10 Best Restaurants on the Mesa in Santa Barbara

The Mesa neighborhood of Santa Barbara is a community (and climate) unlike any other. Set high atop cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Mesa is just a 5 minute drive or so from downtown Santa Barbara. But you will feel worlds away in this area that is known for soft sea breezes, rolling fog and a relaxed lifestyle.

Should the sea air help you work up an appetite, this list of the 10 best restaurants on the Mesa will help you satisfy your hunger. Although largely residential, the Mesa does have some great restaurants that are worth a trip from downtown, Goleta and even Carpinteria.

Make a lunch date or dinner reservation at Mesa Verde for unparalleled vegetarian and vegan meals, like smoked mushroom lasagna and hearty avocado bowls. If you're craving something meatier, visit the Rose Cafe for amazing chorizo enchiladas. They have great breakfast too!

Since Santa Barbara City College is part of the Mesa community, college staples are also available. Pop into Giovanni's for a heavenly slice of pizza or make a run to Super Cucas for a burrito packed with french fries (yes, you read that right).

And if you'd rather pack a gourmet picnic than eat in, Lazy Acres is your one-stop shopping destination. Bon appetite!



They aren't a lot of bagel places in Santa Barbara. If you're on the Mesa, The Bagel Market Cafe is the place to go. You can get a simple toasted bagel or a more complicated bagel sandwich. There are also delicious doughnuts, doughnut holes and...  Read More



Lazy Acres may look like a grocery store, and it is, but it's also secret dining spot for area locals. Pop through the front doors and head all the way to the left, where you will find a gourmet salad bar, made-to-order sandwich counter, fresh...  Read More



Ready for a piping hot cup of coffee or a spot of tea? Head to the Good Cup on Santa Barbara's Mesa. This often-foggy neighborhood is the ideal place to grab a hot beverage and a tasty pastry. If it's warm out, you can get a scoop of gelato or...  Read More



Giovanni's has been a fixture on the Santa Barbara pizza scene for over 30 years. There are three locations; this entry is for the Mesa restaurant. Giovanni's is known for using only the freshest ingredients, homemade sauces and fresh dough made...  Read More



If you want a good, big burrito, go to Super Cucas on the Mesa in Santa Barbara. If you want a good, big burrito that is simultaneously full of french fries, you should also go to Super Cucas on the Mesa... and order the California burrito....  Read More



Ichiban Sushi is located on the Mesa in Santa Barbara and serves up a selection of fresh fish, including great local options. It's a nice place to go for sushi, nigiri, udon and more. Try a dinner combination set or be adventurous and order a...  Read More



Alcazar is one of Santa Barbara's oldest (and most delicious) tapas bars. Tucked in an unassuming strip of shops on the Mesa, this bar and restaurant has a cozy, romantic atmosphere that you might not expect. Dark lighting and intimate booths...  Read More



The Mesa Cafe is a Santa Barbara legend. Patrons have been coming here for decades for eggs benedict, country fried steaks and mimosas. Head to the Mesa Cafe for homemade food at a reasonable price and friendly, local service. You can enjoy a...  Read More



This restaurant in Santa Barbara's beautiful Mesa neighborhood is a vegetarian's dream. Mesa Verde's flavor-packed menu goes far beyond your standard garden burger offerings, into a colorful world of bright local flavors. For lunch, try a pulled...  Read More



Repeatedly voted the best Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara, Rose Cafe is a family run, full-service establishment. Prices are reasonable and portions are generous. There is ample room for loud families and large parties. House specialties...  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