The best Santa Barbara restaurants run the gamut of fine dining to mobile food trucks. Local flavors are inspired by the mission figs, Meyer lemons and prawns (to name a few) which mark many of the signature dishes amongst the culinary landscape. We love the warm meets homey vibe of Julienne, a local bistro by a husband and wife pair (Chef Justin West and his wife Emma). Local, artisanal and downright delicious are just a few adjectives that describe all meals found at this cozy bistro (138 East Canon Perdido; 805-845-6488; restaurantjulienne.com).
For no-thrills deliciousness we love the Burger Bus. This Santa Barbara food truck serves hormone-free grass-fed burgers and has been in business since May 2009. This truck is always on the move, so check their website to find out where this retro bus will pop-up next. Loyal patrons claim it’s the best burger they’ve ever had and our favorite, hands down, is the CB&J. One cannot go wrong with this Santa Barbara staple, served on soft ciabatta bread and with house made pickle and onion chips.
For award-winning wine country cuisine, check out Bouchon (9 West Victoria Street, 805-730-1160), which is continuously rated one of the best Santa Barbara restaurants. Locally sourced ingredients paired with local wine varietals make for a memorable dining experience with a decidedly West Coast spin.
When we want to unwind, our favorite lounges include Eos Lounge (500 Anacapa St. ,805- 564-2410) and Blush Restaurant and Lounge (630 State St. 805-957-1300). Eos Lounge offers an outdoor patio where one can take in the Santa Barbara weather, cuddle by the outdoor fireplace and enjoy top visiting DJs. Blush Restaurant and Lounge is a staple on the lounge scene in Santa Barbara. Enjoy their extensive and creative cocktail list, which includes a well-executed Cotton Candy martini.
Brunch (outdoors of course) is practically a Santa Barbara pastime and we love the playful southern twists found at Tupelo Junction (1218 State St. 805-899-3100) — their vanilla dipped French toast is not to be missed!