These 20 Best Restaurants in Santa Barbara Will Leave You Craving for More

Restaurants in Santa Barbara

From cozy cafes to upscale dining establishments, these culinary gems are sure to leave you craving for more. Whether you’re local seeking new dining experiences or a visitor looking to uncover Santa Barbara’s gastronomic delights, this list will guide you to the most memorable dining experiences in town.

We’ll take you on a tantalizing journey through the vibrant culinary scene of Santa Barbara. Get ready to indulge your taste buds as we unveil the 20 best restaurants that this charming coastal city has to offer. So sit back, relax, and let us whet your appetite for the incredible flavors and dining adventures that await you in Santa Barbara.

1. Barbareño


Barbareño presents a seasonal, locally sourced menu with a sustainability focus, offering a unique dining experience that showcases the best of Santa Barbara’s food culture. The restaurant is known for its eclectic wine list, featuring both local and international selections, while its ambiance blends modern design with rustic charm.

Barbareño emphasizes community, collaboration, and the celebration of great food, making it a must-visit for food enthusiasts in Santa Barbara.

2. Toma Restaurant & Bar

Toma Restaurant & Bar

Boasting a varied menu influenced by Italian and Mediterranean flavors, Toma Restaurant & Bar provides an ideal setting for fine dining, whether for special occasions or romantic evenings. Diners can savor delectable dishes while taking in the stunning views of downtown Santa Barbara.

The extensive wine list features vintages from California and beyond, adding to the memorable dining experience. Known for impeccable service, Toma Restaurant & Bar ensures an intimate and memorable culinary experience.

3. Convivo Restaurant & Bar

Convivo Restaurant & Bar

Showcasing Italian-inspired coastal cuisine, Convivo Restaurant & Bar prioritizes fresh seafood and local produce. The dining room exudes a warm, inviting atmosphere with a contemporary coastal feel, ideal for communal dining experiences.

Renowned for its vibrant cocktails, it offers a central coast wine list featuring Santa Barbara County selections. Whether savoring cocktails on the patio or at the bar, Convivo promises a delightful experience.

4. Bibi Ji

Bibi Ji
Bibi Ji

Offers a fusion dining experience, melding Indian flavors with a modern California twist. Renowned for its wide-ranging wine list, showcasing a carefully chosen variety of natural and organic wines.

The restaurant exudes a lively and diverse ambiance, mirroring the array of its culinary offerings. Prioritizing vibrant, bold flavors, the menu encourages sharing and culinary exploration. An ideal destination to savor inventive dishes and engage in a dynamic dining experience.

5. The Lark

The Lark
The Lark

The Lark presents a menu celebrating the central coast’s bounty, featuring sustainable, local ingredients. Set in a historic Santa Barbara warehouse, it offers a welcoming dining experience. Renowned for its artisanal cocktails, the restaurant pays homage to the area’s agricultural roots through its design. The lively and convivial atmosphere makes it an ideal spot to gather with friends and family.

6. Bouchon Santa Barbara

Bouchon Santa Barbara
Bouchon Santa Barbara

Embracing a French-inspired dining experience, Bouchon Santa Barbara offers classic and contemporary dishes in an authentic setting. The extensive wine list features a diverse selection of French and Californian wines, perfectly complementing the flavors of the cuisine.

Guests can indulge in a memorable meal on the charming patio, reflecting the essence of traditional French bistros with warm hospitality. The restaurant’s emphasis on authentic, flavorful cuisine and elegant ambiance makes it a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts.

7. Blackbird


Blackbird is enticed with a seasonal, market-driven menu that celebrates Santa Barbara’s local ingredients. Its carefully curated wine list perfectly complements the cuisine, while the chic, contemporary design sets a sophisticated yet welcoming ambiance.

The restaurant prides itself on creative, globally inspired cuisine, delivering bold flavors and artistic presentation. An ideal spot for food enthusiasts and wine lovers, Blackbird offers an elevated dining experience that captures the essence of Santa Barbara’s culinary scene.

