New Restaurants in Santa Barbara

Photo Credit: Merci Montecito by Studio Arna

NEW RESTAURANTS IN SANTA BARBARA

As far as we’re concerned, there’s always room for more good eats in our bountiful city surrounded by organic farms, family-run ranches, avocado and citrus orchards, and the seafood-rich Santa Barbara Channel. You’re definitely going to want to sample what these new Santa Barbara restaurants are cooking up with the ingredients of the season. From casual to refined and everything in between, this fresh crop of eateries is ripe for your restaurant picking!

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Better Burrito

Who doesn’t love a good breakfast burrito?! It’s the perfect antidote to a late night and there’s no better post-hike, post-surf fuel to keep your energy up. Burritos also travel well, so they make for great morning picnic fare while enjoying Santa Barbara’s great outdoors. Enter Better Burrito, a genius new contact-free delivery service. You place your order by 7:00 p.m. the night before and they’ll deliver to your specified location in Santa Barbara or Goleta at the time of your choosing between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. The menu is simple—bacon or veggie, with some customization options for dietary restrictions. Learn More

CHOMP on the Rocks

Downstairs from SALTY is CHOMP on the Rocks in the former Chuck’s at the Harbor space. The family-friendly sister restaurant to its Solvang original serves elevated American diner classics. Think decadent burgers with creative toppings—vegetarian and vegan friendly options included. Plus, patty melts, hot dogs, salads, fish tacos and so much more goodness. The kids’ menu features tried and true crowd pleasers like sliders, mac n cheese, grilled cheese and corn dogs. The young ones will be extra enthusiastic about the old-fashioned shakes, malts, floats and sundaes, too. Did we mention the ocean views? Learn More

Coast & Olive

Coast & Olive is the new kid on the block along Montecito’s upscale Coast Village Road. Serving lunch and dinner daily in its Montecito Inn location, the restaurant has plans to open for breakfast when the time is right. The specialty is American Riviera cuisine—Californian with a French influence. Think dishes like lavender baked goat cheese, niçoise salad, and trout almondine. Comforting classics like the Snake River Farms burger and grilled chicken sandwich pair well with the addictive “thrice cooked fries.” Cocktails are top shelf and the wine list features a mix of European and Central Coast wines by the glass and bottle. Learn More

Corner Tap

The Mesa neighborhood warmly welcomes Corner Tap, an inviting beer bar and eatery. The no-nonsense menu features appetizers, salads, and flatbreads that pair well with their craft beer selection. The beers skew heavily local with labels like M. Special, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., and Topa Topa, alongside standout Californian beers from places as diverse as Redlands, Los Angeles, Ventura, and SLO County. For the non-beer drinkers, there’s a thoughtful selection of local wines as well as creative Sabe cocktails made with a sake-like spirit. Think of Corner Tap as a lowkey casual spot that caters to curious palates. Learn More

Crazy Jim’s Tacos y Mas

Lower State Street has another new hot spot to feed your taco cravings—and then some. Crazy Jim’s Tacos y Mas serves soft and hard shell tacos, inventive burgers, nachos, burritos and more comfort food decadence. With outdoor seating for dine-in, their $1 wine slushies have been a big hit. Learn More

Eleven14 Craft House and Kitchen

Tucked away in the historic La Arcada Plaza, Eleven14 Craft House and Kitchen is a top spot for local craft beers, outdoor dining, happy hour and the perfect place for watching the game. This Santa Barbara gastropub has a  sports bar atmosphere inside with an expansive outdoor patio that begs to be shared with family and friends while admiring the city’s signature red-tile roofs and white-washed buildings. During happy hour (Monday to Friday from precisely 3:14 to 6:14 p.m. and all day Sunday) the restaurant offers burgers, flatbreads and bottles of wine for half-off. Bonus: Eleven14 Craft House and Kitchen is dog-friendly. Learn More

Embermill

At Embermill, find “Caribbean food with a Santa Barbara twist” and globally-influenced cuisine by Barbados-raised Chef Harold Welsh. Dishes are made using local and organic ingredients, cooked in an Italian wood-burning oven and packed with just the right amount of flavor and spice. Don’t miss out on Creole creations like the molasses marinated Barbados ribs, traditional crab and shrimp gumbo, and coconut catfish with grits. The menu also offers vegetarian and vegan options like the plantain tempeh wrap with fermented soybeans and avocado Rastafarian eggplant tower with plantain, lentils and roasted zucchini. Seat yourself inside at the 20-foot communal table or grab a table on the patio. Learn More

