I’ve been living in Portland for about 3.5 months now and I am most definitely getting homesick for my friends + all the local spots I found during my time living next to Venice Beach.
Moving to a new city is HARD. Not only is it difficult to make new friends, but also discovering your local gems all over again. So for today, I made a little list of all of my favourite places to eat in Venice, California. Bookmark it for your next trip!
There is a reason why it’s impossible to get a dinner reservation at this Venice staple. The food is THAT good. Sure, there’s a lot of hype but it delivers on every level for us. Gjelina is our go-to when guests are visiting from out-of-town.
Make sure to order the Grilled Peach + Burrata, Tuscan Kale Salad, Roasted Cauliflower Salad, Pomodoro Pizza with Burrata, Ricotta Gnocchi, Braised Pork Meatballs and the Steak. The menu changes seasonally.
Lunch and dinner are great here. Brunch is a different menu and they don’t take reservations for this. Gjelina also has a take-out counter called GTA next door where you can get select items from their menu to-go. Don’t skip the pizza or meatballs!
The Rose Cafe
I love the super chill vibes in this gorgeously decorated space. The space has undergone an extensive renovation and The Rose Cafe is just a gem in Venice. My choice would be to go for brunch and hang out in their huge patio around back. Do try any of their pastas and homemade breads.
I found out about this hole in the wall taco stand from The Offalo and its a local favourite and the BEST! The tacos are $1.50 people! When I’m at La Playita, I usually order the Shrimp Tostadas or a small Shrimp Cocktail, Fish Tacos or the Al Pastor Tacos.
You serioulsy can’t go wrong with anything here. They fry all the tostadas here, it’s cash only and there’s just a small bench to sit on. Get it to go and head to the beach!
When I heard a ramen chain out of Tokyo was going to open a restaurant around the corner from my place, I got in line with all the excited Japanese folks to try their famous Tonkotsu and it didn’t disappoint.
First off, I was a little bummed that my fave fast food Chinese place – Magic Wok closed down. But I’m happy to have gained Venice Ramen for some authentic bowls of noodles right next to the beach.
Baby Blues BBQ
Craving BBQ? Baby Blues BBQ is the place to get your fix – it ranks amongst some of the best BBQ I’ve had. Paul and I will usually split a meat combo platter with three meats, two sides and cornbread. We add stuff a la carte to that if we’re really hungry – but it’s a lot! Definitely try the beef brisket.
Looking for a place for happy hour? Hama Sushi has great deals at the bar and you’re walking distance to the beach and Venice sign. The fish and seafood are all high quality and I like ordering a bunch of different rolls – including the Strawberry Roll.
The Butcher’s Daughter
This hippie boho space is a great place to hit up for brunch and dinner with a prime location on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Grab a bite at The Butcher’s Daughter and go shopping along the hippest street in America (according to GQ magazine).
I usually order the juice flight, the breakfast pizza or any of their salads!
The fusion tacos are the way I always go over at Komodo Venice – a food truck turned brick and mortar quick-serve shop. It’s always packed at lunchtime, but I never fail to order one of their taco combos that comes with a side and a lemonade .
Try the truffle parm fries, the fish ‘n grapes taco, the loco moco taco and the komodo 2.0 tacos.
Gjusta is the sister quick-serve cafe to Gjelina in Venice. It’s more of a bakery and deli with lots of delicious made-from-scratch things on offer. My must-orders are the mochi cake, any and all of their breads, the egg sandwich, the mushroom bowl, smoked brisket banh-mi, the pastrami sandwich.
My advice is to make yourself a little picnic and go crazy!
Pretty much any type of sausage you can imagine, exists at Wurstkuche. This casual beer hall features gourmet sausages, fries and beer. Simply order at the counter, grab your drink and find a seat on one of their long communal tables.
Don’t be intimidated by the line – it moves quick! I’m a big fan of their classic Bratwurst.
Okay this place is definitely hippie-dippy and you might not be sure what to make of it when they ask you the question of the day. But their key lime pie is to die for and I recommend trying any of their raw desserts.
I like going to Cafe Gratitude for lunch or brunch and I usually order a grain bowl or their eggplant parm panini which is super filling!
Salt & Straw Ice Cream
A favourite from Portland – if you can’t make it here, go to the new Salt & Straw Ice Cream location on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. Sample all their crazy flavours – they are constantly changing. But their salted caramel is one of the best.
Blue Star Donuts
Another Portland darling, Blue Star Donuts landed across the street on Abbot Kinney and it is divine. This is gourmet donuts to the next leve. Try the mimosa or the pina coloda donut!
Do you have any favourite places to eat in Venice Beach, California?
Love This? See my other list – Where To Eat in Marina del Rey.