Santa Barbara’s Mediterranean influences extend far beyond the red tile roofs and balmy gardens, right onto our dinner (and lunch) plates. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the plethora of Italian restaurants dotting our streets. From small Mom-and-Pop counter hideaways to fancy white linen affairs, Santa Barbara’s Italian eateries run the gamut.
Downtown Santa Barbara boasts a multitude of dining options for pasta lovers. On fair evenings, try to get a seat on Bucatini’s patio for an al fresco dinner right in the center of the action. Or, for a little ambience no matter what the weather, try the Chase Bar & Grill; thousands of twinkling, white lights decorate the interior, creating a magical and romantic glow.
If you happen to be visiting Montecito - our ritzy neighbor just 10 minutes south of Santa Barbara - you will find many other great Italian restaurants, including Via Vai or Tre Lune. Tre Lune also serves breakfast; its terrace is a prime location for a cup of espresso and a little game of spot-the-celebrity.
Die hard Italian enthusiasts should not miss Via Maestra 42. Even Julia Child loved it!
But, with all of these choices, how do you choose the best restaurant for you? You’ve come to the right place. This 10Best list will help you find exactly what you’re looking for, whether it’s an authentic Italian pizza or a crisp cannoli like Grandma used to make. Now start reading so you can hurry up and make a reservation already!