Santa Barbara SEASONS Magazine Dining Out Guide

Sautéed White Sea Bass from Santa Barbara FisHouse, courtesy photo.

Sautéed White Sea Bass from Santa Barbara FisHouse, courtesy photo.

WATERFRONT

Bluewater Grill (Seafood) zeroes in on fresh, sustainable seafood and pairs it with produce from local farms. The menu runs the seafood gamut, from classics like crab cakes, rainbow trout amandine, cioppino, New England clam chowder and fish and chips to daily specials of fresh fish. The harbor views are spectacular from this restored lighthouse-themed building, especially from the second floor and the waterfront outdoor patio. 15 E. Cabrillo Blvd., 805/845-5121. $$-$$$

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. $$–$$$

Convivo (Italian) across from East Beach on the ground floor of the historic Santa Barbara Inn, draws its inspiration from Santa Barbara’s bounty of seafood and meats prepared “Nomad Italian” style by Chef Peter McNee. Try the housemade pastas, shared plates and wood fire roasted seafood and meats on the brick outdoor patio for al fresco dining with a view of the Channel Islands. 901 E. Cabrillo Blvd., 805/845-6789, $$-$$$

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. $$-$$$

On the Alley (American) brings a selection of quick dishes sure to satisfy your immediate hunger pains. Classics—including cheese steaks, milkshakes, hot dogs and burgers—share a menu alongside more decadent selections such as garlic baked clams, sesame salmon salad, and crab cake burgers. Open for breakfast and lunch Mon-Thurs, as well as dinner Fri.-Sun. 117 Harbor Way, 805/962-6315. $-$$

Rodney’s Grill (American) celebrates the cuisine and wines of the Central Coast with seasonal chef specials that are inspired by early California Spanish and Native American cooking styles. Located in the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, Rodney’s menu spotlights naturally raised meats and poultry, seasonal produce and sustainable seafood—all paired with wines from the finest local vineyards. 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., 805/884-8535. $$$

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. $$

Toma Restaurant and Bar (Italian) is a romantic spot to savor exquisite Italian and Mediterranean dishes from Santa Barbara’s seasonal bounty while enjoying warm and attentive service and a view of the enchanting Santa Barbara harbor. Try the famous tuna cones and black spaghetti for a delicious and unique take on local cuisine. Dinner served nightly. 324 W. Cabrillo Blvd., 805/962-0777. $$-$$$

DOWNTOWN

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. $-$$

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. $$$

Arnoldi’s 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. $$$

Barbareño (Californian) specializes in Santa Barbara-centric dishes with a contemporary twist in a casual, refined rustic setting. The food is a modern interpretation of traditional dishes that are rooted in the area. The farmers’ market-driven menu changes weekly—think re-imagined Santa Maria barbecue as cold-smoked beef tartare, served with pico de gallo ingredients and pinquito beans. Dinner served daily with a special bar menu available Mon.-Fri. 5-6:30 p.m. and lunch on Thursdays and Fridays. 205 W. Canon Perdido St., 805/963-9591. $$-$$$

Basil’s Italian (Italian) offers craveable Italian cuisine. The menu includes favorites like fettuccine alfredo, chicken picatta, and pizza and calzones. Basil’s accommodates a range of dietary restrictions as well, including gluten-free crusts, cheese-less pizzas, and a vast array of fresh salads. 608 Anacapa St., 805/560-8333. $$

Benchmark Eatery (Seafood, American) has one of the best patios in town, with a large airy bar spanning both indoor and outdoor spaces. Owned by the Bennett family of Brophy Bros. renown, the casual eatery does American fare proud, with everything from soul-satisfying pastas, pizzas, grilled ahi and fish and chips to fresh salads to juicy burgers and generous sandwiches. 1201 State St., 805/845-2600, $-$$

Bibi Ji (Indian, Seafood) is a hot new restaurant from acclaimed chef Jessi Singh, who’s been lauded for his inventive “inauthentic” Indian cooking at the popular Babu Ji restaurants in San Francisco, Manhattan and Melbourne. The locally inspired seafood-focused menu with Australian and Indian influences pairs with wines from James Beard Award-winning sommelier Rajat Parr. 734 State St., 805/560-6845. $$-$$$

