Calabasas Luxury Lifestyle GuideExplore the Best of Calabasas
Calabasas is an incredible family neighborhood in Los Angeles. It has lots of shopping, dining, and entertainment. It’s also very close to Malibu, which makes going to the beach a breeze on the weekends. Many great homes are for sale in Calabasas, and many are located in gated communities. There are a lot of outdoor activities close by, like tennis, golf, hiking, and horseback riding. Read on to learn more about the city of Calabasas and how to live the Western luxury lifestyle.
- 1 History of Calabasas
- 2 The Commons at Calabasas
- 3 Dining
- 3.0.1 BARNES & NOBLE CAFÉ
- 3.0.2 BARNEY’S GOURMET HAMBURGERS
- 3.0.3 CROSSROADS KITCHEN (VEGAN)
- 3.0.4 FRESH BROTHERS
- 3.0.5 JENI’S SPLENDID ICE CREAMS
- 3.0.6 KING’S FISH HOUSE
- 3.0.7 MARMALADE CAFE
- 3.0.8 PICK UP STIX
- 3.0.9 PORTA VIA CALABASAS
- 3.0.10 SEE’S CANDIES
- 3.0.11 STARBUCKS COFFEE
- 3.0.12 SUGARFISH BY SUSHI NOZAWA
- 3.0.13 TOSCANOVA
- 3.0.14 CRUMBL COOKIES—COMING SOON
- 3.0.15 LA LA LAND KIND CAFE – COMING SOON
- 3.1 Services
- 4 Old Town Calabasas
- 5 Calabasas Country Club
- 6 Calabasas Homes for Sale
- 7 Calabasas Tennis and Swim
History of Calabasas
Calabasas is a city in southern California and the United States. It is situated about 30 miles (50 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, where the San Fernando Valley meets the Santa Monica Mountains’ foothills.
The Chumash Indians lived in Calabasas’ rolling hills in peace hundreds of years ago. The first Europeans to enter the region were Spanish explorers. In 1770, a Gaspar de Portola-led expedition ventured into northern California before passing through Calabasas on the way back to Mexico from the south. On their way from Mexico to the north, a different group of explorers under the command of Juan Bautista de Anza camped in Calabasas in 1776.
Calabasas was first written about in a geographical sense in a document from August 19, 1795, that was found at the San Fernando Mission. Some stories say that the name Calabasas comes from the Spanish word calabazas, which means pumpkin or gourd. This is a nod to the pumpkin patches that were said to be all over the area in the past. According to other sources, the name Calabasas is derived from a Native American phrase that means “where the wild geese fly.”
Present-day Calabasas Road was formerly a part of the famed El Camino Real (The King’s Highway), a route that connected Spanish missions and settlements all over California beginning in 1769. This thoroughfare cuts through the center of the city today, dividing Old Town Calabasas.
In the second half of the 1800s, Miguel Leonis, who was known as the “king of Calabasas,” and his Native American wife, Espiritu, bought Calabasas as part of their estate. After his passing in 1889, a number of locations were turned into tourist attractions. Later, it developed into a wealthy Los Angeles suburb.
Hidden Hills, a smaller municipality that serves as a gated community and has attracted many celebrities as residents, is often associated with Calabasas. Since the early 20th century, Calabasas has been a favorite location for filming motion pictures due to the breathtaking topography in and around the city.
Calabasas currently has protected open space on 43% of its land, which is a much higher percentage than most other nearby cities. Calabasas remained a small town with few connections to the rest of the world well into the 20th century. In both real and made-up stories, Calabasas is shown as a rough outpost of the American West with a scary hanging tree in the middle of town.
The Commons at Calabasas
The Commons at Calabasas, a multi-award-winning suburban shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, is one of the area’s most important shopping destinations. One of the wealthiest neighborhoods in California, Calabasas is home to The Commons at Calabasas, a stunning crescent of upscale shops, eateries, and entertainment options. The Commons at Calabasas has served as the neighborhood’s de facto town square ever since it opened in 1998.
Customers travel from affluent neighborhoods like Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Ventura, and Malibu to shop at this establishment. To complement the neighborhood’s predominately Mediterranean style, an Umbrian village was imagined when the 215,000-square-foot property was first developed. Caruso created the project as a long, delicate arc to produce a comforting atmosphere. Since this method deviated from the conventional development strategy, which emphasizes square corners to maximize the real estate footprint, the rules had to be revised. This cherished area is filled with the distinctive Caruso accents of meandering fountains and ponds, hand-carved statuary, public plazas, lovely landscaping, and a rose garden.
