Gjusta gets very busy for brunch on weekends. I suggest you come on a weekday or early (they open at 7 a.m., which is great if you are jet-lagged).
About This Day
What to do in Venice Beach with kids, when you love good food? This itinerary is for you! Venice beach is home to numerous mouth-watering restaurants, many of which are perfectly acceptable for kids. Start your day with a delicious brunch at Gjusta where the extensive menu will make everyone in your family happy. Afterwards, reward your kids with one of the best playgrounds in Los Angeles. Stroll to the beach and then towards South Beach Park, where a boat themed climbing structures will keep your children happy for a while. When it's time for an afternoon pick-me-up walk along the beach or the Venice Beach boardwalk to N'ice Cream for an afternoon treat. Enjoy their homemade ice cream while your family watches the surfers in the ocean.
If you like good food, you will like Gjusta. Part bakery, part deli, Gjusta offers a wide variety of baked goods, sandwiches, salads, smoked fish and even pizza. The Bialy Sandwich with avocado was one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve ever had. The ordering system can be confusing. You can order from their menu at the counter or you pick a ticket to order from their daily selection of salads, smoked fish, cold cuts, and pizza. Seating is on a first-come basis, either in the outdoor backyard or inside along a counter. The counter doesn’t work for kids who need a high chair and if it’s busy it feels very crowded. The outdoor courtyard is much nicer, but be prepared to wait for a table if it’s busy. Also, when we visited, there was only one high chair and no changing table.
DIRECTIONS If you are staying at The Rose Hotel, it’s a short 10-minute walk to Gjusta.
TIP Skip the weekend craziness and come early on a weekday. They are open every day 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
South Beach Park
3400 Barnard Way, Santa Monica
South Beach Park is home to a lovely playground that features a giant interactive ship. Kids of all ages love to explore all the little details and befriend some of the local children. The playground is right by the beach, so once the kids are bored, head down to the water and continue to play in the sand.
DIRECTIONS South Beach Park is a 15-minute walk from Gjusta.
Tugged away on the infamous Venice Beach board walk, this unassuming ice cream place will surprise you. Founded by two Danes the ice cream at N’ice Cream is made fresh every morning. There isn’t much seating inside, so head to the beach instead and enjoy your treat while looking at the ocean.
DIRECTIONS It's a 10-minute walk from South Beach Park to N’ice Cream. You can either walk along the boardwalk or if you don't have a stroller it’s nice to walk along the beach.
WE LOVEDRoom with a small kitchen. Free fresh croissants and coffee for breakfast. Stylish design and cozy common area to meet other guests. Within walking distance of the beach, playgrounds, restaurants and everything else. The hotel provided a Pack ’N Play and a high chair, so nugget could eat in our room.
WE DIDN'T LIKEThere’s a gate halfway up the stairs to the second floor. It’s hard to maneuver if you are by yourself and have a stroller and a toddler. On Saturday night, we could hear the bar down the street.
TIPRooms on the second floor have access to the roof terrace, so you can sit outside while the little ones sleep inside. Great for relaxing during daytime naps or a glass of wine at night. The Rose Hotel doesn’t offer parking, but you can find street parking fairly easily (except on weekends when everyone is heading to the beach).