F&D Photo by: GARYANDPIERRESILVA .COM Private chef and mixologist Candice Erickson of Cafe Fiore, which won first place for best martini, at Fillmore and Western Railway.

Best Of Food & Drink

Private chef and mixologist Candice Erickson of Cafe Fiore, which won first place for best martini.

09/20/2012

Bakery

1st Place
Royal Bakery, 4726 Telephone Road, Ventura, 658-6030


2nd Place
Bread Basket, 83 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, 482-1337


3rd Place
Blu Orkid, 76 S. Oak St., Ventura, 653-0003

 

Barbecue

1st Place
Wood Ranch, 1101 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, 482-1202; 3449 E. Main St., Ventura, 620-4500; 540 New Los Angeles Ave., Moorpark, 523-7253


2nd Place
Marshall’s Bodacious BBQ, 6353 Ventura Blvd., #18, Ventura, 650-0650


3rd Place
Just BBQ, 2950 Johnson Drive, Ventura, 654-1221

 

Barista

1st Place
Michelle Burke at Caffrodite Espresso Bar & Cafe, 1876 E. Main St., Ventura, 648-6005


2nd Place
Mike Colston at Element Coffee, 2364 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 482-0036


3rd Place
Camille Benavides at Palermo, 321 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-3070

 

Beer on Tap

1st Place
Barrelhouse 101, 545 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-0906


2nd Place
Anacapa Brewing Co., 72 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-2337


3rd Place
Winchesters Grill & Saloon, 632 E. Main St., Ventura, 653-7446

 

Buffet

1st Place
Taj Café, 574 E. Main St., Ventura, 652-1521


2nd Place
Golden China, 760 S. Seaward Ave., 652-0688


3rd Place
Yolanda’s, 2753 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-2700; 86 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, 389-9922; 1601 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard, 985-1340; 590 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, 306-9933

 

Burrito

1st Place
Corrales Mexican Food, 795 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-1043; 1951 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-6138

2nd Place
El Taco de Mexico, 3114 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 642-9409


3rd Place
Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack, 5100 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 642-5111

 

Business Lunch

1st Place
Cafe Fiore, 66 S. California St., Ventura, 653-1266


2nd Place
Cafe Zack, 1095 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-9445


3rd Place
Fresh & Fabulous Cafe and Bakery, 401 S. A St., Oxnard, 486-4547

 

Breakfast

1st Place
Allison’s Country Cafe, 3429 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 644-9072


2nd Place
Pete’s Breakfast House, 2055 E. Main St., Ventura, 648-1130     

3rd Place
Eggs ‘n’ Things, 4020 E. Main St., Ventura, 642-3190; 92 Daily Drive, Camarillo, 987-4497; 1103 Maricopa & Highway 33, Ojai, 646-5346; 2955 Cochran St., Simi Valley, 527-0055; 1542 Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks, 497-1711

 

Caterer

1st Place
Main Course, 1363 Donlon, suite 11, Ventura, 658-8900


2nd Place
DJ’s California Catering, 2784 Johnson Drive, Ventura, 850-0194


3rd Place
Plated Events by Chef Jason, 1141 Cummings Road, Santa Paula, 525-5736

 

Cheap Eats

1st Place
Corrales Mexican Food, 795 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-1043; 1951 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-6138

2nd Place
Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company, 806 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-8226


3rd Place
Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack, 5100 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 642-5111; 4850 Verdugo Way, Camarillo, 384-0334

 

Chinese

1st Place
Golden China, 760 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura, 652-0688     

2nd Place
Mandarin House, 4020 E. Main St., Ventura, 654-0933


3rd Place
Peking Inn, 330 N. Lantana St., suite 31, Camarillo, 987-8188

 

Coffee

1st Place
Palermo, 321 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-3070


2nd Place
Simone’s Coffee & Tea, 7818 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 659-0860


3rd Place
Element Coffee, 2364 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 482-0036

 

Cupcake

1st Place
Missy’s Cupcake Creations, 3900 W. Channel Islands Blvd., Oxnard, 382-4852


