Party Earth Review Abbot Kinney Boulevard is a cozy corner of Los Angeles where the notion of the “mom and pop” retailer is alive and thriving. Named for the 1900s-era father of Venice who worked to create an American version of the eponymous... ... read full review
Abbot Kinney Boulevard roughly from
Main Street on the north to
Washington Boulevard on the south
Venice, CA 90291
24/7; Last call is 2am in Los Angeles
Venice, Los Angeles –
Abbot Kinney Boulevard is a cozy corner of Los Angeles where the notion of the “mom and pop” retailer is alive and thriving. Named for the 1900s-era father of Venice who worked to create an American version of the eponymous Italian city, the area is lined with specialty boutiques, casual bars, and top-rated restaurants.
And like much of Venice, it’s also an exercise in duality – a combination of big money and classic hippy ideologies where the wealthy and the wealthy in spirit both find much to love.
By day, the sidewalks are full of couples pushing strollers and beach bums in flip-flops, as well as made-up ladies navigating gritty skateboarders and ever-present panhandlers.
True to its roots, the boulevard teems with indie retailers, from the pricey handmade ceramics at Very Venice and the organic baked pet food at Modern Dog to the straight-off-the-runway pumps at Mona Moore.
Few chains have been allowed in, so the proud mix of local artists, writers, and dot-commers get their caffeine fix at neighborhood institutions like Three Square Café + Bakery, tank up on hearty sandwiches from Abbott’s Habit, and dine on French/California fusion in the cottage-style comfort of Joe’s Restaurant.
First Fridays see the street packed by 6pm, when neighborhood merchants feature their best wares, special gifts, new products, and live music, complete with lots of food and drink.
The rest of the nightlife scene is small but vibrant, and even at sophisticated haunts like the former-bank-turned-lounge The Otheroom, the vibe is far from pretentious. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Roosterfish is a classic beachside dive and the only gay bar on the Westside, while The Brig is a retro-meets-modern watering hole that has been satiating laid-back singles for decades.
Romantic couples, meanwhile, take over the candlelit tables with plates of signature mussels at The Tasting Kitchen, as spend-happy young professionals gobble up chichi sushi at Wabi-Sabi, or savor the lobster ceviche at Shima.
It may not have the stunning columns and grand coliseums of Italy, but locals will proudly proclaim that Venice’s Abbot Kinney is perfect in its own little local way.
Hippies, designers, surfers, skaters, foodies, beach bums, bohos, fashionistas, tourists, successful young professionals, skaters, wayward travelers, couples, and families. All ages.
Bar and club highlights include:
Roosterfish (1302 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
The Brig (1515 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
The Otheroom (1201 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Hal's Bar and Grill (1349 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Shopping highlights include:
Very Venice Art and Design Gallery (1629 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Fiore Designs (1617 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
The Modern Dog (1611 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Zingara Trading (1507 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
A + R (1121 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
First Fridays are a neighborhood institution, when from around 6pm local merchants feature artists, gifts, and new products, and many area bands play to the thousands of happy attendees. Food and beverages are plentiful.
The Abbot Kinney Festival takes over the street every September with an array of local artisan crafts, live music, good food, and a commitment to the environment.
Pricey dining options include:
Gjelina (1429 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Joe's Restaurant (1023 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Primitivo Wine Bistro (1025 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Shima (1432 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
The Tasting Kitchen (1633 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Wabi Sabi (1635 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Budget-friendly dining options include:
3 Square Café + Bakery (1121 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Abbot's Habit (1401 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Abbot's Pizza Company (1407 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
French Market Café (2321 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Glencrest BBQ (1146 Abbot Kinney Boulevard)
Parking is notoriously difficult along Abbot Kinney, though most public parking spaces are unmetered and the street is wonderfully walkable.
Food and drink prices run the gamut along this stretch, and it’s as easy to get a $5 sandwich as it is a wallet-sucking plate of organic, sustainable, corn-fed, happy-until-the-end beef.
Anything goes, but trendy or casual beachwear is the norm.
Any sunny day or any warm evening, so basically 350 days/year in Venice, or the first Friday night of every month for a great street party.
The beautiful Pacific Ocean is just blocks away.