Garden Market. Offering very tasty sandwiches, salads, smoothies and casual fare. Open Monday–Sunday 10am-3pm. [L] $ (BW) 3811 Santa Claus Lane (805) 745-5505
Sly’s. James Sly, formerly of Lucky’s in Montecito, is back to cooking the finest steaks anywhere. Sly’s is open daily for dinner from 5 pm, features a full bar and extended wine list. (LD) $$ (FB). Reservations are suggested. 686 Linden Ave. 805-684-6666.
CAVA. Experience the bold flavors of Spain, Mexico and Latin America in a romantic garden setting in the village of Montecito. Happy Hour 4-6, Weekend Brunch from 8am. [BLD] $$, (FB) 1212 Coast Village Road, 969-8500.
Lucky’s. Montecito’s only premium steakhouse. Great wine list and martini selections. Great weekend brunch served 9am-3pm. [BrD] $$$, (FB) 1279 Coast Village Road, 565-7540.
The Montecito Café. Eclectic menu with great service. Desserts to die for! Open Daily from 11:30 (LD) $$ (FB) 1295 Coast Village Rd. 805-969-3392.
Stella Mare’s. Overlooking the Bird Refuge in Santa Barbara…a glass greenhouse, sofas by the fire, casual French décor and traditional French Country Cuisine. Full bar and extensive American & French wine list, great private rooms for your event needs and Live Jazz on Wednesdays. Closed on Mondays $$ [LDBr] (FB) 50 Los Patos Way. 969-6705. (Cafe Stella is located at 3302 McCaw Ave, on upper State Street in Santa Barbara. www.stellamares.com)
The Stonehouse. Located in a 19th-century citrus packing house, The Stonehouse features a relaxing lounge with full bar service and a separate dining room with crackling fireplace and creekside views. Open for dinner from 6-10 p.m. daily.[D] $$$ (FB) 900 San Ysidro Lane (805) 565-1700.
Tre Lune. One of the more popular eateries on Coast Village Rd in Montecito. Fine Italian cuisine, amazing wine list, house made pastas, seafood, patio seating and full bar. Open breakfast, lunch and dinner. 1151 Coast Village Road. 805-969-2646. $$ (BLD)
Aldo’s Italian Ristorante. Since 1986. Experience lunch in the sun or dine by candle light in their enchanting courtyard. Friendly servers deliver fresh Italian specialties and creative dishes with a California flair. [LD] $,B&W. 1031 State St., 963-6687.www.sbaldos.com.
Blue Agave. Elegantly decorated two-story restaurant with a famous bar noted for its excellent martinis, mojitos, inventive cocktails and a wide range of tequilas and mescals served by a joyous staff. Blue Agave was voted by locals repeatedly the Most Romantic Restaurant in Santa Barbara. [BrD] $$ (FB)20 E. Cota St., 805-899-4694
Boathouse. The Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach is the newest venture of the owners of the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, which began on Stearn’s Wharf in 1980, and the Santa Barbara Fishouse. Enjoy stunning views and great seafood from a family run business that knows their fish! [BLD] $ (FB). 2981 Cliff Drive 805-898-2628, www.sbfishhouse.com/boathouse
Bouchon. Restaurateur Mitchell Sjerven hosts the city’s first Wine Country Cuisine restaurant with more than 50 Santa Barbara and Central Coast wines offered by the glass to compliment bouchon’s “ingredient driven” and seasonal fresh menu. Wine Spectator Award of Excellence wine list features exclusively Californian selections, paired with cuisine that is “creative without being over the top…”” (Wine Spectator, July 1999). Fresh Channel Island seafood, Santa Ynez and Ojai Valley game, and local farmer’s market produce predominate. Outdoor dining is available year-round on the heated, covered garden patio. Ask about private dining in the intimate Cork Room where up to 20 guests can be seated at the Grand Table. Open for dinner nightly from 5:30pm, reservations recommended. [D] $$$, (B&W) 9 W. Victoria, 730-1160.
Breakwater Restaurant. Enjoy the comfortable large patio overlooking the historic, scenic Santa Barbara Harbor. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from 7 AM. Award winning clam chowder, nightly specials, fresh seafood, steaks, sandwiches, salads and a kid’s menu for your little mariners. At the scenic Santa Barbara Harbor, 107 Harbor Way. 805-965-1557. sbbreakwater.com.
Ca’ Dario. Fine Italian dining with extensive Italian wine list. Excellent seafood and authentic cuisine. [LD] $$, (B&W) 37 E. Victoria, 884-9419.