BARNES & NOBLE
Barnes & Noble is the biggest bookstore in the world and a well-known seller of educational products, content, and digital media. In addition to running one of the most popular online shopping sites, BN.com, the company also runs about 600 Barnes & Noble bookstores nationwide. The Calabasas location has two stories, a cafe, and an expansive kids’ area with books, toys, and games. When my daughter plays tennis at Calabasas Tennis and Swim, one block away, we bring the other kids here to play and shop.
On Sanibel Island in Florida, Chico’s FAS, a fashion company with Florida roots, was established in 1983. By building fashion communities with the customer at the center of everything they do, the company reinvented the shopping experience for fashion. Chico’s FAS, one of the top fashion retailers in North America, is a conglomerate of three distinct brands: Chico’s, White House Black Market, and Soma. Each of these brands was founded and is currently led by a woman, and it offers solutions that millions of women say give them joy and confidence.
Unique quality and exceptional service are associated with the name Elysewalker. Elysewalker is the place to go for personalized head-to-toe luxury styling, providing a wardrobe and experience that are carefully curated and perfectly functional for every day.
Four guys developed a concept for a space where the worlds of art, music, fashion, and sneaker culture could converge on a late summer night. That notion grew into a fashion collective, which debuted in 2010 and has since transformed into a decade filled with “All Things Good.” With their expansion, FEATURE is home to over 120 of the most coveted brands, including Off-White, Acne Studios, and others.
Lululemon makes high-performance athletic wear for yoga, running, working out, and other sweaty activities. Their clothes are made with ground-breaking materials, built with cutting-edge methods, and fitted in a way that doesn’t restrict movement but still gives support.
Unique gifts, cards, gift wraps, wedding invitations, stationery, crafts, party supplies, paper, envelopes, and more can be found at the best paper store. The company’s founder, Sue Lindstrom, traveled the globe and unearthed numerous artisanal treasures. She researched the craftsmanship, assembled her collection, and returned the treasures to the clientele of artists who frequented her family’s shop.
Nine decades ago, the Polacheck family planted its roots, which passed down through many generations. Their story begins in 1921 when Ben Tipp established a small diamond shop in Seattle. Some of the finest luxury watches, jewelry, and loose diamonds are at Polacheck’s Jewelers.
This is great for all your groceries, liquor, and prescriptions. This is a great Ralph’s location, and conveniently located right across the street is Trader Joe’s, so you can get the best of everything.
A great theater with all the new releases and is not crowded. Tuesday is the discount day, and all tickets are $8 all day. Check out the current showtimes.
Rite Aid has the best prescription prices if you use the GoodRx app. They also serve delicious Thrifty brand ice cream at the best value at only $2 per scoop.
Discover the latest in beauty at Sephora! Explore an unrivaled selection of makeup, skincare, hair, fragrance, and more from classic and emerging brands.
Chuck Williams turned his love of cooking and dining with friends into a modest enterprise in 1956. He opened a store in Sonoma, California, to sell the French cookware that caught his eye while traveling in Europe but that he couldn’t find in the United States. The success of Chuck’s company, which set a benchmark for customer service, sparked a revolution in American cooking and entertainment that is still going strong today. My favorite cooking essential is the All-Clad Copper Core Fry Pan.
Wink Optometry can meet your needs for an optician and an optometrist. Their dependable and knowledgeable optometrists provide the convenient, professional, and individualized eyecare you deserve.
BARNES & NOBLE CAFÉ
As you enter the Calabasas Barnes & Noble, the cafe is to the right on the ground floor. There’s a Starbucks and some light bites like cookies and sandwiches. There’s ample seating and free WiFi, so it’s a great place to grab a coffee and do some work on your laptop.
BARNEY’S GOURMET HAMBURGERS
Barney’s has three locations in Los Angeles: Brentwood, Santa Monica, and Calabasas. They have 20 specialty gourmet hamburgers on the menu, along with fries, truffle fries, sweet potato fries, and onion rings. This is a great family restaurant because they also have a great selection of signature salads for adults.
CROSSROADS KITCHEN (VEGAN)
In March of 2013, Crossroads opened at the corner of Melrose and Sweetzer in Los Angeles. They serve up mouthwatering vegan Mediterranean meals in a sophisticated environment.
Located adjacent to the movie theater is the convenient Fresh Brothers location. A staple at every kid’s birthday party in Los Angeles, Fresh Brothers has a variety of tasty pizzas sure to please the whole family. Note to management: please bring back that Godfather pizza you used to serve, the one with the giardiniera and Peperoni!
JENI’S SPLENDID ICE CREAMS
At Jeni’s, they create ice creams entirely from scratch using a special recipe that the founder, Jeni Britton, has been honing and perfecting for over 20 years. Their ice creams have a smooth, buttercream-like texture and a flavorful, crisp finish. Only at Jeni’s will you find flavors like those, which draw inspiration from passions for pop culture, history, and art. Make sure to try the special edition Ted Lasso Biscuits with the Boss.
