Central Coast Culinary Road Trip
PART FOUR: Ventura Region
Easily accessible and located just north of Los Angeles (but a whole different world), the VENTURA REGION offers an idyllic and quiet reprieve featuring a wealth of natural and cultural attractions. This southern-most area of the Central Coast offers top agritourism experiences, with free farm tours and “u-pick” fun for groups and couples. There are plenty of artisanal shopping by day; delicious restaurants, local wineries and microbreweries are the hot spots at night.
In Ventura, “Taco Tuesday” is every day of the week! On Ventura Avenue, 14 authentic mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants make up the spiciest part of town, Taco District, a walkable corridor of mouth-watering stops. Each establishment has its own specialty. Here, tacos are not just for Tuesdays. A few favorites include Taqueria Ventura Doña Raquel, El Taco de Jerez and Taqueria Tepatitlan.
- AWARD WINNER – Slate Bistro & Craft Bar: Classic American and innovative cuisine fuse with an extraordinary craft cocktail list. SLATE’s culinary offerings are gastro-chic, featuring a selection of small, shared plates and entrées. Owner Abdu Romero was recognized as first place for Casa Pacifica Angels Wine, Food & Brew and Festival’s Savory competition (2019).
- AWARD WINNER – Twenty 88, Camarillo, Restaurant: Award-Winning Executive Chef Alex Castillo adds his unique style to Mediterranean and California fusion cuisine, working with neighboring farmers to prepare locally-sourced produce and foods. For three consecutive years, Alex has been recognized as the First Place Winner of Casa Pacifica Angels Wine, Food & Brew and Festival’s Savory competition.
- ANNUAL EVENTS – The California Strawberry Festival held the third weekend in May pays tribute to the delicious strawberry over two days with every strawberry creation imaginable! Highlights also include arts & crafts booths, recipe contests, live concerts, “Strawberryland” for the kids and much more. In the summer, the city sizzles with the annual Oxnard Salsa Festival held in late July celebrating everything salsa – the food, the music and the dance. The festival, held over two days, features a Salsa Tasting Tent, live entertainment, kids korner, a marketplace and much more.
- WEEKLY EVENT – Channel Islands Farmers’ Market (Sundays)- Enjoy waterside shopping at the Farmer’s Market every Sunday at Channel Islands Harbor. More than 30 farmers sell fresh-picked fruits, vegetables and flowers. There is also an assortment of baked goods, garden-related supplies as well as arts and crafts vendors offering their work for sale. Live music and entertainment make your shopping experience that much better. On Thursdays, a second Farmers’ Market is held in Downtown Oxnard, Plaza Park where shoppers can find locally grown farm products such as fruits, flowers, veggies, eggs, nuts and honey.
- GOURMET DINING EXPERIENCE – Utilizing farm-to-table cuisine full of flavor, Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars skillfully pairs a full kosher gourmet and innovative menu with award-winning wines. The five-star Zagat rated restaurant features some of Chef Gabe Garcia’s favorite dishes including Lamb Chorizo con Huevo and a Farfalle served with beef neck ragu, grilled broccolini and toasted pine nuts.
- NEW – Pedals & Pints Brewing Company: This taproom and restaurant is a community establishment for enthusiasts of cycling, brews, pizza and sports.
- NEW – Top This Chocolate: Recently opened in Ventura Harbor Village, indulge in premium milk, white or dark liquid chocolate, made with 100% cocoa butter, and Fair Trade Certified, non-GMO and gluten-free, with more than 40 toppings like nuts, dried fruit, candy, cookies and salty snacks.
See Central Coast Culinary Road Trip: PART ONE – Monterey Bay Region
See Central Coast Culinary Road Trip: PART TWO – San Luis Obispo Region
See Central Coast Culinary Road Trip: PART THREE – Santa Barbara Region
Download or request a Central Coast Visitors Map here.
To further assist you in planning your Central Coast Road Trip, check out this helpful Itinerary here.
Discover all of California’s Central Coast Regions here.