Who knew that healthy and delicious could often be used in the same sentence when referring to vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Santa Barbara? From unique twists on traditionally meat-centric dishes to meals packed with nearly every local vegetable imaginable, these vegan and vegetarian restaurants know what they’re doing when it comes to plant-based noshes and nibbles. For more health-conscious cuisine in Santa Barbara, check out these other eateries.
While many might consider this Santa Barbara staple an all-vegan eatery, it’s easy to forget that bee products are often found in these bright and flavorful bowls, technically ranking Backyard Bowls as a vegetarian restaurant. Popular for breakfast and lunch stops, Backyard Bowls prides itself in being one of the most prominent acai joints in the city with its various combinations of acai, banana, strawberry (and others!) blends and toppings like local honey, hemp seeds, granola, coconut flakes and more.
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Fala Bar in Santa Barbara Public Market is a health-nut haven. With signature Mediterranean flavors and components like tahini, falafel and hummus, this grab ‘n’ go original is friendly to those with even the strictest of dietary needs. Opt for the Baba Plate with baba ghanoush, tahini, cucumber salad, quinoa tabouli and assorted cabbage or go totally green with one of its salads laden with local vegetables, like the Fala Me to Kaleifornia.
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When patrons choose to dine at Green Table, organic, gluten-free and vegetarian dishes are at the core of what makes this restaurant thrive. With plenty of smoothie and matcha blends to choose from, in addition to a whole slate of plant-based entreés, let this holistic eatery be a permanent contender on your personal “healthy bites” roundup.
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What do you get when you marry vegan, Mediterranean- and Mexican-inspired food? A match made in plant-based heaven (also known as Mesa Verde). Located in the Mesa neighborhood of Santa Barbara, the menu at Mesa Verde includes items like shareable polenta fries with jackfruit chorizo, picadillo empanadas that pack a punch and savory mushroom tacos. Pair your meal with a selection from the restaurant’s wine and beer list, and you’re in for a delectable evening.
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This elevated eatery in the heart of Montecito revels in creating your favorite dishes from a variety of different cuisines—with a plant-forward twist. Opt for the shared plates like the kung pao cauliflower or dragon fruit ceviche, or delve into your own vegan bliss with the banh mi or pear and gorgonzola flatbread. Oliver’s also sports a striking cocktail menu to sip on, including everything from spicy tequila tinctures to refreshing bourbon delights.
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Rascal’s recently opened up a brand-new brick-and-mortar location on Haley Street. This all-vegan grab ‘n’ go serves up all of your guilty pleasures—from irresistible vegan churros to pinguinos and flavor-packed “asada” crunchwraps to jackfruit birria ramen. Check its Instagram bio for real-time information on the next Rascal’s pop-up and for the latest scoop on its ever-changing menu.
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Some might say Satellite is galaxies ahead of the rest when it comes to vegetarian fare. With creative dishes like the picture-worthy Gigante Beans Confit, a delightfully floral vegan mac and cheese and its legendary Yoga Pants Salad. While you’re there, top off your glass with a splash from Satellite’s eclectic collection of natural, ethically sourced wines from across the globe.
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HAS VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN MENU ITEMS
With two locations in Santa Barbara and Goleta, Natural Café boasts fresh soups, salads, sandwiches and entreés with a health-forward twist. Try the Buddha Burrito, veggie tofu bowl or the black bean enchiladas to get your veggie fix. Flavor of India on upper State Street has an entirely separate menu full of all your favorite Indian dish staples like korma, masala and daal makhani, just made entirely vegan.
Make your way downtown to another eatery that dedicates a portion of its menu to vegetarian-lovers—Arigato—a State Street sushi mainstay that has locals and visitors alike hooked on its beautifully crafted rolls and quality ingredients. With creative substitutions for raw fish and seafood like fermented soybean and lots of earthy veggies, you won’t even miss the real thing.
Head over to Savoy Café & Deli for a more local feel and a wide array of vegetarian and vegan selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Go light with the vegan scramble or splurge for the plant-based power bowl. The Daisy takes a refreshing approach to healthy, plant-based eating by offering quite a few vegan and vegetarian items on its menu, like the cauliflower and corn fritters, a farm grain bowl and braised white bean toast.
If you’re craving a late-night bite, The Blue Owl is your new flock-to. Its separate and expansive vegan menu offers a variety of options with a dash of Vietnamese influence. There’s no going wrong with throwing an appetizing salad into the mix, or go for the vegan grilled cheese or banh mi sandwiches for a more filling meal.
In the Haley Corridor, Ah Juice Organic Café serves as a quick fix for that hankering for a pressed juice or veggie burger. Rudy’s sports a separate vegan menu (only available at the Canon Perdido location) for when Mexican food is on the brain, like a burrito or mouthwatering sopes made with the popular meat alternative, Beyond Meat.
In Montecito, venture to San Ysidro Ranch‘s The Stonehouse, where you’ll find mouthwatering vegan and vegetarian dishes like a crispy chickpea and artichoke cake, garden herb and vegetable risotto and roasted vegetable lasagna. Many of the seasonal produce served at the restaurant comes directly from the onsite garden.