LOCAL FAVORITES Santa Barbara Restaurant Guide

Posted on May 2 by SEASONS Magazine


Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach (Seafood) serves locally caught, fresh seafood specialties. Dine inside or al fresco with one of the best ocean views in Santa Barbara. Full bar and regional wine list. 2981 Cliff Dr. 805/898-2628. $$-$$$


Brophy Bros. (Seafood) has long been one of Santa Barbara’s most popular eateries and is located at the harbor, with great views. You’ll find great shellfish cocktails and fresh fish here. 119 Harbor Way, 805/966-4418. $$

Chuck’s Waterfront Grill (Steaks and seafood) serves prime-grade top sirloin steaks and Australian lobster tail amongst many other delicious offerings. The restaurant’s lively upstairs extension, The Endless Summer Bar-Café (Seafood), has two terraces for al fresco dining on more casual fare. 113 Harbor Way, 805/564-1200. $$–$$$

East Beach Grill (American) is the place to be for people-watching on bright sunny mornings. Tasty banana wheat pancakes and other American treats are on the varied daytime menu. 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., 805/965-8805. $$–$$$

Eladio’s (Californian) is opposite the entry to Stearns Wharf and offers casual California comfort cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 1 State St., 805/963-4466. $$$

Emilio’s (Italian) has a sidewalk location across the street from the waterfront where you can enjoy quality Italian cuisine in an intimate, Tuscan-style atmosphere. 324 W. Cabrillo Blvd., 805/966-4426. $$–$$$

The Harbor Restaurant and Longboard’s Grill (Seafood) on Stearns Wharf are two different experiences from one great vantage point. The Harbor is an ocean-view restaurant where fresh fish and local produce are specially prepared and served in a maritime interior. Longboard’s, upstairs, is a noisy, energy-packed bar and grill. 210 Stearns Wharf, 805/963-3311. $$$

Santa Barbara FisHouse (Seafood) serves fresh local fish in a lively setting. Gathering with friends around a large fire on the dining terrace with views to East Beach is the perfect way to start the weekend. Be sure to order lobster during the season from these “lobster specialists.” 101 E. Cabrillo Blvd., 805/966-2112. $$$


Santa Barbara Shellfish Co. (Seafood) is a fun, no-frills seafood lover’s paradise. Select your dinner fresh from the tanks or that day’s catch just steps from the ocean where it was caught. 230 Stearns Wharf, 805/966-6676. $$

Shoreline Beach Café (Seafood) is a lively, open-air beach restaurant. Salads, burgers, fish tacos, fresh seafood and vegetarian items are served daily. Breakfast served on weekends. 801 Shoreline Dr., 805/568-0064. $$


Adama (Vegan) is proud to be Santa Barbara’s first completely vegan restaurant, placing a strong emphasis on local ingredients. Stop by this historic building, which has housed restaurants since 1926, and enjoy a unique mixed drink or glass of organic wine, indulge in a treat from the gluten-free bakery or sip a latte and check your email by their mission fireplace. Open for lunch Tuesday-Sunday, breakfast on the weekend and dinner every day. 428 Chapala St., 805/560-1348. $$

Alchemy Arts Cafe is dedicated to helping people on their weight loss journeys and in their cleansing processes using a combined knowledge of contemporary nutritional information and Asian healing traditions. 35 W. Haley St., 805/899-8811. $-$$

Aldo’s (Italian) transports you to Italy with its charming décor and flavorful dishes. Choose to dine in the heated fountain courtyard or in the classically embellished indoors. 1031 State St., 805/963-6687 $$-$$$

All India Café (Indian) offers authentic, home-style specialties from all of the diverse regions of India, including a lunch buffet, in addition to beer and wine. 431 State St., 805/882-1000. $-$$

Arch Rock Fish (Seafood) is a casually elegant “neighborhood joint” serving a savory variety of fresh-catch seafood and staples like mussels, chowder and calamari. 608 Anacapa St., 805/845-2800. $$-$$$

Arigato Sushi (Japanese) is where you’ll discover designer sushi prepared by inventive chefs. Daily specials invite you to explore the limitless varieties of this Japanese delicacy. 1225 State St., 805/965-6074. $$$

