The Best Places to Eat and Drink in Santa Barbara

Bowls of food and the words "EAT" depicting Santa Barbara Dining: The Best Places to Eat and Drink

In this Santa Barbara dining guide you will find a wide range of sure to be favorite places to eat and drink—from the best margaritas in town to al fresco dining at its best. Bon appetit, and don’t forget to tell them The Scout Guide sent you!

Santa Barbara

Enjoy this list of Santa Barbara dining spots, with recommendations for fine dining, the best local seafood, where to get a perfect margarita, and more.

Augie’s (700 State Street). Experience an unforgettable dining journey with vibrant Mexican flavors and unique cocktails that complement the experience perfectly. Happy hour: Tuesday – Friday, 3-5pm Instagram

Dusk Bar (542 State Street). Experience delightful ambiance while savoring their signature cocktails. We are fans of the refreshing Palomas, the classic Martini, and the zesty Margaritas. Happy hour: Thursday – Sunday, 3-5pm Instagram

Finney’s Crafthouse (35 State Street). Located in the newly constructed Hotel California and just a block away from the pier, enjoy stunning views from the patio. Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 3-5pm Instagram

Santa Barbara FisHouse (101 East Cabrillo). Fresh local seafood, straight from Santa Barbara fishermen’s boats. Happy hour: Everyday, 4-close Instagram

Santo Mezcal (119 State Street). Modern contemporary Mexican cuisine featuring traditional flavors and local, seasonal ingredients. Happy hour: Monday – Thursday, 1-5pm Instagram

The Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach (2981 Cliff Drive). Indulge in the finest seafood and the unparalleled beauty of Santa Barbara’s oceanic vistas. The happy hour here is a celebration of life’s simple pleasures. Happy hour: Sunday – Thursday, 3-6pm Instagram

The Good Lion (1212 State Street). A cocktail bar that draws inspiration from the American Riviera, Santa Barbara, South-West Europe and Mediterranean Africa, reflected in the intimate and contemporary design. Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 4-6pm Instagram

Flor de Maiz (29 East Cabrillo Boulevard). Offering classic Mexican dishes in a relaxed atmosphere, with the added bonus of cocktails and alfresco dining. Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 2-5pm Instagram

La Paloma Café (702 Anacapa Street). A downtown restaurant with a friendly local hangout vibe. Dishes are made from scratch and are influenced by California’s rich ranchero style, providing a flavorful and uncomplicated approach to cooking. Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 5-6:30pm Instagram

Finch & Fork (31 West Carrillo Street). Inspired by Santa Barbara’s farms, coastline, and culinary traditions, they use the best local ingredients. Happy hour: Daily, 4-6pm Instagram

Santa Barbara Wine Therapy (12 West Haley Street). The ultimate in relaxation, where you can savor a glass of Santa Barbara’s finest wine, freshly made frosé or sangria, and locally brewed beer. Share delightful bites while your furry friend enjoys the new dog menu. Happy hour: Friday – Sunday, 3-5pm Instagram

Rodeo Room (231 Montecito). A cozy and exclusive speakeasy bar that serves handcrafted cocktails and a late-night small bite menu. Happy hour: Daily, 5-6pm Instagram

Reunion Kitchen + Drink (1118 East Cabrillo Boulevard). Experience modern comfort by indulging in innovative food interpretations and skillful cocktail crafting. Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 2:30-6pm Instagram

Test Pilot (211 Helena Avenue). Escape to a tropical paradise at this island-inspired cocktail bar. For an unforgettable night out with friends, reserve the exclusive Sea Wolf room. Instagram

Rare Society (214 State Street). Inspired by the vintage Las Vegas steakhouses, featuring wood-fired, Santa Maria style-grilling for meats, accompanied by sustainably-sourced seafood and a progressive cocktail program. Happy hour: Wednesday – Monday, 4-6pm Instagram

La Playa Azul Café (914 Santa Barbara Street). Signature seafood dishes inspired by Mexico. Their happy hour has been recognized by Santa Barbara Independent as the Best Happy Hour and Runner Up for Best Margarita. Happy hour: Tuesday – Sunday, 3-6pm Instagram

Milk and Honey (30 West Anapamu Street). Discover the perfect evening out with late-night happy hour, running Thursday to Saturday, 9:30-11pm. For just $9, indulge in a wide variety of crafty drinks and delectable tapas. Happy hour: Daily, 5-6:30pm Instagram

Secret Bao (1201 Anacapa Street). Indulge in the exotic flavors of Pan-Asian cuisine. The menu also features a range of refreshing cocktails, making it the perfect spot to unwind after a long day. Happy hour: Wednesday – Sunday, 5-6pm Instagram


Get a taste of the good life with our stellar recommendations for Montecito dining.

Coast & Olive (1295 Coast Village Road). A fusion of Italian, French, and Mediterranean cuisine, located in the historic Montecito Inn. Happy hour: Daily, 3-5pm Instagram

Local Montecito (1187 Coast Village Road). Located in the heart of Montecito, it boasts incredible outdoor seating, including two heated patios, a fire pit, couches, and a 360-degree bar. Their extensive and rare wine collection pairs perfectly with their dishes. Happy hour: Friday – Sunday, 3-5pm Instagram

Bettina (1014 Coast Village Road). Pizza crafted with naturally-leavened dough, proving the power of simple, quality ingredients create delicious food. Happy hour: Monday – Thursday, 4:30-5:30pm Instagram

Santa Ynez

This charming town on the Central Coast has cowboy roots with some serious wine country culture and not-to-miss restaurants.

The Victor (3631 Sagunto Street). Located within the premises of The Genevieve, The Victor offers a wide range of delectable dishes, wines, cocktails, and more. Happy hour: Monday – Friday, 4:30-6:30pm Instagram

Dos Carlitos (3544 Sagunto Street). Enjoy a beautiful patio experience, a vibrant indoor space, and a carefully curated selection of tequila and mezcal in their award-winning Margaritas. Happy hour: Everyday, 4-6pm Instagram


Solvang is a sun-soaked slice of Danish culture in the Santa Ynez Valley with wonderful dining options.

Mad & Vin (1576 Mission Drive). Featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients from California’s central coast, you can expect delicious wine country-inspired cuisine. Happy hour: Everyday, 4-6pm Instagram

Coast & Range (1635 Mission Drive). The menu heavily emphasizes seasonal dishes and offers a wide selection of mains, including wood-grilled seafood and steaks that frequently change. Instagram

For additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in Santa Barbara, follow TSG Santa Barbara on Instagram.

Need to know where to stay and shop in Santa Barbara? Check out The Best Places to Stay in Santa Barbara and The Best Places to Shop in Santa Barbara.