2nd Place
Frost It Cupcakery, 1341 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., #102, Thousand Oaks, 379-0390


3rd Place
Sweet Stuff Confections, 451 E. Main St., Ventura, 653-0201

 

Deli

1st Place
Danny’s Deli, 3263 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 289-9200


2nd Place
Brent’s Deli, 2799 Townsgate Road, Westlake Village, 557-1882


3rd Place
Shamsi’s Deli, 2705 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-6611

 

Dessert

1st Place
Bread Basket, 83 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, 482-1337


2nd Place
Petite Rêve Cafe, 1124 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura, 641-1581


3rd Place
The Royal Bakery, 4726 Telephone Road, Ventura, 658-6030

 

Diner

1st Place
Busy Bee, 478 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-4864


2nd Place
Vagabond Inn, 760 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-1390


3rd Place
Danny’s Deli, 3263 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 289-9200

 

Donut

1st Place
Rolling Pin Donuts, 2153 Las Posas Road, Camarillo, 482-8711


2nd Place
KD Donuts, 3855 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 644-6778


3rd Place
Avenue Donuts, 67 W. Main St., unit D, Ventura, 648-1214

 

Farmer’s Market

1st Place
Downtown Ventura


2nd Place
Channel Islands Harbor


3rd Place
Ojai Farmer’s Market

 

Food and Drink Festival

1st Place
Casa Pacifica Wine and Food Festival


2nd Place
California Beer Festival


3rd Place
Ojai Wine Festival

 

Fine Dining

1st Place
Watermark on Main, 598 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-6800


2nd Place
Cafe Zack, 1095 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-9445


3rd Place
The Sidecar Restaurant, 3029 E. Main St., Ventura, 653-7433

 

Fish Taco

1st Place
Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company, 806 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-8226


2nd Place
Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack, 5100 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 642-5111; 4850 Verdugo Way, Camarillo, 384-0334


3rd Place
Beach House Tacos, 668 Harbor Blvd., Ventura, 648-3177

 

Gourmet Food Store

1st Place
Paradise Pantry, 677 E. Main St., Ventura, 641-9440


2nd Place
We Olive, 294 E Main St., Ventura, 648-6166


3rd Place
Lassen’s Natural Foods and Vitamins, 4071 E. Main St., Ventura; 3471 Saviers Road, Oxnard; 2207 Pickwick Drive, Camarillo; 2857 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; 2955 Cochran St., Simi Valley

 

Greek

1st Place
The Greek at the Harbor, 1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, 650-5350


2nd Place
Woodside Market, 4509 Pleasant Valley Road, Camarillo, 987-0980


3rd Place
Yanni’s, 736 W. Ventura St., Fillmore, 524-1501

 

Hamburger

1st Place
The Habit Burger Grill, 487 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 667-2065; 4732 Telephone Road, Ventura, 676-1717


2nd Place
Hook Burger Bistro, 1811 N. Rose Ave. Oxnard, 981-8636


3rd Place
Duke’s Griddle ’n’ Grill, 1124 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura, 653-0707

 

Health Food

1st Place
Lassen’s Natural Foods and Vitamins, 4071 E. Main St., Ventura; 3471 Saviers Road, Oxnard; 2207 Pickwick Drive, Camarillo; 2857 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; 2955 Cochran St., Simi Valley


2nd Place
Rainbow Bridge, 211 E. Matilija St., Ojai, 646-4017


3rd Place
Farmer and the Cook, 339 W. El Roblar Drive, Ojai, 640-9608

 

Ice cream

1st Place
McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream & Yogurt, 3241 E. Main St., Ventura, 650-6410


2nd Place
Palermo, 321 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-3070


3rd Place
Coastal Cone, 1583 Spinnaker Drive, suite 104, Ventura, 658-2837

 

Indian

1st Place
Taj Café, 574 E. Main St., Ventura, 652-1521


2nd Place
Himalaya, 35 W. Main St., Ventura, 643-0795

3rd Place
Bollywood, 500 E. Main St., Ventura, 648-2533

 

