Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica (Chicago)

by Anthony Losanno
Summer House Santa Monica

Advertiser Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat earns an affiliate commission for anyone approved through the links below. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. We work to provide the best publicly available offers to our readers. We frequently update them, but this site does not include all available offers.

We met up with a friend for brunch and went to a spot in Lincoln Park that we’ve been many times before. Summer House Santa Monica opened in Chicago in 2013. There is another location in North Bethesda, MD and one soon to open at Disney Springs in Orlando, FL. The restaurant has over 200 seats and is meant to look like a California beach house. The food is a mix of Asian, Latin, and California cuisine. Think everything from Yellowfin Tuna Poke Nachos to Breakfast Burritos at brunch.

Anthony’s Take: Summer House Santa Monica offers a tasty brunch menu with lots to choose from. The restaurant is always buzzing and it was packed when we went for brunch. The food and service are both good, overall. Make sure you save some room or take home one of the delicious cookies sold from the bakery found in the restaurant’s lobby. If you happen to be traveling through Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), you can find an outpost of the restaurant (with cookies) in Terminal 2.

Summer House Santa Monica Decor 1

Decor & Vibe

The restaurant has a white and tan theme throughout with tons of plants and light wood. It’s meant to be evocative of a California beach house and it succeeds in its mission. This is a big restaurant and when filled it’s bustling. Don’t expect a quiet chat here, but it’s also not overpowering to the point where you can’t hear your companions. There are two large dining rooms. One has a bar and the other contains an open kitchen and huge skylights to make the room feel bright (pictured above).

Summer House Santa Monica Decor 2

We were seated in the room closer to the host stand and bar.

Summer House Santa Monica Countdown

There is a countdown to summer found on one of the walls. Staff update it daily.

Summer House Santa Monica Menu


A QR code on the table provides the menu.

Summer House Santa Monica Menu 2

Here is a PDF-version. For brunch there is a great selection of egg dishes, sandwiches, salads, pizza, and more.

Summer House Santa Monica Egg Sandwich

I had the Egg Sandwich with sausage. It came with a side salad. The portion size was good and I was satisfied with my choice.

Summer House Santa Monica Burrito

My husband had the Breakfast Burrito. He liked the flavors, but complained it wasn’t very warm.

Summer House Santa Monica Chicken Sandwich

Our friend chose Crispy Chicken sandwich. He didn’t think it had much flavor, but was crispy.

Summer House Santa Monica Bakery


Summer House Santa Monica Cookies

On the way out, we got an Oatmeal Scotchie and an M&M cookie to go. All of the cookies are great here (and huge). The bakery case also has muffins and other treats to take home.

Summer House Santa Monica Drinks


Summer House Santa Monica offers wine, beer, and a full bar. I had an Arnold Palmer, my husband had a mimosa, and our friend tried one of the cocktails (I can’t remember the name or find any drinks on the menu with rosemary. All of the drinks were good and pours were generous.

Overall Impression:

Summer House Santa Monica is a light and breezy place to grab brunch or dinner. The food is good overall and the bakery up front offers great treats to take home. I’m sure we’ll be back again.

Anthony’s Credit Card Pick: When I’m dining out, I want to maximize my points earned. My card of choice for restaurants and food delivery is the American Express® Gold Card. With it, I earn four Membership Rewards® Points for each dollar spent at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the US. It also includes up to $120 annual credit (up to $10 per month given in statement credits) for Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly,, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. Plus, up to another $120 annually (up to $10 per month) in Uber Cash that I can use for Uber Eats. When I’m hungry, this is the card I choose. (Terms apply and enrollment required for select benefits.) Learn more.

User Generated Content Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.

Leave a Comment

Related Articles