The coastal city of Ventura is known for its sun, sand and waves. But in more recent years the city’s burgeoning food and drink scene has also been attracting plaudits. This real deal surf town has miles of beaches for surfers, swimmers and people who just want to relax in the sun. And with so many outside activities on offer, and a lot of appetites being worked up, it’s little surprise the restaurant scene here is so good.
There’s been a huge growth in local breweries, wineries (and even a distillery) and restaurants in recent years, that have sprung up and flourished downtown and along the coast.
All of which means there’s no lack of options when it comes to dining in this town. That includes places for breakfast in Ventura too. After all, what better way to start your day than with a hearty breakfast?
And if a good breakfast is what you’re after then we’re here to help!
We know this slice of California well, so right here we’ll be sharing with you our favorite Ventura breakfast spots.
From American classics to French favorites and Italian breakfasts you may never have heard of, Ventura really is a fantastic spot to discover something new, as well as find tried and tested homecooked breakfasts.
Our Top Eight Picks for Breakfast in Ventura
1. Allison’s Country Café
A family café in Ventura’s bustling dining scene, Allison’s Country Café has been dishing out country style food for thirty years. Bridging the gap between Mid-America and the West Coast, the menu is a mix of Mexican fusion and country classics. Seriously, where else would Biscuits and Gravy rub shoulders with Chilaquiles and Eggs?
Breakfast hours are from 7am to 2pm and the portions are huge – so make sure you bring your appetite! The Biscuits are a highlight, being buttery, flaky pillows the size of your fist!
Other breakfast regulars are also available, such as Omelets and Scrambled Eggs which are served with quite a few options for sides – ranging from toast to hash browns to tortillas. The menu is also very accommodating to dietary requirements as it has vegetarian options as well as soy-based chorizo to sub in.
The café has a quaint, small town feel to it. White picket fences separate the booths as well as the kitchen from the dining area and several knick-knacks adorn the walls. There is a patio for outside seating too so you can soak up the sun and enjoy some fresh air – that’s always a bonus.
Staff are also attentive and while there may be a wait time during the weekend, that’s only because this place is so popular due to the fantastic food.
And if you do head over for some fine country fare, then don’t forget to pick up a jar of their homemade raspberry jam to go.
Address: 3429 Telegraph Rd, Ventura, CA 93003
2. Cajun Kitchen Café
A small chain restaurant with outlets in Santa Barbara and Goleta, Cajun Kitchen Café brings something new to the Ventura breakfast scene. If the name didn’t already give it away, this restaurant is known for its Cajun specialties, but also features some more health-conscious dishes and breakfast classics.
Located in a busy shopping district and only minutes from the beach, this is one of those breakfast stops where you can go to fuel up before enjoying some retail therapy or hitting the waves.
The cafe’s interior is simple yet inviting with both booths and tables, while monochrome walls dotted with picture frames offer a stark contrast to the brightly lit chandeliers. This pet friendly place also offers outside seating too, so is a great place to relax in the sun and experience a piece of Ventura’s French Quarter.
So what do we recommend? Well the Blackened Catfish with Eggs and a side of grits is always a winner, as are the many Southern classics they serve like Jambalaya, Eggs and Shrimp and the Andouille Grits. Their Cornbread is also well known locally and worth a try.
Wash that all down with some Chilled Raspberry Lemonade or Hot Drip Coffee. And the cherry on top if you’re looking for a sweet breakfast treat are their delicious in-house Beignets – bite sized pieces of heaven!
On top of that the service is efficient and the portions are large.
This Ventura breakfast spot is open 8am to 2pm on weekdays and from 7am to 2pm on weekends.
Address: 301 E Main St, Ventura, CA 93001
3. Pete’s Breakfast House
The husband and wife team of Peter and Lyndsay Timpson have been running this joint since they took over in 2003, and have had so much success Pete’s was even featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!
Located in a parking lot, this place has the look of an old school diner, but don’t let looks fool you. The food on offer is well worth the visit here. The interior’s pretty quirky too with murals celebrating American pop culture, but many patrons make their way direct to the covered patio with outside seating to dine al fresco style.