Italian

1st Place
Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant, 2788 E. Main St., Ventura, 648-7270


2nd Place
Cafe Fiore, 66 S. California St., Ventura, 653-1266


3rd Place
Capriccio, 298 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-7115

 

Kid-Friendly

1st Place
Topper’s Pizza, 3940 E. Main St., Ventura, 385-4444


2nd Place
Duke’s Griddle ’n’ Grill, 1124 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura, 653-0707


3rd Place
Wood Ranch, 1101 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, 482-1202; 3449 E. Main St., Ventura, 620-4500; 540 New Los Angeles Ave., Moorpark, 523-7253

 

Late Night Eats

1st Place
Jimmy’s Slice, 586 E. Main St., Ventura, 648-6133


2nd Place
Blu Orkid, 76 S. Oak St., Ventura, 653-0003


3rd Place
Dargan’s, 593 E. Main St., Ventura, 648-3001

 

Margarita

1st Place
Yolanda’s, 2753 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-2700; 86 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, 389-9922; 1601 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard, 985-1340; 590 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, 306-9933


2nd Place
Casa de Soria, 1961 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 648-2083


3rd Place
El Rey Cantina, 294 E. Main St., Ventura, 653-1111; 2302 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 484-4433

 

Martini

1st Place
Cafe Fiore, 66 S. California St., Ventura, 653-1266


2nd Place
Watermark on Main, 598 E. Main St. Ventura, 643-6800


3rd Place
Prime Steakhouse, 2009 Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 652-1055

 

Mexican

1st Place
Yolanda’s, 2753 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-2700; 86 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, 389-9922; 1601 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard, 985-1340; 590 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, 306-9933


2nd Place
Casa de Soria, 1961 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 648-2083

3rd Place
Taqueria Tepatitlan, 362 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura, 653-0508

 

New Restaurant

1st Place
Barrelhouse 101, 545 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-0906


2nd Place
Rhumb Line, 1510 Anchors Way Drive, Ventura, 642-1200


3rd Place
Himalaya, 35 W. Main St., Ventura, 643-0795

 

Noodle House

1st Place
Mai’s Cafe, 1967 E. Main St., Ventura, 652-2061


2nd Place
Toki Restaurant, 2850 Johnson Drive, Ventura, 644-8654


3rd Place
Pho Oxnard Vietnamese Restaurant, 722 N. Ventura Road, Oxnard, 485-1531

 

Outdoor Dining

1st Place
Cafe Nouveau, 1497 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 648-1422


2nd Place
Tutti’s Off Main, 34 N. Palm St., Ventura, 643-0880


3rd Place
Bocalli’s, 840 Ventura Ave., Oak View, 649-1057

 

Pizza

1st Place
Topper’s Pizza, 385-4444: 3940 E. Main St., Ventura; 520 Arneil Rd., Camarillo; 2701 Peninsula Road, Oxnard; 2100 Saviers Road, Oxnard; 111 E. Gonzales Road, Oxnard; 1416 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks; 2408 Erringer Road, Simi Valley


2nd Place
Tony’s Pizzaria, 186 E.Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-8425


3rd Place
Pizza Chief, 7770 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 647-8888; 1612 E Main St., Ventura, 648-1877; 2550 E. Vineyard Ave., suite 160, Oxnard, 485-2966

 

Produce Stand

1st Place
Underwood Family Farms, 3370 Sunset Valley Road, Moorpark, 529-3690


2nd Place
McGrath Family Farm, 1012 W. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 485-4210


3rd Place
Fernando’s Flowers, 4800 Olivas Park Drive, Ventura, 650-3421

 

Restaurant

1st Place
Aloha Steakhouse, 364 S. California St., Ventura, 652-1799


2nd Place
Cafe Fiore, 66 S. California St., Ventura, 653-1266


3rd Place
Watermark on Main, 598 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-6800

 

Romantic Restaurant

1st Place
Watermark on Main, 598 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-6800


2nd Place
Cafe Fiore, 66 S. California St., Ventura, 653-1266


3rd Place
Cafe Zack, 1095 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-9445

