Ventura’s dining scene continues to thrive, in thanks to incredible Artisan chefs setting up eateries that showcase Ventura’s abundance of fresh locally caught seafood, organic fruits and produce, and eclectic fare. With wine country in our backyard, acres, and acres of fresh crops grown locally, and multi-cultural influences, it’s no wonder Ventura and its restaurants have been popping up in publications like Gourmet, Sunset, and Westways. Below are five of the most popular and unique restaurants in Ventura.
Spencer McKenzie’s Fish Tacos
Almost everyone can agree that fish tacos are a staple of California cuisine. Spencer Makenzie’s is a local favorite that offers high quality, fresh food at customer friendly prices, a warm welcoming experience with friendly service, and a laid-back beach vibe. Customers listen to mellow acoustic music from singers such as Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, and Ventura County local, Colbie Caillat.
Did you Know…?
FiveThirtyEight analyzed data on 67,391 restaurants to find the 64 top burritos in America and hit the road to taste test them all. Spencer Makenize’s finished in the Top 20 best burritos in America!
Opened in 1959, Johnny “Tony” Barrios, a Ventura native who received a Bronze Star in World War II and raced Olympic champion Jesse Owens on horseback, opened up a small roadside pizza joint just off Highway 101 beside Ventura’s well-known surf spot, Surfer’s Point. Inside the modest pizza hut are multiple photos signed by celebrities, such as Bo Diddley, Rob Lowe, and President Ronald Reagan, who have dined at Tony’s and extended their praises and well-wishes. Tony’s has become a popular eatery for spot-surf lunches, or late night snacks after going to the local breweries.
Açaí bowls have become very popular as snacks that provide healthy nutrients while also fulfilling a craving for those who enjoy their cold, sweet beach treats. Harvest Brazil’s pure, organic, non-GMO, naturally flavored açaí blend comes from the northern region of Brazil. All of their açai bowls have a variety of delicious toppings including strawberries, raspberries, granola, almonds, kiwi, peanut butter, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, chia seeds, coconut shavings, and more. Harvest Brazil has also named their bowls after popular Ventura surf spots, such as Rincon, Mondos, Emma Wood, and C Street.
Located in Ventura Harbor Village, Coastal Cone has been a beloved parlor since the early 2000s. It is difficult to walk by this shop and not sample one of their forty flavors of ice cream! You can also find Dole Whip-that’s right, the world-famous pineapple treat that is found in Disneyland can now be found in Ventura Harbor! It does not stop there, Coastal Cone has recently become more popular than ever with their Japanese-style fish-shaped waffle cones called Taiyaki! Even if you do not consider yourself a foodie, this cold treat is definitely worth a try.
For over 21 years, Taqueria Tepatitlan has been an iconic location for Mexican food in Ventura. From the freshest ingredients to the careful preparation and courteous service, the experience is authentically Mexican. Tepatitlan’s authentic dishes come from homemade family recipes collected over the years in the northern region of Mexico. Bold, unique, flavorful dishes complemented by an atmosphere warmed by family and friends. Come and discover for yourself all the traditional and modern dishes that Tepatitlan has to offer. After consuming your weight in Mexican food, wash it all down with an ice-cold Michelada using their own homebrewed Mexican lager.
Just a few steps from Ventura State Beach is Traveler’s Cafe, a beachside local favorite. The homemade lemon ricotta pancakes are a popular breakfast choice for the Sunday brunches. Not much for sweets? Try the Eggs Benediction – eggs benedict with a twist, or choose from a wide selection of breakfast favorites or house-made pastries! Can’t make it for a Sunday brunch? Stop by Traveler’s Cafe any other day of the week and try the delicious, original dishes on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy their dog-friendly outdoor patio to soak up the sunshine and ocean breeze, listen to local musicians playing a small gig, and admire local artwork found hanging on the walls. This eclectic cafe has a lot to offer and will have you coming back in no time.