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Salt & Wind Travel

The 9 Best Restaurants In Ojai To Eat Local (2024)

Ojai bound? This list of the 9 best restaurants in Ojai will get you started with where to eat and drink. Set back in the hills of Ventura County; fewer places are more relaxing than this southern California town.

Ojai draws in all kinds of travelers — from couples looking to settle in for a weekend to groups of friends looking to kickback poolside. I personally love to kick back at one of the many chic roadside inns, make a few dinner plans, and see where the day takes me.

Best Restaurants In Ojai
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What I love most about Ojai is its climate, a Mediterranean paradise, which is why it’s one of the best agricultural regions in the state. You can nearly smell the citrus orchards that line the valley below the Topatopa Mountains. Olive farms, vineyards, avocados, and other vegetables are abundant here. So, you’ll easily see why there are so many good Ojai restaurants.

I had the chance to spend a long weekend in Ojai, hunting down the best food, shops, and hotels. It was one of my favorite trips to date for a very relaxed weekend with all the good eats and charming hotels.

What Is Ojai Best Known For?

It’s a quick drive from Santa Barbara and the perfect road trip from Los Angeles. The town is small but has quite a lot to do. You can consider hiking in the Los Padres National Forest, wine tasting in the valley, or kickback at a luxe hotel. 

The laid back atmosphere is easy going, and has just enough to do for a weekend away. The climate, combined with a beautiful setting, means that there is something to do year-round. And you can’t miss the famously dubbed “Pink Moment” in Ojai. At sunset, the hues of pink drench the mountains as the sun sets. You don’t want to miss that when in town.

What Is The Food Scene In Ojai?

If two words could describe the food culture in Ojai, it would be “community” and “fresh.” Everything is deeply intertwined in Ojai between the restaurants, the farm owners, and the ingredients. Hyper-local with a sense of keeping it as seasonal as possible defines most of the food styles from the chefs in town.

Since Ojai has such a rich agricultural practice as part of the community, rest assured you are eating some of the best food in the state. The town caters to many travelers from other cities like Los Angeles, so you find an elevated experience. Many restaurants have that cool edge, a twist of good design and presentation. All of this is why these Ojai restaurants are so good.

9 Best Restaurants In Ojai

If you’re wondering what are the most popular restaurants in Ojai, we’ve got you. These are 9 local restaurants where you can eat in Ojai on your next trip:

Farmer and the Cook | Serves breakfast and lunch

If one restaurant embodies Ojai the best, it’s The Farmer and The Cook. It’s vegetarian and hyper-locally focused (they run their own farm box program from the owner’s farm.) While you can stop into their market to stock up on weekend supplies or grab healthy smoothies, I’d stay for their breakfast in this Ojai institution.

A highlight is the Mexican-inspired dishes like huarache and cauliflower tostadas. It’s certainly a twist on Mexican food, but nonetheless delicious. A few tables out front are available to eat at or take your food back to your hotel.

Farmer And The Cook, 339 W El Roblar Dr, Ojai, CA 93023

Ojai Deer Lodge | Serves lunch and dinner 

It’s Ojai’s historic gathering place. A complete classic spot to kick back to enjoy live music and great drinks, this is the happening spot on the weekends. It’s California food with a roadhouse twist. Find plates like pulled pork grilled cheese sandwiches and a slow braised lamb shank to cap off the menu. 

Ojai Deer Lodge, 2261 Maricopa Hwy, Ojai, CA 93023

Ojai Rôtie | Serves lunch and dinner 

On a previous trip, I may or may not have eaten here two times in a 24-hour period because it was one of my favorite Ojai restaurants. Lebanese meets French rotisserie, with some of the best local ingredients. And the setting? Idyllic outdoor seating under the canopy of old oak trees with hanging lanterns. 

Start with an order of roast chicken, the specialty of Ojai Rotie, and pair it with either the pommes rotisserie cooked in chicken drippings with lemon-pepper aioli, purslane tabouli, or their take on a classic Avgolemono soup.

Ojai Rotie, 469 E Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023

Pinyon Ojai | Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner

You could find a reason to come in any time of day to Pinyon. Relaxed, unfussed, well-done food is the name of the game here. And, of course, it’s all centered around sourdough. Bagels, pastries, and wood-fired pizzas are the menu’s mainstays throughout the day.

Pinyon Ojai, 423 E Ojai Ave Ste 101, Ojai, CA 93023

The Beacon | Serves breakfast and coffee

If you’re looking for caffeine fill while in Ojai, The Beacon is your definitive choice for all your coffee needs. It has a small but robust pastry case, but ideally, you’re here for a good cup of coffee.

The Beacon, 211 W Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023

The Dutchess | Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner

 I love a restaurant open nearly daily, and The Dutchess is no exception. By morning it’s a cafe and bakery, serving classics like oven-baked eggs and mouth-watering “egg sando.” Come night, it’s a Burmese Californian kind of restaurant.

Crispy rice salad, tea leaf salad, and hearty Niman Ranch pork belly are the highlights of the dinner menu. They also serve unique cocktails and even an Amaro flight. And p.s., the restaurant doesn’t close until 11 p.m. so come later if necessary.

The Dutchess, 457 E Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023

The Nest | Serves lunch and dinner 

Right on the edge of town, The Nest is the choice for a healthy take on lunch classics. As you arrive or depart, it’s a convenient stop; you could even take your lunch to the Ventura beaches. Their salad and bowls are particularly exciting for their unique takes, like the smoked salmon Caeser salad and the filling taco salad, a simple yet fresh Mexican-inspired bowl.

The Nest, 401 E Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023

Tipple and Ramble | Serves lunch and dinner *lunch is on weekends only

Name a cuter, more Instagrammable place in Ojai. But seriously, past the incredible design and great ambiance is a wine bar with serious eats and an impressive wine list. A perfect day in Ojai would be an afternoon of small appetizers like cheese boards and a glass of wine on their back patio for outdoor dining.

Tipple and Ramble, 315 N Montgomery St, Ojai, CA 93023

Topa Topa Brewing Company | Serves lunch and dinner 

With Topa Topa opening their brewery taproom in Ojai, it’s the spot on a sunny afternoon on the main street. While I love a crisp, cold craft beer, I love it even more that I can pair it with food from Little Sama next door. The two businesses, side by side, work beautifully together — grab a pint, grab amazing southeast Asian cuisine, and sit down under the sun. If you pick one dish, let it be the tater tots at this great spot. Topa Topa Brewing Company, 345 E Ojai Ave A, Ojai, CA 93023

Want to plan your time in Ojai?

If you’re looking to plan out a weekend to Ojai, let us help you pick the right accommodations for your trip. Our travel experts can plan your time from beginning to end with our California trip planning services.
Photo Credit: Photos by Jessica Wright of Bontraveler

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