Arlington Tavern (American) is a lively place to enjoy new American cuisine with a farm-fresh approach. Innovative preparations of duck, lamb shanks, beef cheek and short ribs share the menu with sustainable local seafood and fresh fruits and veggies–all designed to complement a nice array of wines and beers. 21 W. Victoria St., 805/770-2626. $$-$$$

Arnoldis Café (Italian) specializes in traditional homestyle Italian cuisine, featuring the freshest local produce and seafood, imported Italian meats, cheeses and olive oils, as well as an extensive wine list, bocce courts and a heated patio. Open for dinner nightly; breakfast served weekends. 600 Olive St., 805/962-5394. $$$

Arts & Letters Café(Californian) is tucked behind Sullivan Goss—An American Gallery. Tables are arranged around a central fountain, protected from downtown streets, where guests dine al fresco on artfully prepared cuisine. Lunch is served daily. 7 E. Anapamu St., 805/730-1463. $$

Bay Roadhouse Bar & Grill (American and Seafood) has something for everyone on a menu featuring burgers, steak, local seafood, and even tacos. Grab a drink from the bar and enjoy the Santa Barbara sunset in front of the fireplace on their outdoor patio. 202 State St., 805/963-2215. $$

Beachbreak Café (American) is all about good old-fashioned home cooking—they roast their own turkey and beef and make their own soups, biscuits and pancake batter, among other things. 324 State St., 805/962-2889. $

Blue Agave (Continental) subscribes to the slow food movement, serving organic and sustainable foods, ranging from pizza and pasta to fresh seafood and Spanish fare. Don’t miss its creative libations as well as classics like mojitos and martinis. 20 E. Cota St., 805/899-4694. $$

Blush Restaurant & Lounge (American) is an upscale restaurant with a modern atmosphere and fabulous outdoor patio. Open until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends, Blush is a great place to go for dinner and drinks (you won’t want to miss their fabulous happy hour) or to grab a bite during a night out on the town. 630 State St., 805/957-1300. $$

bouchon (Californian) serves “Santa Barbara Wine Country” cuisine complemented by a remarkable wine list that includes more than 50 Central Coast wines by the glass. Open for dinner nightly. 9 W. Victoria St., 805/730-1160. $$$

The Brewhouse (American) is a great place for beer enthusiasts to treat themselves to a good meal and a good brew. The Brewhouse pours a variety of beers handcrafted on-site in addition to more widely available favorites, and live music Wednesday-Saturday provides the perfect atmosphere. 229 W. Montecito St., 805/884-4664. $$

Ca’Dario (Italian) promises fine Italian cuisine, whether pasta, fish or fowl—don’t miss the ravioli pillows with brown butter and sage sauce and, when in season, grilled asparagus wrapped with pancetta—and an extensive wine list. 37 E. Victoria St., 805/884-9419. $$$

Cadiz (Mediterranean) offers a mix of foods from Spain, Southern Italy and France, Sicily and Morocco. Enjoy tapas and artisanal cheeses on the patio or a full course meal in the dining room. Open for lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun. 509 State St. 805/770-2760 $$-$$$

Cajun Kitchen Café (Cajun/Breakfast) is the place to go when you’re in the mood for some hearty, homemade breakfast. With its diverse menu—ranging from pancakes and omelets to gumbo and jambalaya—this venue has something flavorful for everyone. 901 Chapala St., 805/965-1004 $-$$

Carlitos Café y Cantina (Mexican) is a place to enjoy exciting regional Mexican cuisine and 100 percent blue agave margaritas, along with fresh, imaginative Mexican grilled specialties that borrow from the Pueblo, Mayan and Aztec cultures. 1324 State St., 805/962-7117. $$


Casa Blanca Restaurant & Cantina (Mexican) is the newest venture from father-son restaurateurs Tom and Adam White. This fun Mexican hot spot serves killer margaritas, tasty tacos, ample enchiladas and other classic south-of-the-border inspired fare. A beautiful outdoor patio features a cozy fireplace to while away a cozy evening just about any night of the year. 330 State St., 805/845-8966. $$ 

