During my first few months of living in Los Angeles all I’ve wanted to do is explore different areas. This city has SO much to offer & I don’t see that exploring stopping anytime soon. It’s one of my favorite parts of living in LA, you never stop discovering the best stores, restaurants, beaches, & so much more. While it can be a teensy bit overwhelming (in the best way possible, of course) knowing how much there is, once you narrow it down & focus on one area at a time, it’s super easy to navigate. Let me put it this way, all of the stores under the shopping section are one the same 10 blog long street.
Where To Eat:
Gjelina: There’s a reason this place is on the top of every Venice city guide… While, yes you will likely spend over an hour waiting to get into this hotspot, it’s worth every. darn. second. The flavors within each dish are unlike anything I had ever experienced before: each so potent yet blending perfectly. I was told by a friend to order the mushroom toast beforehand (Gjelina is famous for their bread) & it’s seriously a life changing dish made with house-made crème fraîche, a splash of wine, & herbs.
must-orders: mushroom toast, spicy chorizo pizza
Lemonade: If you’re in a rush & want to grab a quick bite to eat that doesn’t taste like you’re getting a quick bite to eat, Lemonade is your best bet. It’s somewhat confusing how they manage to make a cafeteria style ordering process taste like a home cooked meal but they do & I love it.
must-orders: truffle mac & cheese, tomato avocado salad, lemonade
Blue Star Donuts: While yes, they originated in Portland, it truly wouldn’t be a trip to Venice without visiting Blue Star. There’s a reason their donuts taste so good & I can fully give credit to the ingredients they use. Their raised-yeast base is brioche & donuts are made from scraps with fresh fruits, herbs, spices, & liqueurs. They also have a wide variety of flavors for you to choose from including all the classics & the most extravagant flavors you could ever dream of!
must-orders: the OG, raspberry rosemary buttermilk, lemon poppy, buttermilk old fashioned
The Butcher’s Daughter: This quintessential Venice hot-spot is totally worth the hype. Any place that can make healthy food taste well, unhealthy, is a must-visit in my opinion.
must-orders: avocado toast, brass monkey smoothie, macro bowl
Great White: You’ll instantly feel transported down under at this charming, beachy Aussie restaurant. The atmosphere is that of our dream home & we could eat everything on that menu every single day.
must-orders: matcha with “the works” (almond milk & honey), breakfast burrito, blue smoothie bowl, crispy chicken sandwich
The Rose: Our favorite spot for group dinners, The Rose is your typically Venice-vibe: laid-back & fun. With such a fun atmosphere we were surprised at how incredible the food actually was.
must-orders: cacio e pepe, carbonara, crispy brussels sprouts, Italian chop salad
Venice spots we’re DYING to try (will report back after!): Scopa, Felix, Barrique, Abbots Pizza
Where To Drink:
Pressed Juicery: As basic as it sounds going to a juicery in LA, I’m guilty of going to Pressed multiple times per week. Trust me, there’s a reason LA people love their juice. Pressed makes some of the most delicious flavor combinations & are all ridiculously healthy for you. The absolute best part about Pressed however is their Freeze, which I guarantee you’ve seen on Instagram somewhere, somehow. What looks & tastes like a bowl of froyo is in fact soft serve juice! This gluten, dairy-free, & vegan treat is packed with just as much nutrition as one of their juices. Crazy, right?! It get’s better… You can top your Freeze with a variety of delicious toppings such as berries, almond butter, coconut shavings, chocolate chips, & more. Whether you’ve jumped on the LA health bandwagon or not, you’re sure to love Pressed & their Freeze!
must-orders: freeze (my favorite is chocolate), greens 3, activated charcoal lemomade, strawberry almond
Moon Juice: All it takes is one trip to Moon Juice & I can practically guarantee you’ll jump right onto the wellness bus. Their staff is thoroughly educated in all their products & kindly takes the time to explain exactly what each is & what it can do for you. I’ll warn you, a quick trip into Moon Juice for a smoothie can quickly turn into a shopping spree of cheese, crackers, chocolates, mini donuts, overnight oats, & more. It’s all healthy though so it’s totally worth it.
must-orders: herb & cheese crackers with cultured shallot & soft herb cheese, anything with their beauty dust in it
Where To Shop:
Saje Wellness: I could talk about Saje all. day. long. which is why I’ll likely do another blog post dedicated to them very soon. Their products not only smell incredible & look great (their packaging is on point), they’re also a form of medicine & can help with so many things in your day to day life. Upon entering Saje you’re surrounded by diffusers, essential oils, skincare products, & more. If you’re feeling like you don’t know where to start, just ask one of their staff members, they are all beyond kind & extremely knowledgeable when it comes to their products. Likely they’ll have you start smelling anything & everything. This fun process of figuring out what smells good to you is actually a diagnosis test in a sense. What smells good to you is what your body needs. What doesn’t, your body doesn’t want or need. Do a blind smell test & you’ll be shocked at how accurate it is! Some of my favorite Saje products include their Eucalyptus essential oil which they recommended putting few drops in the shower & letting the steam diffuse it (your shower will now feel like a full blown spa experience), Bliss Mist, & their farmacy kit which I take everywhere I go.
