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Jul 11, 2009 05:39 PM

El Capitan, Santa Barbara and Solvang area.....must eat at....

We are camping at El Capitan and while some area golfing, we would love to find great restaurants in the areas I mentioned. We don't know the area but we want a rec for breakfast and lunch....we love all food. Where do all the locals go? Please give me your top 5...thanks.

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    1. (1) Paula's Pancakes gets good reviews up in the Solvang area. And the new Root 246 also in Solvang has gotten off to a well received start. (2) Grapalo's in Santa Ynez remains a favorite for me along with (2) Cold Springs Tavern on Highway 154 leaving Santa Barbara via Lake Cachuma and on into Solvang.

      Santa Barbara has so many restaurants it is hard to know what really stands out .But I do think the legendary (3) La Superica on Milpas Street is well worth a stop for their Number 15 Tocino Special (melted cheese, bacon, fresh tortillas and pico de gallo - YUM!)

      Do a search on Santa Barbara because it looks like we keep recommending the same places here and the range is broad.

      Breakfast at (4) Anderson's Cafe on State Street (1100-1000 block) is great for food and people watching at the arcaded outdoor patio seating in our Historic Arts District (above Carrillo Stree)t, which is the part of town we locals like to call home versus the more touristy, busier part of State Street below Carrillo. Our best restaurant ground zero in town is the 1200 block of State Street and the surrounding side streets - something for everyone in these few blocks.

      Our downtown is one long street with different personalities as you move from the oceanside harbor (tourist) to the midtown Arlington Theater (local) at the end of the commercial section before it starts getting more residential past Sola Street.

      My favorite lunch in SB is at (5) Ca Dario (East Victoria Street one block off 1200 block of State Street) and have their wonderful and generous antipasto plate served with their great ciabatta and finish with an affogato or creme caramel and caffe. I keep ordering this over and over and over for years and am never disappointed.

      El Capitan puts you in a bit of driving distance to get to either Solvang or SB and watch out for heavy commute traffic coming into SB in the morning. You might want to take your breakfasts in Solvang and find your own favorite danish places up there and then have your later meal in Santa Barbara. But you have a drive both ways.

      4 Replies
      1. re: glbtrtr

        Well- if you are at El Capitan- drive to Buellton and go to Taco Roco and get the best fish tacos ever. South side of Avenue of Flags. 20 minutes from El Cap.

        1. re: JalamaMama

          JM, are they a la plancha or Baja style (or both)? TIA

          1. re: PolarBear

            fried to a perfect crisp! You might be able to get them both ways- but it has never occured to me to ask- we are baddies- love the fried style!

            I am in Morro Bay right now- ans just typing that makes me want to go and eat more fish!

            1. re: JalamaMama

              I love them both ways, unfortunately my dear lady tries to avoid the fried, at least she tolerates my indulgences/gluttony. Luckily here in the central valley there are excellent choices for either style.