Cajun Kitchen. Serving some of the best Cajun specialty breakfasts in town for over 20 years. [BL] $, (BW) 1924 De La Vina, Santa Barbara 687-8062; 6831 A. Hollister Ave, Goleta 571-1517; 901 Chapala St., 965-1004; 865 Linden, Carpinteria 684-6010.
Chuck’s of Hawaii. A local favorite celebrating 47 years of excellence serving award-winning steaks, wines and seafood to Santa Barbarans and their guests. Chuck’s has been voted Best Steak in Santa Barbara and is the recipient of the Award of Excellence from The Wine Spectator annually since 1989. They also feature a nightly selection of fresh fish, from old favorites like Alaskan halibut and grilled salmon to ahi tuna (grilled medium rare). Dinner is served weekdays from 5:30 to 11pm, and until 11:30pm weekends. Full cocktail bar, featuring Firestone-Walker Double Barrel Ale on draft. Reservations welcome. [D] $$, (FB) 3888 State, 687-4417.
Chuck’s Waterfront Grill. Chuck’s of Hawaii has expanded to a second location at Chuck’s Waterfront Grill; by the boats at the Santa Barbara Harbor. Same great food and service you already love…in a setting that makes going out to dinner feel like a little vacation. Featuring Prime Grade Top Sirloin Steaks. “Chuck’s Style” Fresh Alaskan Halibut, Garlic Grilled Day Boat-Caught King Prawns , Grilled Sea Scallops, King Crab Legs, and Australian Lobster Tail. [LD] $$, (FB) 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, 564-1200
Cielito. Beautifully appointed interiors, expansive heated patio, private dining areas and a full bar accent a thoroughly authentic Mexican culinary experience. Located in the heart La Arcada, downtown. 1114 State St. 805-225-4488
Cold Spring Tavern. 100 years of tradition with true American cuisine only 15 minutes from Santa Barbara. Featuring the cuisine of chef Moises Bernal with selections of game and hearty entrées. Full bar & weekend breakfast. [LD] $$, (FB) 5995 Stagecoach Road, 967-0066.
Crocodile Restaurant at Lemon Tree Inn. One of the best neighborhood destination eateries in SB featuring great steaks, salads and cocktails, full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. 2819 State St, Santa Barbara, (805) 687-6444. BLD $$
Dargan’s Irish Pub. SB’s only authentic Irish bar and restaurant with a tradition that has spanned three generation. Featuring the best in Irish fare, full bar and numerous beers on tap. In the heart of old town, this cozy atmosphere features full lunch and dinner with room for private parties, billiards and darts. Open Daily from 11:30. 18 E. Ortega, 805-568-0702. www.darganssb.com
Downey’s. Chef John Downey has been serving Santa Barbara’s finest cuisine since the restaurant opened in 1982. Clearly defined tastes using the finest foods available and artful yet simple presentation have earned Downey’s top honors in the Zagat Survey for the past sixteen consecutive years. The dining room is in the capable hands of Liz Downey who will be happy to guide you through the mostly California wine list with a proud bias towards the extensive Santa Barbara County selections. Dinner served Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30pm. [D] $$$, (B&W) Reservations: 966-5006, 1305 State St., www.downeyssb.com
Endless Summer Bar-Cafe. Just upstairs from Chuck’s Waterfront Grill, this surf-inspired bar-cafe offers great harbor views. Featuring tasty burgers, fish tacos, fresh salads, popcorn shrimp, and “Pau Hana” (“Work is Done”) Happy Hour, with food and drink specials like the Endless Summer Blonde Ale. Feel like a steak? Chuck’s Waterfront menu is also available after 5 p.m. Large groups are welcome, and should call ahead for reservations at 564-4666. [LD]. $, (FB) 113 Harbor Way, Second Floor, 564-1200.
Enterprise Fish Co. A variety of shellfish hors d’oeuvres is served at the oyster bar, and the dining room offers a selection of fresh seafood grilled over mesquite. Full bar. [LD] $$, (FB) 225 State, 962.3313, enterprisefishco.com.
Fishouse. On the water on Cabrillo at the gate to the Funk Zone downtown. Sensational seafood, daily full cocktail and bar food happy hour, and patio seating. 101 East Cabrillo Blvd. 805-966-2112. www.fishouse.com $$ (LD)
The Harbor Restaurant. The Harbor is one of Santa Barbara’s finest restaurants, where fresh fish and steaks are specially prepared and served in an elegant maritime interior with stunning views of the harbor. [BrLD]. $$, (FB) 210 Stearns Wharf, 963-3311.
Harry’s. Santa Barbara’s traditional locals restaurant. Steak, seafood, sandwiches and salads served in a family atmosphere. Excellent wine list and full bar. Banquet facilites available. Open daily for lunch and dinner. [LD] $, (FB) 3313-B State Street, 687-2800.
