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A close-up shot of a tray of oysters with sauce in a well-lit room.
Lure Fish House.
Lure Fish House

13 Worthwhile Dining Options in and Around Ventura

From oysters on the beach to some of California’s best tacos, where to eat north of LA

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Lure Fish House.
| Lure Fish House

Despite Ventura’s proximity to Los Angeles, the area remains somewhat of an anomaly for the many Angelenos who haven’t ventured into the coastal town. However, that doesn’t mean the coastal area one county to the north should ever be overlooked, particularly for its diverse dining scene. On the contrary, its quaint beach town vibes meet pastoral vistas, making for the perfect but distinct unique California backdrop. Not to mention, Ventura and its surrounding areas make for an easy, leisurely staycation or simply a nice day trip to clear one’s head and awaken the senses. Visitors to the area who are looking for everything from a multitude of seafood options, both casual to high-end, to reputable carnitas by the pound, and the most balanced cup of coffee, will find it all within a short distance reach.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Topa Topa Brewing Co.

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Local legend Topa Topa’s two Ventura-area locations are great central hubs for craft beer fans, featuring a variety that spans from crushable IPAs to crisp lagers. Don’t forget to take advantage of seasonal beer offerings and the ample outdoor space with its rotating events and food trucks.

A dark beer being poured from a silver tap in front of light green teal tiles.
Topa Topa Brewing
Topa Topa Brewing Co.

Lure Fish House

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From patio seating to nestling up the oyster bar, Lure Fish House diners can choose from the multiple options that include anything from their grilled menu such as shrimp brochette and black cod to oysters on the half-shell to a plate of sand dabs. From there, enjoy a glass of something nice like house martinis or local Santa Barbara wine or craft beer.

A sunlit seafood restaurant with corner bar and blue tones.
Lure Fish House in Ventura.
Lure Fish House

Beach House Fish

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Enjoy a taco or a shrimp cocktail at the Ventura Pier thanks to Beach Fish House & Tacos’s walk-up window and bar/fish marketplace hybrid space. After placing a food order, patrons can head upstairs to the Made West brewery space to sample their fine selection of craft brews. With stellar views on the water and the neighboring Channel Islands, this is an excellent space to relish in the delights of Ventura.

A sunset shot of seafood on a wooden table at an oceanside restaurant.
Beach House Fish.
Beach House Fish

VenTiki Tiki Lounge and Lanai

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For tiki enthusiasts (or at least the tiki curious) VentTiki meets all the requirements. The island-inspired food menu moves from assorted pupus with Spam and ahi tuna sliders to sushi rolls to coconut shrimp and beyond. Of course, while the food stands on its own, the menu of historic tiki drinks, painstakingly assembled by bar staff, also manages to receive high marks.

Spencer Makenzie's

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A good fish taco is something to seek out, and Spencer McKenzie’s is always worth making a stop, either in Camarillo or at their original location in Ventura. Tacos are either fried in panko batter or grilled, with the option to be served “Brooklyn-style” with their house-made mayo and chipotle-based hot sauce. Other options include the always-worth-it ahi tuna packets and parmesan-dusted hard shell tacos with either shrimp or carne asada inside.

A wooden table holding a tray of fried seafood, a taco, and salads.
Spencer Makenzie’s
Spencer Makenzie’s

The Jolly Oyster

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The Jolly Oyster’s outdoor oceanside park setup almost makes for the quintessential California dining experience. Oysters are served either raw or grilled, made with fresh herbs and parmesan butter. Take advantage of fried oysters tacos or any ceviche tostadas made with bay scallops or uni.

Café Nouveau

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This Cali-meets-French restaurant in a coveted bungalow space brings out the masses most mornings. Devotees line up for breakfast (although Cafe Nouveau is also open for lunch and dinner), eager for quick service and satisfying dishes with a California perspective and European technique.

Singing Sun Coffee

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This quaint, local coffee shop offers a curated list of coffees, espresso drinks, and more from a welcoming space that’s perfect for travelers or customers looking to linger. There’s ample seating inside, allowing diners to snack on pastries while soaking up the Ventura sun.

Pete's Breakfast House

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This charming breakfast spot has won the hearts of locals and out-of-towners alike. Its unique menu meanders from different pancake creations to whatever daily special the team might be serving that day, all done with a homey flair and comfort appeal.

Brophy Bros.

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“Genuine-Local-Causal” is the tagline of this Ventura harbor restaurant. Cozy up to the bar or secure a table overlooking the flotilla, with room to enjoy a seafood-focused, upscale but approachable menu. From fish and chips to divine cuts of swordfish, Brophy Bros. remains stacked with lots of choices for everyone to enjoy and take in the view.

Two hands pop open oysters inside a daytime seaside restaurant.
Brophy Bros.
Brophy Bros.

Toppers Pizza

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The lively, family-friendly environment makes this local pizzeria a great go-to stop. Signature pies include creamy garlic chicken or carnitas chipotle, both served on a crispy-crunchy crust and with local beer to boot.

A close up shot of a side of a pizza on a metal tray.
Toppers Pizza
Toppers Pizza

Pho Saigon

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Off the beaten path in sleepy Port Hueneme, Pho Saigon regularly turns some of Ventura’s most sought-after bowls of noodles and broken rice. The casual dining space, three decades strong, is known to draw crowds and a lively atmosphere keen to enjoy bánh xèo savory crepes and steamy bowls of pho.