Blackbird (Californian) is one of Santa Barbara’s newest hot spots. Classic meets contemporary at Hotel Californian’s signature restaurant, under the direction of Executive Chef Alexander La Motte, Blackbird features exquisite Mediterranean-influenced cuisine emphasizing locally-sourced and hyper-seasonal ingredients. With the Pacific Ocean and the Funk Zone as a backdrop, Blackbird offers a sleek, yet approachable and wholly unpretentious atmosphere. Dinner only. 36 State St., 805/882-0135. $$$

Black Sheep (Californian) has a cool, casual vibe, but serves seriously good farm-to-table food. Try scallop crudo, roasted bone marrow or re-constructed chicken stuffed with walnuts and dried apricots. 26 E. Ortega St., 805/965-1113, $$$

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. $$$

Brasil Arts Café (Brazilian) brings the spices and exotic fruits of South America to our eagerly awaiting plates. Blending up delicious smoothies and juices alongside crispy Brazilian barbecue, coxinhas and desserts, the café’s dishes offer an around-the-world trip for the taste buds. 1230 State St., 805/637-5355. $–$$

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. A few doors down, the new Ca’Dario Pizzeria features a tasty array of pizzas, as well as gluten-free options. 37 E. Victoria St., 805/884-9419. $$$

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 evening just about any night of the year. 330 State St., 805/845-8966. $$ 

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 $$

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. $$

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. $$

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. $$–$$$

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. $$

Finch & Fork (Californian) in the Canary Hotel joins the farm-to-fork movement with both hearty items like buttermilk fried chicken and lighter fare, complete with farm-fresh salads, fresh oysters and yummy flatbreads—many made from local and organic ingredients. Be sure to check out the daily specials. 31 W. Carrillo St., 805/879-9100. $$-$$$

Finney’s Crafthouse (American) successfully melds casual dining with upscale cooking. Along with classic pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, and tacos, the creative dishes are endless, including bite-size chicken & waffles and nutella and caramel covered churros crafted by expert chefs. This burger house even offers vegetarian-friendly cuisine, including cauliflower tacos and the ‘Impossible Burger.’ 35 State St.Ste A., 805/845-3100. $$

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. $$

Goat Tree (American, Mediterranean) at the Hotel Californian offers fresh local fare, sweet pastries and baked goods, cold-pressed juices, coffee, seasonal picnic baskets and a full breakfast breakfast menu, all with a Mediterranean spin! Guests enjoy anything from a bountiful cornmeal pancake stack lathered in honey-butter to an energizing kale smoothie indoors or al-fresco at this casual, all-day dining experience. 36 State St., 805/882-0100. $$

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. $$$

Intermezzo Bar/Café (Californian) serves local wines on tap, craft cocktails and light fare such as burgers, flatbreads, salads and desserts ‘til late. An array of small plates to share—including cheese and charcuterie offerings, oysters, mussels, steak bites and the most amazing crispy cauliflower—make this a perfect pre- or post-theater stop. 819 Anacapa St., 805/966-9463. $$-$$$

Jane (Californian) 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. $$

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

The Lark (American) delights with Chef Jason Paluska’s sophisticated family-style plates designed to share and made with the freshest possible local “farm-to-fork” ingredients, along with creative cocktails and a wonderful wine selection, often featuring the elixirs of their Funk Zone neighbors. 131 Anacapa St., 805/284-0370. $$–$$$ 

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. $

Les Marchands (European) is a European-styled restaurant and wine retail shop lead by a world-class team of certified sommeliers offering an extensive wine list from the finest small producers from Santa Barbara County and throughout Europe. A full bar of handcrafted artisan spirits complements the wine program with classic stirred cocktails made in the old-school traditional way. The menu showcases seasonally inspired food for dinner nightly. 131 Anacapa St. Suite B, 805/ 284-0380. $–$$$

The Little Door (Mediterranean) brings together harmonious, farm-to-table inspired dishes with beautiful ambiance for a quaint dining experience with views overlooking the Courthouse Sunken Garden. 129 E. Anapamu St., 805/560-8002. $$$

Loquita (Spanish) specializes in authentic Spanish food including hot and cold tapas, wood-fired seafood, grilled meats, and three types of paella. Executive chef Peter Lee is at the helm after stints at the award-winning Jöel Robuchon in Las Vegas and Gusto and Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles. 202 State St., 805/880-3380. $$-$$$

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. with options to dine outside on a beautiful wrap-around porch or inside at tables next to paned windows or booths,several of which are tucked into intimate alcoves. 1404 De La Vina St., 805/963-7003. $$–$$$