China Pavilion (Chinese) features high-quality traditional Chinese food, as well as a delicious dim sum brunch on weekends. 1201 Chapala St., 805/560-6028. $$

Chase Bar & Grill (Italian) serves classic Italian pastas and bakes as well as a wide variety of meat dishes, including steak, fish and chops, all within a warm, romantic atmosphere.  1012 State St., 805/965-4351 $$

Cielito Restaurant & Taqueria (Mexican) indulges your senses with its beautiful courtyard patio and inviting dining room in the historic La Arcada. Sample the antojitos, or “small cravings,” perfect for sharing along with the raw bar’s piquant ceviches and fresh shellfish. The Taqueria offers savory treats in homemade tortillas that celebrate the “true taste of Mexico.” 1114 State St., 805/225-4488. $$-$$$

Coast (Californian) at the Canary Hotel offers savory, accessible “comfort food” prepared with local, seasonal ingredients. The raw bar and popular nightly happy hour draw lively crowds. 31 W. Carrillo St., 805/879-9100. $$–$$$$

Cuernavaca Taqueria (Mexican) has quick service and hearty portions that are sure to entice you back for more whenever that craving for authentic Mexican food hits. Open Mon., Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., closed Tues. 201 W Carrillo St., 805/564-1414. $

D’Angelo  (Californian) is a European-style bakery and café favored by locals for its quality breakfasts, gourmet sandwiches and fine coffees. Artisanal fresh breads are baked on-site. Breakfast and lunch only. 25 W. Gutierrez St., 805/962-5466. $  

Dargan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant (American & Irish) carries on a three-generation tradition that started in Ireland in 1902. Stop by to enjoy the weekly live music and traditional Irish fare that this lively eatery has to offer. 18 East Ortega St., 805/568-0702. $$

Downey’s (Californian) is an intimate restaurant that has received numerous accolades and is widely considered one of California’s finest. With just 14 tables and a menu that changes daily, owner/chef John Downey creates a matchless nouvelle cuisine. Open for dinner only, Tuesday through Sunday. 1305 State St., 805/966-5006. $$$$

D’Vine Café (American) serves breakfast, salads and hot and cold sandwiches to be enjoyed on their patio in the Santa Barbara sun. And if the sun isn’t enough, check out the espresso bar to liven up your day. Open for breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat., closed Sun. 205 W. Canon Perdido St., 805/963-9591. $

El Paseo Restaurant (Mexican) oozes with the character of old Mexico. The bar—where great margaritas are the norm—is separated from the festive dining room by large archways, beyond which are a courtyard and a fountain. 813 Anacapa St., 805/962-6050. $$–$$$

El Taco Tequila Tacqueria (Mexican) serves a hard-to-beat combo of authentic Mexican street food and traditional Mexican cocktails. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 14 E. Cota St., 805/845-6226. $

Enterprise Fish Co. (Seafood) is just up State Street from the beach and is one of Santa Barbara’s largest and busiest seafood restaurants. In an exhilarating, nautical atmosphere are an oyster bar and a variety of fresh fish that are mesquite-broiled and served at reasonable prices. 225 State St., 805/962-3313. $$

Esau’s Café (American) boasts a tantalizing menu of breakfast scrambles, famous pancakes, and savory burgers. This family-owned breakfast house has a charming atmosphere that will make visitors and locals alike feel at home. 721 Chapala St., 805/965-4416. $$

Flavor of India (Indian) uses only the freshest ingredients to create exotic culinary delights. All dishes can be customized to mild, medium or spicy to fit your every need. 3026 State St., 805/682-6561 $$

Galanga Thai Restaurant (Thai) serves an extensive selection of classic Thai dishes—from soups and salads to curries and noodles.  Closed Wed. 507 State St., 805/963-6799. $$

Greek House Café (Greek) is a casually charming place serving a variety of traditional Greek fare, and known for their gyros. 5 W. Haley St., 805/560-0809. $

