Here are the Best Places to Picnic and Eat in Ventura

Taqueria Ventura Doña Raquel

by Visit Ventura

Yes, it’s Takeout Tuesday in Ventura — your designated chance to help our Ventura restaurants get through these tough times (thank you!). And in Ventura, there may be no finer (or more affordable) pairing than the Grab ‘n Go picnic.

Shared street tacos on picnic bench on the Ventura Pier? Sushi high in the hills? How do you Grab ‘n Go picnic in Ventura?

Johnny's Mexican Ventura by Josiah Q Roe

Photo by Josiah Q Roe 2019

The Perfect Pairing: Ventura and the Outdoors

In Ventura, we’ve always known the importance (and joy) of being outside. So many benefits and balms to the great outdoors — and they’re free. Ventura has also always been good (semi-professional?) at combining two favorites — the joy of the outdoors and the pleasure of good food. Whether you make it exotic (pairing imported cheeses, olives and meats from Peirano’s Market & Delicatessen on an amply spread blanket in Camino Real Park), or keep it whiz-bang simple (two slices of Tony’s Pizzaria to go and head straight for the beach), there’s no place like Ventura for a Grab ‘n Go picnic.

Peirano's Market & Delicatessen

Peirano’s Market & Delicatessen

Our Poll Results 


We polled our kind, loyal — and knowledgeable — readers, and they gave us some of their favorite places to picnic …

Interesting to note the overall results. Among the top places to picnic, Surfer’s Point was the favorite, followed closely by Grant Park, and then, at a slight distance, Ventura Harbor  and the beach, proving, perhaps, that the best picnic view is one of the water.

Ventura's favorite picnic restaurants

Top food to bring along on the picnic? Long-time Ventura favorite — and Ventura Avenue icon — Johnny’s Mexican Food. After that, well, you can see it was something of a free-for-all: Andria’s Seafood, Peirano’s Market & Delicatessen, the Busy Bee CafeCorrales Mexican Food, Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack, Spencer Makenzie’s (Fish Company), and the tiny, often unsung, Harbor Cove Cafe. And more. Proving what Venturans have known all along. Our restaurant bucket spilleth over — and then some.

Our Readers (kindly) Answer


And it wouldn’t be a worthy (or helpful) Ventura poll without a few specific tips — and we received some really fun ones.

Again, heartfelt thanks to our Ventura locals and visitors who chimed in. We wouldn’t be able to write these blogs without your help. And we know you know what you’re talking about…

5 trees ventura

We used to hike up to 5 trees when it was still 5 trees, in the 1960’s, and eat lunch!!
— Julie Cologrante Stephen

Johnny's Ventura

Photo by Josiah Q Roe 2019

Of course Johnny’s in Old Town and go up to the Cross to eat it!!
— Char Grimm Mohror

In N’ Out at Marina Beach
— April Collins Fazai

Local Cheese Guy Fritz Leon’s Euro and unique cheeses!
— Debbie Davidson Cvijanovich

grant Park Ventura

Parked high on a hill with a ocean view, in our van..with a homemade picnic, usually made with my Trader Joe’s favorites.
— Patsi Pecora Ledbetter

Surfers Point! The food, Corrales!
— Alison Paulson


Your Turn

Rice by mama ventura

Rice by Mama

No matter what the choice, our readers all responded with great enthusiasm.

Proving that Ventura and picnics are the perfect pairing.

And we always welcome late entries. If you have a favorite picnic spot and picnic food, please chime in.


Shopping, dining, hiking, beach-going, beer-quaffing, wine-tasting, and all manner of fun in the sun (because that’s what Ventura does best). Want to know (almost) everything about Ventura? Please order our FREE 2020 Ventura Inspiration Guide here.