want to tuck into. You can feel a little less guilty by walking to the beach so you get some cardio in.
17. Malibu Seafood (Malibu)
If there’s one seafood shack you make a point of visiting while taking a drive along the coast, make it Malibu Seafood. The fish and chips with malt vinegar is a personal favorite but this beachside eatery has a devoted following for its fresh –straight-out-0f-the-ocean offerings.
18. Manhattan Beach Post (Manhattan Beach)
Chef LeFevre eschews seafood staples in MB Post’s seasonal offerings (for the most part). While its menu regularly changes, the savory, carb-rich bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits remain. Try the pomegranate couscous with lavender feta, grapefruit, and marcona almonds or the white oak grilled skirt steak with red chimichurri paired with a wine from their list of 30 (reds and whites).
19. The Original Rinaldi’s (El Segundo)
The OG Rinaldi’s is known for their hoagies. They’ve got the savory (“the godfather”) and the spicy (“jack and jill”) along with the usual hot and cold options and some more unique offerings like the Rasta Veggie burger.
20. Pamilla Cocina y Tequila ( Hermosa Beach )
The ornate interior of this Hermosa Beach restaurant is mirrored by its beautifully plated dishes. Trythe enchiladas mariscos with seasonal seafood or if you’re craving turf you can’t go wrong with the short rib tacos. The star of the bar menu is tequila (hey, it’s in the name) but they also offer beer, wine, sangrias, and cocktails including the fresh spicy mango margarita with jalapeños.