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Si! Mon spread of fried chicken, patacones, tuna yuca tostada, curry spiced sashimi and pixabae hummus yuca tostada.
Photograph: Courtesy Ashley RandallSi! Mon

The best restaurants in Venice

Hungry in the L.A. mecca of sun, surf and skate? Head to one of these top Venice Beach restaurants for Italian, Thai and more.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Written by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
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Home to one of the most accessible beaches in Los Angeles, Venice is a longtime artist and bohemian enclave whose colorful characters have managed to stick around despite recent gentrification by white collar tech bros. Between the boardwalk and bustling Abbot Kinney, this changing beach neighborhood is full of destination-worthy, delicious places to eat. Here, you’ll find traditional Italian fare, seasonal California cuisine and approachable Mexican food—plus Thai and Japanese fusion standouts.

RECOMMENDED: Check out more in our full guide to Venice.

The best restaurants in Venice Beach

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Venice
  • price 3 of 4

Forget being the best pasta in Venice—Felix’s Evan Funke makes some of the best pasta on the West Coast. Rolling, cutting and forming noodles behind a pane of glass, the chef and his team give you dinner and a show in this cozy bungalow restaurant. The focus here is handmade pasta, but Funke’s mission to bring incredible Italian fare to L.A. also extends to the phenomenal sfincione focaccia, blistered crust pizzas and the antipasti so good you’ll be tempted to make a whole meal out of them. Years in, and it’s still packed—so make a reservation before heading over, or brave your luck at the cozy bar stools near the entrance.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Venice
  • price 3 of 4

No matter how you cut it, this full-service Abbot Kinney restaurant is probably the one restaurant that started the street’s full-tilt shift into gentrification and ensuing mainstream cultural significance. Even in the dead of winter, Gjelina’s seasonally focused menu, eaten alongside a mix of tourists, locals and influencers, can’t help but bring in the sunshine. Order plates to share—you can’t go wrong with any of the vegetables and pizzas baked in the wood-burning oven—or claim the beloved smoked-fish plate all for yourself. We’re partial to the back patio for weekend brunch, when there’s almost always a wait, but arrive early to beat the crowds while still enjoying some of the best food Venice has to offer.

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  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

Award-winning fried chicken from New Orleans? Say less. Willie Mae’s has now finally opened along Venice's Lincoln Boulevard—the first ever expansion for the family-run restaurant outside Louisiana. (For takeout and deliveyr, there's also a separate ghost kitchen in Santa Monica.) Choose from the full array of sides, including a seafood gumbo unique to Venice, traditional red beans and rice, and a gooey, perfectly cooked mac and cheese. The slight twinge of heat and heavier breading style distinguishes Willie Mae’s from other fried chicken purveyors around town—making it a total must-try for fried chicken lovers. Though prices run a tad higher than you’d expect (a two-piece meal with a side and some cornbread is $16.95), the chicken is well worth the extra premium. 

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Venice

This top-notch Rose Avenue steakhouse pulls double-duty, flipping high-quality, modestly priced burgers at its Window during the day and serving all kinds of wood-fired meat and seafood options at night, plus globally inspired starters and sides. The wood grilled flatbread with smoked honey and labneh is, quite frankly, out of this world, and the rosti-like stuffed hash browns (which comes as a giant potato pancake) pair well alongside any of their simply finished steaks. For seafood lovers, the must-order are the grilled prawns. Coming two to an order, they’re huge, sweet and delicious even before the side of lemon and herb butter enter the picture.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Venice
  • price 1 of 4

This beachy all-day Aussie café offers salads, sandwiches, smoothie bowls and a tater-tot-laden breakfast burrito across the street from the famous Venice sign off Windward Avenue. Don’t be surprised to see locals, tourists, cute pups and wetsuit-clad surfers all stopping by for a bite or one of the drinks from the full espresso bar. There are Aussie staples such as flat whites, plus L.A.-tailored items like the algae-packed smoothie bowl, naturally dyed bright blue via butterfly pea protein. Come evening, Great White also makes killer pizzas, with a curated list of funky, small producer natural wines.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Pan-South American
  • Venice
  • price 3 of 4
  • Recommended

After a year of sitting vacant, the former James Beach space is now Si! Mon, Venice’s most exciting restaurant to open in literal years. If the old venue—an iconic Westside queer space and locals’ watering hole—reflected the needs and wants of a bygone, more eclectic and affordable era in the beachside neighborhood, the new Central American restaurant exemplifies the type of place desired by the area’s new set of monied locals: Stylish, pricey and intended for those willing to casually drop $150 apiece on dinner and drinks. Luckily, head chef José Carles generally, but not always, justifies the expense with impeccably made raw dishes, yuca tostadas  and other small-to-medium plates that distill the country’s Chinese, Spanish and Afro-Caribbean culinary influences into a delicious meal, the likes of which you can’t find anywhere else in Los Angeles.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