 

Sandwich

1st Place
Urbane Cafe, 4960 Telephone Road, Ventura, 654-1619


2nd Place
Danny’s Deli, 3263 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 289-9200


3rd Place
Nature’s Grill, 566 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-7855

 

Seafood

1st Place
Brophy Brothers, 1559 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, 639-0865


2nd Place
Andria’s Seafood Restaurant & Fish Market, 1449 Spinnaker Drive, suite A, Ventura, 654-0546


3rd Place
Lure Fish House, 259 W. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 388-5556

 

Seafood Market

1st Place
Andria’s Seafood Restaurant & Fish Market, 1449 Spinnaker Drive, suite A, Ventura, 654-0546


2nd Place
Ocean Pride Seafood, 2894 Bunsen Ave., Ventura, 644-4310


3rd Place
Sea Fresh, 3550 Harbor Blvd., Oxnard, 204-0974

 

Service

1st Place
Watermark on Main, 598 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-6800


2nd Place
Anacapa Brewing Co., 72 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-2337


3rd Place Tie
Cafe Zack, 1095 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-9445


Lure Fish House, 259 W. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 388-5556

 

Smoothie

1st Place
Blenders in the Grass, 607 E. Main St., uite B, Ventura, 641-0916; 488 S. Mills Road, Ventura, 642-4557; 2508 Las Posas Road, Camarillo, 482-4507


2nd Place
Mary’s Secret Garden, 100 S. Fir St., Ventura, 641-3663


3rd Place
Nature’s Grill, 566 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-7855

 

South American

1st Place
Moqueca, 3550 S Harbor Blvd., Oxnard, 204-0970


2nd Place
Casa Pueblo, 310 S. C St., Oxnard, 486-8116


3rd Place
Bonanos, 100 N. Ashwood Ave., Ventura, 339-9860

 

Steakhouse

1st Place
Aloha Steakhouse, 364 S. California St., Ventura, 652-1799


2nd Place
Prime Steakhouse, 2009 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 652-1055


3rd Place
Wood Ranch, 1101 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, 482-1202; 3449 E. Main St., Ventura, 620-4500; 540 New Los Angeles Ave., Moorpark, 523-7253

 

Sunday Brunch

1st Place
Watermark on Main, 598 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-6800


2nd Place
Golden China, 760 S. Seaward Ave., 652-0688


3rd Place
Hill Street Cafe, 1050 S. Hill Road, Ventura, 654-1115

 

Sushi

1st Place
I Love Sushi, 5722 Telephone Road, Ventura, 639-4009


2nd Place
Sushi Marina, 120 S. California St., Ventura, 643-5200


3rd Place
O-Sabi Restaurant, 5795 Walker St., Ventura, 642-6200

 

Tamales

1st Place
Corrales, 795 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-1043; 1951 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-6138


2nd Place
Downtown Ventura Farmer’s Market


3rd Place
Maria Bonita, 256 E. Main St., 652-0247

 

Tapas

1st Place
The Cave at Ventura Wine Co., 4435 McGrath St., Ventura, 642-9449


2nd Place
Andre’s Wine and Tapas Bar, 1575 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, 642-9463


3rd Place
Eric Ericsson’s, 668 Harbor Blvd., Ventura, 643-4783

 

Thai

1st Place
Tipps Thai, 512 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-3040


2nd Place
RICE Thai Cuisine, 387 E. Main St., Ventura, 641-3573


3rd Place
Sawasdee Thai Cuisine, 2887 Johnson Drive, Ventura, 642-8879

 

Vegetarian

1st Place
Mary’s Secret Garden, 100 S. Fir St., Ventura, 641-3663


2nd Place
Nature’s Grill, 566 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-7855


3rd Place
Hip Vegan Cafe, 928 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai,
646-1750


EDITOR’S PICKS

 

Best way to take in the local sights and flavors

Ventura Food Tours
www.venturafoodtours.com


Claudia, co-owner of Trufflehounds with her husband Fred, talks about the process of making chocolate, starting with the cocoa bean of the Theobroma cacao plant.

