When your neighborhood boasts sweet ocean breezes and majestic pastel sunsets, you’re bound to attract a sophisticated crowd. This is one reason why savvy diners flock to Venice Beach and its surrounding enclaves for arguably the best restaurants in LA. From Abbot Kinney to Main Street to Rose, this area is a prime destination for foodies. Here are some favorites you shouldn’t miss.
Situated at a corner lot on hip Abbot Kinney Boulevard, this popular spot fits in perfectly, like the last piece of a rustic puzzle. Opened in 2008, Gjelina quickly gained a reputation as one of the best restaurants in LA. The casual dining room inside is always crowded but never loud—its warm wooden walls seem to soak up the noise as diners chew the fat—and the back patio is as soothing as it gets. You can’t go wrong with its breakfast, lunch, or dinner—each dish more interesting than the next. With plates like lemon buckwheat ricotta pancakes, smoked trout salad with grapefruit and avocado, and lamb sausage pizza, you just might want to spend the entire day with your napkin tucked under your chin.
N’ice Cream Homemade Gelato & Sorbet
Easily one of the most fun ways to beat the stifling LA heat is by delving into one of this gem’s chilled desserts. The N’ice Cream gelato is made with milk, not cream, so what you gain in flavor you don’t gain in calories. But you’d never know—with mouthwatering flavors like salted caramel and cookies & cream. You’ll savor the slow-melting organic treats. Carry out scoops in a cup or cone, or have them blend it into a creamy “thickshake” featuring flavors of your choice, as you window shop along trendy Abbot Kinney.
Thank goodness Rose Café seats a big crowd—it’s been packing them in for decades. It strikes the perfect beach-vibe balance with a comfortable sit-down eatery, an over-the-counter take-out menu, and full-service bakery. It even features an art gallery of local artists’ work. The food is absolutely delicious, and the service is always laid-back and friendly. With a spacious dining room and a pleasant outdoor patio, this neighborhood favorite is a great place to catch up with friends on a lazy day.
When it’s time to settle in for a romantic night, Ado will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the other Venice. From the outside, it looks like an ordinary yellow house or LA bungalow. But once they take you upstairs to the quaint dining room—and the aromas of freshly made sauce fill your nose—you’ll know you’re in the right place. No buzzers or whistles here—it’s all about the food. Pick your wine of choice, stare into each other’s eyes, and reminisce as you indulge in Ado’s unique homemade red beet tagliolini pasta, or ravioli filled with beef tenderloin and black kale. After an evening of this delicious food, take a stroll along Venice Beach as you hold your partner close. It’s Venice magic at its best.