As the epicenter of Santa Barbara’s culinary, shopping and social scene, it’s no wonder that State Street is also home to some of the area’s most memorable restaurants, cafés and eateries. Spanning from Upper State all the way down to Stearns Wharf, each bustling block of State Street is lined with charming boutiques, energy-filled restaurants, low-lit romantic bistros, and the occasional musical tidings from local performers. Whether you’re craving fresh sushi, spicy sea scallop curry, or a melt-in-your-mouth burrito mojado, with so many choices, you’re sure to find a spot on State Street that satisfies your palate.
Lively mariachi music, colorful décor, tangy margaritas and sizzling fajitas are just the beginning at Casa Blanca Restaurant & Cantina. Located on State and E. Gutierrez, this corner cantina is just the place to catch the game with friends over a plate of crunchy tacos, or sip chilled tequila on the street-side patio. Listen to live music on the weekends, as you enjoy a delectable meal with family and friends, before perusing the boutiques, lounges, and art galleries of State Street.
Translating to “crazy little girl” in Spanish, Loquita is a burgeoning Spanish tapas restaurant on the intersection between State Street and E. Yanonali, and is always the center of the party. Open daily for dinner and drink service, Loquita is the epitome of a magnetic atmosphere and has the innovative dishes to prove it. Swoop a spot here in early August for prime Fiesta parade viewing, and don’t forget to try the carpaccio–it’s incredible!
(202 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Sunday – Thursday 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.)
A fixture of lower State Street, Santo Mezcalembraces lively flavor and a vast collection of tequilas and mezcals to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The incredible appetizers, such as the pulpo a las brasas or the ceviche verde, are complemented by the unique bar selection as well as the fascinating artwork hung strategically around the space. Grab a drink and a bite to eat at this local hotspot and prepare to be enamored–Santo Mezcal’s energy is contagious!
(119 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Sunday – Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Thursday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.)
Unassuming from the outside, Bibi Ji is anything but once you cross the threshold into the hip, colorful space. The modern Indian establishment boasts some of the most flavorful, creative menu items in town and the service is top-notch. Dishes include freshly caught Santa Barbara uni biryani, coconut curry, tikka masala, and an assortment of tangy chutneys such as mint and coriander, jalapeño, and pineapple. Don’t miss the extensive beer and wine lists to pair with your unforgettable meal.
(734 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Dinner Monday – Sunday 5:00 p.m. – Close.)
Having just recently celebrated the joint’s 90th anniversary, you can be sure that Joe’s Cafe means business when it comes to classic American comfort food. The diner-style interiors are reminiscent of the early 20th century, complete with a jukebox and red booth seating. During the holidays, look for Joe’s iconic upside down Christmas tree as you enjoy one of the stiffest drinks in town.
Rustic and industrial, Eureka!’s fully-stocked bar and bustling kitchen prove that pairing a burger and beer can become an irresistible culinary duo. Think the Fresno fig burger, complete with fig marmalade, melted goat cheese, bacon, tomato, red onion, arugula and spicy porter mustard, paired with an ice-cold brew from one of Santa Barbara’s local breweries. But Eureka! doesn’t stop at burgers. Be sure to try their fresh salads, seafood, tasty appetizers, and unbeatable happy hour (daily 3:00-6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.- Close) offering the opportunity to try local craft beers and small batch liquor.
If you like being in the center of the action, then Benchmark Eateryis a go-to for your next lunch or dinner date. Located on the corner of State and Anapamu, Benchmark’s outdoor patio and 360-degree bar make for the perfect spot to socialize and savor a wide variety of dishes. Sip on a happy hour chardonnay at the bar before heading out to First Thursday, the first Thursday of every month, when neighboring art galleries in Downtown Santa Barbara open their doors for a glimpse at truly astounding pieces.
(1201 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Monday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.)
Looking for a cozy, romantic dinner with a loved one that is within walking distance of bars, shopping, and entertainment? The Chase Restaurant and Lounge boasts some of the most divine New York-style Italian food and a delectable wine selection. The intimate atmosphere is a perfect pairing with the State Street location as you can plan a whole night out with your partner, or simply enjoy each other’s company under Chase’s twinkling lights for hours.
(1012 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Sunday – Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.)
