Santa Barbara Restaurants and Dining

(Santa Barbara, California - CA, USA)

Despite its relatively small population, Santa Barbara hosts a wide range of eateries and dining opportunities. These range from classic delis to coffee shops, ethnic restaurants and fine dining establishments throughout Santa Barbara, with something to suit all tastes.

Santa Barbara's State Street has an eclectic variety of restaurants and is a great destination for meals, snacks or drinks at any time of the day.

Opening Hours

It can be difficult to find restaurants providing late dining in Santa Barbara, as most establishments tend to close around 22:00 or 23:00. There are, however, half a dozen or so venues which do offer all night fare and many of these are located around the university and State Street. Breakfast and lunch eateries typically operate from 07:00 to 14:00, while dinner restaurants open around 17:00 and close before midnight.

Wine and Beer

Santa Barbara features an eclectic nightlife, ranging from subdued lounges and wine bars to sports bars, Irish pubs, exclusive restaurants and raging clubs, offering live music. State Street is the central area for nighttime entertainment in Santa Barbara, with bars and clubs lining the streets and spreading back from the ocean. There are also quite a few local vineyards in the Santa Barbara area, offering tastings and tours throughout the day, although they tend to close before 18:00. As California law requires that alcohol not to be served after 02:00, many venues begin shutting down around 01:30.


Anacapa Street and State Street in Santa Barbara offer many charming coffeehouses, cafés and bakeries serving breakfast and brunch. Lillie Avenue also hosts popular beach-themed and seaside restaurants catering to early and midday customers. Many of Santa Barbara's restaurants and hotels provide great champagne brunch specials on the weekends and holidays. However, they can become quiet crowded and it is recommended that you make reservations in advance.


There are numerous choices available for lunchtime dining in Santa Barbara, ranging from family run delis and bakeries to quaint cafés and various ethnic eateries. Santa Barbara's State Street is a popular destination for diners, with many restaurants and establishments offering Italian, Mexican and French cuisine. Nearby Stearns Wharf also hosts a variety of waterfront restaurants with daily specials and great happy hour deals.


For fine dining, Santa Barbara offers an array of waterfront and beachfront restaurants serving freshly caught seafood and fine local wines. State Street and Stearns Wharf are the best areas in Santa Barbara for steakhouses, oyster bars, seafood restaurants, California Grills and upscale Italian, Asian and Mexican establishments. As Santa Barbara is such a popular dining destination, waiting times in restaurants during the evenings and especially on the weekends and holidays can be exhausting, so plan your visits wisely.