Carnitas El Rey

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Located in downtown Oxnard, Carnitas El Rey is here to satisfy Ventura’s porky carvings. The Michoacán style carnitas sold by the pound can also include delicious cuts of buche and cueritos. Customers in the know request “mixto” for a little bit of each cut for that maximum flavor.

Topa Topa Brewing Co.

A dark beer being poured from a silver tap in front of light green teal tiles.
Topa Topa Brewing
Topa Topa Brewing Co.

Local legend Topa Topa’s two Ventura-area locations are great central hubs for craft beer fans, featuring a variety that spans from crushable IPAs to crisp lagers. Don’t forget to take advantage of seasonal beer offerings and the ample outdoor space with its rotating events and food trucks.

A dark beer being poured from a silver tap in front of light green teal tiles.
Topa Topa Brewing
Topa Topa Brewing Co.

Lure Fish House

A sunlit seafood restaurant with corner bar and blue tones.
Lure Fish House in Ventura.
Lure Fish House

From patio seating to nestling up the oyster bar, Lure Fish House diners can choose from the multiple options that include anything from their grilled menu such as shrimp brochette and black cod to oysters on the half-shell to a plate of sand dabs. From there, enjoy a glass of something nice like house martinis or local Santa Barbara wine or craft beer.

A sunlit seafood restaurant with corner bar and blue tones.
Lure Fish House in Ventura.
Lure Fish House

Beach House Fish

A sunset shot of seafood on a wooden table at an oceanside restaurant.
Beach House Fish.
Beach House Fish

Enjoy a taco or a shrimp cocktail at the Ventura Pier thanks to Beach Fish House & Tacos’s walk-up window and bar/fish marketplace hybrid space. After placing a food order, patrons can head upstairs to the Made West brewery space to sample their fine selection of craft brews. With stellar views on the water and the neighboring Channel Islands, this is an excellent space to relish in the delights of Ventura.

A sunset shot of seafood on a wooden table at an oceanside restaurant.
Beach House Fish.
Beach House Fish

VenTiki Tiki Lounge and Lanai

For tiki enthusiasts (or at least the tiki curious) VentTiki meets all the requirements. The island-inspired food menu moves from assorted pupus with Spam and ahi tuna sliders to sushi rolls to coconut shrimp and beyond. Of course, while the food stands on its own, the menu of historic tiki drinks, painstakingly assembled by bar staff, also manages to receive high marks.

Spencer Makenzie's

A wooden table holding a tray of fried seafood, a taco, and salads.
Spencer Makenzie’s
Spencer Makenzie’s

A good fish taco is something to seek out, and Spencer McKenzie’s is always worth making a stop, either in Camarillo or at their original location in Ventura. Tacos are either fried in panko batter or grilled, with the option to be served “Brooklyn-style” with their house-made mayo and chipotle-based hot sauce. Other options include the always-worth-it ahi tuna packets and parmesan-dusted hard shell tacos with either shrimp or carne asada inside.

A wooden table holding a tray of fried seafood, a taco, and salads.
Spencer Makenzie’s
Spencer Makenzie’s

The Jolly Oyster

The Jolly Oyster’s outdoor oceanside park setup almost makes for the quintessential California dining experience. Oysters are served either raw or grilled, made with fresh herbs and parmesan butter. Take advantage of fried oysters tacos or any ceviche tostadas made with bay scallops or uni.

Café Nouveau

This Cali-meets-French restaurant in a coveted bungalow space brings out the masses most mornings. Devotees line up for breakfast (although Cafe Nouveau is also open for lunch and dinner), eager for quick service and satisfying dishes with a California perspective and European technique.

Singing Sun Coffee

This quaint, local coffee shop offers a curated list of coffees, espresso drinks, and more from a welcoming space that’s perfect for travelers or customers looking to linger. There’s ample seating inside, allowing diners to snack on pastries while soaking up the Ventura sun.

Pete's Breakfast House

This charming breakfast spot has won the hearts of locals and out-of-towners alike. Its unique menu meanders from different pancake creations to whatever daily special the team might be serving that day, all done with a homey flair and comfort appeal.

Brophy Bros.

Two hands pop open oysters inside a daytime seaside restaurant.
Brophy Bros.
Brophy Bros.

“Genuine-Local-Causal” is the tagline of this Ventura harbor restaurant. Cozy up to the bar or secure a table overlooking the flotilla, with room to enjoy a seafood-focused, upscale but approachable menu. From fish and chips to divine cuts of swordfish, Brophy Bros. remains stacked with lots of choices for everyone to enjoy and take in the view.

Two hands pop open oysters inside a daytime seaside restaurant.
Brophy Bros.
Brophy Bros.

Toppers Pizza

A close up shot of a side of a pizza on a metal tray.
Toppers Pizza
Toppers Pizza

The lively, family-friendly environment makes this local pizzeria a great go-to stop. Signature pies include creamy garlic chicken or carnitas chipotle, both served on a crispy-crunchy crust and with local beer to boot.

A close up shot of a side of a pizza on a metal tray.
Toppers Pizza
Toppers Pizza

Pho Saigon

Off the beaten path in sleepy Port Hueneme, Pho Saigon regularly turns some of Ventura’s most sought-after bowls of noodles and broken rice. The casual dining space, three decades strong, is known to draw crowds and a lively atmosphere keen to enjoy bánh xèo savory crepes and steamy bowls of pho.

Carnitas El Rey

Located in downtown Oxnard, Carnitas El Rey is here to satisfy Ventura’s porky carvings. The Michoacán style carnitas sold by the pound can also include delicious cuts of buche and cueritos. Customers in the know request “mixto” for a little bit of each cut for that maximum flavor.

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