Recommended by Rosminah, Carrie and Don Brown of Santa Barbara
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C’est Cheese downtown. Mid-price range for high quality food. Open for breakfast and lunch. Casual. They are also a cheese shop and sweet-end bakery, so you can buy things to take with you.
Renaud’s, downtown and uptown. French bistro. Mid-price range for high quality food. Really like their Croque Madame, and all their croissants.
Los Agaves ~ Three locations now: Milpas, Uptown and Goleta
Mid-price range and very good Mexican food. Casual dining, but not hole-in-the-wall. Order and pay at the counter, find a seat and food is brought out. Recommend the squash-blossom stuffed quesadillas, Agaves enchiladas, and their tacos.
There is a noodle bar, pasta bar, seafood bar, wine shop, butcher shop with prepared foods, bakery, coffee shop, juice bar and a couple deli counters, plus a small grocery store. Lines do get long during prime-time dining hours, but off-hours has never been a problem, like before 12, or between 2-5 pm. Mid-price range for high quality food. Casual setting.
Seagrass downtown and its more casual bistro next door, the Black Sheep.
New American food – Upper-price range for high quality food.
Julienne – also new American, with a younger vibe. Upper price range, high quality food. Needs reservations.
Wine bar with food
Les Marchands in the Funkzone. Friday and Saturday is ramen night. It’s a small location, not good for big groups. A good spot for wine with several sommeliers on staff. Big focus on European wine. Upper-price range for high quality food.
The funkzone is a couple blocks long. You can just park and wander the range of wine tasting rooms, art galleries, and a handful of restaurants.
Cocktail bar with Food IN GOLETA
The Bourbon Room, right between Santa Barbara and Goleta. Casual, comfortable, wait service. Burgers, pizzas, steaks and lots of bourbon based cocktails. Dinner only. Later at night parking gets hard due to the Creekside Bar next to it (same management). Also, Creekside Bar is fun – country&western style.
Santa Ynez Valley – in case you’re in the area
Industrial Eats – Buellton. Open for lunch and dinner. Great beef tongue pastrami reuben. Casual dining. Mid-price range for high quality casual food.
Bacon & Brine – Solvang. Casual picnic style. Big juicy sandwiches, local pork only. Lunch only. Very limited menu and VERY good.
Bell Street Farm – Los Alamos. Casual lunch only. Great porchetta, and good meatloaf sandwich. Mid-price range for high quality food.
Full of Life Flatbread – Los Alamos. Casual dinner only. EVERYTHING here is good, especially the specials. Very local, seasonal. Mid-price range for very high quality food.
Los Alamos is just a couple blocks long and is up and coming. It’s easy to just park and walk the town for a couple wine tasting rooms and casual restaurants.
Cheap Eats – usually hole-in-the-wall style
Cuernavaca (Mexican food) downtown – recommend the tacos al pastor, and gorditas.
Romanti-Ezer (Mexican food) downtown – recommend the chicken emoladas, the holy ole mole burrito and the super milo burrito (plantains and black beans).
La Tapatia Bakery (Mexican food) Milpas area, and Goleta. Recommend the chicken mole, tacos. Tortillas are really fresh and tasty. Helps to know Spanish here.
Three Pickles Deli (American sandwiches) downtown and Goleta. Hot pastrami is great, so is the meatball sub. Ask for deli mustard because it’s standard to use yellow mustard there. Very casual. Sandwiches are big.
The India Club in Goleta has a lunchtime buffet for about $10. Very casual.
TAP Thai Cuisine (fairly close by) Formerly on upper De La Vina now at 3130 State Street. Lunch or dinner
Presto Pasta (in a small mall fairly close by) 2830 De La Vina. Italian food, Lunch or Dinner (try the wedge salad)