15 Best Restaurants to Go in Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara Restaurants
Source: Roger Braunstein

Santa Barbara offers hundreds of restaurants, more than any other city in California. If you are visiting it for the first time, finding the right place for you might be quite overwhelming. One thing is for sure, no matter what food you like, you will definitely find it. Here are some recommendations for you.

1. Opal Restaurant & Bar

This is probably the best and most successful place for lunch and dinner not only in Santa Barbara, consistently offering the highest quality food and service. Besides the locals’ favorite menu there are always new and creative novelties that make the food vibrant. The menu is so diverse, flavors are exciting and everything tastes fresh, so you might need some time to decide. If you happen to come on some important holidays, you will be served with creatively decorated special menus and wonderful inventive drinks.

Information

  • Name: Opal Restaurant & Bar
  • Address: 1325 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Accepts Credit Cards Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Smoking: No
  • Outdoor Seating: Yes
  • Website: opalrestaurantbar.com

2. Jane Restaurant

This elegant and comfortable bi-level restaurant in the popular State Street offers not only attractive interior, but also a great atmosphere, exceptional service and food. It is a perfect place to come on a romantic date. At dinner, the place is very romantic with dim lights, especially upstairs. You will enjoy the varied food with fresh ingredients and the outstandingly tasty desserts in a relaxed atmosphere. Jane is also available for private events and parties.

Information

  • Name: Jane Restaurant
  • Address: 1311 State St, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Attire: Casual
  • Parking: Street
  • Bike Parking: Yes
  • Website: janerestaurantsb.com

3. Tee-Off Restaurant

If you want to spend a perfect evening in a traditional restaurant and bar, then this small cozy place is the right choice for you. Tee-Off offers great service with high-quality food, especially prime ribs and seafood, and a wide selection of wines. Its red leather booths are usually full, but you can sit at the nice bar and have a glass of fine drink served by extremely friendly and knowledgeable bartenders.

Information

  • Name: Tee-Off Restaurant
  • Address: 3627 State St Santa Barbara, CA 93105
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Attire: Casual
  • Website: teeoffsb.com

4. Sambo’s Restaurant

Sambo's
Source: Sam Howzit

When you visit Santa Barbara you mustn’t miss this beautiful restaurant on the beach. It is one of the oldest restaurants in this county and they have been serving great food at this location with wonderful views for almost 60 years. Visitors from all over the world have been visiting this place for a tasty brunch or breakfast. They are a really good start for your day. Along with perfect sandwiches, omeletes or pancakes, you get a marvelous ocean view from window tables inside or from the patio outside. And the patio is pet-friendly, so you can enjoy your breakfast with your family, and your dog, too!

Information

  • Name: Sambo’s Restaurant
  • Address: 216 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: No
  • Parking: Street, Private Lot
  • Attire: Casual
  • Website: sambosrestaurant.com

5. Sandbar Cocina & Tequila

If you are a Mexican food lover, you should definitely visit this vibrant and busy place operating as a restaurant by day and transforming into an exciting night destination with live music and dancing. Enjoy their freshest seafood, premium meat and extensive handcrafted cocktails with daily prepared fresh ingredients. The quality and uniqueness of the cocktails will make this place worth returning again. Enjoy the time inside the restaurant in modern hacienda setting, or on one of the patios with heaters. Feel the vibe of this amazing place.

Information

  • Name: Sandbar Cocina & Tequila
  • Address: 514 State St Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Parking: Street
  • Good for Kids: No
  • Happy Hour: Yes
  • Website: sandbarsb.com

6. Toma Restaurant and Bar

This romantic Italian restaurant on the Santa Barbara waterfront is an amazing and welcoming place with great decor. It’s been offering a gorgeous view of the ocean and excellent food for over 80 years. You can choose from the menu with a variety of exciting choices of elegantly displayed food with opulent flavors. Enjoy the unforgettable culinary experience and the taste of the excellently chosen wine served by warm and accommodating staff.

Information

  • Name: Toma Restaurant & Bar
  • Address: 324 W Cabrillo Blvd Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Parking: Street
  • Attire: Dressy
  • Smoking: No
  • Outdoor Seating: No
  • Website: tomarestaurant.com

7. Arigato Sushi

Arigato sushi
Source: Carsten

This is a must for sushi lovers! It’s trendy and always crowded, but the visit is worth it. The spacious interior with the open kitchen makes a great feel and the patio outside is perfect for summertime. You will be amazed at the quality of food as well as the great creativity of the chefs, and you will experience the best sushi ever. If you come with friends who are not into sushi, don’t worry, the place also offers wonderful seafood and other unique choices. Feel its casual, vibrant and fun atmosphere.

Information

  • Name: Arigato Sushi
  • Address: 1225 State St Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: No
  • Attire Casual
  • Parking: Street
  • Bike Parking: Yes
  • Website: arigatosb.com

8. Bouchon Restaurant

You will love this charming rustic place with a simple but elegant decor and romantic atmosphere.  Enjoy the amazing dining experience with excellent service, delicious food made with fresh ingredients and superb quality local wines. Inside the restaurant, there is an open kitchen, and you can watch the chefs do their work, or you can choose to sit on the vine laden outdoor patio with heaters, to enjoy the romantic sounds of music under the perfect lighting.