Holdren’s Steaks & Seafood (American) has seafood, meat, and poultry dishes that are complemented by copious wine and spirit choices, and daily specials make this restaurant a great choice any night of the week. Open daily for lunch and dinner in addition to brunch on the weekend. 512 State St., 805/965-3363. $$$

Hot Spots (Coffee) is a great place to get your caffeine fix, offering free Wi-Fi and 24/7 service. 36 State St., 805/845-3371. $

The Hungry Cat (Seafood) is a bustling bistro featuring a raw seafood bar, handmade cocktails and seafood specialties from local waters. Lunch and dinner are served daily; brunch served weekends. 1134 Chapala St., 805/884-4701. $$$$

Jane (Californian) is the sister restaurant to Montecito Cafe (1295 Coast Village Rd., 805/969-3392) and the recently opened Jane at the Marketplace (6940 Marketplace Dr., Goleta, 805/770-5388) and offers upscale, fresh, tasty fare that runs the gamut from huge seasonal salads and gourmet burgers to fish and chips with chipotle ketchup and creamy dill. The delicious goat cheese pancakes with smoked salmon and caviar are crafted from a family recipe.  1311 State Street, 805/962-1311. $$

Joe’s Café (American) is a Santa Barbara icon known for its stiff cocktails and raucous atmosphere. The menu of American classics includes steaks, sandwiches and Mexican specialties. Lunch and dinner served daily; breakfast served weekends. 536 State St., 805/966-4638. $$

Julienne (Californian) features an ever-changing menu at this little gem of a restaurant focusing on fresh food from local fields and farmers markets. Specialties include 100% house-made charcuterie offerings, as well as three-, five- and seven-course tasting menus and wine pairings. 138 E. Canon Perdido St., 805/845-6488. $$$

Kai Sushi Shabu-Shabu (Japanese) can fulfill your hungry desires for sushi, rolls and shabu shabu. 738 State St., 805/560-8777. $$

Killer B’s BBQ and Bar (American) opened in early January and boasts of its 305 lb wood smoker, which gives all the meats an authentic smoky taste. Carrying a large variety of meats—tri-tip, brisket, baby back ribs, whole chickens and pork shoulder—and a wide selection of authentic sides, Killer B’s is a meat-lover’s dream. 718 State St., 805/845-2254. $$

La Arcada Bistro (Californian) is a charming indoor/outdoor cafe at the entrance to La Arcada. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a full bar, specialties include steaks, eggs benedict, signature omelettes and innovative grilled sandwiches. 1112 State St., 805/965-5742.

La Super Rica Taqueria (Mexican) gained cult status after the late Julia Child raved about it. The casual taco stand often has a line out the door for the hand-made-to-order tacos, tamales and Mexican specialties. 622 N. Milpas St. 805/963-4940. $

Los Arroyos(Mexican) emphasizes quality ingredients, including handmade tortillas, chips and salsas. The casual eatery consistently earns accolades from the local community and media. 14 W. Figueroa St., 962-5541. $

Louie’s (Californian), located inside the Upham Hotel, reflects the charm and tradition of its location. You’ll find extraordinary fresh seafood, pastas, filet mignon and a changing menu of specialties. 1404 De La Vina St., 805/963-7003. $$–$$$

Mac’s Fish & Chip Shop (Seafood) proves that authentic British fare has come to downtown Santa Barbara, with “chippy” favorites like fried Alaskan cod, twice-cooked chips (“French fries”), house-made savory pies, haggis and sausages. 503 State St., 805/897-1160. $

Olio e Limone (Italian), which in Italian means “oil and lemon,” uses only the freshest ingredients available in simple preparations. Tuck into a plate of housemade ravioli filled with roasted eggplant and goat cheese, topped with a fresh tomato and basil sauce and shaved ricotta salata. Olio Pizzeria offers a casual pizza bar, wine bar and full bar next door. Lunch served Mon-Sat; dinner served daily. 11 W. Victoria St., 805/899-2699. $$$

Opal (Californian) is a classic European-style bistro serving eclectic California cuisine complemented by a wood-burning pizza oven, an extensive wine list and full bar. 1325 State St., 805/966-9676. $$

