Gourmet Italian deli/cafe at Ocean Front Walk and Rose. Fancier fare than most of what you’ll find on the boardwalk. Pricier, too.
Delizia Café on 0530 2008
Perry’s Café & Rentals (end of Ocean Park) on 0529 2008
One of eight Santa Monica and Venice locations renting bikes, blades, beach chairs, umbrellas, mats, boogie boards, volleyballs, storage lockers and more. KCRW members get a 15% discount. Private and corporate groups of all sizes accommodated. Plus, it’s playground and cafe-adjacent (actually, what isn’t around here?) in case the kids (or BF) throw a tantrum on the bike ride.
Perry’s Café & Rentals (end of Hollister Ave) on 0529 2008
Concession stand fare plus generic re-recordings of classic rock and pop hits (played, I presume, to save on licensing fees).
Bravo Pizza on 0529 2008
The full Dogtown Ink endorsement for this place. Or actually, for their pizza. Deliveries take a while, but patience is rewarded. I like the one with artichoke hearts and black olives—whole black olives.
Venice Boardwalk on 0529 2008
When most people think of Venice, nowadays, it’s Ocean Front Walk — the boardwalk — they picture. A couple of miles of insanity, vanity and humanity with souvenir shops and tattoo parlors galore, street vendors and palm readers, more crazies than can shake sticks at you, sleaze, ocean breeze, street performers, nut jobs, tourists, posers…it’s all here, particularly on beautiful weekend days. Come prepared for a full immersion in life’s rich pageant. If you’re bringing a pygmy anaconda, please bring its sunblock. Actually, best to leave the pets at home unless you want to traumatize them for life.
Santa Monica/Venice Bike Path on 0529 2008
A great bike path runs along the beach for much of Los Angeles’ west side. The Santa Monica/Venice leg of the path is among its most colorful. The two-way, paved thoroughfare is best for wheeled devices like bikes, blades an skateboards. It can get a tad hazardous on weekends when lots of oblivious walkers meander — and unaware little ones dart — onto the path. Of course, the parade of humanity is part of the attraction for many. Watch out for aggro road bikers and berate the bullies accordingly.
Venice Beach Skate Park on 0529 2008
The birthplace of modern skateboarding is about to finally get a bona fide skate park. Venice’s current, modest skating area, adjacent to the Public Art Walls on the site of the old Venice Pavilion (or Venice Pits), already plays host daily to plenty of ollie-ing groms and the odd street skating OG. It’s already the only beach side skate park in Cali. Still, given Venice’s place in the skating pantheon, it’s about time it had its own state-of-the-art park.
Cha Cha Chicken on 0529 2008
Come for the jerk whatever, stay for the watermelon drink. Jamaican par exellance.
Venice Beach Basketball Courts on 0529 2008
Venice’s beach side basketball courts feature a decidedly city game. Of course, all level of b-ball players are welcome on these Venice Recreation Center basketball courts. But if you’re going to talk trash and perform the occasional flagrant foul, you best bring your A-game. And be prepared for a beat down. Good place to bleed off excess testosterone.
Venice Branch L.A. Public Library on 0529 2008
You may have to negotiate some wayward shopping carts on your way into this branch of the Los Angeles Public Library (especially on rainy days—the library roof has a nice overhang), but it will be worth it.