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.