Travelers typically head to to Venice, California to snap a few beach photos and snag a tan. But it’s the town’s diverse culinary scene that makes people want to book a place and stay awhile. From breakfast to dinner and budget to splurge prices, there’s no lack of food options in Venice, and there’s no better way to meet the Venice locals than by restaurant and café hopping.
You might find a lengthy line outside of Egg Slut on a weekend morning, but for a breakfast sandwich that will cure your hangover without breaking the bank, it never disappoints.
On the other side of Venice, located on the trendy Rose Avenue, Venice Flake offers reasonably priced breakfast options that err on the side of healthy. Order an acai bowl topped with fruit and granola, or join the crowd of Venice surfers and locals chowing down on “Flake’s Famous Burrito.”
The soft corn fritters, blue smoothie bowl and loaded breakfast burrito from Great White Venice may all be over $10, but the dishes are as vibrant as they are flavorful, so you likely won’t bat an eye at the price. Of course, as do most Venice cafes, Great White also offers a classic avocado toast and a satisfying vegetable quinoa bowl.
At Gjusta Bakery, you’ll likely spend over $30 on breakfast, as well as over half your day sitting out on the back patio enjoying the smell of baking bread. The ordering counter is almost always packed, but the jars of homemade pickles and funky music bumping in the background are great distractions while you wait. Or there’s the option of grabbing a baklava croissant from the bakery side of the cafe. The line moves quick there, and the pastries are made fresh throughout the day.
The Cow’s End is an ideal budget lunch spot for hungry beach goers looking for a quick, nutritious bite. It’s cash only, but the portion size of the sandwiches, wraps and salads are worth every dollar, and you can enjoy them with a view of the ocean from one of the outdoor tables.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard is known for its pricey restaurants and boutiques. But you can still get a cheap slice of freshly made pizza at Abbot’s Pizza Company. Expect creative toppings like chicken curry and chopped salad.
The Rose is everything you could want in a stylish, boho style Venice restaurant. There’s potted plants hanging from the ceiling, an outdoor wall covered entirely in plants and menu that is sure to impress and please even the pickiest eater. If the restaurant side is full, order at the counter from the all-day breakfast menu and find a spot on the back patio to enjoy your meal, and the free WiFi.
Gjelina is the type of restaurant that entices people to fly to LA just to dine there for a night. Like any other high-end restaurant in this city, it’s dark, loud and almost always overflowing with hopeful wait-listers and entitled regulars around dinner hours. This is why lunch is the savvy option. The chef offers a seasonal, Californian take on Italian cuisine, with a menu that is both vegetable dense and full of gluten.
It may seem like every trendy dinner restaurant in Venice requires a company credit card and an impossible-to-get reservation. Wurstkuche Venice is one of those few exceptions. There’s almost always an open spot at one of the restaurant’s large communal tables, and a gourmet sausage and beer will run you less than $15.
With their authentic Neapolitan-style pizza pies, and friendly, neighborhood vibe, South End is sure to become one of your favorite Venice spots. Both the owner and chef are from Italy, which you’ll quickly notice from their welcome greetings and generous wine pours. The pizzas are a little on the pricier side, ranging from $15 to $19. Luckily, all you really need is a salad and a pie to satisfy your hunger, though you may want to spend a little extra to keep the grape juice flowing.
Unless you plan on arriving right at opening time and snagging a seat at the bar, consider booking at least a month in advance for a table at Felix Trattoria. It’s packed every night of the week, but once you pop a twirl of handmade pasta in your mouth, you’ll quickly understand why. As the sauce coats your tastebuds and gives way to the pasta’s al-dente texture, you’ll surely succeed in swallowing that steep price tag too.