Best Carpinteria Dining: Steaks, Burgers and Mussels, Oh My!



Carpinteria may be located just minutes away from Santa Barbara, but sometimes it seems like a world apart. Many people say that Carpinteria reminds them of Santa Barbara decades ago, with its breezy, casual atmosphere and tight knit surfing and farming communities.

And what do surfers and farmers have in common? Hearty appetites!

Dozens of restaurants abound within easy walking distance of the beach and downtown area. No matter how you work up a hunger in Carpinteria - whether it's riding the waves, building sandcastles or shopping along Linden Avenue - there's a restaurant to delight your taste buds and fill your belly. 

If you're in the mood for burgers, curry, cupcakes or surf and turf, this list of Carpinteria's 10 best restaurants will steer you in the right direction.

Spend the morning sipping coffee at the Lucky Llama while you plan your day. The Spot is a good lunch spot. It's relaxed, has a family-friendly menu and is in sight of the sand. For dinner, why not try something a little more elegant? Sly's is a fun French-inspired steak and seafood restaurant with a great bar. Or make a reservation at Giannfranco's Trattoria for an elegant Italian meal. 

Keep reading to discover the full list of the 10 best restaurants in Carpinteria.




Is there anything better than eating fresh seafood just blocks from the beach? We don't think so! If you're looking for sushi in Carpinteria, head straight to Sushi Teri. A local sushi chain with five locations across Santa Barbara Country, this...  Read More




Looking for something to eat, perhaps followed by a sweet treat? Look no further than Crushcakes & Cafe in Carpinteria. This local bakery and cafe has three different locations in the Santa Barbara area. The assortment of cupcake flavors...  Read More




Lucky Llama is a cozy, locally-owned coffee shop in Carpinteria. If you're looking for a plain ol' cup of joe, stop here. In the mood for a fancy latte? Stop here. Looking for a peanut butter banana mocha or mystic matcha? You got it! In...  Read More




If you like curries, Siam Elephant is the restaurant for you! This tiny gem of an eatery serves up tasty Thai food just a few blocks away from the ocean. They offer a variety of curries including seasonal flavors, like pumpkin curry in the fall....  Read More




Is there a prettier beachfront restaurant in Santa Barbara county? We don't think so. Overlooking Santa Claus beach, a local favorite, the Padaro Beach Grill boasts a park-like outdoor dining room that's ideal for day dates and impromptu...  Read More




Zookers Restaurant is a local gem in Carpinteria. Tucked into an unassuming shopping center, you could easily miss or dismiss it. But step inside and you'll find fresh food, great service and a pleasant atmosphere. Zookers is committed to...  Read More




The Palms is legendary! Open since 1912, this 100-year old steak and seafood restaurant is classic with a twist... you can cook your own food! That's right, order the cut of meat of your choice (steak, salmon or halibut) and then belly up to the...  Read More




Giannfranco's Trattoria is the best Italian restaurant in Carpinteria. Family-owned and just a few blocks from the beach, this hidden gem serves up fresh, authentic dishes that are made to order using high-quality ingredients. Enjoy paninis,...  Read More


The Spot
Photo courtesy of Tom Ipri


Located just past the train tracks on Linden Avenue, mere steps from the beach, is The Spot: a trusty little shack of a restaurant that all the locals know. Serving up delicious burgers and fries for over 90 years, The Spot is Carpinteria's go...  Read More




Fresh seafood, prime steaks, classic cocktails: is your mouth watering yet? Sly's restaurant is a gem of a fine dining find about 12 miles south of Santa Barbara. The French-inspired menu boasts oysters, escargot, five types of steamed mussels...  Read More


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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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