SM survival guide

I’ve been living in Santa Monica, California since 08/21/2021. It’s probably one of the most active cities in Southern California, but very expensive.

As many people ask for tips on finding an apartment, attractions, restaurants or just how to save as much as possible, I am giving you my links and tips on how to survive in Santa Monica without getting broke.

Search for a place to live

Although many of the adverts can be found online, it’s definitely worth wandering around the neighborhoods you like, as it’s often possible to find a phone number posted outside a house.

Real Estate Agencies

Real Estate Listings

The main residential complexes at Santa Monica

Below market housing

People on low incomes can qualify for housing that is rented below market rate. Income criteria:

  • 1-person household: $83,400;
  • 2-person household: $95,300;
  • 3-person household: $107,200;
  • 4-person household: $119,100;
  • 5-person household: $128,700

Read more about below market here –

Where to eat in Santa Monica under $10

Grocery stores that serves ready to eat meals:

  • Pavilions on Montana avenue
  • Ralph on Cloverfield
  • Vons on Wilshire avenue
  • Whole Food on Wilshire

Fast food:


Other interesting places:

  • Cha Cha Chicken on Ocean avenue. Soups up to $10. –
  • Panda Express on Montana avenue. Bowl with rice and chicken $8.60 –

Happy Hours

  • Bodega, address 814 Broadway, offers Wine Bar, Coffee & Tea, Breakfast and Brunch.
  • Jameson’s Pub
  • Jinya Ramen Bar
  • La Vecchia Cucina
  • Manchengo
  • Piccolo
  • Pono Burger
  • RIZE Thai Sushi
  • Socalo
  • The Brixton
  • Upper West
  • Vito Restaurant

Free space to work:

  • Bodega, on Broadway
    • Bodega during the day like a coworking space. Great coffee, a lot of space, good internet and amazing vibe. From 7AM till 4PM.
  • CapitalOne cafe on Broadway
    • Good place to work. A lot of power outlets for computers, fast internet.
    • They offer coffee with 50% discount if you have CapitalOne card
  • Santa Monica library on Santa Monica blvd.
    • Has computers, private rooms and it’s for free if you are resident of Santa Monica

The most active streets

Santa Monica Street

News from Santa Monica

Santa Monica Resident Discounts

When you live in Santa Monica, I suggest asking for the resident discount. Many places offer discounts for residents.

Lifehacks or how to save


You can read more about Santa Monica schools and what needed to get into schools

Zip codes

Bus routes