8. Cold Spring Tavern

Cold Spring Tavern
Cold Spring Tavern

Nestled in the Santa Barbara mountains, Cold Spring Tavern offers a rustic and historic dining experience. Its extensive wine list caters to every palate, reflecting the spirit of hospitality. The charming ambiance evokes nostalgia, while the hearty fare is perfect for enjoying by the fireplace or in the outdoor dining area, inviting guests to savor a taste of Santa Barbara’s history.

9. Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach

Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach
Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach

Showcasing coastal seafood cuisine with fresh catches and stunning ocean views, Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach offers a casual, beachfront dining experience perfect for enjoying the California sunshine. The outdoor patio provides a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere for dining and socializing, emphasizing a seafood-centric menu that highlights the best of Santa Barbara’s maritime flavors and reflects the essence of coastal living with a focus on sustainable offerings.

10. Dune Coffee Roasters

Dune Coffee Roasters
Dune Coffee Roasters

Offering a specialty coffee experience with carefully sourced, artisanal beans, Dune Coffee Roasters is committed to precision and the art of coffee preparation. The cafe’s modern, minimalist design creates a serene space for enthusiasts, emphasizing the dedication to enhancing the sensory experience.

Reflecting the ethos of sustainability and community, it’s a perfect spot for those in pursuit of exceptional coffee enjoyment. The commitment to quality and the craft of coffee make it a must-visit for any coffee lover.

11. Flor de Maiz

Flor de Maiz
Flor de Maiz

Indulge in vibrant seafood and Mexican flavors at Flor de Maiz. Savor flavorful tacos, ceviche, and cocktails in a charming atmosphere. This spot offers unique blends of California and Mexican cuisine, including delicious clam chowder and blackened fish tacos. The diverse seafood menu promises a delightful dining experience.

12. Brophy Bros.

Brophy Bros.
Brophy Bros.

Indulge in Santa Barbara’s finest seafood and clam chowder at Brophy Bros. This seafood institution offers a wide variety of fresh seafood and raw bar items, providing an exceptional dining experience for seafood lovers.

Sit back and enjoy stunning ocean views while relishing the perfect spot for savoring delicious seafood. With its renowned clam chowder and diverse seafood options, Brophy Bros. is a must-visit for an authentic taste of the sea.

13. Mesa Verde Restaurant

Mesa Verde Restaurant
Mesa Verde Restaurant

Savor an inviting, stylish setting with vegan and gluten-free options. This restaurant offers a creative, plant-based menu influenced by global flavors. Experience a modern twist on traditional dishes, featuring unique creations like blueberry chipotle salsa and jackfruit tacos. Enjoy exquisite dining with a focus on sustainability and flavor, making it a must-visit for those seeking innovative vegan and gluten-free cuisine.

14. Arigato Sushi

Arigato Sushi
Arigato Sushi

Delight in an exquisite sushi experience featuring the freshest, premium ingredients. Each sushi roll and sashimi dish promises perfection, showcasing authentic flavors. Arigato Sushi is renowned for its impeccable, high-quality sushi and sashimi, offering an extensive menu for a delightful dining experience. With its commitment to satisfying every palate with Japanese cuisine, this restaurant is a must-visit for sushi enthusiasts.

15. Casa Comal

Casa Comal
Casa Comal

Relish in an enchanting setting for genuine Mexican cuisine and cocktails. Casa Comal offers a cozy ambiance, rich with traditional flavors and modern twists in every dish. It’s a magical place to savor authentic Mexican food and experience the warmth of Mexican culinary delights. The restaurant provides a truly inviting dining experience, making it a great option for those seeking flavorful Mexican dishes in a charming atmosphere.

16. The Dutch Garden

The Dutch Garden
The Dutch Garden

Indulge in a warm and inviting ambiance at The Dutch Garden, a charming spot known for its cozy dining atmosphere. Delight in traditional German cuisine paired with a wide selection of beers, offering the best of German food and a welcoming environment. This spot is perfect for hearty meals and authentic German dining in a laid-back, friendly setting.