KING’S FISH HOUSE
Southern California is home to the well-known seafood eatery King’s Fish House. Sam and Jeff King are the owners and operators of this casual restaurant chain. The excellent menu at King’s Fish House includes fish, seafood, oysters, and a great selection of wines and cocktails. The atmosphere is industrial chic, with classic gingham tablecloth seating outdoors.
There are six Marmalade Cafe locations in Los Angeles County. Every cafe has a distinctive design and setting. Every Marmalade Cafe exudes a warm and cozy neighborhood cafe ambiance because it is decorated with Americana antiques Bonnie Burns has personally located and placed. The family-friendly menu serves cafe favorites like salads, soups, sandwiches, and burgers. At the Calabasas Commons, Marmalade is next to the turtle and koi ponds, a favorite with kids of all ages.
PICK UP STIX
Pick Up Stix is a fast-casual Chinese restaurant. Pick Up Stix’s signature entree; House Special Chicken is the one must-try. Prepared with white wine, garlic, soy sauce, and tender, caramelized chunks of chicken, it’s their most popular dish. Other popular entrees include Orange Peel Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Firecracker Chicken, and Beef and Broccoli.
PORTA VIA CALABASAS
Porta Via is on the other side of the Commons from the King’s Fish House. It describes itself as a neighborhood California bistro and bar. They serve lunch and dinner as well as weekend brunch. The brunch is available on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features omelets, burritos, huevos rancheros, and griddle cakes.
For over 95 years, See’s Candies has produced premium chocolate and confections the Mary See’s way. We like to make our mix of truffles, prioritizing the Butterscotch Squares, Milk Bordeaux, and Milk Buttercream.
Along the cobblestone streets of Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, their story began in 1971. It was in this location that Starbucks opened its first shop, providing our customers with freshly roasted coffee beans, tea, and spices from all over the world to take home. The story “Moby-Dick,” which recalls the maritime heritage of the early coffee traders, inspired the name. Order the nitro cold brew for maximum pick-me-up.
SUGARFISH BY SUSHI NOZAWA
Sushi Nozawa’s story began when he apprenticed as a sushi maker in Japan as a young man. He made deliveries, washed dishes, cleaned the kitchen, and learned how to make rice while putting in grueling 15-hour days. He eventually moved on to preparing fish, mastering how to make rolls and then nigiri sushi. Nozawa traveled to every province in Japan to learn how they prepared their local catch because he had a burning desire to learn everything he could about fish. SUGARGISH does not take reservations. An essential point about Nozawa-style sushi is his strict adherence to traditional sushi: You’ll find no California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, or teriyaki at SUGARFISH.
After graduating culinary arts school in 1961, Agostino Sciandri moved to London, where he worked for nearly a decade, mostly at French restaurants, including the Savoy Hotel. He then moved with his wife and three small children to Forte dei Marmi, a seaside Tuscany resort near where he had grown up, and spent the next 13 years there as a chef in one of the area’s top hotels. Seeking adventure, a challenge, and a change of pace, Sciandri moved to Los Angeles in 1985. Stop by when next time your in the mood for a delicious plate of Pappardelle al Funghi.
CRUMBL COOKIES—COMING SOON
Crumbl has always had its famous milk chocolate chip cookie on the menu, and soon after, they added a chilled pink sugar cookie as a semi-permanent item. Next, Crumbl introduced the idea of a rotating menu. Over the course of a year, the frequency and timing of Crumbl’s rotating menu changed, and in December 2018, its iconic weekly rotation of four flavors became official.
LA LA LAND KIND CAFE – COMING SOON
A coffee house with a mission The La La Land Kind Cafe is a business that promotes kindness. They work with foster youth and aim to normalize kindness by establishing an environment where visitors enter and feel genuine joy. Their objective is to demonstrate that a company can be successful and still be kind, generous, concerned about the community, and provide high-quality products.
Several convenient service offerings in the Calabasas Commons include banking (Citii and a Union Bank ATM), a blow dry salon (Drybar), BBCB Nails, and Fazio Cleaners.
Old Town Calabasas
Old Town Calabasas gives contemporary Calabasas residents a taste of the old west. The historic Leonis Adobe and Museum, as well as a fine selection of stores and eateries, can all be found in Old Town, situated along Calabasas Road and close to the Calabasas Civic Center.
The Leonis Adobe is in Old Town. It is one of the oldest buildings still standing in the area. The Leonis Adobe is a quaint reminder of a time gone by that looks like it’s stuck in time. It was once the center of government for Rancho El Escorpion, a much bigger area in the southwest part of the San Fernando Valley that covered about 1,100 acres. The adobe was initially constructed around 1844, and in the 1960s, it was finally saved from being demolished after going through several owners. After that, it was fixed up, made available to the public, and named a historic cultural monument.