Holdren’s Steaks & Seafood. Holdren’s Steaks & Seafood is elegant and timeless, featuring U.S.D.A. prime Midwestern corn fed beef, charbroiled over their mesquite grill. Try the “Cowboy Cut”–Holdren’s signature steak—a 20 oz. Prime bone-in rib chop served over spicy onion rings. Their fresh seafood selections include Bacon Wrapped BBQ Tiger Prawns, seared Hawaiian Ahi, and a shrimp Scampi like no other. Holdren’s offers an extensive wine and martini list and outdoor seating.. Open daily for lunch from 11:30 a.m., and for dinner from 5:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday for dinner from 4:00 p.m. Now offering Sunday Brunch 9am-2pm. [BrLD] $$ (FB). 512 State Street, 805-965-3363. In Goleta. 6920 Marketplace Dr. 805-685-8900
Hollister Brewing Company. Featuring hand-crafted beers made on premise and an innovative, fresh menu. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. [LD] $ (FB), 6980 Marketplace Dr., Goleta, 968-2810, Hollisterbrewco.com
Julienne. A progressive American restaurant serving fresh seasonal food. Serving Dinner Wednesday–Sunday 5pm to 10pm. Reservations Accepted. [D] $$ (BW) 138 E. Canon Perdido Street 805-845-6488
Longboard’s Grill. Upstairs from the Harbor Restaurant is an active, noisy bar & grill with a big TV, a surfer’s attitude and 360-degree views of the city & water. [LD] $$, (FB) 210 Stearns Wharf, 963-3311.
Louie’s. Celebrate the taste of a Santa Barbara tradition in the historic Upham Hotel. Delicious California bistro fare in a wonderful downtown setting. [LD] $$, (B&W) 1404 De La Vina at Sola. 963-7003.
Max’s. Sensational breakfast haunt in San Roque for over 30 years. Also features Italian scratch made offering at dinner. 3514 State St. 805-898-9121. BLD $$
Meun Fan Thai Cafe. Traditional Thai cuisine home cooked to perfection. Great take out and dine in on the Mesa next to Lazy acres. (LD) Open daily from 11:30. 1819 Cliff Dr. 805-882-9244.
The Natural Café. The Natural Cafe is known for their homemade soups, hearty salads, delicious sandwiches, vegetarian entrees, pasta, chicken and seafood dishes, as well as a complete juice bar, microbrewed beers and local wines. [LD] $ (B&W), www.thenaturalcafe.com [LD] $, (B&W). Three locations in Santa Barbara: 508 State, 962-9494; 361 Hitchcock, 563-1163; 5892 Hollister, 692-2363. For other locations out of town see their website for details.
Olio e Limone Ristorante and Olio Pizzeria. (“Oil and Lemon” in Italian) Husband-wife team Alberto and Elaine Morello rely on the integrity of their ingredients and the quality of preparation to offer Santa Barbara creative, authentic Zagat-rated Italian cuisine served in an inviting atmosphere with European hospitality. Visible in the ristorante through a glass wall is the dining room’s focal point, the wine cellar, which represents their 250-plus selection award-winning wine list. Private Dining in the Cucina Room is available for up to 40 guests. Pizza bar-salumi bar-wine bar-full bar next door at Olio Pizzeria, with private dining for up to 22 guests in the Terrazza Room and up to 32 guests in the Taverna Room. Olio pizzeria is open daily from 11:30am – close, including Sunday Lunch. For a look at the current menus go to www.oliopizzeria.com [LD] $$, (FB) 17 West Victoria Street, 805-899-2699.
Opal. A local’s favorite, Opal fuses creative influences from around the world with American Regional touches: from Chile-crusted Filet Mignon, to Fresh Pan-Seared Fish & Seafood, Homemade Pastas, Gourmet Pizzas from their wood burning pizza oven, fresh baked Breads, deliciously imaginative Salads, & Homemade Desserts. Sophisticated yet comfortable, Opal radiates a warm, friendly atmosphere. Full bar, award winning wine list, private room for parties up to 60. 1325 State St., 966-9676. [LD] $$ (FB) Open Daily for Lunch and Dinner.
The Palace Grill. The Palace is a contemporary American grill, with a lively, high-energy atmosphere, and fun, spontaneous events. Featuring fine grilled steaks and fresh seafood, delicious pastas, and select American Regional specialties, like Blackened Crawfish-stuffed Filet Mignon, and Louisiana Bread Pudding Soufflé. Cajun Martinis, unique beers, and a well selected wine list. Their unique “team Service” voted the Best in Town the last 16 years in a row. Rave reviews in Gourmet Magazine, Gault-Millau Travel Guide, Zagat, and Sunset Magazine. “Best on the West Coast” according to Los Angeles Magazine. Open 7 days: lunch 11:30am to 3pm; evenings from 5:30. [LD] $$, B&W. 8 E Cota 963-5000.
