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
- Roque & Mark – They have Lithuanian speakers – https://roque-mark.com
- Sullivan-Dituri Real Estate Company – https://www.sdrsm.com
Real Estate Listings
- https://losangeles.craigslist.org/search/apa#search=1~gallery~0~0 (Warning! A lot of scam)
- https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/109683405724572/propertyrentals/ (Warning! A lot of scam)
The main residential complexes at Santa Monica
- Living at Santa Monica – https://www.livingatsantamonica.com/
- SAMO apartments – https://www.samoapartments.com/searchlisting
- Greyster – https://www.greystar.com/search?Location=santa%20monica
- The Catherine apartments – https://catherinesantamonica.com
- The West Side Collection building – https://www.thewestsidecollection.com/
- NMS apartments – https://www.nmsresidential.com/
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 – https://www.santamonica.gov/housing-bmh
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
- Street food on Lincoln blvd in front of Ralph (outside Santa Monica). Tacos $2, burrito $7 – tastest burrito in the Town!
- Street food on Lincoln blvd in fron of Whole Food (outside Santa Monica). Tacos $2, burrito $7
- Joes pizza. Slice $7 – https://www.joespizza.com/
- HiHo Burgers, HiHo Cheeceburger $9,95 – https://www.hiho.la/
- Papi on Wilshire blvd. Tacos from $2.5 – https://www.papitacoschurros.com/
- Tu Madre on Broadway blvd. Street tacos $2.
- La Purepecha on Broadway. Tacos from $3.5 – https://lapurepecha.la/menu/
- Jack in The Box on Santa Monica blvd- Tacos from $0.99.
- Tacos por Favor. Vegie burrito up to $10 – https://www.tacosporfavor.us/location/santa-monica/
- Sunny Blue on Main street. Omusubi from $4 – https://www.sunnyblueinc.com/
- Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery – the yare famous becose of sandwiches, but they have a buffet where you can eat. Lazzania $9.98, Pasta from $7. – https://www.baycitiesitaliandeli.com/
- Marmalade Cafe on Montana avenue. Salads from $8.99 – https://marmaladecatering.com/
Other interesting places:
- Cha Cha Chicken on Ocean avenue. Soups up to $10. – https://www.chachachicken.com/
- Panda Express on Montana avenue. Bowl with rice and chicken $8.60 – https://www.pandaexpress.com/
- Bodega, address 814 Broadway, offers Wine Bar, Coffee & Tea, Breakfast and Brunch.
- Jameson’s Pub
- Jinya Ramen Bar
- La Vecchia Cucina
- Pono Burger
- RIZE Thai Sushi
- 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
- Montana avenue – https://montanaave.com/
- The Main Street – https://www.mainstreetsm.com/
- 3rd Street Promenade – https://www.downtownsm.com/
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.
- Veo Scooters – Free Unlock for SM residents – https://www.veoride.com/santa-monica/
- Local Canabis Co on Wilshire – Discount for SM residents – https://santamonica.localcannabiscompany.com/
- Santa Monica open pool – %50 discounts for residents – https://www.santamonicaswimcenter.org/adult-fitness
Lifehacks or how to save
- Use Metro bikes. In some cases they are free for first 30 minutes – https://bikeshare.metro.net/
- Cheapest bike rental for all day – $20/day – https://santamonicabikerental.com/ and https://www.smbikerental.com/
- Free parking for 90min at SM Structure 5 on 1440 4th St, Santa Monica
You can read more about Santa Monica schools and what needed to get into schools https://www.smmusd.org/Page/419