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Aug 8, 2006 06:20 PM

Dinner with Dog in Santa Barbara?

Taking my Lab up to Santa Barbara for the weekend, and looking for a nice restaurant at which she'll be welcome. Doesn't need to be fancy; just reasonable prices, tasty chow, and pooch-friendly.

Thanks in advance.

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    1. I see dogs sitting quietly under many of the outdoor seats in restaurants along STATE STREET, but have never seen them indoors like one does in Europe. As long as the dog is quiet or compact and contained, it appears we do have a live and let live attitude, regardless of any official prohibitions.

      Hendry's Beach (Arroyo Burro) is the location of the BROWN PELICAN restaurant with a large outdoor patio right at the edge of the beach, which is also known as the "dog beach" as once you pass beyond the "city line" into the "county" along the beach going north, you can let your dog run off leash. One often sees dogs at the outdoor tables.

      The BROWN PELICAN is very much a local spot, few tourists go out here. You can find it taking the Las Positas exit from Highway 101, go towards the ocean and turn right and there it is to the left. Free, but crowded parking.

      1. glbtrtr is right...

        The Brown Pelican is a good call, though slightly remote (it's a few miles from the downtown scene and there's nothing there except the nice beach) and the food, while reasonable, is not particularly "chowish."

        In addition to the various places along downtown State Street that have patios, there are a few outdoor tables at Ca Dario on Anacapa Street and Victoria, one block from State Street. Ca Dario has excellent Italian. I've seen folks eating outdoors at Ca Dario with their dogs. Not the most comfortable outdoor eating situation, but the great food makes it worth considering.

        1. I live in Santa Barbara, Goleta actually, and have 3 labs. It is not the most dog friendly place in California. There are laws forbidding dogs in restaurants and at the outdoor cafes. Some places may be stretching the rules, but you can't count on it. I was at an outdoor Cafe, at a table on the sand, at Ledbetter Beach with one of my dogs lying quietly under the table. I was asked to put her in the car. Health regulations. Good Luck.

          1. I live in Santa Barbara also. It's true that we are not a really dog-friendly restaurant town ... and that's too bad. Because the restaurants are blaming it on the "regulations" when in fact, the owner of restaurant is the one who sets the rules regarding dogs. According to a spokesperson from CDHS, Food and Drug Branch: "(pet) dogs are allowed throughout California at any outdoor dining areas unless they have to walk through the inside of a restaurant to get to the outdoor seats." It does not matter if food is served outside or taken out by the customer, or if the seats are located on a patio, sidewalk, or in a fenced area as long as there is access through an outside gate or opening. In addition, the CA statute forbids counties or cities from making these codes stricter. However: it is still the prerogative of a restaurant owner to choose whether or not to allow dogs; the choice lies with the owner not the city or county. SB Public Health Dept. has continuously told restaurants and the public that dogs are not allowed at any outdoor seating areas. Don't let the restaurant blame it on "health regulations." It is the restaurant. Look at Carmel and one can see an example of a town incredibly pet-friendly at both its hotels and its restaurants.

            1 Reply
            1. Louie's Restaurant is in the Upham Hotel, a few blocks from the Ground Zero downtown restaurant zone (1200 block State Street area) and near a large city park where rover can roam, but not off-leash.

              Louie's is a sleeper - intimate setting, good food, good variety, nice service. Sometimes I forget about it but when one asks what is a real Santa Barbara dining experience you certainly can do well in this very historic old hotel setting that has been lovingly refurbished. Thanks for the reminder.