Gaby’s Guide to Ojai

Ojai is one of my favorite weekend getaways! It’s a hop, skip and a jump from LA and you’re instantly transported into a little magical town tucked into the mountains with major vibe-y vibes!!

I’ve spent a handful of weekends in Ojai the past few years. It’s been a stop on numerous road trips, our destination of choice for a few weekend getaways, and my dad has the occasional business meeting there so naturally I always invite myself. I’m a great daughter like that 🙂 

A few weeks ago Thomas and I jumped in the car for a quick weekend getaway so I could crank out some work on my book in peace and quite – he went golfing. Typical. Ojai is a hop skip and a jump from Los Angeles. If you don’t live in the area, you could fly into LAX or Santa Barbara, snag a rental car and be on your way. The drive is easy and gorgeous as you wind your way up a mountain before getting to Ojai which is tucked into the cutest valley that literally has pink and purple sunsets on a daily basis.

So next time you’re looking for a weekend getaway – do it Ojai style!! Gaby’s Guide to Ojai coming at ya in 3, 2, 1….

Ojai Certified Farmers Market – You know I’m a sucker for any farmers market and the Ojai market does not disappoint! It’s a mixture of farmers, florists and some pre-made food and it happens every single Sunday! (Rain or shine!)

Farmer and the Cook – While not on the main drag of Ojai, Farmer and the Cook is churning out some of the best food in the town. We go for breakfast/brunch every single time we visit and the breakfast tacos are not to be missed. Chips and Guacamole too – because that’s an acceptable thing to eat no matter what time of day! 

Ojai Valley Inn – My favorite hotel in Ojai, hands down, is the Ojai Valley Inn! The rooms are bright and gorgeous, their cheese plates are top notch and you’ll probably never want to leave the property. Between the pools, the gardens and the golf course, it’s basically everything you could ever ask for in a resort.

Gaby's Guide to Ojai (@whatsgabycookin) Gaby's Guide to Ojai (@whatsgabycookin) Gaby's Guide to Ojai (@whatsgabycookin)

Azu Restaurant – No matter who I’m traveling with, it’s a pre-requisite that you like to share and that’s exactly why I love Azu! Grab a glass of wine (you don’t have to share that part) and then order all the tapas on the menu for the table. Everyone gets a bite and you can sample your way through the entire menu!

Ojai Olive Oil – I’m all about an olive oil tasting and Ojai Olive Oil is the place to do it! Sample everything they make, starting with olive oil and then move on over to their infused vinegars. Grab a few bottles before you head home because you’ll be sorry if you leave empty handed!

Ojai Olive Oil/ Gaby's Guide to Ojai (@whatsgabycookin)

deKor & Co – home decor shopping with some incredible scented candles!

Fig Curated Living – More shopping – tons of cute kitchen things!

Topa Topa / Sama Sama – the best brewery / asian fusion restaurant I’ve ever seen! The food was epic – do not skip the wings.

Tipple and Ramble – The cutest wine bar in all the land, complete with mezze, cheese and charcuterie boards

Gaby's Guide to Ojai (@whatsgabycookin) Gaby's Guide to Ojai (@whatsgabycookin)

Beacon Coffee – Perks of being married to a complete coffee snob, he’ll find you the best coffee in any town!

The Nest – really great socal inspired food and even better cocktails!


La Fuente – Mexican food! Always and forever!

Ojai Rotie – An entire restaurant dedicated to rotisserie chicken – I THINK SO!

Gaby's Guide to Ojai (@whatsgabycookin)

Nocciola – great Italian food with incredible dessert too

Ojai Tortilla House – some of the very best tacos around the area!! Go snag a sampler and find a seat somewhere nearby!

Gaby's Guide to Ojai (@whatsgabycookin)

Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room – it’s a wine tasting room! What more do you need to know!

So here’s the game plan: If you haven’t already been, think about it!! Ojai is great any time of the year – and especially lovely in the winter because it’s not freezing like the rest of the country (plus its beautiful and the food is delicious), send me an invitation and then I’ll see ya there!

Gaby's Guide to Ojai (@whatsgabycookin)

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  1. Monika

    Great write-up! I think I will change my credit card – mine has so many restrictions, I never seem to be able to use my miles for anything. Thanks for all the info. Love Ojai and need to go back!

  2. Tara

    Gorgeous pictures and mouth watering food, what a great post. I adore California and we go there all the time but have never been to this area. This is a must visit.

  3. Diane @ Vintage Zest

    Well, this is eerie. I’m going to Ojai… tomorrow! I haven’t been there since I was a kid, so this will definitely come in handy. Impeccable timing! 🙂

  4. sue|theviewfromgreatisland

    Ojai has been our secret getaway for years — I guess it’s not so secret anymore 😉

  5. Amy

    We live in the Midwest, and really love areas like this. For now, we are tied to our jobs and can only look at the wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Julie @ Table for Two

    Need to make my way back to Cali to visit Ojai!! Looks beautiful! Perfectly captured through these photos!

  7. Sandy @ ReluctantEntertainer

    Gaby, what a fun trip! I’d love to visit Ojai … the food, market (beautiful). Glad you had a great time!

  8. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

    Can I please come visit you and just go on a farmers market tour?? I have so much fresh produce envy!!

  9. Rachelle

    I had never even heard of Ojai until this post! The tacos and guac look amazing!

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  11. Skyler @ Gigabyte Life

    Ohh-hi (Ojai) there Gaby,
    I’m all up in your dish. Not sure what im intrigued with most- your bootstrap expeditions & visual fun-slingin or the fact that i found you at the expense of my deviant behavior and voyeuristic grams of gettaway.
    Have fun decoding that.
    ~Skyler Gigabytes

  12. Karyn

    Great write-up Gaby! It’s been years since I’ve been to Ojai – from your pictures it’s still as beautiful as I remembered it to be. I’ll have to plan a trip back there soon – thanks for all the great recommendations!

  13. Cathi Breckner

    You have completely missed the ultimate Ojai experience if you haven’t eaten at Boccali’s in the east end of the valley. A long time family owned Italian place with the best pizza and pasta hands down. Dine inside or outside, Can even serve larger groups outside under huge oak trees. Love, love, love this place, and save room for fresh strawberry shortcake in season.

  14. Suzanne

    I have to agree about Boccali’s!! You must go there next for their lasagna and most importantly, their strawberry shortcake! A true Ojai gem.

  15. Lynn C.

    You’re so cute Gaby!!!! Ojai is my favorite. I always hit up Farmer and the Cook and Bart’s Books.

  16. Thomas Cappiello

    Try Kate’s Bread on Sundays. You’ll love Kate, she’s great, little microbakery knocks it out of the park. Pre-order something first though so you don’t wait in line. I grew up in Carpinteria.