Lucky Penny (Californian), a freestanding food-counter-meets-artisan-bakery, offers a take-away hub of bakery goods, coffees, fresh-pressed juices, wood-fire pizzas and delightful snacks, which can be enjoyed on the go or in the courtyard. 131 Anacapa St., 805/284-0370. $–$$

The Middle Child (Californian) offers a café style dining experience while delivering an elevated seasonal menu. Pinned between two farmer’s markets, The Middle Child source local and delicious ingredients to create an innovative fresh menu in a casual, family friendly atmosphere. 18 E. Cota St., 805/770-5626, $-$$

Mizza Artisan Pizza and Italian Cuisine (Italian) is a beautiful indoor/outdoor dining experience at the entrance to the historic La Arcada Plaza. Featuring handmade artisan pizzas, handmade pastas, salads, locally caught fresh fish, free-range chicken and Harris ranch CAB meats, along with local fresh produce, and a selection of carefully selected house specialties, the patios at Mizza are a great place to watch the world go by in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. Serving lunch and dinner daily, weekend brunch. 1112 State St., $-$$

Mollie’s (Italian) features the dynamic cuisine of longtime local favorite Chef Mollie Ahlstrand, formerly of the beloved Trattoria Mollie. This warm, upscale eatery specializes in Italian classics that the Ethiopian born and bred Mollie gathered during her years of training with “the best chefs in Italy.” Try the homemade pastas, and the celebrated turkey meatballs. Open for lunch and dinner. 1218 State St. 805/770-8300. $$$

Mosto Crudo (Tapas Bar) offers a fresh spin on the authentic tapas bar of Spain. Guests can choose delicious appetizers ‘from the sea,’ ‘from the farm,’ and ‘from the market.’ Guests can also enjoy the exclusive tasting menu, the chef’s selection of his favorite dishes. Every day of the week offers a new experience, from live music on Tuesdays to bottomless sangria on Thursdays. 7 W. Haley St., 805/689-5679. $$

Olio e Limone (Italian) uses only the freshest ingredients for simply delicious 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 and cocktails next door, while Olio Crudo Bar offers cocktails and sashimi with an Italian accent! 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. $$

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. Lunch only. 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. Features authentic Louisiana specialities like jambalaya, crawfish etouffée and blackened steaks and seafood. 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. $$

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

Roost (Steak, Seafood) offers rotisserie roasted meats and vegetables, fresh salads, grilled seafood and steaks and of course, local and imported wines and craft beers. Dishes are crafted using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Enjoy the flavorful, open-faced Steak sandwich and satisfy your sweet tooth with a Roost cheesecake. 1305 State St., 805/845-6337. $$-$$$

 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 24 large plasma TVs. 501 State St., 805/730-1040. $$

Santo Mezcal (Mexican) is the newest creation from the founders of the local favorite, Los Agaves Restaurant. Located next to Hotel Indigo, Santo Mezcal showcases modern Mexican cuisine rooted in Mexican flavors and traditions that also celebrate local and seasonal ingredients from the Santa Barbara and surrounding regions, and an impressive cocktail menu showcasing an extensive mezcal and tequila collection. 119 State St., 805/883-3593. $$

Satellite (American) is impressively multi-faceted, consisting of a Farmers Market Restaurant, Wine Bar, Bottle Shop, Wine Educator, and In-House Caterer. Not only does Satellite serve fresh, locally grown food and small production wine and beer, it offers regular, educational wine classes. 1117 State St., 805/364-3043. $$

Savoy Cafe and Deli (Californian) was created by the husband and wife team of Paul and Kathy Shields, a local couple who bring decades of restaurant experience to this popular downtown spot. The award winning salad bar features organic, local produce with a huge variety of options to choose from. Don’t miss the Citrus French Toast for breakfast. Also try “The Guy Plate,” a turkey pasilla fritter with quinoa mango salad, pesto green beans and carrot, featured as a favorite dish of Guy Fieri’s on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. 24 W. Figueroa St., 805/962-6611. $-$$$

Seven Bar & Kitchen (American) brings eccentric fare and eclectic cocktail creations to the Funk Zone. House-infused vodkas and an extensive liquor selection complement eats such as sliders and chicken and waffles. Be sure to try one of the seven deadly sin sandwiches. 224 Helena Ave., 805/845-0377. $–$$