17. Secret Bao

Secret Bao
Secret Bao

Indulge in a culinary adventure with an assortment of inventive bao creations at Secret Bao, an eatery celebrated for its imaginative and savory bao buns and Asian-influenced dishes.

Guests can savor the ideal fusion of classic and contemporary Asian flavors while relishing the innovative and delectable bao offerings that are sure to make a lasting impact. For those in search of a distinctive and flavorful dining experience, Secret Bao is an excellent choice.

18. Caruso’s


Indulge in a lavish dining experience at Caruso’s, where the sophisticated ambiance and impeccable service create an elegant dining atmosphere. Explore the Mediterranean-inspired menu and exquisite wine list, offering upscale cuisine in a refined, luxurious setting.

Immerse yourself in a culinary journey through the finest Mediterranean flavors, making Caruso’s the perfect spot for a luxurious dining experience in Santa Barbara.

19. Bossie’s Kitchen

Bossie’s Kitchen
Bossie’s Kitchen

Satisfy your cravings at Bossie’s Kitchen, where a diverse menu showcases locally sourced ingredients. Indulge in a relaxed setting and relish a fusion of flavors from barbecue to deli classics. The mouthwatering dishes and laid-back atmosphere offer a casual, friendly dining experience focused on fresh, flavorful cuisine.

20. Lilly’s Taqueria

Lilly's Taqueria
Lilly’s Taqueria

Savor the genuine flavors of Mexican street food and tacos at Lilly’s Taqueria, an authentic eatery renowned for its flavorful salsa. Delight in a vibrant and lively atmosphere while indulging in fresh and delicious Mexican cuisine that encapsulates the essence of traditional flavors. Whether you’re craving mouthwatering tacos or authentic Mexican dishes, this is the perfect destination to experience the true taste of Mexico.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of cuisine can I expect to find in Santa Barbara’s best restaurants?

Santa Barbara’s best restaurants offer a delightful array of cuisines, ranging from Italian to Asian fusion. With an emphasis on fresh seafood, many top-rated establishments also showcase locally sourced ingredients and farm-to-table dining. Vegetarian and vegan options are readily available for those with dietary preferences.

Do these restaurants offer vegetarian or vegan options?

Many of the restaurants on the list provide vegetarian and vegan options. Some popular choices include Mesa Verde Restaurant, The Black Sheep, and Green Table. It’s always a good idea to check the menu or call ahead for specific dietary restrictions. Santa Barbara’s fresh produce ensures vegetarian and vegan dishes made with local ingredients.

What is the average price range for a meal at one of these top restaurants?

The average cost of a meal at the top restaurants in Santa Barbara ranges from $30 to $100 per person. Some establishments offer more affordable options like lunch menus or happy hour specials. Remember to check the online menu and prices before making a reservation.

Do I need to make a reservation before dining at one of the 20 best restaurants in Santa Barbara?

It is highly recommended to make a reservation before dining at the 20 best restaurants in Santa Barbara. This ensures a table will be waiting for you, especially during peak hours and weekends when popular restaurants may have long wait times. Reservations can easily be made online or by calling the restaurant directly.


In conclusion, the best restaurants in Santa Barbara offer a delightful culinary experience with a diverse range. Whether you’re craving farm-to-table dishes, international cuisine, or seafood delicacies, there is something for every food lover in this coastal city. From the innovative flavors of Barbareño to the cozy ambiance of Casa Comal, each restaurant on this list has its own unique charm and culinary expertise.

Vegetarian and vegan options are also widely available, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a memorable dining experience. While prices may vary, the quality of food and service at these top restaurants is worth every penny.

So, go ahead and explore the vibrant food scene in Santa Barbara by trying out these 20 best restaurants. Don’t forget to comment below and share your favorite dining experience in Santa Barbara!

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