For a smaller city, Santa Barbara has an impressive culinary scene that is always growing and changing. With so many places to chose from, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with options. For this reason, we’ve rounded up Santa Barbara’s best new restaurants:
Urkeb Urban Food may not be the most glamorous spot on our list, but it is surely a welcomed addition to Santa Barbara’s food scene as it brings (finally) the kebab to State Street. A hugely popular street food throughout Europe, the German doner kebab can be customized to your taste but will always feature hot, fresh pita, homemade sauces and veggies as you like. If you haven’t tried one yet, we recommend you do so on a day you feel like indulging in a classic, savory treat.
Urkeb Urban Food. 412 State Street. firstname.lastname@example.org
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Urkeb, the newly opened Somerset restaurant is the ultimate place for a dinner of refined elegance and Santa Barbara style. With a gorgeous outdoor patio among olive trees and a stylish dining room and bar area, this spot is perfect for artisanal cocktails or a romantic evening. With all locally sourced produce, the menu offers classic SB cuisine; our recommendations include any of the fresh seafood dishes.
Somerset. 7 East Anapamu Street. 805 845 7112.
Goa Taco, originating in New York city and recently opened in Santa Barbara, is the delicious result of culinary innovation and fusion. With unusual flavor and ingredient combos, each paratha taco is made with a shell of the Indian flatbread and inspired by international cuisine. Here you can try the lamb shoulder with tzatziki and eggplant salsa, the confit duck with hot mustard pickled cucumber, or the banh mi taco with shiitake mushroom pate; the world is yours to taste!
Goa Taco. 718 State Street. 805 770 7079.
Foxtail Kitchen and Bar is a much welcomed addition to the Downtown scene. With excellent and authentic Mediterranean food and an extremely friendly staff, Foxtail patrons are raving about this spot. The menu includes classic Mezza options such as Baba Ganoush, Labneh and Grape Leaves, as well as rice bowls and wraps, plus a falafel burger, shawarma sliders and more. Be sure to stop by for casual dining and cocktails to see what all the buzz is about!
Foxtail Kitchen and Bar. 14 East Cota Street. 805 845 6226.
The Bear and Star, a little farther away from Downtown on Grand Avenue in Los Olivos, is well worth the drive. Labeled as ‘refined ranch cuisine,’ this recent addition to wine country embraces and excels at bringing diners the very best of the valley. With a menu inspired by farm-style meals, you’ll find fresh, organic ingredients served up in casual comfort food. For dinner, try to the Smoked Pork Rillette Toast or the Local Stuffed Quail; we also recommend a stop for brunch if visiting over the weekend.
The Bear and Star. 2860 Grand Ave., Los Olivos, CA 93441. 805 686 1359.