Florence’s most famous sandwich shop has opened up on Abbot Kinney, and honestly, this is a rare case where the hype is justified. Filled with prosciutto, mortadella, pistachio cream and any other high-quality Italian import you can imagine, All’Antico Vinaio’s schiacciata creations puts most of L.A.’s imitation focaccia sandos to shame. The crusty, slightly oily Tuscan flatbread is the perfect canvas for everything from lardo and gorgonzola (the truffle honey-adorned Dolcezze d’Autunno) to the signature La Paradiso, which combines mortadella, stracciatella, pistachio cream and toasted pistachios into a must-try sandwich. Of course, lines are already stretching to an hour or more on the weekends, but arrive early—10:30am is when they start serving sandos—or try your luck on a weekday to cut down on your wait time.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4
If you think the Venice boardwalk is a living nightmare, then you'll be surprised that this neighborhood gem exists just steps away from the main thoroughfare. With string lights strung up above the sidewalk patio area, Dudley Market is like the Westside version of Virgil Village's Melody: a stylish, low-key spot with natural wine, freshly shucked oysters and plenty of well-dressed patrons. Unlike the Silver Lake-adjacent wine bar, however, the day-to-day menu focuses on sustainable seafood and bar bites, from delicious crudos to an excellent house burger. While we wouldn't go out of our way to eat here, it's a great option for locals looking for a nicer meal and visitors looking for a respite from overpriced tourist traps.
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  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Venice

This funky beachside shack has been around in Venice since 1962, slinging cheap, frosty mugs of beer, free popcorn and a pretty damn good burger (there's a veggie option too). Though they have an extensive food menu, the place is really a bar: note the sawdusted floors, pool tables, jukebox and minimal seating. Expect colorful regulars, frequent live music and a couple TVs for game-watching. The place only serves beer and wine and is cash only, so leave your credit cards and hard liquor hankerings at home.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

Cafe Gratitude almost feels like a vegan Eden, full of cheerful waitstaff, athleisure-clad diners with glowing skin and dishes that are affirmations themselves, so that you will have to declare, “I Am Thriving,” to order the soup of the day. At this extremely L.A. restaurant specializing in lunch bowls and green juice, your server is likely to ask you, “What are you grateful for today?” and you'll feel compelled to answer. Just embrace it. Our go-to order is the I Am Grateful, a simple but delicious grain bowl of kale, quinoa, black beans and garlic-tahini sauce.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

From the same team behind nearby all-day Australian eatery Great White, Gran Blanco offers seasonal, Mediterranean-inspired California small plates, natural wines and breezy, well-made cocktails in a tiny, well-decorated space just under the iconic VENICE sign. Standouts include the buffalo cauliflower, smashed crispy potatoes served with chive crema and mouthewatering lamb ribblets with harissa, parsley and Aleppo peppers. Though the small restaurant grows deafeningly loud with sceney clientele on Friday and Saturday nights, Gran Blanco also offers brunch, when crowds are quieter. 

 

  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Venice
  • price 3 of 4

Brought to you by the same folks behind Gjelina, you might miss Gjusta if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Operating out of a nondescript warehouse near Gold’s Gym, this higher-end deli and bakery usually has a small crowd waiting outside. Step inside and you’ll find a long, narrow corridor with glass cases of sweet and savory treats on the left, and a working bakery behind it. On the sweet side, slices of fruit are folded into sugar-glazed dough for a morning indulgence; a banana chocolate tart, while pricey, is worth a post-lunch splurge. On the savory side, sandwiches and salads make for an ideal lunch spot, with cuts of meat and fish, whether served to-go or in Gjusta’s limited inside seating or quaint, plant-filled patio seating area.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Venice
  • price 3 of 4

With a dreamy, bougainvillea-lined patio that's overtaken the old Zinque parking lot, this Mediterranean-inspired stunner is the most destination-worthy restaurant to hit Venice in a long, long while. Despite hailing from Madeo (the only two-star review we've given since 2019), head chef Raul Cerritos has pulled off an ambitious mix of Italian, French and Greek cuisine that zigs from creamy wagyu-topped hummus to lobster spaghetti and skirt steak with soy honey, all without missing a beat. A breezy breakfast and lighter lunch menu appeals to the usual health-conscious locals' crowd, but the elevated dinner menu and romantic ambience after dark make a visit to Paloma worthwhile for your next big(ger) night out, even if you're coming from clear across town.

 

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Venice
  • price 3 of 4

Temporarily closed. If there are trees sprouting up throughout the dining room and plates of pasta are hitting a table every minute, you must be at the Tasting Kitchen. Though those are a must-order, the small plates and mains are done well here, too, whether you’re in the mood for a grilled New York strip steak with chanterelles and prosciutto or a more delicate striped bass served alongside tomato romesco, eggplant and marcona almonds. Moody and low-lit in the evenings, with a smaller greatest hits menu at lunch, it’s a tried-and-true upscale Italian spot in the neighborhood worth visiting the next time you find yourself on Abbot Kinney.

