Buy Local Challenge Blog

Buy Local Santa Monica has partnered with the 3/50 ProjectTM and students from Santa Monica High School.  What three local businesses would you miss if they disappeared?  Your purchases keep these businesses around, supporting our local economy and a unique, thriving community of businesses.  Your purchases also make a difference to our schools, our parks and our community.  In 2013, purchases made at Santa Monica businesses raised $7.2 million for our schools. Buying local truly makes a difference.

It's simple to participate - pick three businesses you absolutely can't live without, and commit to stopping by, saying hello and spending money 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

Entries in Lincoln (24)


Very good, very cheap lunch

Business #1:  Bay Cities

Business #2:  The Slice

Business #3:  Vans store

Why I can't live without these three businessesBay Cities- a great sandwich spot that makes each sandwich as you order so you know your food is fresh. There bread is what really makes the sandwich because the outside is crunchy but the inside is soft and fluffy. For around 9.00$ you can get yourself a large sandwich that is to die for.

The Slice- a very good very cheap lunch for about 5.00$ you can get a slice, fries , and a drink. there slices are huge and very good its a crispy crust with just the right amount of cheese and sauce. its the slice of heaven that you need at lunchtime to get you through the rest of your day.

Vans- a nice clean store with great customer service and a great selection. If you want a new pair of vans you must go to the vans store.

Submitted by:  Ben Gomez, Alex Baettng


The Magnificent UO

Business #1:  Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

Business #2:  Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

Business #3:  Urban Outfitters

Why I can't live without these three businessesBay Cities - I am a big fan of italian food and Bay Cities has not disappointed me EVER.  It is not just a deli, it is also a small grocery store with narrow aisles. My usual order is the Godmother Sandwich: genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham, prosciutto, provolone, with the works, no pickles and spicy peppers.  Location: 1517 Lincoln Boulevard

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt - I was obsessed with YogurtLand up until Menchie's grand opening. I walked in and it was very welcoming. You have signs floating around that guide you through if it is your first time coming in. Everything is Self-serve, they have many different flavors to mix or leave alone. There are many, many toppings and when you are ready, you weigh your yogurt at the register, pay, and enjoy!  Location:732 Montana Avenue

Urban Outfitters - Every single time I end up on the promenade I ALWAYS tend to make my way into the Magnificent UO. This store has never disappointed me; selling just about everything from apartment stuff to vintage clothing. They have the most amazing sales, and the people that work there are very hip!  Location:1440 Third St. Promenade

Submitted by:  Genesis Garmakani


The car wash with great scents

Business #1:  Cafe Crepe

Business #2:  Whole Foods

Business #3:  Lincoln Car Wash + Detail

Why I can't live without these three businesses: Cafe Crepe is in a great area, right at the promenade. Their business is very good and they love to talk and ask how your doing.  Everyone is so nice and helpful.  They make very yummy crepes and will put whatever you want in them.  Also they aren't very pricey so they are affordable.  I love to go in there and look over the counter to watch how they make the crepes.

Whole Foods: I love going here after school during lunch time to get food.  Everything in there is all fresh and you can tell that it is clean.  They make sure you know about their new items and let you try some things.  It is a great market and i love to buy healthy and organic foods from there because i don't have to worry about getting a bad product.

Lincoln Car Wash + Detail:  Being a teenager I drive everywhere and my car always ends up getting dirty.  Car washes can get expensive and Lincoln Car Wash always has good deals and specials that they are willing to offer you. They do a great job and my car always comes out looking amazing. After your car wash you are welcome to pick a scent that you want them to leave your car smelling like. Overall they do a great job!

Submitted by:  Mardi Jacobson




My favorite take-outs + optometrists....

Business #1:  The Slice Project

Business #2:   Bay Cities Italian Deli

Business #3: Richard Silver, O.D. and Randy Taketa, O.D.

