The Best Restaurants in OJAI

Set in a picturesque valley between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, Ojai is a lush showcase for the organic produce grown by local farmers in southern California. Nicknamed "Shangri-La" for the natural beauty of the health- and spirituality-focused region, its charming downtown overflows with wine bars and bakeries, galleries and boutiques, spas and specialty shops. Bordered by the Los Padres National Forest to the north and 15 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, the tiny valley is surrounded by hills and mountains. Its rare east-west orientation with a slight southward tilt gives the location an extraordinary sun exposure, and Ojai’s citrus and avocado crops, olive oil and wines are highly prized. The year-round Mediterranean climate makes it ideal for growing produce, and the creative cuisine of the city’s bistros and award-winning restaurants celebrate locally grown ingredients and flavors, including pixie tangerines, olives, nuts and lavender.

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