Smithy Kitchen + Bar (Californian) features organic, rustic, locally-sourced fare from critically acclaimed Chef Lauren Herman in a beautiful setting that’s perfect for both small and large gatherings. The lovely outdoor patio is perfect for dining under both the stars and the sunshine, with a gorgeous canopy of 100-year-old olive trees. 7 E. Anapamu St., 805/845-7112. $$-$$$

Trattoria Vittoria (Italian) is a longtime local’s favorite spot to linger over a romantic evening or dinner with friends. Featuring traditional pasta dishes, as well as fresh seafood and meats. 30 E. Victoria St., 805/962-5014. $$$

Viva (Mexican) indulges your senses with its modern Mexican cuisine, beautiful courtyard patio and inviting dining room in the historic La Arcada. Taco happy hour (Mon.-Fri. from 3-6 p.m.) is a perfect time to sample creative tacos and other antojitos, or “small cravings,” along with the raw bar’s piquant ceviches and fresh shellfish.  1114 State St., 805/965-4770. $$

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. 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. $$

UPTOWN

Belmond El Encanto (Coastal-Californian) presents California coastal cuisine and seasonal favorites from executive chef Leo Andres Ayala, featuring specialties like fresh local oysters, pan seared diver scallops and short ribs sous vide alongside stunning Santa Barbara views. Sit under the stars on the terrace or in the elegant dining room to enjoy breakfast, brunch (The Sunday Bellini Brunch is amazing!), lunch and dinner daily. 800 Alvarado Pl., 805/845-5800. $$$-$$$$

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. $$

Crocodile Restaurant (Italian/Californian), a local’s secret found at the Lemon Tree Inn, offers a chic, relaxing atmosphere with full cocktail bar and kitchen, whether in the mood for a sporting match or catching up with a friend. Order hors d’oeuvres such as coco prawns, or feed your appetite with delicious chicken marsala and homemade tagliatelle. Breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily. 2819 State St., 805/687-6444. $$-$$$

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. $$$

Le Café 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. $$

Lure Fish House (Seafood) specializes in fresh and sustainable seafood from trusted sources and locally caught seafood, organically grown local produce, and wines from local vineyards whenever possible. 3815 State St., 805/618-1816. $$-$$$

Pizza Guru (Italian) specializes in organic, locally sourced pizzas, salads, paninis and pastas. There is sure to be something for everyone as it offers 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. $$$

Wildwood Kitchen (Barbecue) is inspired by the “best of the best” of American barbecue. The menu features pulled pork Carolina style, and baby back ribs Memphis style and Texas Style, with a major injection of fresh local produce from the Santa Barbara Farmers Market as well as diverse seafood offerings. 410 E. Haley St., 805/845-3995. $$

MONTECITO

Bella Vista at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore (Contemporary Italian) commands panoramic ocean views across Montecito’s Butterfly Beach and promises top notch cuisine and impeccable service. Guests enjoy a contemporary Italian menu showcasing fresh California ingredients inspired by Executive Chef Marco Fossati. Bella Vista has the distinction of being one of only 12 restaurants in California (the only one in Santa Barbara) licensed to cure its own meats and the shared charcuterie plate is the most popular appetizer on the menu. In addition, the restaurant is home to one of the most celebrated Sunday brunches in the United States. 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. Enjoy the vibrant outdoor patio, romantic dining room or cozy fireplace—the décor, menu and staff reflect the sophisticated yet casual character of Montecito.  1212 Coast Village Rd., 805/969-8500. $$–$$$

Lucky’s (American) offers steaks, chops and seafood as well as chicken entrées, 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. $$$–$$$$

The Monarch (American) at the historic Montecito Inn, inspired by quaint European restaurants, offers dishes crafted from an impressive selection of local vegetables, fruits, meats, seafood, herbs, and wines. Guests start their meal with unique spreads like sea urchin or figs and blue cheese flatbreads and continue with hearty main courses like white sea bass or filet mignon. A wood-burning hearth inside an elegant dining room creates the perfect setting for an unforgettable culinary experience. 1295 Coast Village Rd., 805/869-0789. $$$-$$$$

Montecito Wine Bistro (Californian) is a casual yet sophisticated spot to sit on the outdoor patio or cozy up to the fireplace and nibble wine-friendly food, including flatbreads from the wood-burning oven, grilled steaks and chops, roasted chicken, savory pot pies and juicy burgers, along with fresh salads and sandwiches. Sip wines by the glass or the flight, or a cocktail. 516 San Ysidro Rd. 805/969-7520. $$-$$$

Oliver’s of Montecito (Gourmet Vegan) brings health and wellness to the forefront of the dining experience. The restaurant’s creative dishes are made with organic and fresh ingredients. Oliver’s innovative menu is inspired by nature, minimally processed and carefully prepared to provide guests with delicious and vibrant food. All of the dishes are vegan and vegetarian, using seasonal veggies to nourish the body. 1198 Coast Village Rd., 805/969-0834. $$$

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. $$$ Currently closed for damage repairs.

