The Venice Beach Boardwalk is packed with so many shops, restaurants and things to do that I could and probably will write a dozen posts about it.
We just finished a post about the cool Bohemian hotels on the Venice Boardwalk, so I thought it would be a good idea to tell you some of the great places to eat near where you are staying on your visit to sunny Southern California.
Truth is, if you are staying in any of the Venice hotels we listed, you can just step out onto the boardwalk and walk down it until you see one that catches your fancy. But here is a list of some of the great restaurants if you want to decide in advance. I’m dividing this into three sections: Restaurants by the Venice Boardwalk which is the area around Rose Ave, Restaurants by the Venice Pier and Other Venice Restaurants.
Restaurants on the Venice Boardwalk
1. Venice Ale House
The Venice Ale House, or the = V = as they call it, is in the center of it all where Rose Ave meets the Venice Boardwalk. The sidewalk tables are always full and there is a line out the door. People love this place.
It offers a full menu of local, organic and sustainable food. It also serves grass fed beef and has over 30 craft beers on tap, fine California wines, and fresh cocktails.
If you get a sidewalk table, the people watching on the boardwalk doesn’t get better than from here. From simply watching the widely different people stroll by, to break dancing, roller blade dancing, and any other type of street performance you can imagine, the show is the most unique you will ever see.
For more information visit the Venice Ale House website.
2 Rose Ave, Venice, CA
2. Venice Beach Bar
The Venice Beach Bar has a rich history on the Venice Boardwalk and is the only restaurant that also offers a 2nd floor view of Silicon Beach (somewhere along the line Venice Beach became known as Silicon Beach due to Google opening offices there and Snapchat placing their headquarters in Venice) and the world famous Venice Beach Boardwalk.
The restaurant was built in 1922 and gave rise to the Beat Generation. They wrote and recited poetry, embraced jazz as their new musical anthem. They created a movement which spawned the
Bohemian culture for which Venice, has become renown. Regular patrons of the Venice Beach Bar include Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg and Jim Morrison.
The menu features chips, salsas, nachos, steaks, chicken, burgers and more. It also, as the name implies, has a full bar.
There is live music some nights of the week. Check the Venice Beach Bar website for more info.
321-323 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
3. Candle Cafe and Grill
Next door to the Venice Beach Bar is the Candle Cafe and Grill. It’s a great place for breakfast to sit in the morning and watch boardwalk come to life
You can enjoy omelets, french toast and specialty coffees for breakfast. Other times sandwiches, pasta, burgers, seafood and pasta. They offer gluten free options..
Oh, and the outdoor covered patio is air conditioned! Yes, I know it’s the beach, but it still gets hot!
For more info visit the Candle Cafe & Grill website
325 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
4. Osteria Venice West
Originally the Venice West Cafe, Osteria Venice West also has deep roots in the early Bohemian beat culture of Venice.
It’s a casual Italian restaurant featuring an open kitchen designed to be a social gathering place, where guests can enjoy rustic Italian cuisine & regional wines. Pastas and pizza dough are made in house fresh daily.
This restaurant also features sidewalk tables and is steps from the Venice Boardwalk.
For more information visit the Osteria Venice West website
5 Dudley Avenue, Venice, CA 90291. This is right by the restaurants above.
5. Surfside Venice Restaurant
A little farther south on the boardwalk you’ll find Surfside Venice, right under the Venice sign which has become a very popular place to take Instagram photos It’s a sports bar/restaurant with a happy hour from 4 – 7 on weekdays where you can get $6 drinks and $8 eats.
Find Surfside Venice as 23 Windward Ave. Venice California. Right under the Venice Sign.
6. The Poke Shack Restaurant
The Poke Shack calls itself a Hawaiian experience and focuses on serving real food with local and organic products. They also offer made to order Smoothies, (no sugar, syrup) Acai Bowls, Hawaiian Kettle chips, cold pressed juice and over 20 Hawaiian tropical drinks.
Restaurants by the Venice Pier
1. The Venice Whaler
The Whaler dates back to 1944 and is on Venice Blvd where it meets the Venice Pier. As with most of the restaurants on the boardwalk it is rooted the Bohemian Venice culture. Famous patrons include Doors, Beatles, and Beach Boys.
If you are worn out from too much fun during the day and want to relax at your room they have a “takeaway” menu and delivery is available via GrubHub.
It features brunch, lunch and dinner with the fare being mostly sandwiches. Their Whaler Burger has been voted one of the top 10 burgers in LA and they are famous for their fish tacos. There is also a full bar.
For more information visit the Venice Whaler website.
10 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292
2. The Wings: Famous Chicken Wings
Just across the street from the Venice Whaler and the only other restaurant by the pier right on the beach is The Wings. I’ve also heard it called Famous Wings. We wrote about The Wings some time back in Totally LA.
Really more of a takeout stand than a restaurant it’s tank building with red palm trees and Coke bottle caps is one of the most photographed and remembered things about the beach at Venice Pier.
I saw when I was writing this post on Yelp that the place has closed. I find that hard to believe but if it is just head next door to the Terrace Restaurant.
Update: The Wings is now Slice of Venice and a great place for a slice of pizza!
3. The Venice Terrace
It offers a diverse menu and a nice spacious open dining area with views of the beach.
For more information visit the Venice Terrace Website
7 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292
Other Venice Restaurants
This is far from a complete list of Venice Restaurants. Venice has become a gastronomical haven of upscale trendy restaurants, particularly along Abbot Kinney Blvd. In fact there are only two I am going to mention here.
1. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
Hot days call for ice cream and Jeni’s is just a couple of blocks up Rose Ave from the beach. It’s well worth the trek.
We named the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream store in Los Feliz as the best ice cream shop a while back. And their location in Venice couldn’t be a more perfect fit. Jeni’s started in 2002 with a mission to make all natural ice creams free from the synthetic flavorings, dyes, emulsifiers and ice cream mixes used by traditional ice cream manufacturers.
Jeni’s sparked the artisan ice cream movement a decade before it became a food trend. Healthy, natural, artisan foods is what Venice is all about.
You notice it immediately in the taste. Real ingredients just taste better and they are better for you. Which is probably why there is such a steady stream of people in and out the door.
540 Rose Avenue, Venice California 90291
2. Perry’s Beach Cafe
Cris-crossing the Venice Boardwalk is a bike/pedestrian path called The Strand. If you are headed up it toward the Santa Monica Pier and feel an appetite coming on there is a cafe right on the beach path called Perry’s Beach Cafe and Rentals.
They serve fresh, grass fed and organic foods from a prime beach location. And to make sure your day on the beach is fun they offer rentals of a large variety of specialty and electric bikes, roller skates, beach chairs, umbrellas, mats, boogie boards, surfboards, paddle boards, volleyballs and more.
For more information, visit Perry’s Beach Cafe website.
2400 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, CA 90405
If you’re planning a vacation in Venice Beach be sure to see our Venice Beach Vacation Guide video of all the sights and fun things to do in Venice.
More Venice Beach photos after the break….
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