In the past, both my wife and I have lived in cities with top-rated restaurants and high-quality dining. I’ve lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and my wife spent over a decade in London, right when Gordon Ramsay was inspiring English cuisine to reach new heights. Suffice to say, we are people who love good food, whether it’s in a Michelin-starred restaurant or a hole-in-the-wall diner.
We also moved to Santa Barbara from Laguna Beach that, for a small town, had a surprising number of good restaurant choices. But not like Santa Barbara’s selection of restaurants. We are truly spoiled for choice here, with over 500 cafés, taquerias, bars, diners and restaurants that will satisfy every diner’s taste and budget, in a price range from a $2 taco up to a $50 steak.
No matter where you are in town, you’ll be able to find good eating establishments—sometimes where you’d least expect. Some restaurants have been here for years, and for good reason (The Chase, Arigato, Dutch Gardens), while we are always happy to see a new venue open up for something new to try.
So if you’re looking for a city with beautiful views, great weather and a wealth of delicious choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you should move to Santa Barbara right away. If you’re looking for a warm, friendly and small city with dining options as cutting edge as those in a big metropolis, again—get yourself here to Santa Barbara.
We’re happy to send you a list of some of the top restaurants in the local areas for you—just send us an email and we’ll let you know our favorites and why. But there are new restaurants opening every week, so there’s never a dull moment on our culinary scene. We still haven’t eaten at all the restaurants in Santa Barbara, and there are so many more to discover. And have a look at our gallery of dining out photos before you make a choice to see what makes you hungry.