Although Santa Barbara is a fairly casual town, there is always room for a little glamour in any vacation. What better way to enjoy your next trip than making a dinner reservation at one the city’s best restaurants? From a classic steakhouse to inventive Californian cuisine, here is our guide to fine dining in SB:
Lucky’s is Santa Barbara’s ultimate destination for fine dining. Located on Coast Village Road in the center of Montecito, the restaurant is premised on the classic American steakhouse, serving USDA Prime steaks and chops, as well as seafood and salads. The traditional dining room invites guests to relax, indulge and enjoy excellent meals, all while embracing the elegant yet casual vibe of the town.
Lucky’s Steakhouse. 1279 Coast Village Road. 805 565 7540.
The Harbor Restaurant, situated at the very end of Stearns Wharf, is by far one of the most romantic and elegant restaurants in Santa Barbara. Priding itself on having one of the best views in town, here is where you come for fine seafood over a spectacular sunset. We recommend making a reservation, arriving hungry and ordering a bottle of champagne for an evening that will be truly unforgettable.
The Harbor Restaurant. 210 Stearns Wharf. 805 963 3311.
Wine Cask in Santa Barbara is famous among locals for being one of the most excellent restaurants for a fine lunch or dinner. Located downtown in the historic El Paseo plaza, it’s known for great service and the stunning ‘Gold Room’ dining area, complete with an oversized fireplace. The menu centers around fresh, regional ingredients and quality wine pairings. Visitors may even join the head chef on Tuesdays for the ‘Farmers Market Foodie Stroll’ before heading over for dinner.
Wine Cask Restaurant. 813 Anacapa Street. 805 966 9463.
Bouchon, the tiny and almost hidden gem on Victoria Street, is one of Santa Barbara’s premier locations for fine dining. With a menu that strives for local, fresh as well as simple creations, the restaurant embraces a warm ambience and relaxed elegance. Order a glass from the Santa Barbara County exclusive wine list along with the seared scallops or yellowfin tuna for a meal that fully embraces the spirit of the central coast.
Bouchon. 9 West Victoria Street. 805 730 1160.
The Lark is a relatively new and hugely popular spot for everything from oysters to grilled lamb belly. Located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s trendy Funk Zone, this is where you come when you’re looking for great food and a lively atmosphere. The restaurant includes a 24-seat shared dining table as well as an extensive bar that serves specialty cocktails, including our favorite ‘Salty Surfer’ with vodka, blood orange, caramelized pineapple and jalapeno salt. Food is locally sourced and the menu changes seasonally.
The Lark. 121 Anacapa Street. 805 284 0370.