Travel

Venice Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Felix
1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
Taking over the neighborhood spot that was, for twenty-four years, Joe’s Restaurant, Felix is a very honorable successor: the just-opened dinner desitination is warm and vibrant, bringing Chef Evan Funke’s elevated spin on modern Italian fare to the neighborhood. Of course, much like many of its Abbot Kinney neighbors, Felix is already a foodie destination, drawing crowds from all over the city—definitely make a reservation, and be prepared to do it weeks in advance. And don’t miss their hand-rolled pasta, which is seriously genuine perfection.
Chez Tex
218 Main St., Venice
Right on the border of Venice and Santa Monica, this all-day restaurant and wine bar is a new West Side fave. In the morning you'll find Superba pastries and Canyon coffee, solid offerings like kale salad, cobb salad, and a nice selection of sandwiches at lunch, and for dinner, slightly more ambitious variations including grass-fed beef tartar and wild mushrooms with egg yolk. The menu, designed and executed by chef Ash Ghassemzadah, is a celebration of local, seasonal ingredients. With a small but welcoming dining room, the space transitions easily from a casual grab-and-go coffee and lunch spot to a more refined dinner destination (perfect for a date night). The small but expertly curated wine list is a big selling point, too.
The Butcher’s Daughter LA
1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
Taking up prime real estate on Abbot Kinney, this beloved NYC spot has finally made it out west. And it's not just East Coast transplants who have been lining up for a table in the beautifully turned-out dining room (there's also an indoor-outdoor terrace that's pretty perfect for people-watching) or a seat at one of two bars; everyone can appreciate the veggie-friendly menu (just brunch, breakfast, and lunch, for now), which includes standbys like avocado toast and breakfast burritos. The teeny but well-stocked retail space out front and the cold-pressed juice cooler are welcome little add-ons.
The Rose Venice
220 Rose Ave., Venice
Rose Cafe, a Venice standby since 1979, is breathing new life under the direction of chef Jason Neroni. While the interior has been updated, the space pays homage to it's long-time Venice Beach roots—local artists have decorated the walls with a mix of modern pieces and whimsical, historic, imagery of this rapidly-changing neighborhood. The space is vast, encompassing a soaring dining room, open-air patio, food market, bakery, and Verve coffee bar. The takeout counter—filled with tempting prepared foods—is a welcome addition for the time-strapped local who can't linger over their morning matcha and avocado toast. Speaking of toast, the bread here is a must-order. Other stand-outs: the cacio e pepe and the fire-roasted chicken.
Plant Food + Wine
1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
When the long-standing Axe shut its doors, a lot of West Siders were pretty bummed—but then chef Matthew Kenney, a force in the plant-based movement, swooped in to take over the space, turning the upstairs into a plant-based cooking academy. The place still has a light, low-key vibe, with exceptional outdoor seating; the difference is the menu is now completely vegan. Kenney’s restaurants across the country all do things with veggies and nuts that you don’t see anywhere else. They’re known for their aged-nut-cheese plate, fantastic salads, and the (amazing) curried cauliflower tacos.
Salt Air (Closed)
1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
There's a decided beach house vibe going on here, from the white brick walls to the white marble tables and chairs. Dotted with skylights, it's sun-drenched, too. The menu is seafood/bistro, like olive-oil-poached salmon, steak au poivre, and lobster rolls—with the oysters and fries being our favorite order. Thin glass tumblers filled with wine, illustrated menus, and food intended to be shared makes this an ideal place for dinner with friends (or a date). Photo: Jakob Layman
Gjelina
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
It’s been several years, but Gjelina—a restaurant that ushered in a new sort of veggie-centric California cuisine—is as mobbed as ever. The crowds make a lot of sense: Everything is always excellent, from the aforementioned vegetable sides to the whisper-thin jalapeño and smoked mozzarella pizza. Come when it opens so you can snag a table on the patio out back. (If the lines are too long, grab something to go at GTA, its takeaway spot next door.)
Café Gratitude
512 Rose Ave., Venice
Everything on the menu is an affirmation, so if you can stifle the giggles at names like "I Am Connected"—which is actually an amazing zucchini cilantro hummus—you'll find that the vegan food here is delicious, even for those who normally refuse to go meat and dairy-free. There are picks for every sensibility, from coffee milkshakes (made with almond milk), to cashew cheese topped corn tacos to Indian curried lentils. There are three locations—Hancock Park, Venice, and the Arts District—and the Café Gratitude team also has a Mexican iteration in Hollywood called Gracias Madre.
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