Pete’s serves breakfast all day, every day, and is open from 7:30am to 2:00pm. Their menu features daily specials, they do seasonal fare, and even run specials on all the major holidays so there’s plenty of choice. In fact they’ve even done a ‘Yappy days’ menu for four-legged friends in the past!
Pete’s is famous locally for their American breakfast as well as dishes that have Mexican, Greek and Italian roots. They only use the freshest ranch eggs and farm produce and use fresh ground coffee. In our opinion you can taste the freshness too.
As for what we recommend, make sure you try the Pancake Roll with Yogurt and Berries which was a hit with Mr. Fieri himself! Another highlight of the menu is the presence of several low carb options – check out the ‘Zero Carbz’ which features Eggs, Bacon, Sausages, Cottage Cheese and Fresh Tomato. That’s one way to get your daily protein requirements!
If there is one downside it is that Pete’s is quite small considering how popular it is, and seating can be a little cramped. Parties larger than eight may face a longer seating time as a result. But there’s a reason why Pete’s is packed at the weekends – it’s the place to be for breakfast in Ventura.
Address: Parking lot on corner of Catalina and Main – 2055, E Main St, Ventura, CA 93001
4. Harvest Cafe
Harvest Café is a vegetarian farm-to-table restaurant that prides itself on ethical and sustainable food practices. All produce is locally sourced and organically produced and arrives daily from farms in the Ventura area. Their aim is to make an impact on the way people view and consume food and inspire them to make changes to their lifestyles and food habits. So if you want to eat good food, and feel good about where it’s come from, this is a great stop.
This chic café opens its doors at 10am Monday through Sunday and closes at 4pm, so only head there if you’re looking a late breakfast. Although that gives you plenty of time to enjoy a morning walk along the Ventura coastline before indulging in feel-good vegetarian food.
In our opinion the menu highlights are their healthy smoothies and bowls. There are several dishes that feature known superfoods such as kale, quinoa and acai berries, but if you’re more adventurous, you can try the Burrito Bowl which features rice, beans, carnitas style jackfruit and a cashew cilantro sauce!
There’s more traditional American breakfast foods too, like Waffles (always a favorite!), Breakfast Tacos and Mushroom Toast.
They also have a small outside seating area in case you’re wanting to enjoy a healthy breakfast while breathing in the fresh air, and several gluten free options. We’ve found the staff to be warm and friendly here too, but do expect a bit of a wait for food as everything is prepared fresh to order.
If you’re conscious about your eating habits, want a heathy breakfast, or just want to try something that is fresh on the dining scene, then Harvest Café is a great choice.
As an added bonus they are plastic free and all their disposables and take away containers are recyclable, making them a Surfrider Foundation Certified Ocean Friendly Restaurant.
Address: 175 S Ventura Ave #104B, Ventura, CA 93001
5. Busy Bee Café
Busy Bee Café is a place worth visiting for its vibe alone. Drenched in 50s nostalgia, everything from the décor to the staff uniforms to the menu is designed to fit the retro-chic theme! Checkerboard floors, bright red accents on the furniture, neon glow signs above the bar. This place is photogenic in every direction and each booth even has its own mini jukebox!
There’s even plenty of old-fashioned beverages to choose from like Root Beer Floats, Malts, Cherry Colas – this place serves them all. They also have a full bar with a host of options (even breakfast cocktails!) so if you’re in the mood for a particularly boozy brunch, you can get it here.
The best part, however, is that they do breakfast all day!
Open Monday to Sunday, 8am to 9pm, you can step in and order a stack of fluffy pancakes or a hearty omelet anytime. This place is actually best known around town for its burgers, but they have a lengthy breakfast menu that includes Eggs Benedict, Waffles and Breakfast Burritos. The separate menu section for vegetarians is also a plus point.
On top of that service is warm, friendly and quick, and Busy Bee also has a small outdoor seating area. So, what are you waitin’ for fellas, head to this fat city, you’ll totally dig the vibes!