Situated in the heart of Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District, opal restaurant and bar is an ideal spot to grab a bite before catching a show at one of Santa Barbara’s coveted theatres. Serving a variety of eclectic plates, opal offers tantalizing lunch and dinner options, such as black pepper crusted ahi tuna and homemade basil fettuccine with sautéed tiger shrimp. Whether your taste buds are calling for a crisp Caesar salad or a hearty ribeye, opal restaurant and bar has you covered. Don’t forget to try a drink off their specialty cocktail list. Fresh ginger mandarin cosmo anyone?
Coconut cake lovers take heed! Jane Restaurant is known for their decadent desserts and fresh-off-the-grill classics that are sure to make a lasting impression. Hungry patrons can head to Jane to feast on a wide array of dishes such as veal marsala, grilled salmon, and seared ahi paired with crisp local wines. Located at the hub of Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District, Jane Restaurant is the ideal lunch or dinner stop during a day out with friends and family.
(1311 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Lunch Monday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Dinner Monday – Saturday 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Closed Sunday.)
For a classic, All-American breakfast, look no further than Farmer Boy on Upper State Street. The restaurant, a Santa Barbara staple since 1958, serves up local favorites including everything from chicken and waffles to veggie scrambles and cinnamon rolls, and that’s just breakfast! The old-school style booth and bar seating offer prime socializing, where you’ll want to nibble on your steak and eggs all morning long as you enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere. One of the best parts of Farmer Boy? Dessert is available all day long. The fresh baked pies are sure to be a delicious end to your meal.
(3427 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105. Monday – Sunday 6:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
A nation-wide favorite, Islands is known for their “surf’s up” attitude and casual tropical theme. Order a mai tai and hand cut fries while watching the game, and treat the whole family to Hawaiian-style burgers, grilled chicken tacos, and fresh seafood. The Hawaiian atmosphere is a favorite among those with kiddos to keep entertained, as you can be sure there is no shortage of tropical birds, surf boards, and other islander décor spread throughout the restaurant.
(3825 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105. Monday – Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.; Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.)
BENCHMARK eatery is uniquely situated in the heart and soul of Santa Barbara’s business and cultural arts district. With a 360 degree bar and outdoor patio, Benchmark is fast becoming a gathering hub for all of downtown. It’s…
Bibi Ji is not your typical Indian joint. Bibi Ji of downtown Santa Barbara, is the latest of the collection of acclaimed restaruants, Babu Ji of NYC, Horn Please and Babu Ji of Melbourne, Australia and Dhaba of Kyneton, Australia who are all…
The beautiful exterior of Casa Blanca is just the beginning for diners entering Santa Barbara’s hottest new Mexican restaurant – rivaled only by the wondrous interior created by local renowned architect Jeff Shelton. Shelton included…
The Chase Restaurant and Lounge is a Santa Barbara landmark for over 37 years serving the best authentic New York style Italian food in the most romantic atmosphere in the city. The Chase is perfect for all occasions. This restaurant is a MUST SEE…
Re-opened to great anticipation in 2015, the new Farmer Boy Restaurant is a fresh take on a classic diner that has been a local favorite since 1958. Open for breakfast and lunch on Santa Barbara’s North Side, Farmer Boy offers a current…
Crush your pre or post-shopping hunger with a delicious burger, fresh cut Island Fries, a tropical drink or the coldest beer in town. Enjoy beautiful Southern California nights on the patio around the flame table, while watching your favorite…
Loquita serves authentic Spanish food including hot and cold tapas, wood-fire grilled seafood and meats, and seasonal paella. The Mediterranean climate and terroir of Santa Barbara County mirror that of Spain, making the translation of locally…
A local's favorite, opal restaurant and bar infuses an Eclectic California Cuisine with creative influences from around the World. Our chefs use the freshest of ingredients to create dishes inspired by the colorful multi-cultural heritage of…
Turkey, stuffing and pie galore! Thanksgiving in Santa Barbara never fails to impress. From specially curated feasts to family-friendly athletic events, there is always a reason to give thanks for our sunny slice of paradise.
From classic treats to unexpected delights, Santa Barbara’s ice cream scene offers a bevy of delectable options to satisfy your cravings. Check out these six ice cream spots around town to savor Santa Barbara summertime (or any time) in the sweetest possible way.