There’s something exciting about finding a wine that you love. Whether it’s discovering a new tasting note or just finding a newfound appreciation, wine is always an adventure. If you have strong opinions on terroir and the grapes of different regions of the world, you’ll be right at home when you visit the the best wine bars in Santa Monica.
Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.
The Most Amazing Wine Bars in Santa Monica
Esters Wine Shop and Bar
- Address: 1314 7th St Santa Monica, CA 90401
The quickest way to go on a world tour is to head to Esters Wine Bar, one of the best-known local wine bars in Santa Monica. With unique, small-batch wines from around the globe, you can be in Bordeaux one minute and Napa the next.
With an attached shop, you can take home your favorite bottle and some fun keepsakes as well! As with any good wine spot, Esters has a robust small plates menu, so you can pair your wine with cheese, oysters, sweets, or a variety of other snack options.
Bodega Wine Bar
- Address: 814 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Bodega has a simple appearance with an array of menu items. With a minimal design focusing on dark wood and neutral colors, all your attention can be focused on finding exciting tasting notes.
Unlike Esters, this Santa Monica wine bar offers you a large variety of full meal options available (with smaller plates still an option, of course). From 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, you can get coffee, tea, and pastries as well.
- Address: 2518 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
It would be a sin to think of wines and forget Spain. This intimate Spanish restaurant has quite the wine list. If you’re looking for a tapas-style spot where you can sample wine and small plate options, there’s no better place.
This local wine bar also doubles as one of the best places for a date in Santa Monica. With a long list of tapas and cured meats and cheeses, you’ll have no shortage of exciting combinations of flavors to try!
Stella Barra Pizzeria & Wine Bar
- Address: 2000 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
There are few combinations that can beat wine and pizza. When you’re at Stella Barra, though, you won’t be able to consider anything could be better.
Find an artisan pizza you like and pair it with classic wine offerings by the glass or bottle. For the wine aficionado, the menu of wines by the bottle has some unique and exclusive offerings you’ll want to peruse.
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
- Address: 1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
If you amalgamated every tourists’ idea of Southern California, you would get something resembling Rustic Canyon: upscale casual with a good energy and lots of local wine choices.
To top it all off, executive chef Andy Doubrava and the team recently earned Rustic Canyon a Michelin star. As you would expect, the wine list is extensive (the bottle list is 10 pages) and has something for every taste.
Wally’s Santa Monica
- Address: 214 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Take a cheese shop, wine bar, and retail store, make them all exquisitely good, and what do you get? Wally’s in Santa Monica. Other than being one of the best wine bars in Santa Monica, Wally’s itself is actually a store that sells wine and spirits but has been trailblazing its way into the dining scene.
With a full food menu and a menu of wines that requires a table of contents (it’s over 100 pages long), you will be overwhelmed with choices in all the best ways.
- Address: 1810 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
There’s possibly no better restaurant in Santa Monica to properly enjoy wine. Capo has some of the most heralded Italian food in the city with a high-class ambiance and experience.
While it isn’t strictly a wine bar, Capo has a wine list about a mile long, so you will not be short on options. Capo isn’t cheap; this is an anniversary-level restaurant, to be sure, but once you walk in, you’ll understand why. You can book your table online here.
Looking for more restaurants in Santa Monica? Check these options to decide where to eat the best meal in town!
- Address: 516 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Maybe you saw Capo and liked the idea, but your anniversary isn’t rolling around anytime soon. Anniversaries happen once a year, but you’ve always got to eat!
If you like the idea of upscale Italian with a wide variety of wines but want something a bit more reasonably priced, Heroic Italian fits your needs. This is also a great lunch or afternoon wine option as they open at 11:00 am every day.
Local Kitchen and Wine Bar
- Address: 1736 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Local Kitchen has a smaller wine bar than many of the options on this list, but just because it isn’t 100 pages doesn’t mean it’s sub-par. With all manner of wines available to you, you’ll have something for every taste.
Consider ordering the main course first (their pizza is quite popular) and finding a wine to pair with it. With an extensive food menu, this may be the best way to find your favorite wine.
The Upper West
- Address: 3321 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
While it sounds like it belongs in New York, this is actually one of Santa Monica’s most popular New American restaurants. The cocktails drive many patrons to The Upper West, but with their wine selection, they could be a true wine bar quite easily.
If you want to try something local, The Upper West has a large selection of homegrown wines and wines from the Pacific Coast. If you want to head overseas, the other half of the menu is full of the best offerings from France, Italy, Argentina, and more!
Forma Restaurant and Cheese Bar
- Address: 1610 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Forma is a great way to close out this list because of its unique main point: its cheese bar! As you might expect from a place that touts its cheese bar, the wine list is substantial.
The wine by the glass is robust, but there’s no incorrect choice to be made here. If nothing brings you more joy than a good wine and cheese pairing, this is the only spot you need to consider.
As you could see above, this list includes some of the best bars in Santa Monica, but also incredible restaurants, and original places for pizza, cheese, and even cocktails. The wine bar panorama in Santa Monica is wide and delicious, so why wait any longer to check some of these Santa Monica hot spots for wine lovers?
Where to stay in Santa Monica
- Ocean View Hotel
- Stunning oceanfront condo
- Wyndham Santa Monica at the Pier
- Hotel Shangri-La
- Santa Monica Loews Hotel
Find more Santa Monica accommodation options on Booking.com.
Santa Monica is fairly easy to get around. We recommend renting a car and exploring all there is to see. You can find the best prices on rental cars by clicking here.
When you’re not discovering Santa Monica on your own, we suggest treating yourself to a tour. From private wine tours to kayak and SUP tours, cooking classes classes to tours of celebrity-owned homes, there’s a little something for everyone. Browse all the Santa Monica tours available on Viator by clicking here.
If you want to capture the memories from your trip to Monterey, we recommend hiring a professional photographer. A Flytographer photoshoot is one of our favorite souvenirs from our travels and we want to share them with you!