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Mar 7, 2007 10:35 AM

Santa Barbara Eats and Vinyards Suggestions Needed!!

I'm going to Santa Barbara this weekend for a girls get-a-way with a college pal. We both love eating out and would like to try a wine tasting!

I'm looking for some suggestions for great eats (all kinds are welcome) and any vinyards that may be fun for a day trip tasting.

Also does anyone have insight on what the Wine Ghetto is all about?? I have heard of this but don't really know what tis is.

All walks of food are welcome! Thanks much.

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  1. My favorite is Talley, which is up north in Arroyo Grande. Kind of far away.
    Whole bunch of other ones. Melville and Stolpman, for instance.
    Los Olivos and Solvang have a bunch of places to taste.

    1. Might be a good idea to look into one of the escorted wine tours, unless you plan on one of you being the designated driver?

      1. Keep in mind that, in most cases, the wineries are not necessarily near the good restaurants. Aside from the Hitching Post (think "Sideways"), all the good restaurants are in Santa Barbara -- the wineries up in Solvang, Lompoc, etc., are an hour away.


        As far as restaurants are concerned, my two favorites in San Barbara are Wine Cask and Elements.

        2 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          >>Aside from the Hitching Post (think "Sideways"), all the good restaurants are in Santa Barbara -- the wineries up in Solvang, Lompoc, etc., are an hour away.<<

          That's not entirely true. Brother's at Mattei's Tavern in Los Olivos has good food and a lovely ambiance.

          1. re: DanaB

            and arguably the best restaurant in the entire area, SB and the Valley included, is the Restaurant at the Ballard Inn - located right in Ballard, literally yards from the vineyards.

        2. The "wine ghetto" is in a Lompoc industrial area, which is behind Home Depot, home to several wine production operations. I think some of the tasting rooms in the area are only open for special events.

          Wine Cask is also one of my favorites. If it is this weekend, you might see if the wine cask still has openings for the futures event - if you stay in town this also saves the designated driver issue since this is walking distance to some hotels.

          1. OPAL on State Street next to the Arlington Theater has a pretty extensive wine list and very good bistro type food. And you can then walk on up to CANTWELL'S DELI, a few more blocks up State Street for their very nice retail selection of wines to purchase your favorites.