I'm so excited to bring to you our home base of Venice Beach, CA! We feel so lucky to live here.
It's 75 and sunny most of the year. Not sold yet?
In addition to the beach, Venice is home to Abbot Kinney - an upscale hip street full of shops, restaurants, bars & the best ice cream. Rose Ave is just a scooter ride away and has more to do. If you even lift, bruh, it is called muscle beach for a reason too.
Venice has changed quite a bit in the past few years - à la gentrification. Some of it's good (amazing restaurants and shops) and some of it's bad (people and businesses are being forced out by increasing prices). Geek moment: if you're interested in learning more about gentrification, this documentary is really informative.
The other great thing about living in Venice is some of my best insta-friends live here! My first and bestest floof @fezziktheakita, and my neighbor I don't see enough @palomaperrystreet Special shout out to my homies one town over, Bart & Mika.
Scroll below to see the 19 best places to eat, drink & go in Venice Beach!
What to Do:
Go to the beach!! - this should be first priority on your list. It's awesome. Do it. Even better, rent a bike and take it down the bike path! I would check out the skate park too. [dog friendly - on the strand only]
Rent a boat - this activity technically starts in Marina del Rey, however you can take your boat to Venice and beyond! We've done this a few times for summer days and it's the best. You can pack some snacks & the pooch and cruise along the coast! [dog friendly]
Ride a Bird Scooter - another thing I haven't tried, they're literally EVERYWHERE now though. On every corner on my way to work. I see at least 5 a day. It's really taken over! [dog friendly - if you have a K9 Sport Sack ;)]
First Friday's or Abbot Kinney Fest on Abbot Kinney - admittedly as a local I hate this evening, as everyone crowds my neighborhood and available parking spaces (lame-o I know). First Friday is the first Friday of every month, and gathers food trucks up and down Abbot Kinney. Worth checking out!
Walk around the Canals - there's a really cool history behind this area tying back to Italy, I highly recommend a read about it. But basically it's a beautiful walk along canals with amazing houses to dream about living in. [dog friendly]
Shop on Abbot Kinney - if you’re looking for upscale boutique shopping, Abbot Kinney is for you. Aesop, Warby Parker, Cuyana, Adidas, Sweaty Betty & the elusive new Apple Store of weed, MedMen. Personal fave is Urbanic, the card & party favor shop!
Go on a mural crawl, duh!
Where to Eat:
Great White - I'm OBSESSED with Great White! Welcome to the neighborhood! It's gorgeous inside, crisp white with beach vibes. And it's situated smack dab staring at the Venice lights, one block from the beach. Must have their charcoal latte!! [dog friendly]
The Butcher's Daughter - I'm not even mad that New York had her first, because she's on Abbot Kinney now, and we love her. The Butcher's Daughter is as if pinterest decided to open a beautiful, bright, boho brunch spot. Indigo dyed cloth & macrame hangs from the ceiling, the interior coffee bar has blue tile and white carerra marble tops. Pretty much my dream come true. The food is also quite delicious, but anything would taste delicious in that atmosphere! [dog friendly]
Superba Food + Bread - recent Superba convert here, I love their new menu! Really delicious American flavors (read: BREAD) and super dog friendly, like inside and out. The walls are also filled with murals, so a bonus for us ;). [dog friendly]
Wurstkuche - typical German beer & brat house! Long tables with paper tablecloths and crayons to draw on them, an assortment of mustards for your brat. Oh and DELISH fries. It gets pretty turnt up with a live DJ later, but not to the level of dancing. You really can't go wrong here, it's a perfect Friday night outing. [dog-friendly patio, but be forewarned: the patio is TINY]
Rose Cafe - another recent reno project, you'll just want to live in their interior! We've been here for brunch & dinner and loved both. Dog friendly patio out front. It's pricey so beware, but I think more than worth it. [dog friendly]
Gjelina - you'll be pressed to find someone who doesn't love Gjelina. All American deliciousness, tapas style. I don't even like mushrooms but their mushroom toast is a must have! Dog friendly patio outside, and expect to wait if you haven't made a reservation [dog friendly]
Plant Food + Wine - it may sound weird for some to recommend a vegan restaurant, this place is extremely tasty though! Similar to Rose we like this spot for brunch & dinner, especially since they have a dog friendly outdoor patio. I took a cooking class here with my mom too, shout out to Alice it was AWESOME! [dog friendly]
Cafe Gratitude - You Are Effervescent. You Are Dazzling. You are Magical. These are just a few of the "mantras" for dishes you can order. It's reallll kitschy and a little spiritually overwhelming for some, but they have real good healthy food, which is hard to find. [dog friendly]
Where to Drink:
Menotti's - it's hard to pick just one, but this has to be my favorite coffee shop in Venice. Their coffee is like crack, in the sense that you can't get enough of it, and the caffeination is crack levels. I'm also pretty much obsessed with their cheddar bacon scones. Oh and dogs allowed inside, heyyyoo! [dog friendly]
Deus Ex Machina - Deus is actually an Australian motorcycle company, and their Venice spot houses a mini shop for motorcycle accessories in addition to the cafe. They've got a really spacious indoor / outdoor area that's perfect for working, and dogs are allowed everywhere. Their food menu is pretty great too, my go-to order flip flops betweens their bacon cheddar everything bagel sando, and the granola berry parfait cup. [dog friendly]
Funny story: a few years ago I was in Australia on a family trip. At Manly Beach I saw someone wearing a Deus shirt so I walked over and asked if they were from Venice Beach too! Cue suuuuper awkward stare as he turns around and I see "Deus Sydney" on the shirt hahaha. After that I learned Deus started in Australia, not Venice Beach hahaha #fail
Tom's - not just a shoe store on Abbot Kinney, they've got a coffee shop & really cute outdoor patio for working and petting your pup. [dog friendly]
The Lincoln - the arrival of the Lincoln on Lincoln was very exciting, because there aren’t really any amazing bars around here. In comes the Lincoln, with old world vibes and an outdoor front patio. The only downside is there aren't really food options, just hot dogs and popcorn. We've been to many events here during the day on the weekends where dogs are welcome! [dog friendly - sometimes. Check beforehand!]
Google My Maps:
Use this map to go on a wall crawl of your own!
All of the murals are in purple, things to do in maroon, places to drink are in blue and places to eat are in green.
Find me on the gram: @watsonandwalls