VENICE

We’ve come a long way, baby!

Four years ago, two best friends sat down over coffee and talked about their grand idea to build a Los Angeles adventure blog. “We love creating itineraries for our friends to explore LA!” they said. “We’re always trying to discover the best hole-in-the-walls and hidden gems across the city! We should turn our outings into a blog!” (well, something like that).

And so they decided to set out on bicycles one day, and chronicle their stops across one particular neighborhood: favorite coffeeshops, best cocktails with a view, most scenic and iconic walks, all-time greatest local taco joints. They brought along their iphone 4’s (!), their beach cruisers, and a deep excitement to share one of their favorite locations in LA.

Since then, we’ve explored and shared 49 Los Angeles neighborhoods on our blog — every step, every bite, every sip, every experience has reminded us why we love this city so darn much, about the magic of this sprawling and sparkling metropolis of ours, and how there are special ways to make a big place feel more connected and more like home. We’ve met so many¬†incredible people along the way — business owners, long-time neighborhood locals, tourists, fellow explorers — and had hundreds of conversations over ice cream and pupusas and negronis (not all at the same time!)

We decided to go back to our roots for our 50th neighborhood, to the place that started it all for us: Venice Beach. It was our very first neighborhood on the blog because it was always one of our favorites, a space that felt so recognizably LA, with its history and its grit and its glam — Muscle Beach, psychics and healers, the boardwalk, the remnants of the grand canals that once wove through the entire area.

The neighborhood has changed a lot in the last 4+ years…but so has the rest of Los Angeles. And that’s the way it’s always been — LA of the 1920s was different than the 1960s or the 1990s or the 2000s. We’ve also changed a lot in this handful of years (I mean, we were mere babes in our 20s when this all began!) — and as we evolve and grow, we find a lot of comfort knowing that our city is doing the same.

We hope you enjoy this re-visit to one of our favorite places, and that you’ll continue to come along on our adventures and explorations. We love Los Angeles, and we surely love sharing it with all of you!

Stop 1: Bellissimo Venice

Venice has famously shunned chain restaurants and box stores (remember the protests against Starbucks?!) and this little mom-and-pop establishment is a reminder of why local businesses give the neighborhood is unique flavor.

Bellissimo is a hybrid market/cafe with items from across the world — but what long-time Angelenos all know is this: the cafe has one of the BEST breakfast burritos in the city.

(68 N Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles)

Stop 2: Mystic Journey Bookstore

Think Venice is all crystals, incense, and self-help gurus? Welp, Mystic Journey Bookstore may reinforce some of those stereotypes — but it also pays homage to Venice’s history with the supernatural, spirituality, and healing. We had our tarot cards read when we were there, and both sessions were eerily on point (how do they do that?!) If you’re looking for a little life guidance, or just want to soak in all that is quintessentially Venice — this is the place for you.

(1624 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Los Angeles)

Stop 3: Poke Poke

WAY before poke became the international fast-casual restaurant of choice it is today, there was Poke Poke. Opened back in 2010, Poke Poke was the first of its kind in LA, and they still serve some delicious bowls from their beachside window on the boardwalk. There’s vegetarian options and a really solid acai bowl on the menu, to boot.

(2011 Ocean Front Walk, Los Angeles)

Stop 4: Tesuque Village Market

This local market and deli is fairly new to the neighborhood, but its Santa Fe style fits right in with the colorful and eclectic surroundings. They have a great selection of goods for a corner store — wines, cheeses, gourmet food items. We ordered an iced cashew milk latte (which was divine!) and enjoyed it on their adorable back patio.

(600 Mildred Avenue, Los Angeles)

Stop 5: Kippy's! Organic Non-Dairy Ice Cream

We know what you’re thinking: NON-DAIRY ice cream?! And yep, we were skeptical too. But believe us when we say that pretty much every flavor at Kippy’s is creamy, rich, and delicious. Double Dark Chocolate and Turmeric are hands-down faves, but their Vanilla Date and Coconut Honey are really popular too. You can add “super food toppings” to feel extra healthy (goji berries! bee pollen! or just straight up raw salted caramel, which is way more our pace). And because it’s LA, everything is gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free. Bring all your food intolerant friends!

(245 Main Street, Los Angeles)

The Details:

We explored Venice in the most Venice way we know how: on Bird scooter! (and despite all the nay-sayers, it was SO. MUCH. FUN). You can find out more HERE.

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