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Santa Barbara County Restaurants

10 8 Downey's

Address: 1305 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
$$$ Recommended Editor's Pick
Seeming light years away from the hustle and bustle of the collegiate/tourist-filled South State Street is an unsuspecting Cal-French local favorite: Downey’s. For 25 years, Owner and Chef John Downey has managed to sustain rave accolades amidst a completely unlikely environment. Yes, the esteemed apex of Santa Barbara restaurant folklore is all but hidden in secluded Mid-Town State Street. More surprising is that once inside, Downey’s is completely void of aesthetic trickery to the point of intrigue. It is evident: John Downey is from the school of substance over style.

10 8 Bouchon

Address: 9 W. Victoria Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Located in scenic downtown Santa Barbara, Bouchon brings the best of the Wine Country to the table. The vine crusted exterior welcomes guests into the heart of Santa Barbara countryside. The seasonal menu features a selection of meat entrees with suggested wine pairings. Aside from the chicken, lamb, and fish options, the Grilled Wagyu New York Steak, served with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Braised Black Kale, Wild Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette, and Parsley-Caper Coulis tops the favorite’s list. The restaurant’s “Wine Country Cuisine” approach to the menu is evident throughout the food and beverage list. The ingredients featured are locally sourced, ...

10 8 The Wine Cask

Address: 813 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Wine Cask
Located in an early twentieth-century building in the historic El Paseo complex, The Wine Cask offers a dramatic and charming atmosphere with high ceilings, wide windows, and a large fireplace in the dining room. Known for imaginative dishes loaded with luxury regional ingredients, the Wine Cask offers a select menu of decadent dishes, such as Miso Broiled Black Cod with Japanese eggplant, shiitake mushrooms, pickled carrots and star anise broth, and Truffled Potato Gnocchi with butternut squash, porcini mushrooms, baby gold beets and truffle butter sauce.

10 8 The Palace Grill

Address: 8 E. Cota Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Palace Grill
Located in Santa Barbara's Old Town district, The Palace Grill offers authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine as well as more modern Caribbean and Italian-influenced dishes. Excellent service, a unique entertaining atmosphere and sensational regional cuisine make The Palace Grill one of the best places outside of New Orleans to sample everything from Crawfish Étoufeé to Oysters Rockefeller.

10 8 Holdren's Steakhouse

Address: 512 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Holdren's Steakhouse
$$$ Editor's Pick
Situated in the heart of Santa Barbara’s downtown scene, Holdren’s provides diners classically prepared steaks as well as seafood with a distinctively Californian flair. The patio offers views of this resort town’s palm-lined streets and upscale shops, while indoors the brick walls and leather booths bestow a charm akin to the traditional steakhouses of Chicago or New York. Though in business a mere four years, Holdren’s boasts the oldest bar in Santa Barbara, so it comes as no surprise that the martini list contains an array of unique specials and the extensive wine list is suitably matched to the hearty ...

10 8 Lucky's

Address: 1270 Coast Village Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Lucky’s approach to fine cuisine—to offer simple food prepared from scratch—is ideally suited to their steakhouse fare. Midwestern USDA Prime beef dominates the menu, with cuts including Filet Mignon, Porterhouse, and New York, while select seafood and other meats are also featured. Vegetables and sides offer simple accompaniments, with Lucky’s home fries standing out as a favorite. The vast windows and old studio head shots of Hollywood stars on the walls gives the dining room a classy and sophisticated atmosphere, which sees many a devoted fan returning for Chef James Sly’s simple but expertly prepared cuisine.

10 8 Smokin Jacks KC BBQ

Address: 3807 Santa Claus Lane, Carpinteria, CA 93013
Smokin Jacks KC BBQ
Smokin' Jack's KC Barbecue is where locals go to satisfy their cravings for heavy-duty Kansas City-style barbecue. Smoke is a major part of the flavor of this Midwestern technique, and at Smokin' Jack's, hand-cut meat and house made sausages are cooked extra slowly using secret homemade rubs and sauces. Enjoy Smokin Jack's finger-licking good food in a lively atmosphere, complete with live blues as a backdrop.