As with any great vacation, come to Santa Barbara prepared to indulge and enjoy all of life’s simplest pleasures, including a great burger. From simple classics to unique, fusion sandwiches, you’ll find exactly what you’re craving with our guide to the best burgers in SB.

The Burger Bus

If you manage to track down The Burger Bus while on your next trip to SB, we highly recommend making a pit stop and grabbing one of its delicious burgers. Priding itself on simple, local ingredients, including grass-fed beef, Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market jellies, and toppings, this food truck is a true treasure. We recommend the CB&J with grilled onions and habanero jelly, or the Banh Mi Burger made with cilantro mayo and fried jalapenos.

The Burger Bus. (Locations vary).

Paradise Cafe

Paradise Cafe is a local favorite for many reasons. With a rich history in town, oak wood grill and great cocktail lounge attached, it is the perfect place to come for great American food and atmosphere. The signature Paradise Burger is particularly popular, made with grilled beef, lots of cheese and an onion roll bun. If you’re looking to enjoy an elevated burger over a glass of red wine, this is the place for you.

Paradise Cafe. 702 Anacapa Street. 805 962 4416.

The Blue Owl  

The Blue Owl is a favorite downtown eatery because of its unique flavor combinations and late-night hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Most popular of all is the Thai Basil Burger, made with a green-curry infused patty, caramelized onions and red peppers. If lots of spice is what you like, we recommend the Peanut Butter Burger as well, which features a tamarind peanut sauce and cilantro slaw.

The Blue Owl. 5 West Canon Perdido Street. 805 705 0991.


Tinker’s, located off the beach in Summerland, is your quintessential old-school burger shack that makes customers feel like they’ve stepped back in time. Stop by after a day in the sand and refuel with a classic cheeseburger and a malt milkshake. Locals also love the selection of fries here, favorite among them are the house-made curly fries.

Tinker’s. 2275 Ortega Hill Road. 805 969 1970.


Eureka is one of Santa Barbara’s few chain restaurants that can be found throughout California, however it merits a mention because of great food and a lively atmosphere that invites big crowds with even bigger appetites. Centrally located in the Paseo Nuevo Mall, this place has a huge variety of burgers and craft beers. Try the Blues Burger with melted blue cheese and sauteed wild mushrooms. For something a little more exotic, order the Fresno Fig Burger made with fig marmalade, goat cheese, bacon and arugula.

Eureka! 601 Paseo Nuevo. 805 618 3388.