Paradise Cafe. Santa Barbara’s favorite dining patio. Fresh fish, steaks, chops, chicken and their famous oak-grilled burger. Start with a drink at the street level bar, and work your way up. Open seven days a week. [BLD] $ FB. 702 Anacapa Street, 962-4416.
Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro. Specializing in a wide selection of authentic French pastries. [BL] $ (B&W), 3315 State St Santa Barbara, 805-569-2400, and in Arlington Plaza. www.renaudsbakery.com.
Roy. Voted best late night dining spot in town. Bistro style Americana cuisine featuring steaks, seafood, chicken, salads, full bar and a great wine list. Dinner from 6pm till midnight daily. [D] $$, (FB) 7 West Carrillo, 966-5636.
Saigon In and Out. Serves the finest Vietnamese specialties at reasonable prices. [LD] $, 1230 State St. Unit A, 805-966-0909 or in 5-Points Shopping Center.
Sambo’s. The original on the beach! Serving up the classic dining experience. [BLD] $, (B&W) 216 W. Cabrillo Blvd. 965-3269
Santa Barbara Fishouse. Great locally caught fresh fish prepared in a casual fun atmosphere. Terrific happy hour. Right across from East Beach. [LD], $$, FB. 101 East Cabrillo Blvd. 966-2112.
SB Shellfish Co. The freshest seafood, lobster, crab and shellfish found anywhere. Enjoy a local wine or beer with the view of the Pacific at the end of Stearns Warf. 805-966-6676 www.shellfishco.com $$(LD).
Scarlett Begonia. “Scarlett Begonia will always strive to have interesting, thoughtful food. Menus change weekly with an innovative fresh look at breakfast and lunch and dinner. Dinner and cocktail hour is offered Tuesday thru Saturday nights from 4:00pm to 9:00pm, with breakfast and lunch running 9am-2pm Tuesday thru Sunday. It is our goal to provide Santa Barbara with a restaurant that showcases progressive modern food, using sustainable, organic, high quality ingredients coupled with innovative cooking to be one of the most foodcentric restaurants around.” 11 W. Victoria St. #10 $$, 805-770-2143 all major credit cards accepted.
Seagrass Restaurant. Fresh Pacific Fish is their focus, along with Local Spiny Lobster, giant sea scallops, clams and prawns. They also offer a fantastic steak, a roasted half-chicken and a braised dish, such as lamb shanks. [D] $$$ (B&W), 30 E. Ortega St. (805) 963–1012, www.seagrassrestaurant.com.
Sojourner Cafe. Since 1978 serving up a variety of creative, internationally influenced vegetarian, chicken and seafood specials. [LD] $, (B&W) 134 E Canon Perdido, 965.7922.
The Tee-Off. One of the town’s premier steak houses featuring succulent prime rib, fresh seafood, generous cocktails and, of course, quality steaks. [LD] $$, (FB) 3627 State, 687-1616.
Tupelo Junction. At Tupelo Junction they make everything from scratch. They choose delicious recipes using only the freshest ingredients and the menu changes frequently depending on the season and product availability. [BLD] $$, (FB) 1212 State Street, (805) 899-3100.
Via Maestra 42. Traditional Italian flavors come together in this deli/shop/café on upper State Street. Serving panini, insalate, antipasti, formaggi, salumi, dolci, caffè and delectable gelatos. [BLD] $$, 3343 State Street, 569-6522.
Wine Cask. Located in the historic El Paseo in heart of downtown makes for a beautiful fine dining experience. Wine tasting with wide array of local wines, full bar and private dining available. www.winecask.com 805-966-9463. 814 Anacapa St. $$ (LD).
Zen Yai. Experience a new era of Thai cuisine, blending traditional dishes with a California nouveau flair. [LD] $$, (B&W) 425 State Street, 957-1193.
SANTA YNEZ VALLEY
Petros. At Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn, serving upscale California-Hellenic cuisine using the finest and freshest ingredients and extensive wine list translates into the food and wine pairing options being nearly endless. 2860 Grand Ave., Los Olivos, (805) 688-7788
Willows at the Chumash Casino. Featuring a distinctive menu of prime steaks and seafood served in an elegantly appointed setting. [D] $$$ (FB). 3400 E. Highway 246, Santa Ynez, 805-686-0855.