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) pairs a beautiful Victorian building with stylish, Normandy-inspired cuisine. The glass-encased greenhouse’s panoramic view and fireside couches make it a perfect spot for listening to Wednesday night jazz. 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., 805/565-1700. $$$$ Currently closed for damage repairs.

Tre Lune (Italian) offers a delicious menu that isn’t afraid of flavor. The high quality, genuine Italian cuisine includes excellent minestrone soup, fall-off-the-fork ossobuco, basil pesto, lobster ravioli and more. 1151 Coast Village Rd., 805/969-2646, $$$

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

SUMMERLAND

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. $–$$

CARPINTERIA

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 Linden Ave., 805/684-1400. $$

The Garden Market (American) has a small café that serves 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 its 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 the artisan desserts! Open for lunch and dinner Wed.-Mon. 666 Linden Ave., 805/684-0720. $$-$$$

GOLETA

Angel Oak (French-Californian) is a modern steak and seafood restaurant housed at Ritz-Carlton Bacara, featuring classic steakhouse dishes with a uniquely Santa Barbara interpretation. Accompanying the cuisine is an ambiance of pure scenic beauty, with ceiling-to-floor windows boasting expansive panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from every table and a striking 25-seat bar topped with vibrant blue Amazonite quartz that mirrors the dazzle and grandeur of the ocean. 8301 Hollister Ave., 805/571-4240. $$$-$$$$

Backyard Bowls (American) is the place to go 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 Bar Cafe (Seafood) on Goleta Beach is well-known for excellent fresh fish, serving lunch and dinner in the tropical-style dining room or on the glass-walled patio. What’s better than sipping an umbrella drink with an ocean view? Pair your cocktail with the fish tacos, excellent clam chowder or Cesar salad for memorable seaside dining. 5905 Sandspit Rd. 805/964-7881. $$-$$$

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. $

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. $-$$

Jane at the Marketplace (Californian) presents flavorful fare for lunch and dinner including steak, chicken and pasta in cozy surroundings. This is a bright, sunny space known for its friendly service and authentic family recipes. 6940 Marketplace Dr., 805/770-5388. $$

Outpost (Californian) is a casual, hip spot at the Goodland hotel. The excellent seasonal menu includes shareable plates, entrees and fresh salads, as well as fish tacos with battered halibut, flat iron steak with salsa verde, pork bao buns and a caper-studded Caesar salad with grilled romaine. Don’t miss the weekend brunch for specialties such as housemade Pop-Tarts, buckwheat griddled cakes with candied pecans and the Market Benedict with asparagus, Serrano, poached eggs, crab béarnaise and hash browns. 5650 Calle Real, 805/964-1288, $$-$$$

Rooftop Bistro & Bar (Californian) is a modern rooftop bistro bar, offering lunch, craft cocktails and small bites, with a breathtaking panoramic view of Goleta, Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Mountains. This unexpectedly hip gem atop the new Hilton Garden Inn features creative shared plates from Executive Chef Michael Blackwell (formerly of the Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch and Montecito Country Club) to be enjoyed in cozy fireplace groupings under the stars. 6878 Hollister Ave., 805/ 562-5996. $-$$

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY

Cold Spring Tavern (American) This iconic establishment, virtually unchanged since the days of the stagecoach run, 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 TOWNSHIP

The Gathering Table at Ballard Inn (California Fusion) is Owner/Chef Budi Kazali’s new concept, which offers a fun and inviting place to gather over incredible food that’s meant to be shared in a warm and inviting modern farmhouse atmosphere. 2436 Baseline Ave., Ballard, 805/688-7770. $$-$$$

BUELLTON

A-RU Sushi (Japanese) offers high-end sushi made from delicacies kept on hand, including live soft shell crab, sea urchin, and monkfish liver. If seafood isn’t your first choice, be sure to check out their other entree options like pork bulgogi over white rice. 225 McMurray Rd #D, 805/686-9001. $$