Why I can't live without these three businesses: The Slice--My first encounter with the Slice was in 6th grade when I went to John Adams Middle School, and it was an encounter I was extremely glad to have! The Slice is, in my honest opinion, one of THE BEST local pizzerias in Santa Monica! Conveniently located across from John Adams Middle School, my mom and I would go almost every Friday after school to get at least 2 slices of yummy cheese pizza. In addition, most of the times when I had pizza parties in class, the pizza came from The Slice, and I was always happy when I saw their logo on the boxes! They don't just sell pizza (as one might think by reading their name "The Slice")--they also offer other great foods, such as french fries and hot wings, that make the place even more attractive! I have enjoyed going to the Slice since my middle school days, and I still do! As I grew up, so did my appetite; over the years I ordered bigger portions each time I visited!  Overall, The Slice is a popular place to hangout after school, and their food is definitely worth your while; it offers you a great meal at a great price!

Bay Cities Italian Deli--There is never a time I go into this place and it is not crowded! I first set foot in the store when I was in middle school, and boy was I pleased!  Bay Cities makes the big bucks, and their service explains it all.  Their product selection is amazing and best of all unique! They have foods and products from so many countries, such as Italy, Greece, Argentina, France, and the Middle East. There is so much variety, that if you have never seen a given product on their shelves, you will be tempted to try something new and buy it! The employees work quickly without losing accuracy and efficiency, and it is a great place to meet new people! Anybody who has not heard about Bay Cities has to immediately; it is THE PLACE to be to get great groceries and a great meal, especially during one of those nice, sunny spring or summer days when you can take advantage of the open patio right in front of the store, looking at the many different people who come in and out! I absolutely adore their Italian bread rolls, but what I adore even more is when they use them to make sandwiches for lunch! Their "Boar's Head" sandwich station is extremely popular and is my favorite part of the store, and if you go there often, some of the employees remember you, which makes you love the place even more! I usually get a roast beef sandwich with lettuce and light mustard, but their sandwich menu offers far more than you can imagine. After you order your sandwiches, get a drink from the refrigerators, go onto the patio with your friends or family, and enjoy! Add Bay Cities to your list of places to stop by for lunch, you won't regret it!

Richard Silver, O.D. and Randy Taketa, O.D.----This is where I go for all of my optometric needs. They are a family owned firm that has been in business for over 25 years. The first time I went in was in 5th grade, when I started to need glasses.  I was nervous to go in at first, but as soon as I walked out the door after that first visit, I loved the place! Doctor Taketa is my optometrist, but both he and Richard Silver are very sweet, along with Nelli, one of the Ophthalmic Technicians, and always know what they are doing. After your first visit, every time you return, you know that they are happy to see you again! I am no longer nervous when I walk in to get my vision checked, nor when I choose new glasses, because their staff are extremely friendly.  Bobbie, the store manager, and Robert, one of the head opticians, never hesitate to help me choose the right frames and make the best recommendations! They both want people to not only feel good, but have fun with their eyewear, and you can really see that intention in them when they are helping you.  And this intention really makes the process of choosing new glasses frames easier and more fun at the same time. The firm really has a great selection of not just regular glasses, but sunglasses as well! They also have glasses with cool designs/features (there was one with flower designs on the edges, as well as some with specially shaped lenses, and others with bright colors) for both kids and adults. I am grateful for their service; because of them, I now look forward to getting my vision checked!

Submitted by: Robin Bolour



My local lifesavers

Business #1:  Panchos Tacos

Business #2:  Omelette Parlor

Business #3:  Starbucks Coffee

Why I can't live without these three businessesPanchos Tacos: This little Mexican joint on the south side of Santa Monica has become one of my most cherished places. Their food is extremely affordable, generously portioned, and is made in minutes. I've been traditionally going to Pancho's every Thursday for the past year and I still can not get enough. Personally, my favorite thing on the menu are the soft chicken tacos. They're delicious. Just one fills me up!

Omelette Parlor: If you like eggs, this is the place to go. The Omelette Parlor on Main Street has a small town, cottagey feel that I absolutely love. Their menu offers something for everyone and each omelette has a hilarious name.  For example, The Sexy Omelette and The Meter Maid. The only downfall is that sometimes you have to wait a few minutes to be seated but that's only because it's so good! So, hop on the bandwagon. You'll be happy you did.