Located right next door to the Leonis Adobe is this incredibly festive Mexican restaurant. Since 1974, it has been a well-known place in Southern California for authentic Mexican and American food, catering, events, nightlife, and live music. Every Monday through Friday from 3–7 p.m. is Happy Hour. They also have Taco Tueday and live music almost every day. Check the Sagebrush Cantina website for the entertainment act calendar.
The Pedalers Fork
Pedalers Fork is a local scratch restaurant, a genuine bar, a 10 Speed Coffee Shop, and a boutique bike shop—all in one delightful setting. You may have been to another 10 Speed Coffee Shops in Sawtelle or Santa Monica. This location blends bicycle culture, pulled pork sandwiches, and bespoke coffee.
The Pedalers Fork is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The coffee shop opens at 6 a.m., and breakfast gets sizzling at 8 a.m. Like Sagebrush Cantina across the street, they have a happy hour from 3–7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. They also serve a weekend brunch.
An insider tip is to join the Speakeasy list (free; sign up on their website). The Pedalers Fork hosts occasional invite-only events and dinners for the members. Sometimes the events are held when the restaurant is closed to the public. There’s also live music every Thursday night.
Calabasas Country Club
The course is an 18 hole Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr. design, a definite favorite among golfers. They also have a golf practice facility with a grass driving range, a Dave Pelz designed short game practice area, and two putting greens. They have a golf performance center with the latest in Trackman technology—a fast path to learning. There are no tennis courts, but the club is currently busy building pickleball courts.
There is also a world class health and fitness complex. Located in the 6,000 square foot health and fitness paradise you will find the best in weight training and cardiovascular equipment, including LifeFitness Treadmills, Elliptical Trainers and Stationary Bikes, PowerMill, Synergy 360, TRX and more. The cardiovascular machines are the most advanced available; each features a personalized television with Direct TV. The club also features a functional training area to improve range of motion, core strength, and balance. Tools, including stability balls, foam rollers, kettlebells, and battling ropes are readily available.
Several membership tiers are available, depending on how much and when you like to play golf. The Golf Prime membership gives you unlimited golf and full access to the facilities (waiting list), has a $20,000 initiation fee, and monthly dues of $1,063 for the family. For those who play a little less frequently, they also offer the Better Golf membership tier. The initiation fee is only $1,000, and the family’s monthly dues are $486. With this tier, you are allowed two rounds of golf per month, Monday through Thursday after 12 p.m.
Calabasas Homes for Sale
Calabasas is a great place to buy a home in Los Angeles and is particularly well-suited for families. Residents give high reviews to Calabasas High, which has a 9/10 score for college readiness on Great Schools. It is one of the very few high-performing community high schools in Los Angeles.
Homes in Calabasas are diverse; some are in famous gated communities. The average price for a single-family home sold in Calabasas in 2022 was $2,326,335; 242 SFR homes sold in 2022. The most expensive home sold in 2022 was 25314 Prado De La Felicidad, Calabasas, CA 91302, which sold for $20,000,000.
If you’re considering a move to Calabasas, contact the Donohoe Group to get a great agent working for you. We can help you find the perfect house in your ideal neighborhood and negotiate the best price.
Click the image below for an interactive map of 30 single-family homes sold in Calabasas over the past six months from $2 to $ 5 million to get an idea of home values in Calabasas.
Calabasas Tennis and Swim
The Tennis & Swim Center, which was built in 1969 as a private club, was purchased by the City of Calabasas in 1994. The Community Services Department manages the center and is overseen by the Parks, Recreation, and Education Commission, with City Council approval.
The Center features 16 lighted hard tennis courts, a Top Seed Tennis Academy, a Juniors Tennis Academy, a tennis professional staff, an outdoor heated junior Olympic pool, a fitness center with cardio and strength training rooms, fitness classes, locker rooms, facility rentals, and the seasonal Atmosphere Cafe. There are also two dedicated pickleball courts.
Calabasas residents and people who don’t live in Calabasas can join the CTSC for reasonable prices. Tennis, Health, Non-Prime Time, and Weekend Non-Prime Time memberships are available at the Center. Individual, couple, and family memberships are available to accommodate various family dynamics. The center can meet all of your requirements. Non-members can also pay a daily fee to use the tennis courts, pool, and fitness classes.
There are also tennis lessons available from more than 20 tennis pros. In addition, the pros run live-ball sessions, which are available for a separate training fee, and you do not need to be a member to participate. If you haven’t played live ball, it’s like fast-paced doubles without any serving, and the pro constantly feeds the ball. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to work on your game and meet new friends as your partner constantly rotates.