Bottlest Bistro (American) is an upscale, contemporary eatery featuring eclectic small plates and entrees, plus a choose-your-own wine wall with 52 constantly changing wines available by the taste, half glass or full glass. 35 Industrial Way, 805/686-4742. $$-$$$

Firestone Walker Taproom & Barrelworks (American) is a brew house offering bistro cooking along with its award-winning beers. Find your new favorite cold one from the wild ale program and enjoy some pub favorites for lunch, dinner, and dessert. 620 McMurray Rd., 805/697-4777. $$

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.   406 E. Hwy. 246, 805/688-0676. $$$-$$$$

La Botte Bistro & Catering (Italian) is a culinary gem tucked away into a nondescript strip mall in Buellton. Red vintage candles, white linen draped tables, purple velvet curtains and a playful, hand-painted piano evoke an ambiance that’s as equally quaint and romantic as it is eclectic and fun. This family-owned restaurant provides an unforgettable Italian dining experience served with the heart and soul of Italy. Open for dinner Wed.-Sun. 225 McMurray Rd., Suite A, 805/693-2154. $$

LOS ALAMOS

Bob’s Well Bread Bakery (Bakery) has options for breakfast, lunch, and takeout, not to mention the specialty breads of the day. Old world European techniques lead to delicious, hand-made, artisan breads that can’t be missed. 550 Bell Street, 805/344-3000. $$

Charlie’s Restaurant (American/Mexican) Since 1978, Charlie’s has been serving up homemade dishes, everything from tri-tip sandwiches to south of the border specials like Chile Verde and enchiladas. Open daily, with happy hour from 4-8 pm. Be sure to check out Taco Tuesday for an tasty meal that won’t break the bank. 185 Bell Street, 805/344-4404. $

Full of Life Flatbread (Italian) fires up fresh and fabulous flatbreads, offering combinations such as garlic, pistachios and rosemary, as well as long-time favorites like slow-cooked tomato sauce with three cheeses. With the warmth of the fire-burning pizza oven filling the intimate dining room, this is the perfect weekend getaway spot. 225 Bell St., 805/344-4400. $$ 

PICO (Californian) specializes in a menu of approachable Californian cuisine sourced from locally farmed, seasonal ingredients. Chef Drew Terp offers a creative, eclectic spin on American comfort food with an extensive wine list showcasing the best from Santa Barbara’s wine country, as well as an array of international selections from France, Spain, Italy and beyond. Inside Los Alamos General Store, 458 Bell St., Los Alamos, 805/344-1122. $$-$$$

LOS OLIVOS

The Bear and Star (American) at Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn takes its name from the two states Parker called home, Texas and California, celebrating refined ranch cuisine paired with California’s bounty. 2860 Grand Ave., Los Olivos, 805/686-1359. $$-$$$$

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. $$

Sides Hardware & Shoes— A Brothers Restaurant (American) is located in a restored 1901 building, where chef-owners Jeff and Matt Nichols turn out hearty American favorites with original gourmet twists. The brothers strive to have legendary service, innovative “made from scratch” cuisine, and a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere that causes you to return time and time again. Try the delicious Bacon Steak if you need further incentive to return. 2375 Alamo Pintado Ave., 805/688-4820. $$-$$$

SANTA YNEZ

The Baker’s Table (Bakery)  See the old and the new come together in artisanal harmony. Soups, salads, sandwiches, and mouth watering baked goods make this place a must-visit. 3563 Numancia St., 805/688-4856. $$

Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn (American) offers innovative “made from scratch” cuisine from chef-owners and brothers Jeff and Matt Nichols in this recently refurbished barn, which had a life as a Santa Ynez dance hall before becoming a restaurant. The hearty menu offers American classics like chops, prime rib and chicken-fried steak. Lunch and dinner served daily.  3539 Sagunto St., 805/688-4142. $$-$$$$

Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar (Mexican) brings bold Mexican and Latin flavors to the valley. An open fire grill imparts a smoky essence to authentic grilled specials, delicious salsas and the aroma of fresh homemade tortillas.  3544 Sagunto St., 805/688-0033. $$

Eleven Wine Lounge (Italian) From exotic international wines to local favorites, this recent addition to Santa Ynez is a fun place to try something new. The organic crudo bar and live music are just the cherries on top. 3640 Sagunto St., 805/691-9134.