Oveja Blanca (South American) is a labor of love for the Perez family, who capture the essence of many Latin cultures and countries through food and drink in this innovative new restaurant. Dig into creative cuisine like Deep Fried Frog Leg Tamal, Banana Leaf Braised Beef Cheeks, Roasted Cauliflower “Nachos, ”and Ham and Chocolate Croquettes for a taste adventure you won’t forget. 30 E. Ortega St., 805/963-1012. $$$$

Pacific Crepes (French) serves up the best concoctions to satisfy your French cravings. With a delightful selection of both savory and sweet crepes, you’ll be sure to find just what you’re looking for. 705 Anacapa St. 805/882-1123. $$

The Palace Grill (Cajun) is a place resonating with jazz music that creates the perfect setting for spicy food and spirited service to chase the blues away. 8 E. Cota St., 805/963-5000. $$–$$$

Paradise Café (American) is located downtown in a unique old building with wall murals from the 1940s. It has one of Santa Barbara’s favorite patios for dining and a bar that will take you back in time with cocktails of your choice and a well-selected wine and beer list. 702 Anacapa St., 805/962-4416. $$

Pascucci (Italian) delivers great, authentic Italian food made from fresh, local ingredients at a reasonable price. Providing both indoor and outdoor seating, this venue is good for any occasion, rain or shine. 729 State St., 805/963-8123. $$

Petit Valentien (French), with its quaint atmosphere and intimate setting, is hidden away in a small corner of La Arcada. On certain nights, you can catch an old movie projected on the wall while enjoying your delicious meal. Be sure to check out the prix fixe menu only available on Sundays. 1114 State St., 805/966-0222. $$

Santa Barbara Brewing Company (American) provides an enticing selection of both food and beer. Satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst while enjoying the latest game on one of the 24 large plasma TVs. 501 State St., 805/730-1040. $$

Sojourner Café (Californian) has been nourishing the Santa Barbara community since 1978. “The Soj” offers an extensive menu of salads, sandwiches and soups as well as globally inspired dishes like golden Indian dahl and African vegetable ground nut stew. Lunch and dinner served daily. 134 E. Canon Perdido St., 805/965-7922. $–$$

Something’s Fishy (Japanese) is a classic hibachi grill joint that offers sushi as well. 500 State St., 805/966-6607. $$

Spice Avenue (Indian) is a charming restaurant filled with exotic spices and warm fragrances from the cuisine of India. The lavish buffet is a great way to sample new dishes as well as traditional favorites. 1027 State St., 805/965-6004. $$-$$$

Tupelo Junction Café (American) offers excellent American fare with a distinctly southern influence. A hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily. 1218 State St., 805/899-3100. $$–$$$

Wine Cask (Californian) is run by former owner Doug Margerum and local restaurateur Mitchell Sjerven. This beloved location for fine dining promises the same exceptional service, an updated but equally stellar wine selection and a revamped menu. Intermezzo Bar/Café serves light fare ‘til late. 813 Anacapa St., 805/966-9463. $$$

Zaytoon (Middle Eastern) offers generous portions of tasty Middle Eastern favorites with an emphasis on fresh ingredients. Dine outside amongst fire pits and twinkly lights or enjoy the cozy interior. Live music Thursday–Friday; belly dancing Saturday nights. 209 E. Canon Perdido St., 805/963-1293. $–$$

Zen Yai (Thai) feels like a transplant from New York’s East Village. The funky, artistic atmosphere is the perfect companion to fresh, authentic Thai cuisine. 425 State St., 805/957-1193. $$


Cafe Stella (French-American), perched across from Santa Barbara Golf Club, is quickly becoming a neighborhood hot spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour–try the juicy burgers on brioche buns or heart-warming coq au vin. 3302 McCaw Ave., 805/569-7698. $$

Chuck’s of Hawaii (American) is the home of California’s first salad bar and offers award-winning steaks and fresh seafood right from the grill. 3888 State St., 805/687-4417. $$

Harry’s Plaza Café (American) offers strong drinks and hearty food—a winning combination for this long-time local favorite. Open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. 3313 State St., 805/687-2800. $$$

