, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


The Venice Beach Boardwalk is home to a real cast of characters. Artists, musclemen, hippies, performers, even the food offerings add to the eclectic mix of entertainment offerings. My favorite place to stop is a German-style bar called On the Waterfront Cafe.

It may offer indoor and bar seating and a patio out back, but On the Waterfront’s biggest draw is the outdoor seating along Oceanfront Walk, as well as the cluster of communal-style benches a la traditional German beer gardens, perfect for people-watching and gazing out at the deep blue sea. On a sunny day, those outdoor spots are hard to come by, but they are certainly worth the wait.

Although I’ve tried several of their menu items, and all were very good, my absolute favorite thing to order is the giant Bavarian pretzel, apparently imported from Munich’s Oktoberfest, served with a delicious sweet mustard and probably the best butter I have ever tasted. It’s an awesome appetizer for two … or to eat alone if you’re extra hungry. The pretzel pairs wonderfully with an Erdinger Weissbier, a refreshing hefeweisen that’s ideal on a bright summer day.

As if that doesn’t sound perfect enough, there’s often a live band that plays classic rock jams across from the restaurant on Oceanfront Walk. Excellent view, good food, cold drinks, and plenty of entertainment … for me, the place really does have it all! The next time you’re in Venice, I encourage you to stop by for a hefeweisen and salty soft pretzel. You’ll be glad you did.