Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.


1751 E. Main St. (Hurst Ave.) Send to Phone
Ventura County ingredients shine at this casual eatery, a labor of love for chef-owner Tim Kilcoyne.

Lunch Tues.-Fri., Taco Dinners Thurs., Brunch Sat.-Sun.

* Click here for rating key

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED The Local Cafe Restaurant Review

: Chef Tim Kilcoyne’s predilection for local ingredients is well-established. His SideCar Restaurant in Ventura showcases the region’s bounty and he’s a common sight at area farms and farmers markets. So it was no surprise when he opened The Local Café---or when he vowed to personally select ingredients grown exclusively in Ventura County. A beet salad with creamy blue cheese and walnuts is naturally sweet without being cloying. A wood-fired oven (powered with local lemon wood, of course) turns out fresh bread and thin-crust pizzas with crispy edges. Wood-fired vegetables usher in a salvo of flavor from herbed goat cheese on a veggie sandwich, and fresh mint cools the chipotle sauce in a chicken salad. The uniqueness of this latter dish notwithstanding, the menu offers few surprises; emphasis clearly falls on farm-to-table ingredients, not avant-garde cooking. Likewise, the counter-order café offers little in the way of décor. To be sure, this is a place to eat, not to dine. Even desserts like lemon bars and fresh-baked cookies make use of Ventura County’s agricultural prosperity.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.