Information

  • Name: Bouchon Restaurant
  • Address: 9 W Victoria St Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Attire: Dressy
  • Parking: Street
  • Outdoor Seating: Yes
  • Website: bouchonsantabarbara.com

9. Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach

If you love the fresh ocean air, Boathouse is great for you. It is right on the beach and you will enjoy amazing views wherever you sit, inside or out. Seafood is their major, but there are also other delicious choices to choose from. The place is pretty busy, but the staff is really efficient and friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed. Visit the restaurant in the late afternoon, and you’ll get a memorable experience of breathtaking sunset views.

Information

  • Name: Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach
  • Address: 2981 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Attire: Casual
  • Parking: Yes
  • Good For Kids: Yes
  • Website: sbfishhouse.com

10. Santa Barbara FisHouse

This typically American seafood restaurant, perfectly located next to the beach, looks very attractive and inviting. The view and the whole ambiance is wonderful there. The exceptionally friendly staff will give you a warm welcome offering you a great service. Try some of their fine cocktails and amazingly fresh food. Enjoy the abundance of flavors and, of course, beauties of the ocean nearby. If you have your pet with you, there is a small pet friendly patio outside with a view of the popular Stearn’s Wharf just across.

Information

  • Name: Santa Barbara FisHouse
  • Address: 101 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Attire: Casual
  • Outdoor Seating: Yes
  • Good for Kids: Yes
  • Website: sbfishhouse.com

11. Barbareno Restaurant

In a peaceful part of Santa Barbara downtown, there is this California-style restaurant and wine and beer bar inspired by classic old taverns. You mustn’t miss this place if you want to feel the true Central Coast spirit, space and cuisine. You will enjoy its appealing ambiance and beautiful patio with a grill, and the fresh seasonal ingredients in their food, tastefully put together, will make you come again.

Information

  • Name: Barbareno Restaurant
  • Address: 205 W Canon Perdido St. Santa Barbara, CA, 93101
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Attire: Casual
  • Good for Kids: No
  • Parking: Street, Private Lot
  • Website: barbareno.com

12. Brophy Bros.

When you are in Santa Barbara, you have to visit this place. You will love its lively atmosphere and wonderful views of the harbor and mountains. You may find it pretty crowded at peak hours, so you can choose to visit it for late lunch or dinner and the best place to sit is outside. Plan on some wait when you come, but you won’t regret it. Enjoy the exceptional venue and service and excellent American seafood.

Information

  • Name: Brophy Bros.
  • Address: 119 Harbor Way Santa Barbara, CA 93109
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: No
  • Attire: Casual
  • Good for Kids: Yes
  • Outdoor Seating: Yes
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Website: brophybros.com

13. Los Agaves Restaurant

This casual Mexican-style restaurant is always busy and it might not be perfect for those who don’t like crowds. Then again, its welcoming ambiance with wooden tables and flowers on top, tile floors and lovely paintings on the walls, will charm you. It is a perfect place to taste some Mexican food with authentic flavors. Everything is delicious and the presentations are wonderfully creative, so you soon forget about the bustle of people around you.

Information

  • Name: Los Agaves Restaurant
  • Address: 600 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: No
  • Attire: Casual
  • Good for Kids: Yes
  • Outdoor Seating: No
  • Parking: Street
  • Website: los-agaves.com

14. The Lark

The Lark is one of the most popular local places situated in the very center of the famous Funk Zone in the historic Fish Market building. The setting of the place will impress you. You will love the charm of the beautiful patio with lovely little succulents all around. All the tables are by the fire to keep you warm. When it comes to food, it is served family style, they pay attention to every little detail and everything is worth trying. The bar offers a broad wine list, as well as amazing craft cocktails with seasonal fruit and vegetables. Enjoy your most delicious dinner in this rustic ambiance with modern decor.

Information

  • Name: The Lark
  • Address: 131 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Attire: Casual
  • Good for Kids: No
  • Parking: Valet
  • Outdoor Seating: Yes
  • Website: thelarksb.com

15. The Palace Grill

Palace Grill
Source: Mark Doliner

If you want to enjoy American favorite grill specialties, come to The Palace Grill. It has become one of the most popular landmarks in Santa Barbara welcoming guests with fun atmosphere and delicious cuisine. Their team service provides best restaurant service ever. Enjoy the casual atmosphere with lively music in a beautiful festive decor with masks and beads on the walls. The authentic South American food will surpass all your expectations, as well as the great service by the staff who make sure every little detail is perfect.

Information

  • Name: The Palace Grill
  • Address: 8 E Cota St Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Attire: Casual
  • Good for Kids: Yes
  • Parking: Street
  • Website: palacegrill-hub.com

Santa Barbara restaurants offer you incredibly creative dishes with wonderfully fresh ingredients from daily farmers and fish markets and we are sure that you will have unforgettable dining experience wherever you choose to go. Enjoy!

Have a good trip and travel!

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