When visiting a new town, or even exploring the one you live in, sometimes our eyes can be much bigger than our stomachs. Oftentimes, we plan an afternoon to check out new places and learn something new about a city, but when we get to doing it, we tend to walk around blindly in the wilderness, only visiting one place, maybe two, and forgetting about the other things we had on our agenda. Well, Allison Costa, food reviewer for the VCReporter, decided to help those of us who want more bang for our buck and time, but can’t manage to pull it all together, with her Ventura Food Tours.


On a Saturday morning, my son and I joined Costa, along with a couple from Alaska and a local couple. We started off at the Bella Maggiore, Costa telling the story of the historic hotel — a romantic old place rich with interesting and even haunting stories. From there, we walked through Plaza Park while learning the stories of the old fig tree and the historic cannons. We moved on to Spencer MaKenzie’s Fish Company for hearty samples of the best sellers — clam chowder, ceviche and fried sea bass for the famous giant fish tacos. Once we finished our dishes, we journeyed to Trufflehounds for a sweet treat, followed by a visit to Paradise Pantry for a fruit and cheese plate to go with a wine tasting. (Nonalcoholic sparkling chardonnay is available.) The historical tour continued with the stories of the Juniperro Serra statue at City Hall, the Stanley Gardner Building and the Perry Mason series. We then ventured to We Olive for an olive oil tasting. To round off the trip, gelato tasting at Palermo. (For future downtown visits, Costa also plans to visit Savory Cafe.) While it may seem like a lot to do, it’s amazing how fast time goes by in three and half hours.


But Ventura Food Tours isn’t restricted to Ventura. Costa also does food tours in Ojai. She offers tours every weekend (you would have to inquire about holiday weekends) in both cities, and the places may vary depending on whether you go Saturday or Sunday. (Brunch at Watermark is on the Sunday schedule in Ventura.) Six culinary curiosities, plus a history tour, for $59 per person or $49 per person per couple — ’tis a great way to spend a leisurely afternoon getting to know a city.

— Michael Sullivan

 


Best burger by the sea

The Faria Beach Cafe
Faria Beach Park, 4350 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura

There is no place like the Faria Beach Cafe.


Where else in the county can you pull off of the classic Pacific Coast Highway to have a bite to eat just yards away from the coastline with a cozy view of the Channel Islands?


For the past three years surfers, oil field workers, campers and food enthusiasts have delighted in this little gem of cafe at Faria Beach Park.


Operated by the charming Laura Byrd, her specialties are the six-ounce, handmade burgers and breakfast burritos, which also include a soy chorizo burrito option. Patrons place their orders at the window and choose a nearby picnic table or for the more adventurous, a rock along the coastline for a prime view of the ocean.

  
“People are pretty excited about this,” said Byrd, who is also the Faria campground host. “People comment everyday about what a great burger this is, and all the food is made to order.”


The cafe opens at 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. or 4 p.m., depending on the season. During the summer season, the cafe is open seven days a week; and Thursday-Monday beginning in October. Byrd has also been cool enough to open up for service during off-hours if the waves are big and the area fills with surfers.


Regardless of the seasonal operational hours, Byrd’s cooking has established a regular clientele.


“Oil field workers call in orders, people driver here to have lunch, campers from Emma Wood will ride up and the (Faria Beach) residents all stop by,” says Byrd, adding that surfers will put in an order once they get out of the water.


“I like that there are healthy options like Greek yogurt with honey and oatmeal for breakfast,” says Faria Beach resident Paige Akrop. “It’s special too because Laura is always warm and welcoming and there are nice touches like pretty flowers on the picnic tables.”


The menu also includes French toast, bagels, a breakfast sandwich, a veggie burger, BLT, grilled cheese, quesadillas, sweet potato fries and seasoned fries, baked goods, juice, soda and coffee. Byrd also sells surf wax and camping supplies.


Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

— Shane Cohn

 

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Comments

That Ventura Food Tours is fantastic! Way to go, Allison Costa. Do you have a blog?

posted by jgray on 9/20/12 @ 02:02 p.m.
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