With its picturesque sunset on the beach as a backdrop Xavier Woods Jersey , Spanish style architecture and world class wineries, Santa Barbara, California has transformed into a one-of-a-kind city for vacationing. Naturally, when one goes vacationing, one of the primary decisions to make on a daily basis is: “Where shall my buddies and I eat this time”? Luckily, in Santa Barbara, that question will not be difficult to answer as it is teeming with restaurants and variety will never be an obstacle to overcome. From someone who frequents this city, the following restaurants are suggested to be visited based on budgetary considerations.
When you are in the mood for French food with a flair of California, the ideal place to try is Bouchon. They serve what they call “wine country cuisine”. When you check out their website you will get to understand what they mean by:
“We pick the freshest, highest quality ingredients locally available to end up in the Bouchon Santa Barbara kitchen. Collaborating with local fishermen, produce farmers and game ranchers, we have created a menu that we steadfastly believe captures the meaning of California’s Central Coast”.
The signature dish that Bouchon prepares is duck breast, although they likewise offer rack of lamb, seafood and venison with an extensive selection of Santa Barbara County wines.
The next dining spot of great reputation is Louie’s California Bistro. It can be found at the ground floor of the charming and elegant Upham Hotel which is of old Victorian style and built in 1871. At Louie’s, you can fall in love with the sumptuous California cuisine and highlighted by Santa Barbara County, Napa or Sonoma Valley wines. Feast on it in its attractive porch or in its cozy wooden floored dining room served by the friendliest staff ever.
One notch below in the list is the Seagrass Restaurant whose owner is Mitchell Sjerven. He is also the proprietor of Bouchon. This time, Seagrass serves fresh seafood and the evening specials have suggested pairings of mostly local wines. Below is the way they put in words the very essence of their restaurant in their website:
“The sights and sounds of Seagrass was designed to soothe the senses. The artistic Seagrass wall covering, plantation shutters and white wainscoting are enjoyed in luxurious chairs, while vaulted ceilings and the carpet below keeps the noise to a comfortable level.”
One more notch down the list is the affordably priced Italian restaurant Ca Dario which was chosen by locals as the best restaurant overall in Santa Barbara in 2010. However, what maybe affordable to me may not be to you so let’s focus on the delicious Italian Food that it has to offer. These are coupled with a list of wine that is either made in California or Italy.
When you want to feel really good about the price and the atmosphere, The Breakwater Restaurant is the one for you. Situated on the Santa Barbara harbor, they serve really great food especially the one dubbed “Catch of the Day”. Take a seat at the patio and enjoy the scenic view of the marina. This is more popular as a breakfast spot but do not count it out for lunch or dinner. Once you have taken a sumptuous meal, a stroll on the breakwater will prove to be irresistible especially when views of the marina and the Pacific Ocean are in the offing.
When your inner self is telling you to have Mexican Food, La Playa Azul Cafe is the choice for a moderately priced restaurant but very nice amenities. The various items on the menu boasts of authentic Mexican dishes as well as the more than usual ones like “callo de acha con cebolla y jalapenos”. It consists mainly of scallops that is sauteed with onions, tomatoes, tomatillos and jalapenos. When you are a margarita fan, then you will find their concoction very statisfying.
But if things are a bit funky and taco is in the air, a little taco stand called La Super Rica Taqueria is the perfect place to go to. They got well known as a place frequented by Julia Child. There even is a mention in one of the articles she has written about Santa Barbara for National Geographic’s Traveler. In the article, she mentioned that it is one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants serving home-cooked caliber foods in town.
One place that is in the “should not miss” list when in Santa Barbara is Stearns Wharf. The obvious best place to eat on the wharf is the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company. It is a crab and shellfish shop where you can find steamed crab or lobster served with a pint of draft beer. Enjoy these on a picnic table at just about the very end of the wharf and smell the salty breeze from the ocean. But when you feel just having a burger and some fries, then you can hop scotch to Char West which is also located on Stearns Wharf. The grilled burgers are a tasty treat and an ocean view is the perfect dessert.
Coffee lovers can also have a treat in Santa Barbara at The French Press which is strategically located on State Street. It is the place to get the best coffee in town without question. One of the must have is the McConnell ice cream cone. When you are feeling it for something cold and sweet and mind boggling tasty, Mc Connell’s is it. It is the ice cream shop where it is possible for you to have the best ice cream of your life.
Some nights could drag on forever and you might wish for time to speed up a bit. When such is the case, take a stroll down to Joe’s Cafe where an institution has been laid down for dishing out great down to earth food, rambunctious ambience and the stiffest drinks in town.
Now that the top secret list has made it to Wikileaks, don’t forget to pack your bags before you purchase your airline tickets. There may be some things that you can’t do without in good old Santa Barbara.