Pizza Guru (Italian) specializes in organic, locally sourced pizzas, salads, paninis, and pastas. There is sure to be something for everyone as they offer an assortment of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free entrees in addition to dessert. Open Mon.-Thurs. 11:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Fri.-Sun. 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. 3534 State St., 805/563-3250. $-$$

Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro (French) offers an artful, extravagant selection of custom cakes and pastries in addition to a menu of breakfast and lunch items. Co-founder and executive pastry chef Renaud Gothier, having been featured on The Food Network and The Travel Channel, is proud to share his French flair and 20 years of experience with Santa Barbara. Open daily for breakfast and lunch. 3315 State St., 805/569-2400, or 1324 State St. 805/892-2800. 

The Tee-Off (American) is a friendly uptown restaurant and lounge that features a short but sweet menu of steaks, chops, chicken and seafood. 3627 State St., 805/687-1616. $$$


Bella Vista (Continental) at the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort commands panoramic ocean views and promises top notch cuisine and impeccable service. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch served. 1260 Channel Dr., 805/969-2261. $$$–$$$$


Cava (Mexican) serves the bold flavors of Spain, Mexico and Latin America in a charming setting with classic margaritas and martinis from the bar amid the sounds of Spanish guitar. 1212 Coast Village Rd., 805/969-8500. $$–$$$

Lucky’s (American) offers steaks, chops and seafood as well as chicken entrees, wonderful salads, six different potato dishes and beautiful desserts. The wine list runs to the extravagant. The adjacent bar is a favorite among locals. 1279 Coast Village Rd., 805/565-7540. $$$–$$$$

Montecito Café (Californian) in the historic Montecito Inn provides surprisingly inexpensive fare complete with white linens, big arched windows and a fountain brimming with flowers. 1295 Coast Village Rd., 805/969-3392. $$–$$$

Pane e Vino (Italian) is a charming ristorante in the upper village of Montecito and a favorite among the community’s elite and their guests. Homemade pastas are near perfection and the fresh fish dishes are superb. 1482 E. Valley Rd., 805/969-9274. $$$$

Plow and Angel (American) is a cozy restaurant attached to the bar at San Ysidro Ranch and is well known for its comfort food—famous mac ‘n cheese and ribs are just some of the choices. Dinner and bar service daily. 900 San Ysidro Ln., 805/565-1700. $$$

Sakana (Japanese) is an intimate restaurant tucked away in Montecito, featuring creative and traditional Japanese fare, including press box sushi, sashimi and chicken and beef options. Dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday; lunch served Tuesday through Friday. 1046 Coast Village Rd., 805/565-2014. $$–$$$

Stella Mare’s (French) is well-suited to its beautiful Victorian surroundings facing the Andree Clarke Bird Refuge. A French chef creates stylish, Normandy-inspired cuisine. 50 Los Patos Way, 805/969-6705. $$$–$$$$

Stonehouse Restaurant (American) is located in a 19th century citrus packing house on the grounds of San Ysidro Ranch. Stonehouse has a full bar and a menu that emphasizes local fish and produce. Open daily for dinner only. 900 San Ysidro Ln., 805/565-1724. $$$$

Trattoria Mollie (Italian) is a charming standby for locals-in-the-know. The dynamic cuisine consists of recipes that Mollie gathered during her years of training with “the best chefs in Italy.” 1250 Coast Village Rd., 805/565-9381. $$$

Via Vai (Italian) is a welcoming place for families with a patio that provides the only view of the mountains from any Montecito restaurant. Feast on traditional Italian fare—thin crust pizza, pasta and various piatti secondi. 1483 E. Valley Rd., 805/565-9393. $$


The Nugget (American) is a local secret with its “Crunch Burger”—a unique version of the old American favorite served on something resembling an English muffin dripping with melted cheese. 2318 Lillie Ave., 805/969-6135. $$

Summerland Beach Café (American) serves generous portions of home-style cooking for breakfast and lunch daily. Just minutes from the beach, the historic 1893 Victorian building provides ocean breezes and a friendly atmosphere. 2294 Lillie Ave., 805/969-1019. $–$$


