Date Night: 10 Super Romantic Restaurants in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a world renowned honeymoon destination for good reason. Romance is everywhere you look. Flowers bloom on every corner. Birds sing love songs from dusk till dawn. Soft ocean breezes perfume the evening air. So by now you must be thinking: jeez, how exactly am I supposed to top that?

Never fear! When you’re looking to impress your date, all you need is this handy list of the top 10 romantic restaurants in Santa Barbara. These are the very best places to treat your sweetheart, whether you’re in the mood for a posh candlelit feast or casual appetizers with a view of the harbor.

From the old school, white tablecloth stylings of Bouchon to the hidden coziness of Cold Spring Tavern, the Santa Barbara dining scene offers a romantic background for almost every taste and occasion. Feeling fancy? Duck into Olio Crudo for elegant cocktails and perfectly crafted small bites. Looking for something a little more low key? Make a reservation at Intermezzo or, better still, pull up a seat at the bar and explore the local wines they have on tap. Yes, on tap; their innovative wine tap system is both earth and date friendly.

Just pick one, any one, and book a table for a romantic evening that’s sure to go down in the books (rather than in flames). Here at 10Best, we’ve always got your back!



Hungry for a taste of the Mediterranean? Go to Zaytoon for tasty Lebanese food in a lush, tropical setting. Two blocks off of bustling State Street, Zaytoon's patio is a romantic oasis hidden from view. Enjoy falafel, shawarma, kebab and many...  Read More



If you're in the mood for something good but don't know what to choose--perhaps you're hungry, but your date isn't, or you want wine, but your companion wants a cocktail--Intermezzo is the answer to all of your problems. Want to sit inside?...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Loquita


Take a romantic trip to Spain without the expense of air travel. Loquita is a hot new restaurant in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone that serves tapas, dinner and more. Decorated with patterned tile floors and copper cookware, the setting is a...  Read More

Santa Barbara
Photo courtesy of Ca'Dario Ristorante


Ca' Dario is a charming neighborhood Italian restaurant, tucked just one block to the side of busy downtown Santa Barbara. Born and raised in Italy, chef Dario Furlati dishes up a menu featuring savory Northern Italian fare including pastas,...  Read More

Olio Crudo Bar
Photo courtesy of Gary Moss for Olio Crudo


Olio Crudo Bar is the third restaurant from the team behind Santa Barbara's established Italian favorite Olio e Limone Ristorante. But it's our favorite for date night because of its beautifully crafted cocktails and elegant small plates. Olio...  Read More

Santa Barbara


Making the most of its rich coastal location, the team at Bouchon crafts the region's best produce, meats and wines into dishes infused with West Coast flavor. Main courses include mustard-encrusted rack of lamb, bourbon and maple glazed duck...  Read More



The Lark is a striking restaurant located in the heart of Santa Barbara's Funk Zone. There is indoor and outdoor seating, but you should sit outside for the best view of the night sky. There are plenty of warm heaters, and they even offer cozy...  Read More

Santa Barbara


In a past life, Cold Spring Tavern was a stagecoach stop, a place for travelers to rest beside the stream, warm up at the fireplace and steel themselves for the trip ahead. Then in 1865, Cold Spring Tavern was opened as a restaurant, and it has...  Read More



Tucked away on landlocked upper State Street is a romantic gem of an Italian eatery, Via Maestra 42. The restaurant is very small and, at first glance, barely resembles a restaurant at all. There are cases full of Italian delicacies, displays of...  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