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  • Restaurants
  • Venice

With its impeccably flower-lined, often crowded outdoor seating area, Wabi is likely to catch your eye if you’re walking past Cafe Gratitude (two doors down) or headed to shop or eat anywhere else on Rose Avenue. Given the all-around excellence of executive chef Rain Pantana’s Japanese fusion menu, however, this trendy sushi restaurant is worth making a return visit. Starters like the vegan-friendly Beets by Rain, which mimics a bowl of tuna poke, and a decadent buffalo-style chicken karaage kick off a main course that should always include some form of sashimi or sushi—a section of the menu that features plenty of plant-based roll options as well.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

In a neighborhood with plenty of Italian restaurants, Ospi stands out for two major reasons: its creative takes on Southern Italian cuisine and the hospitality team led by chef Jackson Kalb and his managing partner Melissa Saka (also of Jame Enoteca), who can make any meal at this upscale-casual eatery feel like white tablecloth fine dining. Although its toasts courtesy of Clark Street Bakery and thin crust pizzas may win over most carb lovers, Kalb’s excellent housemade rigatoni with vodka sauce and buttery chicken parm are what set its menu apart from the rest of the pack.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

We don’t know what Venice did to deserve Superba, but we’re envious, to say the least. Easily one of the best cafés in all of Los Angeles, its daily fresh bread makes for perfect snacks, to-go loaves, toasts slathered with weekly-rotating jams, and some of our favorite sandwiches—and that doesn’t even factor in Superba’s entrées, house-made granolas, coffee bar, salads and other California-fresh fare. Served in an airy, colorful dining room with industrial accents, the consistently excellent food at Superba is one of the main reasons we’d ever shell out $13 for avocado toast.

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

The third location of chef Kris Yembamroong’s new-school Thai restaurant, Night + Market Sahm on Lincoln Boulevard offers occasional Venice-specific specials and a less hectic crowd compared to its siblings in West Hollywood and Silver Lake. Sahm’s interior skews funky and bright, bringing Night + Market’s now iconic bright pink and orange interior design into fuller focus in a larger space that formerly housed another Thai restaurant. The pastrami pad kee mao, hand-friendly larb gai and pork toro with a salty northeastern Thai chili dip are all must-orders.

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Venice

Like many things in L.A., this all-day vegetarian restaurant and juice bar is a New York transplant. Unlike most transplants milling around Venice, however, the Butcher’s Daughter actually fits in on Abbot Kinney, where its white-washed, sun-lit space plays host to the hordes of people hankering for brunch on the weekends. At night, when you’ll find several pairs of diners perched precariously on stools, its curbside patio set-up transforms into an oddly romantic en plein air dining experience. During the day, the Butcher’s Daughter acai bowl, featuring housemade buckwheat-coconut granola, is one of the best in the city, particularly with a supplemental honey amaranth almond butter.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Venice

Dating back to 1979, this beloved sushi spot along Windward Avenue dates back to the days before Snapchat and gentrification and still boasts the same no-frills casual ambience and affordable prices to match. Here, rainbow rolls, spicy tuna-topped crispy rice bites and house creations heavy on avocado and imitation crab co-exist peacefully alongside nigiri and sashimi. The lived-in neighborhood feel of the place has kept area locals coming back for decades, and we hope Hama Sushi never changes—even if Venice has.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

This Oaxacan-inspired restaurant on Rose Avenue features a bright dining room and curated, thoughtfully sourced Mexican dishes, including a vegan tortilla soup and grilled nopales tacos topped with avocado salsa, blistered tomatoes and cotija cheese. A slew of mezcal and tequila-based drinks round out the menu at Chulita, making it a neighborhood favorite for anyone in search of agave-based cocktails. Just a heads up: Although Chulita takes limited reservations, the team holds the majority of tables for walk-ins.

  • Restaurants
  • Venice

For the last four decades, Casablanca has kept Venice happy on bottomless chips and salsa, live music on the weekends and generous portions of Mexican American cuisine. The signature calamari steaks are more than worth the hype, but you can't go wrong with the burrito wrapped in a housemade flour tortilla, the build-your-own taco situations or the platters of sizzling fajitas. The house margaritas are legendary among locals for their quality and strength, while Casablanca's cozy old-school ambience is a welcome antidote to all the shiny newer chef-driven places in Venice. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Vietnamese
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

Since 2018, this bright, airy strip mall eatery along Lincoln Boulevard has delighted Marina del Rey and Venice residents with a rich, dark brown pho with strong notes of anise, cloves and cardamom. Simmered for 72 hours (versus just 12 to 16 at other spots), Camp Pho’s namesake soup showcases the deeper, funkier but no less delicious side of Vietnam’s national dish. On the appetizer side, the restaurant offers well-executed creative takes on Vietnamese classics, from a delightful shrimp toast riff on goi cuon to a baby-back rib version of ram rang, or traditional caramelized short ribs. A handful of vegan-friendly items, including two kinds of plant-based pho, help round out the menu selection—and the all-around delicious offerings mean Camp Pho easily ranks as one of the best Vietnamese options on the Westside.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

Just minutes from the shores of Venice Beach is Charcoal, the friendly neighborhood restaurant from the same chef who brought us Melisse, one of the city’s best tasting menus. Here, Josiah Citrin’s menu is all about comfort and familiarity, centered around dishes that are all cooked over a live fire. The concept makes for a true home-style feel, whether you’re dining on grilled chicken or smoked oysters (and the family-sized portions will make you feel like you’re eating in your own back yard, too).

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