Sitting at the city’s northern edge, Montana Avenue is home to some of Santa Monica’s best restaurants, as well as an array of dessert stores, coffee shops and boutiques.

Take in a Hollywood classic at the Aero Theatre, enjoy a pamper session at the flagship Benefit Cosmetics Boutique and Brow Bar, give in to that sweet tooth at John Kelly Chocolates, or indulge in the uber-famous ‘Office Burger’ at Father’s Office.

This quaint street is the perfect place to wander, live like a local and enjoy the unique diversity Santa Monica has on offer.

Essential Experiences

John Kelly Chocolates

Got a sweet tooth? This artisanal chocolatier needs to be top of your itinerary. Borne out of humble beginnings, John Kelly Chocolates has grown into a much-loved national icon, known for being generous with samples and smiles. Located not too far from the beach, the chocolatier offers 19 variations of its signature truffle fudge recipe, along with a divine range of caramels, walnut clusters and chocolate dipped fruit and nuts, all handmade using natural premium quality ingredients.

Shopaholic Sample Sales

Calling all shopaholics! Created with the aim of providing Californian women with beautiful pieces at affordable prices, this popular boutique specialises in contemporary designer apparel and accessories without the designer price tag. Cool Aussie labels including Stylestalker, Finders Keepers and Cameo are big sellers, as are trendy Cali brands such as LA Made, Dolan and Bobi. Stock moves quickly, so don’t miss out on your chance to grab a bargain!

Aero Theatre

More than just a theatre, the Aero Theatre is a community and a Santa Monica institution. Reopened by the American Cinematheque in 2005 after a $1 million dollar refurbishment, the theatre now features a new screen, sound and projection equipment, and the seating has been reduced from almost 600 to 425 with the introduction of a new concession stand. Screenings include the latest Hollywood movies, and blockbusters such as Twister and Minority Report, as well as a variety of classics.

Where to eat

R+D Kitchen

A favourite neighbourhood hangout for Santa Monica locals, this popular eatery is known for its bustling and vibrant atmosphere and welcoming staff. Inspired by California’s indoor/outdoor culture and relaxed way of life, the eatery serves up fresh, mouthwateringly delicious classic American cuisine. The Crispy Chicken Sandwich is a must, but get in early as they only accept walk-ins. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself going back time and time again!

Father’s Office

A popular American gastropub, where burgers reign supreme! Headed up by chef Sang Yoo, Father’s Office is home to the famous ‘Office Burger’, the first chef-driven gourmet burger in America that is topped with smoked-bacon and caramelised onion compote, and Gruyère and Maytag blue cheeses! Just a heads up, don’t ask for sauce - Yoon doesn’t want anyone messing with his masterpieces! The popular eatery also has 36 craft beers on tap and a variety of unique wine options, and serves up a selection of European bar food, French dishes and tapas, that are all created using fresh seasonal ingredients.

Forma Restaurant & Cheese Bar

Cheese wheel - the only two words that matter at Forma. Famous for serving some of its pastas dalla forma, a preparation technique where cooked pasta is finished in a gigantic cheese wheel and served to guests irresistibly cheesy. Take a look over to the restaurant’s back corner to catch a sneak peek of the process! A unique and creative collaboration between Executive Chef Piero Topputo and General Manager Mario Sabatini, Forma is named in honour of its star ingredient - Formaggio, and boasts a diverse, contemporary Italian menu and is a must for both pasta and cheese lovers.