The Barbecue Company (American) is a casual, family-friendly, barbecue grill offering traditional barbecue fare with fun fixings and an assortment of salads and sandwiches.  3807 Santa Claus Ln., 805/684-2209. $$

Corktree Cellars (Californian) is Carpinteria’s first wine bar and bistro and offers wine and cheese flights, tapas, sandwiches, soups and salads.  Lunch and dinner served daily.  910 Lindon Ave., 805/684-1400. $$

The Garden Market (American) has a small café that serves hot coffee, tea, salads and sandwiches. 3811 Santa Claus Ln., 805/745-5505. $$

Giannfranco’s Trattoria (Italian) features authentic northern and southern Italian dishes in a charming setting. Enjoy any of their meat, fish,or poultry dishes either inside or out on the patio, and don’t forget to end your meal by indulging in one of their artisan desserts! Open for lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. 666 Linden Ave., 805/684-0720. $$-$$$

Sly’s (Seafood and Steak), offering everything from brunch to dinner and huevos rancheros to filet mignon, promises “great food, great cocktails, and a great time.” 686 Linden Ave., 805/684-6666. $$$-$$$$


Backyard Bowls (American) is the place to go if you want to kick-start your day with a deliciously creative bowl of fresh fruit, granola or oatmeal. Serving breakfast and lunch made with simple, primarily organic, ingredients, this eco-friendly eatery with locations in Goleta and downtown promises “better life through better food.” Open Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 5668 Calle Real, 805/770-2730. or 331 Motor Way, 805/845-5379. $

Beachside (seafood) on Goleta Beach is well-known for excellent fresh fish, serving lunch and dinner in the tropical-style dining room or on the gloss-walled patio. 5905 Sandspit Rd. 805/964-7881. $$-$$$

Country Meat Market (Deli) does it all—from catering to butchering to deli service—and they do it all exceptionally well. Stop by to customize your own sandwich any day of the week or order breakfast on the weekends. 5925 Calle Real, 805/964-3811. $

Hollister Brewing Company (American) offers a rotating menu of beers on tap.  Menu items include duck fat French fries, Kobe beef sliders and fish tacos.  6980 Marketplace Dr., 805/968-2810. $-$$

Goodland Market, a grab-and-go eatery, is the perfect place for health-conscious people to grab a quick breakfast or lunch. Breakfast paninis and salads are prepared daily in small batches, and ingredients always vary depending on what’s fresh at the farmers’ market. Open Mon.-Fri 8:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 231 S. Magnolia Ave., 805/845-4300. $

The India Club (Indian) is a great place to satisfy your Indian food cravings. The service is quick friendly and the food promises to be packed with flavor, making this an ideal spot for a casual lunch or dinner. 5701 Calle Real, 805/967-7171. $-$$

Miró (Progressive European) is the signature restaurant at Bacara Resort & Spa. It is currently closed for renovation. Situated oceanside, The Bistro offers a casual and relaxed atmosphere to dine and enjoy sweeping views of the coastline. Its Italian Riviera cuisine can be enjoyed indoors or al fresco on a spacious stone terrace. Also available on the property is the Spa Café, where guests can dine indoors or outdoors on simple and healthy, yet incredibly flavorful cuisine. 8301 Hollister Ave., 805/571-4240. $$-$$$$

Petrini’s (Italian) is a homestyle Italian restaurant featuring delicious pizzas and pastas—don’t miss their thin crust, made-to-order pizzas. 5711 Calle Real, 805/964-1200, or 14 W. Calle Laureles, Santa Barbara, 805/687-8888. $-$$ 


Cold Spring Tavern (American) is an iconic establishment, virtually unchanged since the days of the stagecoach run, and has served excellent food–including wild game–to hungry locals and travelers alike for more than 100 years.  An adjacent log cabin bar features live music on weekends.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.  5995 Stagecoach Rd., 805/967-0066 $$$


Ballard Inn Restaurant (Californian) is located inside the charming Ballard Inn.  This distinctive little restaurant features wonderfully prepared “creative wine country cuisine” and fine wines in an elegant country setting.  2436 Baseline Ave., 805/688-7770 or 800/638-2466 $$$


