Beachfront Restaurants in Santa Barbara: Meal with a Side of Sea Air

They say that sea air really works up an appetite. We're not so sure about the science behind it, but if the number of restaurants dotting the Santa Barbara coastline is any indication, this seems like a valid conjecture.

For any proper beach bum who doesn't want to leave the sand, getting hungry can be a drag. Do you have to put on actual clothes? And possibly even shower? Or do you pack a picnic and let it sit for hours while you build sandcastles? Eat soggy sandwiches and warm, wilted salads?

No, thank you very much. In Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas, there are plenty of places to grab a bite in sight of the shore. You may not even have to put on pants to do so. Isn't that novel?

For the most casual dining experience, dust the sand off and order at the walk-up counter of East Beach Grill, a family-friendly restaurant right on the beach. Or, if you're feeling fancy, make a dinner reservation and take a date to The Boathouse, a secluded seafood restaurant on one of Santa Barbara's most scenic shores.

Looking for something in between? Just consult this list. We'll steer you in the right direction!



Enjoy Italian and Mediterranean dishes with a view of the ocean! This romantic waterfront restaurant is located near some of the best hotels in the west beach area of Santa Barbara. Enjoy fresh salads and delicious pastas, like gnocchi with rock...  Read More



Having breakfast at this charming, clapboard home (built in 1893) is a real treat, especially when you dine on the outdoor patio. People fro all over turn out for the great menu, which promises plenty of appetizing choices. Try the Belgian...  Read More



Can you beat a seafood restaurant and bar that's right on the beach? Of course not! The Beachside Bar-Cafe is the place to go in Goleta if you want to enjoy a meal and perhaps an adult beverage while watching the waves. Many of their signature...  Read More



The motto at the Santa Barbara FisHouse says it all: Usually local, always fresh. If you're looking for some fresh catches and pretty view, head to the FisHouse, a welcoming seafood restaurant located just across the street from the Pacific...  Read More

The Spot
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives


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



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

Santa Barbara


The Boathouse is a Santa Barbara seafood restaurant with one of the best beach locations around. Tucked away in a quiet part of town and facing Hendry's beach, this is a great place to go for a romantic date, family dinner or birthday...  Read More



Seafood doesn't get any fresher than this. At the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, you can pick your lunch right out of the tanks. Established in 1980, this restaurant began as a shellfish shop before popular demand (and secret family recipes)...  Read More

Santa Barbara
Brophy Bros.


Unbeatable harbor views issue a siren's call to patrons at one of Santa Barbara's most popular restaurants. Of course, their menu full of delicious seafood doesn't hurt business either. Bustling and busy, Brophy Bros. serves up some of the...  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