Ventura's first Italian restaurant is called Ferraros. It is a local italian restaurant that simply has the best cheese pizza in the United States. Period. I am not kidding you. They have excellent pasta as well and the Bob Grady salad is a must try, but it is the pizza we come for.
Favorite Dish: Usually I like my pizza with a lot of toppings however at Ferraro's keep it plain. The delicacy of the sauce, the lightness of the crust and the perfect blend of cheeses make for one heck of a pizza pie.
The only trouble with the pizza is you have to eat it all there while it is hot out of the oven. Because of the crust it does not hold up well under refrigeration so it is not as tasty the next day.
This pizza is as my husband calls it, "The Mystic Pizza"
This restaurant combines fast food with restaurant dining. It's called, "Italian Faster Food". It is always busy and the food is fresh, healthy, hot and good.
There are several locations: Ventura, Santa Barbara, Goleta and Camarillo
Very inexpensive, good for those on a budget or with a lot of mouths to feed.
Favorite Dish: I really enjoy the dinner salad with the gorgonzola cheese, pear, walnuts and raspberry vinagrette dressing.
You can have a choice of pasta: Angel hair, Penne, Fettucini, Ravioli, etc with your choice of sauce: Putanesca, Pesto, Alfredo, Marinara then add in: Meatballs, Vegetables , mushrooms, etc. All served with garlic bread.
On a rainy Friday night in Ventura we went to the Anacapa Brewing Company for dinner. There was a small heated patio in front with a table big enough to accomodate the 6 of us and it was most enjoyable.
Inside the restaurant are the brewery tanks and more dining tables but we found the noise level a tad loud so the patio was just perfect.
We were well within walking distance of our hotel, The Victorian Rose Bed and Breakfast.
Favorite Dish: The beer was a big hit. Brewed on site, I had their palest wheat beer, Hurricane Hefenweizen which was served with a slice of lemon. My husband had the 2 Penney Scotch ale which was a very strong hearty ale, and my friend Tim had the Santa Rosa Red.
The food was a great compliment to the beer. I had the Tri-tip sandwich on a sour-dough roll, perfectly seasoned, flavorful and tender.
My friends split a Cobb salad and vegetarian pizza. The salad dressing was unsusal we thought it was a key lime vinagrette.
We skipped dessert as there was delicacies awaiting us back at the hotel.
One of the locals recommended we eat here. So while we were exploring the surrounding here, we decided to eat here for lunch. We enjoyed the food very much. We sat outside on their wonderful and comfortable patio areas. The service was excellent and appreciated. Inside it has a western decor which is very inviting. Yet, they have a very wonderful patio area too and has it's own parking area for customers only!
Favorite Dish: We decided to order just appetizers since the meals that are served in this city are to huge to finish. I had the "Steak Filled Skins, which were so delicous. John had the "Steak Burrito". He enjoyed it alot!
Romano's Macaroni Grill is a chain restaurant without the feel of one. The interior is semi dark and lit with strings of bare bulb lights, tables are strewn about the floor and a open brick oven heavily stoked with fire is visable from the kitchen.
They take no reservations so be prepared to wait on a week end night sometime up to 2 hours. We make a point of going around 4 PM on the week end, the service is great and no crowds.
The restaurant now offers "Curbside to Go". Call your order in 30 minutes ahead of time, pull into the parking lot in one of the 'to go" spaces and your food is delivered to your car.
Favorite Dish: The Tuscan bread is a staple on the Macaroni Grill table, lightly seasoned and coated with salt the bread arrives hot and fresh with olive oil for dipping.
Lunch: Try the Tuscan Lunch. It is a chicken caesar calzonette sandwich complimented by your choice of salad, soup or pasta salad.
Dinner: Chicken Parmigiano. Breaded chicken breast, tomato sauce, basil, mozzerella & Parmesan cheese with your choice of pasta.
Capellini Pomodoro: Angel hair pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic. Add chicken or shrimp
Dessert: Tiramisu. Layers of cake with marscapone cream, rum and esspresso.
If your into Fifties decor and car hops then you'll love this place. The waitress are all dressed with period attire, but I am not sure they like it:-). They were all so friendly too! We poped in just to have a "Mess Of A Sundae" and "Banana Split". I kept asking John if we should share the banana split and he said he didn't want to share......lol! So I ordered the Hot Fudge Sundae. Well the lovely waitress made them right in front of us and I soon knew we were in a whole lot of messy trouble when she was done....lol! Wow, they were huge!!! We didn't finish them or we would have rolled out there if we did:-)) We did notice the "huge" platters of food they were serving and it all smelled so yummy, so you are going to get your moneys worth here.
7am - 10pm
I loved the decor of this place because it had murals painted all over the walls inside and out. It was on the top floor of a gift shop and has it's own restroom which you can get to from the outside. It has a beautiful patio to where you can view the fabulous bay full of all kinds of boats. The food was very good and very filling. You do get your moneys worth here. the service was excellent!
Open 11am to 9pm Daily
Until 10pm on Friday & Saturday
Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4 to 7 pm
Favorite Dish: I had the Fajita platter, which turned out to be huge! It was very good:-)
Wow, we hadn't been to Joannafina's in years, silly too, because we live 7 minutes down the road. Joannafina's Cafe is known for their tamales which they make at Christmas time and sell; it is always best to pre-order because these tamales go fast! Pork, Chicken, Beef or Sweet tamales.
If the weather is nice the back patio is so nice to sit and have your meal. There is a huge tree covered in twinkle lights and outdoor space heaters which make the area quite pleasant.
