Always Fresh: 10 Best New Restaurants in Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara restaurant scene is great. In fact, there are more than 450 restaurants to choose from! But here are two very real things that happen to hungry people:

1. Santa Barbara locals end up visiting their same favorite dozen or so restaurants, month after month.

2. Visitors to our beautiful beach town get the same dining recommendations, year in and year out.

Yes, the view at Brophy's is fantastic and La Super-Rica is legendary, but if you're ready to switch it up a little... well, we're here to help. The 10 restaurants on this list are new to the scene and delicious (because that's important too).

For a killer cocktail experience in an ultra-chic setting, check out Somerset. Want tapas and grilled octopus? Loquita is your new Spanish dining destination. In fact, it's so tasty it was recently voted one of the top 3 best new restaurants in the country by 10Best readers.

We've got bakeries and burger joints and oyster bars for you to explore. Get ready to add some new "old favorites" to the rotation!

A happening place to go for small bites and tasty cocktails in Montecito! Hit up the Honor Bar when you feel like catching up with friends - or making new ones. The social atmosphere at the bar is fun, and the sunny patio is ideal for soaking up...  Read More

Santa Barbara
Wildwood Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Aron Ives

If you fancy a bit of BBQ while you're in Santa Barbara, Wildwood Kitchen is the place to go for a well-plated bite. Get California smokehouse flavors in an upscale setting (read: with real silverware and cocktails) when you visit this...  Read More

Oceanfront steakhouse? Yes, please. If you haven't been out to eat at the Bacara Resort and Spa in Goleta in awhile, it's time to revisit this stunning property. What you'll find there is a modern update of a traditional steakhouse, paired with...  Read More

Santa Barbara

It's going to seem weird that we're sending you to a shopping mall in the middle of a more suburban neighborhood for seafood - especially in a beach town - but bear with us. Since opening just over a year ago, this popular seafood and oyster bar...  Read More

We're going to give you three good reasons to visit the newest bakery in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone. First, you can lay a base for local wine tasting by eating breakfast here. Second, you can eat lunch while wine tasting without having to leave...  Read More

Looking to slip into something a little more comfortable? Head into Somerset to settle into an evening of great food, clever cocktails and golden velvet upholstery. The menu highlights seasonal, farm-driven California cuisine, with light French...  Read More

Mesa Burger is a gourmet hamburger shop with local roots and celebrity chef guidance. That's right, Cat Cora of Iron Chef fame is one of the driving forces behind this upscale casual restaurant. It's a great place to pop in for lunch or bring...  Read More

There aren't many beachfront restaurants in Santa Barbara, and the handful that do exist tend to be either super casual or overly touristy. Until now. A welcome addition to the local restaurant scene, Convivo serves large, shareable plates of...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Nook Santa Barbara

If you like the idea of food trucks but wish they came with a more permanent address, consistent service and a seemingly endless supply beer, you're going to love the Nook. Operating out of a modified shipping container affixed between two tap...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Loquita

Want to take a trip to Spain without the expense of air travel? Head on down to Loquita, a hot new restaurant in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone that serves tapas, dinner and more. Decorated with patterned tile floors and copper cookware, the setting...  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