Spring Fling: Celebrate the Season at These Sunny Santa Barbara Restaurants

For other cities, a spring restaurant list would highlight the places with the best patios and freshest ingredients. But this is Santa Barbara. Patios are open year round, and many local chefs shop at the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market every week.

So instead of telling you where you can catch some rays or try a fresh bit of lettuce, we're going to help you have an experience. Every restaurant on this list has something special that sets it apart and makes it the perfect destination for a spring dining adventure.

Want to eat a meal at the beach with your toes in the sand? Done. Share a beer and a sandwich while listening to live music in the middle of forest? You got it. Grab brunch under 100-year-old olive trees on a secluded patio in the center of downtown? We've got you covered.

Keep reading to discover 10 Santa Barbara restaurants worth a visit (or revisit) this spring!

Santa Barbara
East Beach Tacos
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives

Spring means baseball, right? Then you should definitely go to East Beach Tacos, a small taco stand serving up one of the most inventive taco menus, with a view of the batting cages. You can get fresh tuna poke tacos served in wonton shells,...  Read More

The Spot
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives

On the next sunny day, you should absolutely enjoy a meal at a beachside burger shack that is more than 100 years old. Located just past the train tracks on Linden Avenue, mere steps from the beach, is The Spot: a trusty little shack of a...  Read More

Visit The Lark for remarkable dishes that change with the season, and within the season too. The chef-driven menu here celebrates Central Coast fare, from fruits and vegetables to meats and wines. Food is intended for sharing and served...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Smithy

Enjoy a spring lunch on a quiet courtyard shaded by 100-year old olive trees right in the middle of busy downtown. Smithy Kitchen + Bar is a completely remodeled bar and restaurant in the arts district of downtown Santa Barbara. Just across the...  Read More

Load up the car with your friends and family and head to this beachfront campground for a seriously good burger. Yes, the Jalama Beach Store is an actual store. It's the kind you find at any good campsite, stocked with snacks, firewood and the...  Read More

Santa Barbara

Take a stroll through the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market with a chef, then cook up a memorable spring meal together at Bouchon one of the nicest restaurants in town. The market foodie stroll is available every Tuesday, but you have to...  Read More

Santa Barbara

Enjoy a spring brunch with the best view in town... this restaurant is right on the beach. Tucked away in a quiet waterfront spot facing Hendry's Beach, this is a gorgeous place to start your day with friends and family. You might even see some...  Read More

Santa Ynez

Hit the road and visit Los Alamos this spring for wine, scenic vistas and delicious eats. Bell's is a new addition to the already stellar dining scene in Los Alamos. The French bistro inspired fare pairs well with the celebrated local wine...  Read More

Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese tasting menu that highlights the best of the season, so this kaiseki restaurant is a must-visit in spring... and every new season. Enjoy a traditional multi-course dining experience at Yoichi's, the place to get...  Read More

Santa Barbara

Have a beer (or cocktail) and freshly grilled tri-tip sandwich while listening to live music on a springy weekend at this old stagecoach stop in Los Padres National Forest. In 1865, Cold Spring Tavern was opened as a restaurant, and it has been...  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