Favorite Dish: I tell you, the Sopes at Joannafina's are the best I have had anywhere!! Corn cakes filled with beans, machaca, lettuce, tomato, cheese and a green (verde) salsa that is very tasty.
Their nachos are my husband's favorite and Joannafina's did not disappoint either.
It is strange, restaurants come and go in this town but the Top Hat Hot Dog stand has weathered the test of time. You will ususally seen a group of people waiting in line for their hot dogs and hamburgers.
To quote a line from the B-52's "It's a Funky Little Shack, That's Where It's At"
Favorite Dish: I like their hot dogs with mustard, onion, pickles and sauerkraut.
Located in the Ventura Harbor, upstairs from the carousel is a great Mexican restaurant. What makes this place so great is the view from the patio dining deck. Overlooking the entire Ventura Harbor makes eating here a pleasure and they have very good food to boot.
One thing about sitting up on the roof especially in the summer, you make sure you have a heavy sweater or coat the wind in the afternoon and evening can be a bit much. Margarita Villa has propane heaters which work very well to keep the customers warm.
Note: for those persons who are wheelchair bound or mobility disabled, there is an elevator for handicap access.
Favorite Dish: There is so much to choose from the menu. I think they make the best Albondigas (meatball) soup, it is chock full of vegetables, meat balls and is in a "tomato-y" base. It is something I highly recommend you try.
Then on to the entrees. Portions are so big, so we usually always end up taking our leftovers in a bag. Note: most hotel rooms have a small refrigerator so those who are traveling can still take their leftovers home.
I enjoy the carne asada quesadilla which is plenty good for a meal. Paul enjoys the nachos, he is the "nacho man".
The bar is getting better and better. I had a mango cocktail (vanilla schanapps, with pinapple juice, coconut liqueur, rum and mango puree) very tasty.
An institution in town and located on the Northwest corner of Main Street and Palm is the TOP HAT. The building itself, described as an "8 by 22 foot shack" has been there since the 40's. Established in 1966, owner Charlotte Bell has fed generations with her "greasy grub" which includes their famous chili cheese dogs, double cheeseburgers and fries which you can also have covered in chili. Not surprisingly the locals have an emotional attachment to the joint. I thought it was so cute and nostalgic. Bought a large root beer for $1.30. Folks were lined up to order their favourite dogs or burger.
In the funky little village of Pierpont Bay is an amazing collection of restaurants, services and a great coffee house called, "Full of Beans." Open 7 days a week the shop offers all sorts of coffee combinations even for the most dicriminating tastes. They also offer a wide assortment of non-coffee beverages as well.
The pastries, muffins and cakes are all great and you can even purchase bagels, small fruit salads among the vast displays of tempting treats.
There is seating inside and out with a stack of magazines and newspaper to help you while away the hours.
Favorite Dish: I had the hot chocolate on a very cool summer's evening it was just the thing. Paul had a mocha latte and we shared a piece of their carrot cake for dessert.
They also have a unique package for people who require multiple coffees, for $12.00 you are given a vacuum pack full of coffee, 8 cups with lids and heat sleeves (so you won't burn your hand), creamer, sugar and stirrers. What a great idea!!!
Duke's (really that is the name of the restaurant) ***in' Burgers at the end of S Seward Avenue in Ventura is a solid local favorite. They open early to accomodate the hunger pangs of those folk were out catching a few waves. As the day progresses they break out the turkey and the ground beef and grill up some "ono" burgers.
Duke's is not fancy but you must have shirt, shorts and shoes if you plan to eat inside. Otherwise there is seating outside.
Favorite Dish: My favorite things at Duke's are:
Breakfast: Fast Freddie: 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 pancakes
Lunch: Teriyaki Chicken Hawai'ian with sweet mustard and pineapple with either potato salad, fries or onion rings (1 choice not all :-))
Dinner: Turkey burger the 2 nd best in the whole of Ventura.
I have also been told the tacos are killer: Fish, chicken, or shrimp.
Aloha Steakhouse was a perfect choice for a small VT get together with Kat (keida84), her husband Paul (Lumpmeister), e-mom Stephanie and Gerry. It was very busy on a Saturday night, the service in the beginning was a little slow but after that it was very good. Reservations are recommended.
Favorite Dish: The girls drank martinis while the men became the designated drivers, they were all good including my chocolate maraschino martini (which had cherries marinated for 96 hours ha, ha). We started with a couple of appetizers, calamari and peanut chicken, which were both good. I ordered the smaller Aloha cut of prime rib and it was huge and a very good cut of meat which came with salad and a choice of potato, I got the garlic mashed which was a good choice. The rest of the group tried teriyaki chicken, pork chops and sea scallops and everyone enjoyed their meals.
We all groaned when asked about dessert but that didn't stop us from digging into Stephanie's original hula pie ;-)
2nd visit October 2007
Kat (keida84) and I had a nice leisurely Friday to spend hanging out so after getting our manicures and pedicures we headed to the Savory Cafe where we met up with Kris (Taz_mocha) for some lunch. We were seated right away at an indoor table with a view of the street and open air, there are also some outdoor dining tables.
Favorite Dish: There were a lot of sandwiches that looked appealing but the Kobe burger was the one that caught my eye. It was very good, topped with blue cheese, bacon, onion and tomato on a fresh bun. It came with a side of frites with a lovely dipping sauce, presented in a silver bucket.
Kat didn't care for her Caprese sandwich, I think she thought it wasn't flavorful enough but Kris enjoyed her chicken sandwich.
Kris says they normally have an amazing array of desserts but we looked in the display case and it was mostly breakfast pastries and cupcakes so we all passed on having dessert. Good thing as I was pretty stuffed from the burger!