Show Me Your Mumu: If you haven’t figured out by now that I’m beyond obsessed with SMYM then the Instagram algorithm is probably not working in my favor 😂. Their pieces are versatile, fit perfectly (& true to size!), are comfortable yet chic, make you want to travel the world even though they’re all made in the USA, & will easily be the best pieces in your closet. I recently got this coat (which is basically the blanket of my dreams) & these jeans (which are ridiculously flattering) & have been living in both!
Hourglass: I’ve been an Hourglass fan for as long as I can remember. Their products have always been of the highest quality & they’re only getting better. In fact, within the New Year, their products are likely be 100% vegan (they’re already mostly vegan now)! Some of my must-haves are their arch brow sculpting pencil (which perfectly fills in & shapes your brows), Ambient lighting palette (conveniently a contour kit, highlighter, & bronzer all in one!), & their brushes (worth every penny).
Tumbleweed & Dandelion: Y’all KNOW I love a great home store & Tumbleweed & Dandelion is my favorite in Venice, if not all of LA. I stop in here each month to pick up one of their homemade candles which come in the dreamiest of scents. Currently I’m looooving their Frasier Fir candle & am totally eyeing one of their white picnic tables (wink, wink Santa).
Grow: This place is a one-stop-shops that you go into thinking you’ll get gifts for everyone on your list but instead leave with a million things for yourself because it’s just that cute. From cookbooks to plants, candles to jewelry, home decor to clothing, Grow is my go-to anytime I just want to shop.
Smashbox: The Smashbox in Venice is easily one of the most fun stores I’ve ever been to. They carry nearly every Smashbox product ever invented, have the cutest decor (I’m talkin’ multiple neon signs), & it’s even equipped with a photo booth to show off your flawless makeup done by one of their artists. Some of my favorite products I’m loving at the moment are their photo finish primer, shaping foundation stick, & this lipstick.
Stone Cold Fox: It’s easy to see why Venice is one of my favorite spots as it has all my favorite stores, including SCF. I’ve truly never found a brand before that an create more flattering clothing than them. Plus their designs are beyond stunning. I’m currently eyeing this dress & have a feeling I’ll be purchasing it asap (update: I did in fact purchase it 😂). (UPDATE: CLOSED)
General Store: Aside from wanting to move into this space, every single thing in this shop is perfectly designed & curated by local & worldwide craftsman. So when you buy every single thing in the shop, you should feel good knowing you’re supporting small businesses 😉.
Where To Stay:
Parachute Hotel: There truly is no space dreamier than Parachute Hotel. Located in the heart of Venice above Rose Ave, you’d be a fool not to check-into this space. Not to mention the entire hotel is stocked with their luxurious sheets, towels, pillows, & more!
Venice Canals Airbnb: If you’ve ever stepped foot inside one of the Butcher’s Daughter restaurants, you know their interiors are just as incredible as the food they serve. So it’s not surprising their founder designed one of the dreamiest beach bungalows atop the Venice Canals that is available to rent! This ultimate California hideaway, filled with wicker everything & succulents galore, is reason enough for you to rent this place whether you’re visiting LA or live here.
What To Do:
Visit The Venice Sign: This Instagram-able crosswalk is a must-see when on your way to the beach in Venice. It’s without a doubt one of the most iconic parts of Venice & is a great way to snap a quick shot to remember your amazing time here!
Go To The Venice Beach/Boardwalk: One of the craziest yet most amazing things about Venice is the people who encompass it. You can truly see all walks of life within one block of the neighborhood & it can be quite eye-opening. The Venice Beach/Boardwalk is such a fun place to take in the views, people, shop a bit, & grab a bite to eat.
Stay for First Fridays: The first Friday of each month is a guaranteed blast if you’re in Venice. Food trucks line the streets, live music plays all night, stores stay open late, & the whole community comes out to enjoy it.
Where To Sweat:
The Yoga Collective: Easily one of my favorite yoga studios in all of Los Angeles, The Yoga Collective does an incredible job of making all classes equal parts workout & relaxation. I defiantly recommend checking out Jamie Wirht’s class on Saturday evening!
The Studio MDR: If you’re lookin’ for a real workout, this is your place. Be prepared to sweat & shake while you discover muscles you didn’t even realize you had through their Megaformer machines.