You're in Santa Barbara. And you're hungry. But you don't know where to eat.
Quick! Answer these three questions, and we'll point you in the right direction:
- Are you an adventurous eater?
- Do you have $6 or more to spend?
- Is it Sunday?
If you answered yes to all three, then stop what you're doing and head to Corazon Cocina immediately. This pop-up eatery is the hottest, most delicious new restaurant in Santa Barbara right now, and it's only open one day a week.
(If, unfortunately, it isn't Sunday but you're still hungry and answered yes to the first two questions, then refer to this list of some of the best restaurants in town instead.)
The Angelito taco is stuffed with roasted Anaheim chiles and Mexican white shrimp — Photo courtesy of Corazon Cocina
Operated by Chef Ramon Velazquez and his charming, endlessly enthusiastic staff, Corazon Cocina takes over a deli in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara on Sundays to offer up a fresh Mexican spread worthy of royalty.
Prepare to experience love at first sight when you lock eyes with Velazquez's pork belly quesadilla, bursting with onions, cheese and homemade salsa. And his scallop ceviche tostadas dressed with coconut milk and topped with pomegranate seeds will have you drooling.
The menu at Corazon Cocina changes depending on what is in season. "Market" dishes – like market tacos or market quesadillas – are frequently offered to showcase ingredients that are currently available at the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market.
To drink, enjoy house-made aguas frescas or almond milk horchata. Beer, iced tea and soda are also available.
Place your order at the counter, then stock up on freshly made salsas while you wait. Indoor and outdoor seating is first come, first served.
Corazon Cocina is open on Sundays only, from 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Popular items frequently sell out early in the afternoon, so plan ahead if you want access to everything on the menu.
This pop-up restaurant is close to many other downtown restaurants, shops and attractions. If you're out shopping at Paseo Nuevo, this is a great midday stop and much preferable to the dining options in the mall.
When not setting the scene for hordes of Corazon Cocina customers, Three Pickles dishes up deli subs and fresh salads to hungry patrons Monday through Saturday. Try the killer pastrami sandwich or their award-winning clam chowder.
There's free street parking in the area, but it jams up quickly. For a more reliable option, park in the city lot just a block away and walk over.