S.Y. Kitchen (Italian) is a charming “California version of a little Italian farmhouse” with a focus on unfussy rustic Italian food made from fresh local ingredients. Expect inventive salads, woodfired pizzas and house-made pastas with everything from seasonal seafood to duck ragu. An outdoor red-oak grill is fired up year-round, turning out juicy steaks and chops. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 1110 Faraday St., 805/691-9794. $$-$$$

Trattoria Grappolo (Italian) is a great destination for gourmet pizzas from a wood-burning oven, fresh salads made with local produce and nightly specials. Other specialties include: Carpaccio, Rollino Veneto—rolled-up pizza pouches stuffed with smoked mozzarella and radicchio—pastas and fresh seafood dishes. Desserts such as chocolate flourless cake and house made tiramisu are also a hit with guests. Grappolo features a list of more than 150 wines from around the world. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 3687 Sagunto St., 805/688-6899. $$-$$$

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. $$$-$$$$

SOLVANG

Alisal River Terrace (American) takes full advantage of being right in the heart of California and its temperate climate to get fresh, regionally grown ingredients and sustainable seafood (not to mention great wine,too). They bring the Western flair into the kitchen with authentic barbecue that is guaranteed to spice things up. 1054 South Alisal Rd., 805/688-6411. $$

Cecco Ristorante (Italian) serves rustic Italian dishes with seasonal fresh ingredients, including Neopolitan-style  thin crust pizzas from their wood burning oven and handmade pastas. Dessert is a necessary part of the mean when salted caramel creme brulee and exquisite tiramisu are on the menu. Open for lunch and dinner daily. 475 First St., 805/688-8880. $$-$$$

Chomp (American) is a kid-friendly, everyone-is-welcome kind of a place, serving all-American classics at affordable prices. With hot dogs, corn dogs, salads, and seven different kinds of burgers, this locally owned restaurant is one you’ll want to return to for lunch and dinner. 1693 Mission Dr., 805/688-7733. $$

First & Oak (Fusion) distinguishes itself with beautifully prepared, elegant small plates designed to pair with fine wines and allow guests to taste multiple, exciting dishes in a single sitting. Housed in the charming Mirabelle Inn, this modern American restaurant has a European influence as well as a Californian emphasis on food that is seasonal, local and sustainable. 409 First St., 805/688-1703, $$$

Fitzpatrick’s Tavern (Irish) is self-described as a “wee pub” with “wee prices.” Their locally-sourced food makes for an excellent lunch or dinner and pairs perfectly with traditional beers. 490 First St., 805/688-5500. $$

Fresco Valley Cafe (American) offers up fresh sandwiches, salads, gourmet burgers, and wraps in a charming Danish building with a perfect patio. Brunch is served on Sundays, with inventive options such as the tri-tip breakfast burrito and carmelized onion and brie sandwich. 442 Atterdag Rd., 805/688-8857. $-$$

Mad & Vin at the Landsby (Danish/American) meaning “food and wine” in Danish, is located in the boutique hotel, The Landsby, and overlooks a beautiful courtyard garden. Featuring seasonal ingredients and acclaimed, locally-produced wine. 1576 Mission Dr., 805/688-3121. $$$

Paula’s Pancake House (Danish/American Breakfast) From Danish pancakes topped with warm cinnamon apples or fresh strawberries with whipped cream to chicken fried steak and eggs, this breakfast place has it all. Also open for lunch for those who like to sleep-in. 1531 Mission Dr., 805/688-2867. $

Red Viking Restaurant (Danish/American)  Check out the extensive, all-you-can-eat smorgaasbord from 11am  to 8pm  to try a wide variety of American and Danish dishes. Or if more traditional meals are your style, stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Added bonus: they have a full bar and are open daily. 1684 Copenhagen Dr., 805/688-6610. $$

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 Alisal 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. $$-$$$

Solvang Brewing Company (Danish/brewery) A casual, family-style place to go for lunch or dinner, complete with on-site craft brewery. With fun Danish dishes and classic American entrees, there is something for everyone. Open daily. 1547 Mission Dr., 805/688-2337. $$

Solvang Restaurant (Danish/American) is home of Arne’s Aebleskiver – a delicious, pancake-like ball that comes in amazing flavors, most commonly with powdered sugar and raspberry jam. If you decide that these little treats are so good you have to make them at home, you can also get cookbooks and cooking accessories on site! 1672 Copenhagen Dr., 805/688-4645. $$