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Nov 17, 2009 10:24 AM

saturday lunch in Santa Barbara

I am taking the train up to Santa Barbara with some ladies for the day. We need recs for lunch.There is one vegetarian , and we will be on foot. No Mexican please...but seafood would be good. Thanks in advance hounds.

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  1. The natural cafe on state street is amazing, I would recommend the tempeh tacos for your veg friend, they are my favorite food in the whole world

    1. On foot from the train station? There is a shuttle that goes up and down State Street, or even out to Montecito Coast Village Road. But since downtown Santa Barbara is a very long State Street from the ocean all the way up 12 long blocks and has a huge variety of restaurants there is a lot to chose from. Or, recommend.

      I am personally no fan of the Natural Cafe, but they will be able to satisfy at least a vegetarian. Not sure about the rest of the crowd. Virtually all SB restaurants have vegetarian options these days.

      Can you give more specifics as to local and how far you like to walk and what all you plan to do in Santa Barbara - sight see, shop, go to museum, art galleries,,,,,,,,. Do you want a place with sidewalk tables, a quiet place, a lively place, a place close to the beach, a place up the street where you might need to get back and forth on the shuttle?

      The Harbor Restaurant or the Santa Barbara Shellfish company on Sterns Wharf, heading towards the ocean from the train station are possibilities. Emilio's on Cabrillo Blvd has a lovely setting with N. italian, but not sure if they are open for lunch. The Fish House serves fish on Cabrillo Blvd - not great, more chain food type cuisine, but a nice view setting, especially if you get a front patio table.

      Or if you want to walk along the beachside bike path past the zoo and the Bird Refuge, you will find Stella Mares which is a favorite Country French places very popular with locals but few tourists know about. This would be a long, but very pretty walk.

      The best restaurant zone to head for is the 1000-1300 blocks of State Street, near the Court House and the Art Museum and several blocks past the shopping in Paseo Nuevo mall (Nordstroms/Macys). Lots of good choices around that area - on the main street and some of the side streets. You almost can't go wrong in this few block area. It is really our prime downtown area for the locals and the things we do and call home.

      Below that is more the tourist (100 blocks) zone or the bar zone (600 blocks). Bucatini's in the Lower State Street area is very good and has sidewalk seating too and keeps you closer to the train station. (N.Italian)

      So please, give us a little more direction and let's see what we can come up with .Good for you for taking the train. They have a little brochure at the train station "Car Free in Santa Barbara" that can give you some basics and info about the shuttle service. (25 cents)

      1 Reply
      1. re: glbtrtr

        Thanks for all the great info. We're going on the 5th instead.

      2. I think the suggestion of Stella Mare's is perfect, also the shuttle advice.
        The setting and menu at Stella Mare's are just lovely, sure to please all in your group. I particularly like dining in the Greenhouse room, but the whole space is cozy and inviting.