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Mar 4, 2009 12:56 PM

Santa Barbara Gastropubs?

My wife and I will be in Santa Barbara for a few nights in April.

Are there any gastropubs, or alehouses with top notch food?

My wife loves a good burger, and I'm a pescatarian...and we both like an ample variety of local beers on tap.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

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  1. My favorite is Brewhouse, for beer and food. Second for me would be Hollister Brewing Company in Goleta, for both food and beer. SB Brewing Company on State Street down town is a definite third, especially for the food. Downtown Brewing Company on upper State has some good beers but most of the food is just OK. Don't be put off by Brewhouse's exterior - the place rocks, esp. at Hapy Hour, which is 7 days a week 4-6:00.

    6 Replies
    1. re: sbgirl

      Totally local "Cheers" neighborhood bar with lots of interesting beers on tap is Palmieri's on San Andres Street in the young yuppie/blue collar mix Westside next door to its sister restaurant Paesano's Pizzaria. You order the pizza next door (excellent pizza) and they deliver it to you in the bar. You can't get more local than this and totally opposite the chichi image of Santa Barbara.

      1. re: glbtrtr

        Place looks interesting, I'm definitely gonna try it next time I'm in the area.

        1. re: glbtrtr

          Be sure to take a taxi back to your hotel- not so nice after dark neighboorhood....

          1. re: JalamaMama

            Not necessary to scare anyone about the downtown Westside business district. Not any more unsafe here than anyother place after dark. You can walk the Micheltorena bridge back to State Street anytime, day or night. Lots of activity and well-lighted. And stop in for fabulous SuperCuca's Nachos Supreme if you did not get enough pizza and ceaser salad at Palmieri's.

            Another place with draft beers is Dutch Garden on Calle Real past La Cumbre Shopping Center- again not a place of any sophistication but high on kitschy, rustic charm and okay food.

            Agree no "gastropubs" in SB, but some friendly low key eating and drinking establishments, and not just for kids either.

            Joe's Cafe on Lower State Street in Old Town comes to mind for both good food and drinks and the venerable Harry's Cafe for strong drinks and perfectly awful food but you won't starve, and definitely an old time local watering hole for the famous and near famous in Loreta Plaza.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              Like I say, Harry's not a gastropub, but it sure has its fans and for the food too as well as its drinks - don't know about its beers, but this is Gastropub SB Stye:

              1. re: glbtrtr

                Thanks for the link, that's a great resource.

                Those booths at Harry's look awesome.

      2. sbgirl did a good job at nailing pretty much the only brewhouses in town.

        Hollister Brewing Co has some decent beers, rarely anything too unique, but definitely solid. Their food, however, leaves much to be desired. I would rather have chicken crispers from Chili's next door, than eat food at Hollister Brewing Co.

        SB Brewing Co has decent food, not outstanding, but I would happily eat here for some of their beers. Their seasonal ones are hit and miss, but the pale ale and nut brown they brew are very solid, and very good.

        Brewhouse is the best in my opinion, good food, just simple and well prepared, and the best beers you'll find in sb. Their seasonal selection is pretty darn good, and if they don't have one I'd prefer they have a great hefeweizen and a seriously good porter.

        You're not really going to find a gastropub per se in Santa Barbara, not like Father's Office in LA or Cafe Katja in NY. But Brewhouse serves up good food and great beer, and is worth checking out.

        1. Thanks sbgirl. The Brewhouse was great. We ended up there twice, and even gave the "Cruel Prawn" a try. Their beer was top notch, and better than SB Brewing on State.