Santa Barbara's Best: 10 Hidden Gem Restaurants in San Roque

When you want to eat where Santa Barbara locals eat, head up to San Roque. This section of town is just north of downtown and home to many great restaurants, both new and old.

If you're looking for somewhere casual to grab a bite (and maybe a beer), tuck into Yellow Belly for a homemade pizza, beet salad and cast iron cookies. Patio seating and welcoming bar make this a fun place to meet friends.

For a fancier date night, make a reservation at Via Maestra 42 or the Tee Off. Both of these restaurants are local favorites. Via Maestra serves the best Italian food in the area out of tiny restaurant with just a few indoor tables and even fewer outdoor tables. The Tee Off is a swanky old steak house with padded seats, stiff drinks and dim lighting. You get a veggie tray and soup and salad with every meal.

San Roque is a great neighborhood to wake up to, too, with several delicious breakfast places vying for business. Pop into Renaud's to try the very best croissants you've ever had in your life. Or go for a relaxing bakery bite at Our Daily Bread and pick up a loaf for dinner later, while you're at it. 

Our Daily Bread has been a Santa Barbara favorite since it first opened its doors in 1981. Beloved for their fresh-baked breads and crazy good pastries, Our Daily Bread is a great stop whether you're in the mood for a whole meal or just a little...  Read More

Farmer Boy Restaurant has been a local dining institution since 1958. This diner-style eatery serves breakfast and lunch comfort foods, made to order with fresh ingredients. Now under new ownership, it has remodeled and reopened, but many...  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

Shintori Sushi Factory
Photo courtesy of Rick S.

For delicious Japanese food in a cozy (read: smaller than most shoeboxes) setting, look no further than Shintori Sushi Factory. From their delicious proprietary rolls to their tasty teriyaki bowls, there is something for every appetite. Order...  Read More

Yellow Belly is a comfortable bar and restaurant just off the beaten path in Santa Barbara. Tucked in a mainly residential neighborhood, it's a real local's place - exactly what you hope to discover when you're on vacation. There's indoor,...  Read More

Looking for the best Indian food in Santa Barbara? Head directly to Flavor of India! Located on upper State Street (in an area also known as 'uptown'), this family-run restaurant has been serving up beloved Indian favorites like korma and...  Read More

Harry's Plaza Cafe is a Santa Barbara institution. Opened in 1968, this cosy restaurant has been serving homestyle meals and stiff drinks to loyal locals for decades. Unassuming from the front, just pass through the door to time travel into a...  Read More

Chuck's of Hawaii is the Santa Barbara steakhouse where everybody knows your name... if you're a local, anyway. Chuck's has been serving award-winning steaks, wines and seafood in the same uptown location since 1967! This cozy restaurant is the...  Read More

Tee Off
Photo courtesy of Aron Ives

Looking for a jewel of a steak house in Santa Barbara? Look no further than the Tee Off. Hidden in a rather plain-looking strip mall well outside of downtown Santa Barbara, this restaurant feels like a treasure from a bygone era as soon as you...  Read More

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 delicacies, a gelato counter,...  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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