10 Places to Score Delicious Eats in Los Olivos

Los Olivos is a charming, small town located approximately 30 miles north of Santa Barbara. A lovely drive on a winding road gets you there in a little over a half hour, depending on traffic. It's a hot spot for wineries and vineyards. In fact, there are several dozen wine tasting rooms dotting just a few short blocks.

And, of course, you know what goes well with wine, don't you?

That's right: food! Although lesser known for its restaurants, Los Olivos is home to a shockingly varied (and delicious) assortment of dining options. From breakfast to lunch to dinner and beyond, explore this list of the 10 best restaurants in the area to find your favorite flavors. 

If you are in the mood for a burger, there are several good options including the Los Olivos Cafe and Sides Hardware and Shoes. Both serve up a large burger with all the trimmings and are great date night restaurants. Don't forget to make a reservation!

For those of you with a powerful sweet tooth, Los Olivos happens to be the headquarters of the most delicious cupcake shop on the Central Coast. Pop into Enjoy Cupcakes to enjoy delicious baked cakes with spectacular flavor profiles, like vanilla marscapone chardonnay and caramel pinot. 


Amazing. Romantic. Decadent. Relaxing. These are all words that you will use to describe your dining experience at the Ballard Inn & Restaurant. Located at the edge on Santa Ynez, just a short distance from both Solvang and Los Olivos (two wonderful small towns that each deserve a visit), this intimate restaurant has just 12 tables! Chef Budi Kazali has garnered praise from foodies across the country, and soon you will be singing his praises, too. Appetizers include such delights as roast Kurobata pork belly with napa cabbage fondue. For an entree try the pan-seared duck breast. Open to the public Wednesday through Sunday. Reservations recommended.

Los Olivos may be a wine-oriented town, but you can't drink wine and nothing else (at least we don't think you can). When you need a perk up in the morning or a wind down in the afternoon, stop by Corner House Coffee for a cup of joe or mug of tea. They serve up hot and cold drinks here, in addition to baked treats and even ice cream! And pizza! And beer! Enjoy a sunny hour on the patio or snuggle indoors if it's cloudy. Plenty of free parking with great boutiques and tasting rooms in easy walking distance.

Are you in the mood for soups, salads or sandwiches (or some combination of the three)? If so, head on over to Panino is Los Olivos for fresh, made-to-order fare at reasonable prices. The salads are huge, and the sandwiches are served on your choice of bread. They also have cookies and other tasty treats. Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day of the week! Phone orders are acceptable, and catering is available. Free parking right out front. There is both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a lovely, grassy park across the way. Call it an instant picnic!

Los Olivos

Mmm, Greek food in the heart of wine country! If you love feta, grilled meats and libations fit for the gods, head to Petros restaurant inside the Fess Parker Inn and Spa in Los Olivos. With a menu that reflects upscale California-Hellenic cuisine, Petros uses only the best and freshest ingredients, many of which are locally sourced. Moussaka, souvlaki and gemista are popular dinner choices. In addition to traditional tables, a long bar allows for pre-dinner drinks or counter dining. Lunch and dinner are served daily. This is also a lovely place to host a special event, but be sure to call early - it books up quickly!

Los Olivos

What a super place to enjoy cupcakes in Los Olivos. Enjoy Cupcakes bakes up both traditional and non-traditional flavors! From peanut butter to pineapple rosemary chardonnay, they claim to have served over 500 flavors to date. Visit their website to view the weekly menu. They even make regular-sized cakes as well. Place a special order in advance to serve them at your wedding or party. These cupcakes are always a hit! Located right inside the Sarloos & Sons tasting room, so you have easy access to liquid refreshments at all times. Indoor and outdoor seating areas. Free parking right out front.

Part barn (visually), part grocery store and part deli, Los Olivos grocery is a multi-tasking shop and restaurant for locals and hungry travelers alike. Deli sandwiches, pita pockets, burgers and more can be ordered while you shop the aisles laden with a combination of basic necessities and gourmet foodstuffs. Los Olivos Grocery also serves up fresh salads, tasty olives and party trays. This is a great stop for a coffee and a pastry in the mornings, too. Outdoor patio seating is available, as are some covered seats on the screened porch. Or pack a picnic and take it to go! Free parking out front.

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe serves lunch and dinner, specializing in mediterranean dishes that celebrate local flavors. Ingredients are selected to be as organic, sustainable and even wild as possible. Every dish is created to pair well with wine. Dozens of premium wines are on the menu, and wine tastings are available. Featured in the movie "Sideways," the Los Olivos Cafe offers a tasting menu based on that experience as well. Outdoor seating available when the weather is nice. Dinner reservations are recommended. This is a very romantic restaurant to visit on date night. It's also a good place to reserve a larger table for special celebrations.

This is one delicious lunch stop that you probably won't find on many Los Olivos restaurant guides. Disguised as a perfectly normal grab n' go convenience store, R-Country Market has a perfectly serviceable deli counter. Their sandwiches are made to order. You can get all the classics here: tuna salad, turkey, etc. BUT the real reason to go - and to show up early in fact - is the BBQ tri-tip sandwich. Tri-tip originated in this very region, and R-Country does it right. Do they sell out? You bet they do! Add chips and a drink to your meal for around $10 or browse their great wine selection for something a little stronger. Outside seating available.

Opened by the Nichols brothers in Los Olivos in 2012, Sides Hardware and Shoes is a friendly restaurant with good-sized portions, decent prices and an impressive menu. Sides deal heavily in savory pork products, including pig-ear nachos, bacon steaks and many other meaty treats. It's also alleged by locals to be home to the best burger on the Central Coast. Local seafood appears on the menu too, depending on what's fresh. Lunch and dinner are served every day. Breakfast is available Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Dinner reservations are strongly recommended. Outdoor seating is seasonably available. Free parking is available right out front.


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