Photo by Mackayla Testerman
Whether this is your first year at Pepperdine or your senior year, here are some Malibu classics you must hit up before the end of the year along with some more hidden treasures you might not have heard of yet.
This oceanfront restaurant is a Malibu staple and uniquely captures the glory days of Malibu’s 1950’s surf culture. A stunning view of the Pacific Ocean is available from almost every table and many visits include an appearance by pods of bottlenose dolphins. Duke’s has also recently opened a more casual, budget friendly lunch option as an alternative to their more upscale dinner seating.
Recommendation: For lunch, you can’t go wrong with their fish and chips. For dinner, there are many options, but make sure to snag some of their white cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese.
No list would be complete without the Malibu-renowned Lily’s. Located on the edge of town by Zuma beach, Lily’s breakfast burritos are a bucket list item every Malibu-ite and Pepperdine student cannot miss. The line can be long but in return you will receive one of the best breakfast burritos in the area.
Recommendation: A breakfast burrito with horchata.
This beloved oceanfront getaway is a much loved classic by Malibu locals and Pepperdine students alike. With a connected private beach and some of the best seafood in the town, this local favorite is well worth the stop.
Recommendation: Get more bang for your buck and split their Hot Combo Sampler with a friend or two to get a wide array of their most famous dishes, including their fabulous macadamia coconut shrimp.
With its prime location on the Malibu pier, you might at first assume that Malibu Farm relies on tourism to fuel its mediocre food, but you would be wrong. Rather, the chic, Instagram-worthy eatery serves Malibu locals delicious and healthy, locally sourced meals as well as vegan and vegetarian options.
Recommendation: Their Swedish mini pancakes are top notch and pair perfectly with their freshly squeezed orange juice.
Under the radar hangouts:
Neptune’s Net ($)
Perfect after a day of surfing, Neptune’s is a casual seafood eatery that can go up against the best of them. Loved by both locals and surfers, this joint is the perfect way to wind down after catching some waves.
Recommendation: You have to try their clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.
The Malibu Café ($$-$$$)
Though the name is a familiar one, many students have forgone the Malibu Café experience, opting to brunch at closer options. However, for a little extra cash and a little extra gas, you can enjoy a truly amazing dining experience away from the hustle and bustle of Malibu and L.A. in a place that was quite literally made to be photographed. A popular destination for weddings, Malibu Café brings the goods for décor and location and still, the food isn’t lacking. While a multi-course meal could potentially cost you a pretty penny, the delicious cuisine and spectacular ambiance will bring you back for more.
Recommendation: Their menu is constantly changing as items are seasonal, so check their menu online for up-to-date options.
Newly renovated and with a new name to boot, Ollo has truly blossomed into a great local eatery. The new, nearly unrecognizable interior will have you reaching for your phone, eager to document the experience. However, their food has had just as much of a face-lift as the décor. Their locally sourced California cuisine has Mediterranean and Italian influences that shine through.
Recommendation: Summer Truffle Pizza. Yum!
So, whether or not you’re a Malibu native or this is your first time in California, one of these local joints will be able to hit the spot and fuel your many cram sessions.
Follow the MacKayla Testerman on Twitter: @MacKaylaTest