Ryan Snow’s Ventura Hot Spots

By Amelia Fleetwood

Ambrosia by Caffrodite

Photos by Mariana Schulze

“I love this organic vegetarian cafe; it offers such a cozy atmosphere whether you are bringing a friend or a book. I always order the breakfast burrito, (and) a cappuccino with almond milk. The pistachio mint smoothie is an absolute must!”
1987 E Main St. Suite B, caffrodite.com, (805) 628-9289

Harvest Cafe

The Harvest Cafe on South Ventura Avenue is Ryan’s go-to farm-to-table spot.

“This cafe is a plant-based, organic farm-to-table spot, perfect for breakfast, lunch, and smoothies. Lots of space to work and there’s a dog-friendly patio. My favorite things here are the Green Room smoothie, Egg and Avocado Smorgas, and the Maca Bomb smoothie, perfect for that 3 pm crash fixer before a dip in the ocean.”
175 S Ventura Ave., harvestcafeventura.com, (805) 667-8386

Channel Islands Juice Company

The entrance to Channel Islands Juice Company reflects its beachy surroundings.

“The Channel Islands Juice Company is a juice bar that’s walking distance to the beach. It serves 100 percent organic juices in recyclable glass bottles. Delicious, nourishing, and a super fun place to visit. My thing to order is the booster shot packed full of goodies for the immune system.”
291 E Thompson Blvd., cijuice.co, (805) 667-8500

Beach House Tacos

“This is an awesome place to enjoy fish tacos and beer on the pier. It always hits the spot after being in the water.”
668 Harbor Blvd., (805) 648-3177

Rumfish y Vino

Catch the beachy Rumfish Y Vino vibes.

“This is my favorite restaurant in town. Sit on the patio or at the bar for a true vacation vibe. The whole menu is fantastic, but my go-to dishes are: Fig & Goat Cheese Arugula Salad, Peruvian Ceviche, Fish Tacos, Yucatan Chicken, and their Wagyu Burger. There’s a full bar so they will make your preference; my current favorite is a Cassamigos Blanco and soda with fresh grapefruit juice.”
34 N Palm St., rumfishyvinoventura.com, (805) 667-9288

Paradise Pantry

“This is an excellent gourmet wine and cheese shop, a great place to grab fancy treats for a dinner party, or you can dine in the attached farm-to-table restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. My favorite menu items are Pantry Cheese plate, Soup of the Day, Roasted Turkey and Pesto Sandwich, served, of course, with some wine from the Ojai Vineyard. Try the 2014 Pinot Noir.”
222 E Main St., paradisepantry.com, (805) 641-9440


“Gotetsu is a Japanese restaurant and sake house. This is a hidden gem for unique, authentic Japanese cooking. I always order the Yakitori Beef Filet, Chicken Thigh with Citrus Pepper, Godzilla Onigiri, Curry Special, Pari Pari, Seaweed Salad, and Hakushika Dry Sake.”
2098 E Main St., gotetsu805.wixsite.com/main, (805) 312-7117

Topa Topa Brewing Company

“Excellent, hand crafted beers on tap with friendly vibes for humans and dogs, often with a killer food truck in the parking lot. Or you can order pizza from Tony’s down the way. Favorite menu items: Chief Peak IPA, Level Line Pale Ale.”
104 E Thompson Blvd., topatopa.beer, (805) 628-9255

Vita Art Center

Hidden behind the nondescript facade is a treasure of a gallery — the Vita Art Center. This spring’s glass exhibit displayed works form some of the region’s top glass makers.

“I love this place! Vita Art Center serves as a contemporary art gallery, curating museum-quality exhibits as well as providing art classes for all ages.”
28 W Main St., vitaartcenter.com, (805) 644-9214

Fluid State Beer Garden

“This fun bar has organic, live-fermented sourdough pizza. 
Order a whole one, they’re amazing. Must try menu items include: Fungus Amungus, Italian Massage, Seoul Patch Salad, Buffalo Soldier Wings, and their cheese board. 
Try the Dry Cider on tap too.”
692 E Main St., (805) 628-3107

Dexter’s Camera

After all these decades, Dexter’s, the brick-and-mortar photography shop, is still alive and kickin’.

“This brick-and-mortar camera shop sells and develops film, cleans and fixes gear. They have a rad selection of tested, vintage cameras for sale, and it’s also a great place to go for friendly advice.”
5 N Pacific Ave., dexterscamera.com, (805) 643-2172


“The Patagonia store is always a must-visit for outdoor types … This is Patagonia’s flagship store, where it all began. Check out their regular documentary film screenings, environmental education events, and yoga classes.”
235 W Santa Clara St., patagonia.com, (805) 643-6074