Feast Cafe

Inside the newly opened home and garden lifestyle store Field + Fort in Summerland, find Feast, a casual cafe offering an all-day menu of local, fresh and seasonal ingredients. Walk-up to the counter to order your food, then sit inside at the communal table amongst shoppers or be seated outside at your own table on the tastefully decorated terrace. Menu items include a variety of egg dishes like baked eggs and seasonal frittata, toasts and fresh pastries, sandwiches, salads and shareable boards with meats, cheeses and spreads. The cafe also serves Joshua Tree Coffee Company coffee, a range of hot teas and other beverages. Afterwards, browse the Field + Fort pantry to take home unique kitchen goods and gifts.  Learn More

Flor de Maíz

The Luna family from Guadalajara, creators of Santa Barbara’s crowd-pleasing Los Agaves Restaurants and Santo Mezcal, have launched Flor de Maíz, featuring Oaxacan-style cuisine on Santa Barbara’s waterfront. At Flor de Maíz, in addition to seafood, mole plays a significant role on the menu with dishes like Mole Negro Con Pollo , Mole Verde Con Mahi Mahi and Almendrado Con Lengua De Res to name a few. Their team of mixologists have even created a mixed drink with housemade-mole named The Oaxaca. Grab a cocktail at its lively bar during happy hour or be seated on the patio for views of the Santa Barbara Harbor, Stearns Wharf and Pacific Ocean.  Learn More

M Kitchen

Fans of Goleta’s beloved M. Special Brewing Co. Taproom were delighted to welcome the craft brewer’s second location on State Street this September. Even better, it features their first ever M. Kitchen restaurant. That means you can feast on burgers, bacon, brats, salads, sliders and more epic deliciousness while enjoying their fine brews. The taproom is open daily with extended hours on weekends. Cheers to that! Learn More

Merci Montecito 

Merci Montecito at the Montecito Country Mart evokes the feeling of a Parisian cafe from the “Merci” sign outside the entrance to its chic (and very Instagrammable) interior with marble countertops, soft lighting, blush-colored booths and tableware. Created by acclaimed pastry chef Elizabeth Colling (former Food Editor of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings), Merci Montecito is an artisanal cafe serving organic homemade food for breakfast and lunch along with desserts, unique wines and seasonal dinner specials to go. The menu offers everything from an array of beverages and pastry options, soups, salads and vegetables, grains and legumes, sandwiches and tartines to sweets like triple chocolate brownies and gluten-free butterscotch pudding. Say “oui” to Merci! Learn More

Noemi Pizza Romana

Located in the San Roque neighborhood on upper State Street, Noemi holds the distinction of introducing Santa Barbarans to the traditional Roman style of pizzeria. Noted for the unique character of the dough that’s been fermented for 96 hours, the pizza features an extra light and crispy crust that’s satisfyingly chewy on the inside. Pizza is served by the cut (al taglio) or you can “build your own tray” to customize a small or large pizza from the sauce base to the many toppings. The menu is also packed with calzones, paninis, and simple, crisp salads. This casual Italian delight also serves a limited selection of beers and wines. Learn More

Oak Berry

Oak Berry brings their popular Brazilian Acai berry bowls and whipped smoothies to Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center. Santa Barbara happens to be the first California location for the chain with a global footprint. The purveyor of nutritious and refreshing superfoods allows you to personalize your order with a choice of toppings like fresh fruit, seeds, nut butters, granola, cocoa nibs, collagen, and more health-boosting ingredients. This is a perfect stop for when you’re on the go, need an energetic pick-me-up or some pre- or post-hike fuel. Learn More

Oku

Oku is one of the newest additions to the Santa Barbara waterfront, with a lunch and dinner menu that uses the freshest ingredients from Central Coast farmers and local fishermen to make California Asian cuisine. Menu favorites include Wagyu Steak, Japanese Sushi, Chinese Dumplings, Thai Noodles and a variety of seafood dishes. Head up to the rooftop bar for a cocktail paired with a seaside view (try the “Santa Barbara Sling” with local Cutler’s gin) or lounge by the fireplace on the outdoor patio. Owners Tina Takaya and Ted Ellis say the Japanese concept of “Omotenashi,” described as a heightened sense of hospitality and anticipation of a guest’s every need, is at the heart of everything at Oku. Learn More