The Hitching Post (American) is an old-fashioned, western-style steakhouse and lounge just a few minutes off Highway 101. In addition to Newport Meat Company beef, there are also ribs, quail, turkey, duck and ostrich plus seafood on the menu. Try the Hitching’s Post excellent house wines.  406 E. Hwy. 246, 805/688-0676 $$$-$$$$


Los Olivos Café and Wine Merchant (Californian) is a casual restaurant in one of the town’s original main street buildings. The thoughtful menu of homemade pizzas and California cuisine is complemented by an enormous list of wines from the adjacent store. 2879 Grand Ave., 805/688-7265. $$

Petros (Greek) at Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn uses the freshest ingredients to prepare upscale California-Hellenic cuisine including classics like mousaka, souvlaki and an extensive and mouth-watering selection of meze. Lunch and dinner served daily. 2860 Grand Ave., 805/686-5455. $$$

Sides Hardware and Shoes– A Brothers Restaurant (American) is the latest project of chef-owners Jeff and Matt Nichols, formerly of Brothers Restaurant at Mattei’s Tavern. Located in a restored 1901 building, the brothers turn out hearty American favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with gourmet twists that are truly original. 2375 Alamo Pintado Ave., 805/688-4820. $$-$$$


Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar (Mexican) brings to the valley the bold Mexican and Latin flavors from the family-owned Carlitos Café y Cantina in Santa Barbara and Cava Restaurant & Bar in Montecito. An open fire grill imparts a smoky essence to authentic grilled specials, delicious salsas and the aroma of fresh homemade tortillas. The tequila bar offers an extensive collection of 100% Blue Agave tequilas. 3544 Sagunto St., 805/688-0033. $$

Grappolo (Italian) is a great destination for gourmet pizzas from a wood-burning oven, fresh salads made with local produce and nightly specials. Grappolo features a list of more than 150 wines from around the world. 3687 Sagunto St., 805/688-6899. $$-$$$

The Vineyard House (American) offers local farm fresh cuisine in a charming Victorian house that dates back to the days when the Santa Ynez Valley’s world-class vineyards were just a dream. 3631 Sagunto St., 805/688-2886. $$$ 

The Willows at Chumash Casino Resort (American) is a AAA Four Diamond Award winner specializing in mouthwatering prime steaks and seafood. The elegance of this exquisite dining room is matched by incomparable views of the rolling Santa Ynez hills. This lovely restaurant also features an extensive selection of both local and imported wines. 3400 E. Highway 246. 805/686-9855. $$$-$$$$


Fresco Valley Café (Californian) offers a tasty selection of healthy sandwiches, salads, and soups made with the freshest ingredients.  Complete with an outdoor patio and a cottage-like atmosphere, this is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious lunch. 442 Atterdag Rd., 805/688-8857. $-$$

Hadsten House Restaurant (Californian) at the Hodsten House Inn & Spa–Santa Barbara wine country’s first boutique-style hotel–offers a hip atmosphere, a well-balanced menu and a wine list dedicated to local vintages.  1450 Mission Dr., 805/457-5373. $$-$$$

Mirabelle Restaurant (Californian) pairs affordable wine country cuisine with award-winning wines in an intimate and romantic setting. Serves dinner Thursday through Sunday. 409 First St., 805/688-1703. $$-$$$

River Grill (American) is part of the famed Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort. It overlooks the newest of the resort’s two golf courses, the River Course at The Alisal. 150 Alisol Rd., 805/688-7784.  $$-$$$

Root 246 (American) is located at Hotel Corque, a hotel and restaurant project by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. This restaurant features innovative cuisine emphasizing local, seasonal ingredients to create the ultimate in farm-to-table cuisine. In addition to a full menu of craft-based cuisine, Root 246 has one of the area’s most extensive selections of local wines, whiskey and craft beers, as well as refreshing signature cocktails. Try the Sunday brunch for a delicious weekend experience. 420 Alisol Rd., 805/686-8681. $$-$$$


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