The magical Sarah Weston will be joining us for our Montana retreat in a couple of weeks, and we are so excited to have her in our tribe! To get to know her a little better (and get some travel tips for ourselves, let’s be real), we asked her for some of her favorite things to eat, see, and do on her home turf of Venice, CA. Venice is just outside of LA and is a gorgeous hourlong walk away from Santa Monica via the beach, but if you’ve ever visited, you know that it’s a world of its own! Next time you find yourself in SoCal, be sure to check these spots out.
E A T
Café Gratitude – Everything on the menu is an affirmation. You’ll find that the vegan food here is delicious, even for those who normally refuse to go meat and dairy-free.
Erewhon – Local organic grocery store, but really, it’s more than a store. It’s a community of people who are united in love for pure products that protect the health of people and our planet.
Felix – Pasta, pasta, pasta. Homemade delicious pasta. It’s been open for about a year and already a foodie destination. Definitely make a reservation, and do it weeks in advance. The focaccia bread is to die for.
Flake – Simple, no frills, tasty breakfast and lunch. My advice: put any sandwich on a croissant and always add avocado!
Flowerboy Project – This airy spot on Lincoln is kind of the perfect trifecta: Part café (plus donuts!), part home goods shop, and part florist. The taste level here is spot-on, as it’s the sort of place where you might swing by for a latte and emerge with five hostess gifts and a stunning bouquet.
Gjelinas – Another local, Abbot Kinney favorite. Known for it’s veggie-centric California cuisine. Come when it opens, so you can snag a table out back, but if you get there and the lines are too long, grab something to go at GTA – it’s takeaway spot next door.
Gjusta – A commissary kitchen providing bread and other products for Gjelina’s and GTA. A California deli, bakery, café and market influenced by traditional East Coast Delis, European Markets and Parisian Bakeries. I love it for the matcha lattes, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and the variety of foods and low key vibes.
Great White – An Australian café offering, serves up healthy-focused food all day long. Unique twists on the usual suspects like avocado toast, smoothie bowls and kombucha. Also, a very Instagrammable spot ☺
Intelligentsia – Venice coffeebar offers a lofty, open space that speaks to the beachfront vibes of its surrounding neighborhood.
Kippy’s – Bright, cheery outfit doling out non-dairy frozen treats made with organic coconut cream.
Kreation – A solid spot with fresh salads, filling grilled kebabs, an all-day breakfast and smoothies and shots to heal just about anything.
Rose Café – It pays homage to its long-time Venice Beach roots – local artists have decorated the walls with a mix of modern pieces and whimsical, history, imagery of this rapidly changing neighborhood. The space is big – encompasses a dining room, an open-air patio, food market, bakery and coffee bar. The bread here is a must-order along with a chocolate cookie – no matter the time of day. If you’re around for dinner, grab that cacio e pepe or the fire-roasted chicken.
The Butcher’s Daughter – Located in the heart of Venice on Abbot Kinney, there’s an indoor-outdoor terrace that’s pretty perfect for people watching, an open dining room, or you can sit at one of two bars. The menu is veggie-friendly with the favorites being the avocado toast and breakfast burritos.
The Tasting Kitchen – Another Abbot Kinney and Venice favorite. There’s a fortress-like entrance and the floor space revolves around a small grove of transporting olive trees. The food is modern Italian and tasty!
Zinque – French-influenced coffeehouse meets bistro and wine bar in an artsy, minimalist atmosphere.
S T A Y
The Rose Hotel
Airbnb – Lots of fun little cottages
E X P L O R E
Abbot Kinney – Hands down one of my favorite places to be in Venice. Just minutes from Venice Beach – it’s a mile long strip of the latest fashion, art and food. Abbot Kinney Blvd never fails to intrigue, amuse and delight you.
Artists & Fleas – It is a multi-merchant marketplace that has been disrupting retail for more than a decade by delivering ever-evolving and extraordinary shopping experiences. They’re dedicated to curating a selection of merchants who best represent the culture and craft unique to each of our neighborhoods.
Ceremony Meditation – A community exists to provide a space where all beings can truly feel supported and safe within their practices of meditation, healing, cleansing, self-growth, and overall transformation of consciousness. They offer platforms for stepping into trust and fulfilling your own evolutions.
Venice Boardwalk – The world-famous Venice Beach boardwalk is not to be missed. If you are visiting the Los Angeles area, you owe it to yourself to come to Southern California’s number one visitor attraction. Stretching about one a half miles along the manicured sands of the Pacific Ocean, the boardwalk is a large part of what makes Venice unique. On the west side of the “walk” are hundreds of street vendors and performers. You can see everything from break-dancing to broken glass walking. Mimes to musicians, jugglers to jesters and everything in between make up the human landscape. You can have your fortune read, get a temporary tattoo or have your name written on a grain of rice. If souvenirs is what you are after then the boardwalk is the place to go. The Westside offers unique arts and crafts, odds and ends and one of kinds only obtainable here. Paintings, photos, rocks of various sorts and sculptures are among the popular offerings. On the Eastside are the store fronts of the boardwalk. ere you will find every sort of t-shirt under the sun. From the politically motivated to sexually charged to the plain old Venice Beach t-shirt there is sure to be one for everybody. In addition, there are tattoo and piercing stores, skate and surf shops, medical marijuana dispensaries and more. You can buy sunglasses, vaporizers, beer and shoes. This is all in addition to the large selection of restaurants, juice spots and bars. In summary, packed into its one and a half mile, the boardwalk has more diversity in demographics and retail then probably anywhere else in the world. There is reason it so famous. Come and see for yourself!
Venice Canals – Tucked between the Venice Boardwalk and the posh Abbot Kinney, the Venice Canals offer a completely different side of the famed beachfront neighborhood. Take a stroll through these three canal-lined blocks, and you’ll discover an idyllic scene: arching pedestrian bridges, charming beach houses, bunches of ducklings and the occasional paddle boarding bulldog. Though you won’t find boat rentals anywhere along the canals, you can bring your own non-motorized vessel to tour the neighborhood at water level (enter via the launch ramp at Venice Boulevard).
Sunset Drinks at High Rooftop Lounge – It’s always going off at High Lounge. Not to brag, but we’re the only rooftop bar in Venice, which means you can count on epic sunset views year round. On any given night, our live local DJs set the chill vibes and our bartenders keep the drinks flowing.
That sounds so amazing, Sarah! Thank you so much for sharing. We’re excited to see you in Montana on the 12th, and we’re sure we’ll be headed out to the Golden Coast soon.