Starbucks Coffee: Unfortunately, I can't go a day without my daily dosage of caffeine and I'm only 17. I'm ok with that though simply because Starbucks is so yummy. My go-to drink is their Pike Place Roast Coffee. It's smooth and perfectly balanced taste is only $1.50. A price that is perfect for a high school teenager like myself.

Submitted by:  Jessica Vanarsdol


Bruno, my Yorkipoo, can't live without this local business!

Business #1: Healthy Spot

Business #2: Bagel Nosh

Business #3: Bay City Deli

Why I can't live without these three businessesHealthy Spot- Bruno, my Yorkipoo, cannot live without Healthy Spot.  He enjoys a wonderful spa treatment every other month. The doggie daycare is sooo awesome with the best staff who really understand your dog and actually help train them to do the right thing during their hours of daycare.  They also have spectacular treats and healthy dog food...anything you want to pamper your pooch is there.   Healthy Spot is a one stop shop for me and Bruno :)

Bagel Nosh--All I can say is YUM!!!!!!!!!!  This place has the best bagels I have ever eaten in my life...and this includes the east coast.  Their breakfast choices are awesome...this place is for the locals and always has a warm homey atmosphere with very friendly staff.  Prices are totally affordable.  They get my award for the Best Bagel in Santa Monica.

Bay City Deli- I have two words... "The Godmother". Need I say more.

Submitted by:  Claudia K.



Coffee anyone?  

Business #1: Flying Saucers Cafe & Gallery

Business #2: Poom Thai

Business #3: Bookmark Cafe

Why I can't live without these three businesses

Flying Saucers - great people, great coffee, free WiFi, what more could I want?  Oh yes, a breakfast sandwich, yum!

Poom Thai - It's all good, but my favorite dish is Pra Ram Chicken (chicken, spinach, and peanut sauce).

Bookmark Cafe - I love the salads.  And if you buy a coffee, you can take it into the library with you!

Submitted by:  Name withheld


A great night out on Lincoln...and shopper's delight on Pico!  

Business #1: Pancho's

Business #2: Cock N Bull

Business #3: Acapillow Home Furnishings

Why I can't live without these three businesses: I have many "favorites" here in Santa Monica but these three are the ones I have committed to supporting this month. 

Pancho's on Lincoln is my husband and my favorite place in all of LA for carnitas burritos...and the prices are amazing.  You get a huge burrito for $4.25 and savor every bite.  The salsa bar is also impressive.  It's a Thursday or Friday night ritual.  We always get it to-go but they got ample seating inside.

Cock N Bull, also on Lincoln, while not big on atmosphere, this place is full of characters.  We used to live in London for awhile and this place cures our nostalgia.  They pour proper pints and have a good beer selection.  Be sure to go for Happy Hour M-F, from 5-7 p.m.  On Fridays, they also have snacks for happy hour. Quiz nights are fun.  Go here and then head across the street to Pancho's for a perfect, low cost evening out in Santa Monica!

Acapillow Home Furnishings.  Who knew that Pico Blvd has one of THE best interior design and home furnishings store in LA?!  Peter and Eleanor have been a tremendous help in getting us off the ground in decorating our new home.   Just going into this store helps inspire--vintage French fabrics, Moroccan tables, gorgeous pillows, Persian rugs....They were recently featured in LA Times Home Section.  This is one of SM's true gems!

Then, I'm going to include a wild card for another business that I visited this month for the first time:   Interactive Cafe on Broadway.  I went because they were participating in the "Buy Local, Be Sustainable" shopping + dining promotion last week.  The space is quite large and funky (in a good way).  I ordered a grilled chicken panini sandwich, which was very tasty and well priced ($4.75 for Buy Local dining week, normally $6.75 which seems reasonable).  It's just around the corner from Third St Promenade and is a good place to grab a quick lunch or meet friends/ mates for breakfast or lunch in a central location.  I'd recommend all four of these local businesses...they help make Santa Monica special and unique!

Submitted by Jennifer Taylor

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