With Santa Monica often considered Sydney’s sister city, it’s an excellent destination for homesick Aussie travellers or those not quite able to make the trek Down Under. Whether you’re craving good coffee, a spicy Barossa Shiraz, or just the familiar accent, here are 7 Australian-influenced SaMo experiences that bring the harbour city vibes to the Californian coast.

Lorna Jane

Before you downward dog, deck yourself out in classic Aussie activewear by heading to the Downtown branch of Lorna Jane in Santa Monica Place Shopping Center. Although the brand was born in Brisbane, it certainly doesn’t look out of place on this side of the Pacific, where locals (and travellers who’d like to live like them!) can be spotted in Lorna’s signature leggings and sports bras as they cycle, sprint and generally work up a sweat by the beach. The store occasionally also hosts pop-up fitness classes, so check the centre directory for details.

 

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Little Ruby

This Downtown/Third Street gem prides itself on fusing fresh local produce with Australian culinary influences. It’s open for ‘brekkie’, lunch and dinner seven days a week and the relaxed Aussie-esque ambience is the perfect place to tuck into healthy bowls and seasonal salads, a ‘Bronte’ burger, or a flat white with smashed avo. (Founder Nick Mathers credits himself with introducing the combo to the United States when he established his first Ruby’s venture in New York in 2003!).

 

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Drinks by the beach should be in your weekend agenda. Join us 🏖🍹

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Australia Rocks The Pier

Local-meets-Global at this annual music event designed to bring Australian music to the shores of Santa Monica. Part of the Twilight Concert Series – one of the largest free festival-style concert series in Southern California (generally held on Wednesdays throughout August and September) – past performances have included up-and-coming Aussie bands, as well as incredible big-name talent such as Missy Higgins. For the most up to date information check out ‘Australia Rocks The Pier’ on Facebook.

Bluestone Lane Santa Monica Coffee Shop

As well as the coffee culture of his Melbourne hometown, Bluestone founder Nicholas Stone has encouraged a number of other iconically Australian vibes to permeate his sunny Santa Monica Cafe. On the menu, you’ll find cold-pressed detox juices named after Melbourne suburbs (such as Brunswick and Fitzroy) and Victorian coastal towns (like Portsea and Lorne), hot Milo and open-faced toasts with familiar toppings like ricotta and strawberries and poached eggs and feta. Merchandise like ‘Smashed Avo’ badges and Vegemite are also available.

 

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Tag a mate who needs two cups this morning💙 #mondayblues

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Wally’s Santa Monica

This restaurant recently paid tribute to the vineyards Down Under by hosting an Australian Wine  Tasting evening – showcasing the country’s distinct and diverse offerings. Look out for other seasonal events as they occur. Or, pop in regardless, and experience this eaterie’s extraordinary cuisine (classics include the rib eye with roasted bone marrow and asparagus), gourmet cheese and charcuterie shop, and a wine list packed with carefully sourced drops – including some excellent Australian options.

Koala Matcha

The cute koalas that decorate the interiors of this hole-in-the-wall on Wilshire Boulevard hint to its heritage. But, it is the progressive menu that well and truly pays homage to its Australian roots. Furry friends aside, Aussie owner Monica Foley reckons the real star is collagen. That’s why her signature brew is handcrafted matcha lattes infused with the stuff. While designed to appeal to wellness warriors by dishing out a double dose of skin therapy, she welcomes all walks of life to pop in and ‘Say G’Day!’

Flannel

Lifestyle label Flannel – a West Australian brand that offers beautiful, comfortable and natural women’s clothing, accessories and homewares for the carefree luxe traveller – has opened its 15th and newest store in Santa Monica. With an ethos designed to empower the artisans who create its wares, as well as a commitment to eco-conscious living (aiming to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible), Flannel has seamlessly made the move from Cottesloe to California and it certainly looks at home at its new Santa Monica Montana Ave location.

 

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SANTA MONICA… Our Santa Monica store in beautiful morning light. ✨#liveloveplay #flannel_au

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For more suggestions on ‘A Local’s Guide to Santa Monica’ with an Aussie spin, check out the latest edition of Excite Edit

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