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Feb 28, 2008 12:25 AM

Places to eat near the Muddy Waters Cafe in Santa Barbara?

You'll have to pardon my ignorance of the Santa Barbara area. I'm headed to the Muddy Waters Cafe to hear some music this Saturday (March 1st) evening. Since I'm driving in from Los Angeles, if some of you would be so kind to suggest some nearby eating places. It doesn't have to be anything special, but I'd like a nice meal up to say $25 (I don't drink). It can simple and hopefully get reasonably speedy service. I'm pretty open to any kind of cuisine. Also if it's close to the cafe that would be a plus. The address of the Muddy Waters Cafe is 508 E. Haley in Santa Barbara. I'm under the impression it's more a coffehouse kind of place, but I don't know that to be absolute fact. If the food there is pretty good, well that would make things simpler. I don't see a menu on their myspace page so I presume food is not a priority there. Thanks!

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  1. Rose Cafe is also on East Haley Street, a venerable old Mexican family run cafe. Buccatini's Northern Italian is on the corner of East Haley and State Street going the other way, if you want to see the action in the bar district of State Street with people watching side walk tables. Eat carefully and you can bring it in around $25 there.

    Milpas Street, if you go towards the mountains on East Haley a few blocks is loaded with lots of mom and pop restuarants of almost every flavor: the famous La Superica, Vietnamise, our best Thai, lots of other family Mexican, pizza, pasta, bagels, Trader Joes market.

    Acoustics musicians gather around Victoria Square at the upstairs restaurant, corner of State and West Victoria, in the middle of our high-end restaurant row. All of these areas are fairly walkable from Muddy Waters. **Great** $14 Pug Burger at Hungry Cat with lots of wonderful onion rings -you can eat at the bar solo - corner of West Anapamu and Chapala if you get up to this end of town.

    In Santa Barbara, you are not far from lots of small restaurants and cafes. Enjoy. Red's Cafe on East Yanonali near State Street is another hang-out arts cafe in the "Funk Zone" where artists and craftsmen have their shops and studios.

    Just wander a bit in either direction from MWaters, and follow your eyes, your nose and your stomach and tell us what you find.

    6 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      Thanks "glbtrtr" for such a detailed reply. I'm take a copy of your reply with me and give one of the places listed a try definitely and report back. The trouble with the relevance my report (is as my mom used to call me) "a walking trash can." Hungry Cat is also in Los Angeles, although I've never eaten there. I think trying a local place would be the best course of action. At least now I feel I'm armed with some knowledge, thanks to you.

      1. re: glbtrtr

        Keep your chin up on Haley- lots of stuff to purchase, none of it legal.....After dark it can get sketchy.

        1. re: JalamaMama

          Thanks for the "heads up," but I live in Los Angeles. I might consider Haley Street kind of classy!

          1. re: Feed_me

            Police cruisers make Haley Street one of their constant beats. They all meet for "coffee" at Las Conchas just to show the flag. Don't think you have to be too careful here, except if you are interested in buying things off the books. It is the closest we have to a Red Light District - which means Montecito teenagers come here in their BMWs to buy their pot. And a few guys dressed as girls come to get sold.

            Pretty tame compared to the Big City. You are in our funk zone for sure and that is why Muddy Waters exists - a bit on the edge for crowds and culture compared to more traditional or tourist SB.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              Just back from SB. Someone I know contacted me via e-mail about perhaps coming along for the ride and show. Played phone tag and got a late start. Traffic was not too bad and the Muddy Water Cafe was easy to find. Not wanting to get to the show late I went to the nearby Rose Cafe. Nice older place with a nice, friendly staff. The menu was a bit "old school" with the usual tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc. The food (two chicken enchilada plate) was not remarkable, but it was good enough to satisfy my hunger and I got out of there pretty quickly. The kicker was the singer I went to see had her flight hung up in Chicago so she didn't make the show. I picked her show over two others I also wanted to see. I do know where the place is and I do know the Rose Cafe. Perhaps for next time. Thanks "glbtrtr" for taking such an interest in my little trip. I did print out your post and will file it away for possible future reference.