Swedish-born chef and Californian resident Helene Henderson opened Malibu Farm Cafe and Malibu Farm Restaurant and Bar when the dinners she served on her two-acre farm outgrew their intimate setting. Her new project, Malibu Farm Cookbook: Recipes from the California Coast, explores the best of the west's terroir, terrain, and ingredients, which she also shows off in this tour of her town below.
MALIBU, California – I love the rural, small town atmosphere of Malibu, where summer is endless and world-class beaches, organic farms, and vineyards are easy to access. My husband is a surfer and had always wanted to live here, so we flipped houses and saved money until we could make the move a reality. We live in Point Dume, a neighborhood with two-acre lots of land. Many homes have horses, barns, and vineyards. One of the things I love most is that everyone has a backyard farm of some sort. Vegetable beds are the norm rather than the exception, and everyone has bees — or at least they want to get bees. We started because the property we bought had a barn and corral, so we got farm animals to use it. Our hillside was perfect for grapes, so we planted a vineyard. Our lower hillside was covered in weeds, but when we cleared and cleaned it, we uncovered a fruit orchard which we restored. And, well — the rest is history.
Solstice Canyon Rd.
Malibu has several great hiking trails, but this one is the best and most popular. It's easy to access, super tranquil, passes a river, and terminates at a small waterfall. You can walk by the oldest standing stone structure in Malibu, as well as ruins of a burned-down mansion. Dogs are allowed as long as they're on a leash.
3835 Cross Creek Rd.
Always fun for shopping and people-watching. There's a great central playground for younger kids. is one of my go-to spots for lunch. Although they have a sandwich named The Pier, I usually grab the fittingly-named The Farm, which is packed with veggies. makes a really good drink called The Million Dollar Smoothie — this is Malibu after all.
23410 Civic Center Way, Suite E-3; +1-310-455-6681
Do as the locals do and book a class with Ted, the local yogi staple. His Iyengar and Ashtanga-style classes are the most popular ones in town.
2300 Pacific Coast Hgwy.; +1-310-456-1112
I have two restaurant on — the cafe is situated at the end and the restaurant is located at the beginning. The cafe is best known for breakfast, burgers, and salads. We have a full bar and serve a mixture of sandwiches, steaks, and vegetarian favorites like vegetable crust pizzas and spaghetti squash lasagna. After you eat, take a walk along the pier where fishermen, locals, celebrities, and tourists all mingle together. It's a charming, rustic stop with unparalleled views of Surfrider Beach.
One Gun Ranch
23000 Pacific Coast Hgwy.; +1-310-457-8031
A gorgeous collection of home goods, custom pottery, and beach stuff located on Malibu Pier next to Malibu Farm Cafe.
Malibu 22741 Pacific Coast Hgwy.; +1-310-456-1458
My go-to spot for a little R&R with views of the Pacific. Treatments range from massages and facials to vitamin therapy and spray tans.
23410 Civic Center Way; +1-310-456-5617
When in doubt, find it out with the help of a tarot card reading. The metaphysical bookstore also carries a large selection of crystals, incense, and oils.
28925 Pacific Coast Hgwy.; +1-310-457-5705
Head to the locally owned beach boutique for well-priced Malibu essentials like shorts, tanks, and bikinis from Billabong, Free People, and Indah.
24250 Pacific Coast Hgwy.; +1-310-317-1364
Local families love the six-acre community park for its playground, baseball field, hiking trails, and community center. Incredibly enough, it's also outfitted with free WiFi.
22706 Pacific Coast Hgwy.; +1-310-456-2400
After 9 p.m., when the rest of Malibu is quiet and sleepy, this oceanfront Japanese restaurant always has a late-night crowd. But weekday lunches and rainy days are my favorite time to visit. I order field greens with grilled shiitake mushrooms, miso soup, and a plate of their paper-thin, new-style sashimi.
22716 Pacific Coast Hgwy.; +1-310-456-2400
The latest addition to Malibu's dining scene is from the folks behind members-only club . They have a gorgeous ocean front patio where you can enjoy an afternoon snack and glass of house rosé. They do a beautiful cruditè platter with a really nice avocado dip and crunchy chia seed flatbread crackers.
Buy , by Helene Henderson.
23000 Malibu Pier
Malibu, CA 90265