Behind the Seams
Where to Eat, Drink and Shop in Venice Beach, 2016
Ariel Kaye, Parachute’s Founder and CEO, shared her Venice suggestions when we opened for business a while back. And though we’re still locals, a lot has changed since then: Parachute has moved into a larger office and opened a Showroom Store. Some of our old favorites have packed up and new shops have settled in.
To keep up with the times, we asked Ariel to update our guide to the best stores, restaurants and happy hour haunts in the neighborhood. Think of it as a companion, not a replacement, to the old list and expand your itinerary during your next visit to town.
AUST: This store brings the greatest Australian designers to Abbot Kinney, with items perfect for the Venice lifestyle – sunglasses, sandals and beach coverups.
Heist: Another Abbot Kinney choice, this carefully curated women’s clothing boutique is brimming with gorgeous, splurge-worthy clothing.
General Store: The LA outpost of this San Francisco store has a world class mix of clothing, jewelry and home goods. You’re sure to find something for everybody.
The Golden State: I love to buy local, and they carry items by California-based designers and brands – often before anyone else discovers them!
IRO: This place has the best leather, hands down. I bought my most well-loved leather jacket here, and I’m dying to pick up another one.
Cuyana: They’d been my go-to for shopping leather accessories and wardrobe essentials online, so I was thrilled when they opened a brick-and-mortar store here.
Groundwork Coffee: While the coffee at this Venice staple is the perfect morning pick-me-up, it’s the avocado toast that keeps me coming back.
The Butcher’s Daughter: One of my preferred lunch spots, anything you get here is extremely fresh. My favorite: the stone-oven pizzas, which can be made vegan.
Superba Food + Bread: An all-day staple that serves yummy breakfast, lunch and dinner. DIY mimosas at weekend brunch don’t hurt either.
Rose Cafe: The long-awaited return of this Venice institution did not disappoint. Situated on the same street as The Parachute Hotel, it’s one of my top picks for dinner.
Tocaya Organica: Venice – and LA as a whole – has no shortage of Mexican food, but I recommend Tocaya to those craving a delicious, healthy version of the cuisine.
Wallflower: A modern Indonesian spot serving signature cocktails with unusual – but delectable – flavors such as lavender-ginger honey, lemongrass and sichuan peppercorn.
Salt Air: There’s nothing better than eating oysters by the beach except for eating oysters and drinking rosé by the beach at Salt Air.
Sunny Spot: My pick for boozy brunches with friends. Bottomless mimosas, bloody marys or rum punch pair well with buttermilk pancakes and eggs benedict.
Zinque: Terrific French-inspired food, great for sharing small plates and a bottle of wine (or three).
Love Yoga: This studio is wonderful for yoga, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi. They also host cool meditation classes.
The Dailey Method: An hour-long barre class here is my ideal morning workout. Plus the studio’s location – next door to Intelligentsia – provides easy coffee access afterward.
The Studio (mdr): These pilates-inspired classes are a huge challenge, but afterwards I feel like I’ve pushed myself and accomplished something impressive.
Best Things to Do
Bike: Riding a bike South to Manhattan Beach or North toward Malibu is a simple and pleasant way to take in the California coastline. Pick up a bike at Jay’s Rentals.
Surf school: Santa Monica Surf School meets in Venice and is a fun way for people of all ages to learn how to catch a wave. They offer hourly lessons or packages for more serious thrill seekers.
Walk: Venice is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in LA. Stroll the Canals, walk down Abbot Kinney and Rose Avenue – and don’t forget to pop into our Showroom Store to say hi!
Best Hidden Gem
Old Lightning: This secret bar located behind Scopa is like taking a time machine into an episode of Mad Men. Beware: A no cell phone policy makes the throwback real.