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Dec 13, 2006 04:56 AM

LA Hound in Santa Barbara for a day - what to eat?

Hi everyone,

coming up for a day trip this coming Saturday and looking for some mid-priced lunch ($15-20 pp) and dinner ($30-40 pp) options in Santa Barbara - perhaps even a winery / local food shop to check out.

Counting on you guys--- thanks.


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  1. What part of town will you be visiting and what is your goal - food, veiws, known, unknown, ethnic? Most of these are open for both lunch and dinner.

    If you are by the beach and the tourist area, try Fresco's At the Beach at the corner of Cabrillo Blvd and Milpas Streets for spectacular view and California cuisine. Many like Santa Barbara Shellfish at the tip of the Wharf at the ocean end of State Street. Fresco's:

    A solid N. Italian choice with an erratic service attitude at the Beach is Emilio's on Cabrillo Blvd between Bath and Castillo Streets.

    Another local sleeper near the beach at the Bird Refuge past the Zoo on Cabrillo Blvd and Los Patos Way is Stella Mares, in a lovely French country setting with a glass garden room - particularly lovely at sunset for drinks.

    The Wine Cask in El Paseo (mid State Street) is good for local wine selections but mixed reveiews for food though a lovely and historic setting. Also Cantwell's market at West Arrellaga and 1500 block State Street has very good wine selections, along with good deli items.

    For the best Mexican, try the far more casual La Superrica Tacqueria on Milpas Street at Alphonse, and the Number 15 Tocino Special will have you driving back to Santa Barbara for more. Or nearby, there are fans for Bajio also on Milpas Street, the working class neighborhood of Santa Barbara.

    The prime restaurant zone is found on and around the 1200 Block of State Street (central downtown) and East/West Victoria Street with any number of possibilities: N. Italian at Ca Dario (I love their antipasto misto - enough for a lunch); Olio et Limone - N. Italian, Opal's - eclectic; Tupelo Junction - Southern US; the casual Cafe Bianco in Victoria Court(lunch only) - light salads, sandwiches, Euro style pastries.

    Also on mid State Street is Taj or Spice Avenue for Indian with their well-priced and savory buffets. Several sushi and Japanese bento box lunch combos line State Street.

    Monetcito in the Lower or Upper Village has a number of "happening" restaurants too. Montecito Cafe in the Montecito Inn on Coast Village Road is a local favorite - save room for the coconut cake.

    Well, that's a start......

    My own pick for lunch would be Ca Dario on the corner of East Victoria and 1200 block Anacapa Street for the following: antipasto misto, crema vanigla (creme caramel) and a cappucino or glass of wine - for about $20. Served with delicious foccacia bread. Yum. Then maybe Fresco's at the Beach or Stella Mares for dinner.

    1. Thanks for the recs, and to clarify/be more detailed - we're looking for something Californian cuisine wise (though non-heavy European would do) - fresh seafood & good desserts are a definite big plus, as well as a wine list featuring local favorites or good, unique cocktails.


      1 Reply
      1. re: AquaW

        Think about my final recommendations and I don't think you will be disappointed.

      2. Good recommendations, globetrotter! I'll throw in Your Place (Milpas) or Galanga Thai (lower State), Brophy Bros. by the wharf for fresh fish (clam chowder is great!), the Indian place on upper State (can't think of the name, but it's across from McKenzie Park- State and De La Vina), Paesano's at 1429 S. Andres for the best pizza in SB.

        1. Agree, Paesano's Pizza is a true SB insider's favorite. In fact the Westside remains a unique mom and pop dining experience: Sushi Teri (Japanese); Super Cuca's (Mexican) and Paesano's (Italian).

          1. Here is a commerical website featured on local wine talk radio show: Wine and Dine in Santa Barbara