Revolver Pizza

Pizza lovers rejoice! Santa Barbara welcomed a new chef-driven, New York style pizza shop on San Andres Street in the Westside neighborhood for take-out, dine-in and delivery. Revolver Pizza’s deliberately simple menu features hand-crafted pizzas using premium ingredients like fresh, hand-pulled mozzarella. Think red and white pies with toppings like clams, pepperoni and broccolini. Freshly baked sourdough and seasonally driven, shareable dishes are also in the mix, plus beer and natural wine for beverage pairings. And if you’re dining in on the patio, you can expect to hear some vinyl on rotation which is all part of their throwback vibe. Learn More

Salty at the beach bar and grill

The former Endless-Summer Bar Café at the Harbor was reimagined and reopened under new ownership as SALTY at the Beach Bar and Grill. The dockside restaurant perched on the upper level of the Naval Reserve Armory building overlooks Santa Barbara’s waterfront with spacious patios and refreshing ocean breezes. The lunch and dinner menu features California tavern cuisine from the team behind Solvang’s CHOMP. The line-up of cocktails crafted for seaside sipping includes the Endless-Summer’s beloved Mai-Tai as a nod to its predecessor. Learn More

Secret Bao

The De La Vina location of Handlebar Coffee Roasters just got hotter with the addition of a Secret Bao weekend pop-up brought to you by Chefs Peter Lee and Felicia Medina. Fridays through Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Secret Bao is serving up modern Asian cuisine with a Korean bent. Items available for take-away include a range of savory baos (a popular sandwich-like street food served in buns) filled with everything from pork belly and lobster to mushroom and chicken. There’s even a donut Bao for those craving something sweeter. Scallion pancakes, gyozas and a bibimbap are among the other satisfying dishes. Learn More

The Project | Corazon Cocina & Taproom

Cocktails, food and beer can all be found at The Project | Corazon Cocina & Taproom. This new food complex in the Funk Zone showcases second locations of popular Corázon Cocina, a tasty taqueria by Chef Ramon Velazquez known for its ceviches, tacos with handmade tortillas (original location at the Santa Barbara Public Market), and Captain Fatty’s taproom (headquartered just north in Goleta). With a fun and social atmosphere, The Project is perfect for hanging with friends, whether on the open State Street facing patio with a margarita in hand or in the taproom with a burger and a pint. Captain Fatty’s offers a selection of over 20 craft-brewed beers. Learn More

Taqueria Santa Barbara

Traditional Mexican fare is something Santa Barbara excels at—and locals have a lot of incredible options to choose from, so it’s got to be good to make the cut. Taqueria Santa Barbara is no exception to that rule. The family operation in downtown makes their corn tortillas from scratch, which form the base for the delicious tacos. Tortas, burritos, and quesadillas are also on the menu. Try their Alambres specialty, a similar dish to fajitas. Learn More

Wabi Sabi Sushi Bar

Inside the Santa Barbara Public Market, find Wabi Sabi, a sushi bar helmed by Chef Buck Thananaken offering an array of sushi, sashimi, sushi rolls and other Japanese cuisines. Try the Carpaccio appetizer with tuna, salmon and yellowtail or a specialty roll topped with local uni (sea urchin) from the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. Take a meal to go or park at the bar to watch as your food is prepared. True sushi lovers will appreciate Wabi Sabi’s use of fresh, quality seafood and ingredients that go into every dish. Learn More

Wingman Rodeo

Wing fans rejoice! Santa Barbara now has a dedicated chicken wing joint in the aptly named Wingman Rodeo. The Milpas eatery is the brainchild passion project of a group of friends who wanted to make the “best damn wings ever.” First, you choose between nine different flavors—from the traditional buffalo to the zesty chipotle lime rub and savory-sweet Thai peanut. Then you choose your wing and dip count. You can go as small as six with one dip up to 100 wings and 10 dips (ranch, bleu cheese, honey mustard, or extra wing flavor). They thoughtfully rounded out the menu with vegetarian-friendly salads, cauliflower bites, and sides like tots and slaw. Learn More

Yona Redz queso tacos

Taco connoisseurs get ready to indulge as 330 State Street is now home to a weekly Yona Redz Queso Tacos pop-up. They are only set-up outside on Sundays from noon until 5:00 p.m. so you’ve got to plan your visit accordingly and be prepared to pay with cash or Venmo. It’s 100% worth the effort to bite into their crunchy, hard shell tacos which are fried right before your eyes. They have beef and cheese versions and dipping them into a special sauce is what makes them “red.” Learn More