As an expat and a traveler, I have found if I am in a town for a few days I am hunting out healthy options or really craving a salad. For some reason, the junk food, pizza, and burgers always seem to be the easy option.

For tourists who are visiting Santa Monica, it is easy to fall into the tourist traps of the local ‘diners’ which are fun for one meal but not every meal for your stay.

location location 

When you are in Santa Monica and craving a salad, try Tender Greens, it is hidden one block away from the famous shopping strip on the corner of 2nd and Arizona Street. It has become my favourite spot in the area (a local tipped me off to it).

The best thing about tender greens is their selection and portions. You can get a good salad for around $12.00 and it will completely fill your plate. Add protein ranging from chicken through to beef. This can push your salad up to around $18 – $20 but it will fill you up so you don’t need to do another stop before dinner. You can view their full menu here.

bits and pieces 

They do killer mash potato for those who are interested and offer fresh soups during winter. If you have experienced some American ‘salads’ do not fear, you can opt out of those overly creamy, (disgusting) heavy ranch and mayo dressings. They tend to add light vinaigrette dressings.

The friendly staff also bring around unlimited pieces of bread and will fill your drinks until you are finished. They offer a large seated area inside and a quiet outdoor area for those summer stops. It is a well-kept secret by locals who tend to come in and get the take out option.

They have a range of healthy options and due to their handy location, they are super easy to get to so you don’t feel like you are going too far out of the way.

If you are in ‘touirst mode’ they also serve beer and wine for those afternoon stops! They offer freshly made lemonade (the lemon squash kind) and traditional southern iced tea.

There are a few scattered around the city in Marina del Rey, West Hollywood, Culver City, Studio City, Downtown LA and in the heart of it all on Sunset Blvd.