The Best (and Most Important) Meal of the Day in Santa Barbara

The hardest thing about having breakfast in Santa Barbara is the fact that it (usually) only happens once a day, meaning you only get to pick one place to eat it. And there are so many great breakfast and brunch spots in the area that even those of us who are lucky enough to live here are familiar with this internal argument:

"I should start strong! Backyard Bowls and then a hike."

"No, wait, I'm starving... eggs and hash browns and cornbread Cajun Kitchen it is."

"Oh my god, does anything sound better than a chocolate croissant and cappuccino at Renaud's right now?"

As you can imagine, it gets even more complicated when you add more people and taste buds to the conversation. Fortunately you have this list to guide you and - let's hope - more than one chance to enjoy the most important meal of the day while you're in town.

And if you only have one breakfast opportunity, here's your cheat sheet. If you're a gourmand, head to the Scarlett Begonia. Greasy spoon connoisseur? Garrett's Old Fashioned Restaurant is for you. If both size and scope are important, the best brunch buffet (possibly in the state of California) can be found at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. And finally, for a great European inspired breakfast, visit D'Angelo's Bread.

Cajun Kitchen is a Santa Barbara tradition, a local breakfast and lunch joint with something like a million different area locations. And every location is packed, too! Hearty food, good prices and quick service keeps us coming. Standard fare at...  Read More

If you've ever talked to anyone in Santa Barbara about brunch - and price was no object - then you've undoubtedly heard of the "Biltmore brunch." Brunch at the Bella Vista restaurant within the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara is...  Read More

Tupelo Junction Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but breakfast is the meal that's made them famous with residents and visitors alike. Southern-influenced dishes include cinnamon apple beignets, fried green tomatoes and chicken fried...  Read More

Their slogan says it all: better life through better food. Don't let your meals slow you down; you can grab complete nutrition on the go at Backyard Bowls. Serving acai bowls, whole grain bowls and nutritious smoothies, Backyard Bowls offers...  Read More

C'est Cheese
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives

C'est Cheese got its start as a humble cheese shop in Santa Barbara. It is still a great place to buy cheese, but a recent expansion has turned into more of a meeting place for locals and travelers alike. A cafe serves delicious, made-to-order...  Read More

Santa Barbara

In a past life, Cold Spring was a stagecoach stop, a place for travelers to rest beside the stream, warm up at the fireplace and steel themselves for the trip ahead. Then in 1865, Cold Spring Tavern was opened as a restaurant, and it has been...  Read More

The best chocolate croissant you will ever enjoy is not waiting for you in Paris. (Sorry if that shakes up some plans for intercontinental travel but, don't worry, they still have the best escargot.) No, it is right here in Santa Barbara,...  Read More

Garrett's Old Fashioned Restaurant is a diner style place, complete with a greasy spoon breakfast menu and a great lunch counter. Their affordable offerings are straightforward: omelets, french toast, burgers... the usual short-order fare,...  Read More

Scarlett Begonia
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives

There is not enough space here to describe how truly scrumptious and utterly satisfying a meal at the Scarlett Begonia is. First, everything they serve is made in house; from pastries to ketchup to pickles, it's all made just steps away in their...  Read More

For a true breakfast or brunch 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 poached eggs to personal-sized...  Read More


Meet 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...  More About Geneva

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