Best Santa Barbara, CA Restaurants

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    10. Dutch Garden Restaurant

    Originally opened in 1925, Dutch Garden is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Santa Barbara, but it's probably not on any tourist map and definitely far off the beaten path. Owned and operated by Ken...

    Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives
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    9. Via Maestra 42

    Tucked away on landlocked upper State St. is a gem of an Italian eatery, Via Maestra 42. The restaurant is very small and, at first glance, barely resembles a restaurant at all. There are freezers full of Italian...

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    8. Sama Sama Kitchen

    Sama Sama Kitchen is a restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara that serves up satisfying, Indonesian-inspired dishes and cocktails for brunch and dinner. Exotic flavors like anise, cumin and starfruit are common here....

    Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives
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    7. D'Angelo Pastry & Bread

    For a true breakfast (or lunch) treat, plan to spend a little time at D'Angelos Bread. This combination bakery/restaurant is situated just off State Street in the older part of downtown Santa Barbara. From perfectly...

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    6. La Super-Rica

    For an authentic taste of Mexico, drive up Milpas until, on the right, you see a little white shack with aqua trim. There is no sign, but a line extending from the doorway will let you know that you're at the right...

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    3. The Lark

    The Lark is a large, visually-impressive restaurant located in the heart of Santa Barbara's Funk Zone. The menu here celebrates Central Coast fare, from fruits and vegetables to meats and wines. Food is intended for...

    Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives
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    2. Bouchon

    For cuisine that makes the most of regional ingredients, look no further than Bouchon. Fresh vegetables are sourced from our daily farmers' markets, and meat is purchased from local ranchers. Typical entrees include...

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    1. Brophy Bros.

    Unbeatable harbor views issue a siren's call to patrons at this popular restaurant. Of course, their menu full of delicious seafood doesn't hurt business either. Bustling and busy, Brophy Bros. serves up some of the...

Local Expert Restaurant Recommendations

About Santa Barbara, CA Restaurants

With hundreds of eateries in the Santa Barbara area, it's been rumored to have more restaurants per capita than any other California town. Locals love to eat out - and everyone has their favorite spots - but if you're visiting for the first time choosing a place to eat can be overwhelming.10Best to the rescue! No matter what kind of food you're looking for, we have recommendations for you.

If you're looking for a Southern California classic, pop into to one of many Mexican restaurants. Italian cuisine is also very popular, perhaps owing to the Mediterranean climate, so pizza and pasta are always a good choice. And there's plenty of great seafood, too! Worth noting is that many restaurants are independently owned; chain restaurants are few and far between within city limits. Call ahead to make reservations during weekends and holidays - seats fill up quickly!


About Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives moved to Santa Barbara in 2000 on a whim (ok, and to go to college) and never looked back. She loves Santa Barbara because it’s really one of America’s greatest small towns - it just happens to have glorious beaches and celebrity residents, too! Geneva spent a decade managing an adorable, locally owned boutique in downtown Santa...  Read more »

Read more about Geneva here.

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