January is California Restaurant Month + Best Places to Eat and Drink in Ventura County Coast

Ventura County Coast offers an incredible array of great restaurants and local tasting rooms for any foodie visiting the California coast on a budget. Check out this month’s insider eating tips and latest happy hour news, plus details on California Restaurant Month which takes place in January.


California Restaurant Month

January is officially California Restaurant Month, designated by our friends at Visit California.  Celebrating its 6th year in 2016, California Restaurant Month spans the entire Golden State.

Oxnard joins San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sonoma, Napa, Lake Tahoe, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Newport Beach, Temecula, Redondo Beach and other amazing California travel destinations with Restaurant Weeks this month!  Dine & Discover Oxnard runs January 22–31, 2016.

The Jolly Oyster

The Jolly Oyster is a unique shuck-your-own and BYOB picnic experience at San Buenaventura State Beach Park in Ventura. Enjoy the freshest oysters and clams direct from the local and sustainable shellfish farm, along your own (alcoholic) beverages. The Jolly Oyster has oyster knives, sauces, lemons and charcoal for purchase.  Oyster shuckers, salsas and non-shellfish menu items are also available.  Normal hours are Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm. Parking info: The State Park staff at the front desk will provide a 20 minute free pass for to-go customers and anyone staying longer pays the $10 day use fee (which goes towards the upkeep of the park).  There is also free street parking found outside the park.  Dog-friendly!

*Here are some suggestions for foodie picnickers on what to bring to make the most of your visit:

– Wine and beer

– An oyster knife and a clean cloth or gloves to shuck the oysters; or you can ask The Jolly Oyster to shuck for you

– For the clams, a pan and a nice loaf of French bread (perfect for sopping up the broth)

– Sauces, salads, vegetables, cheeses, fruit, etc…

– A cooler with ice

Happy Hours in Ventura

From Anacapa Brewing Company to Yolie’s Tex-Mex Grill, you’ll find a detailed list of the best happy hour drink and food specials, buy one-get-ones and discounted bar fare in Ventura, Downtown and Main Street. Put it to good use!

Downtown Ventura Tasting Tour

Every Saturday and Sunday, Downtown Ventura offers a fun food and wine walking tour. With one admission, guests will stop at six shops and restaurants for tastings and conversations with the chefs, owners behind some of the county’s best eats. Partnering businesses include Spencer Makenzie’s, Paradise Pantry, Trufflehounds, Watermark on Main, Palermo Coffee, We Olive, Vom Fass, Ventiki Polynesian Lounge, Barrelhouse 101 and Sunflowers on the Square. Private tours are available upon request for groups of 8 or more. Tours run most Saturdays and some Sundays, starting at 11am; 24-hour reservation required.

Dine at Ventura Harbor Village

Ventura Harbor Village offers waterfront dining at its best with more than a dozen great eateries, both casual and sit-down – plus a great list of several Happy Hours with a view. Fresh seafood, Italian, Mexican and more.  Folks come to the harbor for breakfast, lunch and dinner – even in January!

Wine & Dine in Old Town Camarillo

Old Town Camarillo is a charming walkable district filled with delightfully unique tasting rooms and restaurants.  From breakfast cafes to sandwich shops to pizzerias, visitors get their bellies and their glasses filled here.  For an intimate lunch, reserve at table at Bistro 13 which is both an authentic Italian restaurant and wine bar.  In the afternoon, folks love stopping by the tasting room and lounge at Camarillo Custom Crush then hopping over to Cantara Cellars to sample a flight of their locally-made wines. In the evening, indulge at Twenty88 which offers upscale, farm-fresh cuisine from an award-winning chef.

Farmer’s Markets in Ventura County Coast

Because this region is prime agricultural land, the cities of Ventura, Camarillo, Oxnard and even Channel Islands Harbor offer incredibly bountiful local farmer’s markets all year round.  So if you’d rather opt to cook at home than go out to eat at a restaurant, you’ll have plenty of amazing ingredients to buy – from fresh seafood to meat, olive oil to bread, nuts, eggs and cheese.


Downtown Ventura Farmers Market is every Saturday from 8:30am-12:00pm and Midtown Ventura Farmer’s Market is every Wednesday from 9am-1pm.  Click here for all the details.

Camarillo Farmer’s Market is every Saturday from 8am-Noon in Old Town Camarillo.

Downtown Oxnard Farmers Market is every Thursday from 9am-1pm and Channel Islands Harbor Farmers Market in Oxnard is every Sunday from 10am-2pm. Click here for all the details.

Stay for the weekend! Click here for the complete list of hotels and other places to stay in Ventura County Coast.