Address: 478 E Main St, Ventura, CA 93001
6. Harbor Cove Café
How does breakfast beside the sea sound? That’s what you can enjoy at Harbor Cove which is located at Ventura Harbor. Surrounded by the shimmering waters of Pierpont Bay, this café offers splendid views of the harbor and the Topatopa Mountains. It’s an incredible setting to start your day.
Harbor Cove is locally owned and operated and offers some fantastic breakfast and lunch options. The indoor seating is cozy and homely thanks to the wooden chairs, chalkboard menu and seafaring trinkets that adorn the wall. But when the weather’s warm people tend to head out to the patio for outdoor dining with a view. That area is also pet friendly.
Now on to the food! Harbor Cove are known locally for their Fish and Chips – they are a harborside establishment after all. But the breakfast menu also attracts people as there’s a very good selection.
Chef Randall has curated a menu of traditional favorites including breakfast sandwiches and small plates, but being a seaside eatery you shouldn’t miss out on the Seafood Burrito which features crab meat and wild caught shrimp.
The breakfast burritos really stand out too as they are massive! On top of that Harbor Cove also sells homemade jams and made-from-scratch old fashioned applesauce. Throw in their espresso bar and a full cocktail menu and you’ll be singing a sea-shanty in no time!
If brunch spills into supper as you lose yourself to the mesmerizing views and sound of waves, they even have live music every Friday from 4pm onwards.
This Ventura breakfast place itself is open from 7:30am – you’ll likely come for the view but stay a while due to the food!
Address: 1867 Spinnaker Dr, Ventura, CA 93001
7. Immigrant Son Caffe
Beautifully crafted recipes from the heart of an Italian American family. That’s what you’ll get here as food traditions have been handed down from father to son and the result is Immigrant Son Caffe. This family run café now treats Ventura locals to delectable Italian fare with a few modern twists here and there.
There is a large outdoor seating area here complete with picnic tables and umbrellas so you can enjoy the full Italian experience of dining al fresco.
What to expect? Well the food is very classic Italian, featuring everything from antipasti to dolce. The breakfast menu features the usual classics like Omelets and Eggs Benedict but there’s also a special section dedicated to Italian breakfasts! The Breakfast Lasagna, in particular, stands out and is a favorite amongst regulars. Immigrant Son even have a ‘bacon flight’ with four different flavors of bacon!
If you’d prefer something on the sweeter side, look no further than their Cinnamon Brioche French Toast. They also serve juice and cocktails along with a great coffee menu.
This restaurant is open from 9am Monday through Friday and from 8:30am on Saturday and Sunday. The staff are warm and welcoming and you’ll often find the manager and the owner deep in conversation with visitors.
The owner himself is happy to share the history behind the dishes and recipes. So, head on down to Immigrant Son Caffe for some great food, conversation, and some Italian breakfast favorites! A fantastic Ventura breakfast spot!
Address: 543 E Main St, Ventura, CA 93001
8. Café Ficelle
Café Ficelle is a quaint French patisserie serving simple, yet delicious cuisine from the European subcontinent. Inspired by their travels through Europe and especially France, the Scofield family opened this business in Ventura to give their community a chance to learn about the unique aspects of French culinary arts.
The café has that French chic feel to it with marble counter tops, modern light fixtures and display counters that show of the array of freshly baked goods. Metal racks hold the various coffee beans they brew, while there’s even a small outside seating area perfect to nurse a coffee and read a book while traffic passes by.
The menu is simple, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need in the morning. They serve a variety of coffees, from the humble drip, to nitro cold brews and chai lattes. While the breakfast menu includes sandwiches, waffles and crepes. What do we recommend? Well, make sure to try the traditional Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame for a classic French breakfast experience.
They also have a rotating cake and tart selection which changes daily. There’s a massive selection of fresh baked goods which are to die for, and their fresh baked croissants are known for being buttery, layered and all round delicious!
Apart from dine in options, Café Ficelle also takes custom cake orders and even organize regular baking classes and events where they share the art of breadmaking.
This café is open from 7:30am to 2:00pm everyday. It’s a great Ventura breakfast spot for your morning coffee and pastry fix!
Address: 390 S Mills Rd B, Ventura, CA 93003