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Why: The Malibu Pier is just what you’d expect from this small, wealthy, health-conscious community: No cotton candy, no amusement rides. Instead, it offers first-rate food in a setting that lets the surfers and sunsets entertain you.
What: The pier’s history goes back to 1905, when it was used to ship hides and produce from the surrounding ranches. It’s been knocked around plenty in all the years since, but like a prize fighter it keeps bouncing back.
The landmark pier was closed as recently as the 1990s, and reopened relatively recently, in 2008. Repairs are ongoing.
But the pier remains a camera-ready view spot on any visit to Malibu. Its most recent restaurant tenant is Malibu Farm, which runs full-service dining and bar at the base, and counter service at the end of the pier.
As with anything in Malibu, it is hardly bargain rate. Yogurt and granola breakfast will run you $10 and burgers lean toward 20 bucks.
Yet, unlike most pier food, which runs to corn dogs and popcorn, what you’ll get here is a carefully curated, healthy meal made with fresh local ingredients. Standout menu items include spaghetti squash lasagna and veggie paella.
Don’t rush inside, because the best tables are outside along the rails on the right side, where you’ll enjoy that hazy, bluish Malibu view. The bar faces the wrong way – toward the highway -- but offers up a pretty good selection of wines and craft beers.
It all makes for a memorable meal on this rustic, breezy, sun-splashed old pier.
Open daily, 6:30 a.m. to sunset.
Where: 23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, in Los Angeles County, 28 miles west of downtown L.A.
How much: Free