My husband and I recently spent an amazing long weekend in Santa Barbara. We planned to relax at our hotel, the Ritz Carlton Bacara and do some Santa Barbara wine tasting. Of course we planned to eat but we had no idea the food scene in Santa Barbara was so big. We absolutely fell in love with the food and want you to experience the same. Here are the best restaurants in Santa Barbara.
Best Brunch in Santa Barbara
My husband and I were celebrating our six year wedding anniversary so waking up early was not on the agenda. Therefore when searching for the best places to eat in Santa Barbara we honed in on the best brunch in Santa Barbara. Lucky for us it so happened to be at our hotel at Angel Oak Bacara. From the drinks to the entree to the ocean view Angel Oak Bacara exceeded our expectations and it’s definitely worth a visit even if you aren’t staying at the property.
For brunch at Angel Oak Bacara my husband ordered the shrimp and grits while I ordered the Striped Bass. Both were cooked to perfection and absolutely delicious. My only complaint would be I wish there was more risotto in my meal but some would say I’m just greedy!
Best Lunch in Santa Barbara
When looking for the best lunch in Santa Barbara we wanted to take advantage of the beauty Santa Barbara has to offer. What better way than finding Santa Barbara restaurants with a view. We decided on Boat House which is right on the beach and one of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara. With the side of the restaurants facing the ocean being completely made out of glass every table has a water view and the restaurant is filled with natural light during the day.
While Santa Barbara Picnic Co is technically not a restaurant after our experience I can’t leave it out as an option for best lunch in Santa Barbara. If if could be classified as a restaurant it would definitely be one of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara and one of the most romantic restaurants in Santa Barbara as well. You can choose the location of your choice and Santa Barbara Picnic Co will set up the most beautiful scenery and spread for you to enjoy.
Our picnic was at the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens. If it were a real restaurant this location would be on the list of best Santa Barbara Restaurants with a view! The area our picnic was held overlooked the Channel Islands with a gorgeous view of the city.
The Best Places to Eat are the Downtown Santa Barbara Restaurants
Downtown Santa Barbara is filled with some of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara. After some amazing Santa Barbara wine tasting downtown you can pretty much walk into any of the nearby restaurants for an amazing meal. We had the pleasure of eating at two of the finest downtown Santa Barbara restaurants, The Lark and Barbareño.
We enjoyed dinner at Barbareño on our first night in Santa Barbara and boy was it a great way to set the tone. Did you know both Ranch and the Egg McMuffin were created in Santa Barbara? Neither did we but our waiter informed us and Barbareño offers their own spin on the Egg McMuffin and an amazing Chicken and Ranch dish to celebrate this accomplishment.
Literally every Lyft driver and any person we spoke to who we told we were visiting recommended The Lark. For both locals and tourists it’s one of the the best places to eat in Santa Barbara. We visited on a Tuesday night and thankfully had a reservation as it was jam packed and had a long wait for walk-ins. Meals here are made for sharing so feel free to order a few items for your table.
The Best Restaurant in Santa Barbara is: Angel Oak Bacara
I know I mentioned Angel Oak Bacara as the best brunch in Santa Barbara. However, after also eating dinner there I’d argue it’s the best restaurant in Santa Barbara. Not only was our dinner just as good or better than brunch but the service during both meals was impeccable. Our glasses were never empty and the wait staff always went above and beyond to make sure our experience was top notch.
For instance for dinner our waitress recommended the Abalone, which is Angel Oak Bacara’s signature dish. However, my husband and I were already pretty set on what we wanted to eat and having never tried Abalone before weren’t too sure if we wanted to steer away from our original choices. Our waitress then provided a viable solution. Since sides come a la carte and are shared for dishes like the filet mignon was husband was having she said she could offer us a half portion as a side dish. This way we got what we were comfortable with but also got to try a new dish!
Santa Barbara is truly foodie heaven and with so many amazing choices is was hard to narrow down the best restaurants in Santa Barbara. Have you been before? What do you think are some of the best places to eat in Santa Barbara? If you found this post helpful please share it!