10 Best Wine Bars in Santa Barbara: Why Not Sit and Sip Awhile?

Geneva Ives

By , Local Expert, Santa Barbara
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Here in Santa Barbara we may not have any champagne bars and we may not have any piano bars but what we do have... well, we have wine bars. Excellent bars that pour (area) wine by the glass that you'll be dreaming of long after your stay. Pinots, Sauvignon Blancs, Cabernets, you can try them all if you just know where to go.

Fortunately, we here at 10Best know exactly what an explorer like you wants from a wine bar - local, affordable and choc full of friendly strangers. This list has plenty of venues to suit your uncompromising needs. Do you want to be downtown? Try the Blue Agave for great vintages and a fun night out. Feel...  Read more »

  • 1

    Louie's California Bistro

    • Type: Wine Bar
    • Neighborhood: Santa Barbara

    Local Expert Tip: "On a warm summer's evening, select a refreshing rosé and take your glass (or bottle) out onto the Upham Hotel's wide porch for a relaxing view of the neighborhood."

  • 2

    Opal Restaurant & Bar

    • Type: Wine Bar
    • Neighborhood: Santa Barbara

    Local Expert Tip: "Make reservations in advance or prepare to wait for a spot at the bar. Opal is always bustling with activity, especially on weekends or on nights when there's a cultural event happening at the theater next door."

  • 3

    Hitching Post II

    Local Expert Tip: "Go for the wine, stay for the food. The Hitching Post serves up classic steak dinners, very unfussy and extremely satisfying."

  • 4

    Municipal Winemakers

    Local Expert Tip: "Winetasting spot by day, social hot spot by night. Municipal Winemakers is a popular local's place that hosts fun special events, like movie nights and winemaker dinners. "

  • 5

    Elsie's Tavern

    Local Expert Tip: "Don't leave home without your wallet: this low key wine and beer bar is cash only! That's actually the good news - you'll drink only what you can afford and definitely won't accidentally forget your credit card."

  • 6

    Mercury Lounge

    Local Expert Tip: "Tasty, local wines in a dark and mysterious and - dare we say - sexy atmosphere. The perfect secret spot to soothe a long hard day or start a long fun night. "

  • 7

    Blue Agave

    • Type: Bar, Lounge
    • Neighborhood: Santa Barbara

    Local Expert Tip: "Have a little snack with your wine. Appetizers at the Blue Gave are delicious. Try the handcut fries, "grown up" grilled cheese or herb-roasted sliders for a perfect paring."

  • 8

    Milk & Honey

    Local Expert Tip: "Wine. Ambience. Tapas. This a good date night destination or girl's-night-out spot. Dress up or come as you are."

  • 9

    Arnoldi's Cafe

    Local Expert Tip: "Take a trip to Italy without ever leaving Santa Barbara. Dine al fresco, sip wine and play a little bocce ball on Arnoldi's sandy courts."

  • 10


    Local Expert Tip: "Staying in Santa Barbara? Take the train to Sly's in Carpinteria for a fun adventure. Great wines are waiting to be tasted in this sleepy beach town."



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