Buy Local Challenge Blog

Buy Local Santa Monica has partnered with the 3/50 Project.TM  What three local businesses would you miss if they disappeared?  Your purchases keep them around, supporting our local economy and a unique, thriving community of businesses. 

It's simple to participate - pick three businesses you absolutely can't live without, and commit to stopping by, saying hello and spending $50 among the three this month to spur our local economy.  Then, go even further to support your favorites by telling us which ones you picked and why


The perfect sandwich to go with a perfect hike or beach day 

Santa Monica Business #1:  Sunny Blue

Santa Monica Business #2:  Bagel Nosh

Santa Monica Business #3: Bay Cities

Why I can't live without these three businesses:  Summer of freshman year was the first time I tried omusubi. I was a little hesitant at first because I wasn’t such an outgoing eater then.  Since then, Sunny Blue has proved to be the best place to go on a summer day.  Along with the food, what I like the most about Sunny Blue is that they remember you and greet you by name.

Plain bagels, cheese bagels, blueberry bagels whatever bagel you want Bagel Nosh has it.  I love Bagel Nosh, not just because I am a bagel enthusiast, but because of the “Sunday morning” feeling I get every time I go.  It has become a tradition in my family, since I was little, to pick up bagels on Sunday morning twice a month.

Last, but absolutely not least: Bay Cities. Bay Cities has the perfect array of meats and cheeses to construct the perfect sandwich at your convenience. But even more at your convenience are the pre-made Godmothers ready for you as you walk in. I could not picture the perfect hike or beach day without a Bay Cities sandwich in hand. The only thing I wish Bay Cities would do is to open on Mondays.

Submitted by:  anonymous


Best physicians in town

Santa Monica Business #1:  Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group

Santa Monica Business #2:  New York Bagel and Deli

Santa Monica Business #3:  Wildflour Pizza

Why I can't live without these three businessesSanta Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group provides a place where patients feel comfortable and are in the hands of the best physicians.  Dr. Triche is an amazing physician and has inspired me to become a physician myself. At SM Orthopaedic patients are put in the best hands and the physicians are amazing!

New York Bagel and Deli is by far my favorite place to buy bagels. The people are extremely friendly and caring. The last time I was there I didn't have enough money to buy an orange juice but the man who checked me out said I could have the juice and pay him the next time I can in. It's an absolutely amazing place.

Wildflour Pizza is the best pizza I have had in Santa Monica. The people are extremely friendly and make the best pizza! It's also in an awesome location and a great snack after a trip to the beach. I have never had to wait for my food for longer than five minutes and I have never had to wait in line (unlike many popular restaurants in Santa Monica), they have excellent service!

Submitted by: Suzanne Pye



My #1 choice when craving Italian cuisine...or truffle burgers

Santa Monica Business #1:  Original Tommy's Hamburgers

Santa Monica Business #2:  Bucca Di Beppo

Santa Monica Business #3:  Umami Burger

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Original Tommy's Hamburgers: I think Tommy's Hamburgers has one of the best authentic chili burgers that Santa Monica could offer. It's just so sad to see it soon go away for a Starbucks. I don't think it's necessary for the Santa Monica community to add another coffee shop when there are about 20 others already in the city. Almost every other person finds this unfair and there's nothing we can do about it. Their Chili Tamales were always my favorite. Having a slice of yellow American cheese, topped with chili cheese was always delicious. Their burgers as well are always made to perfection along with the side of fries that always come out nice and crispy.  It's always worth waiting for in the long lunch lines and it's just a shame to see it go away soon.

Buca Di Beppo: This is by far one of the best Italian restaurants that lies in Santa Monica.  Upon entering you almost feel part Italian yourself.  The portions are pretty big and just great for group parties.  Whenever I go there, I always have the most difficult time choosing a meal and I take a really long time doing so. I really love their Baked Ziti with four cheese.  As soon as it comes out, you can just see the deliciousness brought to you with it's baked texture, topped with several cheesy ingredients and filled with fresh italian pasta. This is definitely my number one choice whenever I'm craving some Italian cuisine.

Umami Burger:  Although the wait for this place is usually pretty long, I promise you it's worth the wait. Their burgers are fairly small yet filling. And although it's a bit high on the price side, you won't regret going there! My favorite is their truffle burger.  A small burger with a small kick of sweetness.  Topped with truffle cheese, and truffle glaze this burger can never manage to disappoint.  I can't forget about their secret menu which offers the best truffle fries, cheesy tater tots, and sweet potato fries.  I'll get lucky if I get to go sometime soon!

Submitted by: Heidi J.


My family's go-to deli where the waiters always remember us

Santa Monica Business #1:  Fromins Deli

Santa Monica Business #2:  Santa Monica Farmer's Market

Santa Monica Business #3:  New York Bagel and Deli

Why I can't live without these three businessesFromins Deli has been my family's go-to deli for as long as I can remember.  The waiters have been the same for years and they always remember us. Fromins has become my Dad's and I's late start Wednesday breakfast place since middle school.

Santa Monica Farmers Market- One of my earliest memories is walking around the farmers market with my mom. We buy most of our fruit and snacks there and the vendors are all so nice and friendly.

New York Bagel and Deli- When I was in Kindergarten, I would look forward to Monday's because that meant I would get to go with my grandma to have a bagel after school. Now in high school, it's turned into the place where every Sunday, my mom picks up bagels for my friends and I to eat while we watch football.  It's my favorite bagel around.

Submitted by: Josh Lettiere


Birthday splurges + the search for the perfect hot chocolate

Santa Monica Business #1:  Williams-Sonoma

Santa Monica Business #2:  Barnes and Nobles Booksellers

Santa Monica Business #3:  Benihana

Why I can't live without these three businessesWilliams-Sonoma: Ever since the first time I went on vacation to New York City with my family and tried frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, the exciting drink is the only thing that makes me happy.  After searching for months on where we could get frozen hot chocolate mix, my dad finally found this little store on Montana that not only sold it, but that also sold mix that made it taste just like the one we had in New York.  Now whenever I am feeling a little down, my dad brings me some frozen hot chocolate mix and while I am drinking it, I feel like everything is okay and I forget about all my problems.

Barnes and Nobles Booksellers: When I was a kid, I would always hear about the other kids in my class complaining about how their parents always made them read books and about how much they hated it.  It was interesting because it was kind of the opposite for me. My parents had to encourage me to watch TV or to go outside and play because all I ever wanted to do was read.  Also, my friends always wanted to go to toy stores or clothing stores but my favorite store was Barnes and Nobles.  For my birthday, I would always ask for a Barnes and Noble gift card so that I could splurge on books.

Benihana: In today’s society, everyone is always busy and nobody has time to just relax and talk to the people that mean the most to you. However, the one thing that my cousins and I always have time for is lunch at Benihana on our birthdays. It’s a tradition that has been in the family for years and it is the one time that we all come together and just have fun.

Submitted by: Sara Rehimi