The 5 Coolest Restaurants in Venice, CA
1. The Butcher’s Daughter
This aesthetically pleasing restaurant located on the heart of Abbot Kinney Boulevard is not a place to skip out on. The restaurant front is beautifully decorated with bright green vines, cascaded over the white brick. White pots and beige woven planters are home to all sorts of palms and succulents, which seem to separate the bustling sidewalk from an outdoor dining room. Wide doors reveal this dining room, which looks more like an enchanted garden, rather a restaurant. This just being the exterior, invites you through the rustic wooden doors, and into another world. This place has something for everyone, a juice bar, espresso bar, bakery, and even a small marketplace (not to mention the fabulous cafe). The restaurant is completely vegetarian, hence the play on words: The Butcher’s Daughter. The culture surrounding this lifestyle makes the restaurant makes it a hotspot for vegans and vegetarians everywhere. If you haven’t tried their cauliflower grits with vegan sausage, I highly suggest you do so soon.
One of the neighborhood’s most popular restaurants, Gjelina could easily be the poster child for premium Venice dining. This sophisticated eatery is floored with cobblestone brick and features high ceilings of reclaimed wood. If eating after sundown, be prepared for dimly lit rooms and some possible celebrity sightings. Guessing what foods contribute to the mouth watering aroma of this place is almost impossible. What you might be smelling could be their crispy duck confit, with honey fig, chicory and hazelnut. Other unique dishes could include Venice local, John Boyden’s favorite: lamb ribs, pesto, and peach barbeque sauce. “Gjelina is award winning for a reason,” says Boyden, “there is really no other place that compares.” Boyden goes on to explain his love for Gjelina’s sister restaurant, Gjusta, a German inspired bakery and deli.
Likewise to her sister restaurant, Gjusta hides any evidence of the building being a business from the outside. With no signage, one could confuse the wooden screen door to Gjusta as an entrance to an empty warehouse. Entering into this hidden gem is almost breathtaking. Skylights shine bright down on the white large marble countertop and glass pastry cases, which stretch far down the entire length of the room. Chic wood paneling and the smell of cured fish and baked goods, gives this place the feeling of being somewhere in Eastern Europe. Although Gjusta is always full of people, there never seems to be a wait. Just do not forget to take a number from the dispenser, so you can be sure to order your baklava croissant and lox sandwich.
4. La Cabana
This place gives has been radiating the energy and hospitality of Mexico since 1963. You may recognize La Cabana because of their tradition of a mariachi band performing on the roof every Cinco De Mayo. With no windows and warm lighting, La Cabana feels like being in a Mexican courtyard at sunset. The bar and it’s 35 tequila’s resemble a shack with it’s own tiled roof coming from the ceiling. Potted palm trees and a brick fire pit perfectly contribute to the outdoor atmosphere of this cozy dining room. The servers will always be well groomed, in their tuxedos, and probably cracking a joke. Keep an eye out for the manager Martin, who is known for his bantering and friendly sarcasm. Craving some juevos rancheros for breakfast? How about a late night chile verde? La Cabana is not only open for breakfast, but until 3am everyday! Experimenting with different Mexican places can be difficult, especially when it comes to the tortillas. La Cabana is famous for their handmade tortillas, which make meals like their garlic spinach and shrimp quesadilla even more delectable.
5. The Rose Cafe
It does not get any more Venice than this, folks. The ever popular Rose Cafe is just steps from the beach, and sits on the corner of Main Street and Rose Avenue. Serving to locals and tourists since 1979, the Rose is notorious for it’s reflection of the Venice beach lifestyle, combining art and health consciousness. After some renovation earlier this year, the Rose is now a gorgeous representation of the community, as it intends to be. This open aired space is massive. Walking in, you can’t help but notice a chandelier with ropes coming from multiple points in the ceiling, where ferns, foliage, and twinkling lights are met, and intertwined with another. This attractive chandelier hangs directly above a large communal table, and parallel to a 40 foot full service bar.