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Jul 20, 2010 01:36 AM

Santa Barbara Martini Lunch

We are taking a dear friend out to lunch in SB this week. Any suggestions for a fish/veggie friendly place with a fun atmosphere and not too high prices ($15-$20 an entree.) We have a car and can drive into surrounding towns.


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  1. I always like Stella Mares at the Bird Refuge for a charming lunch in a pretty setting. Moderate prices. Check out their website and see if this appeals to you. They do have a martini menu too.

    Give us a better idea of what you think a "fun atmosphere" is - age group, decor, crowded, serene, pretty views, ..... legendary food. Lunch is a busy time in some parts of town and more dead in others. If it is a weekday or a weekend there can be very different experiences in different parts of town too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      We are going tomorrow, so can't be a hard reservation to get and we are in our late 20s -early 30s. Fun drinks are essential and not a snoozy atmosphere. We enjoy ladies who lunch establishments.

      1. re: chadradchad

        Montecito Cafe on Coast Village Road in Montecito is another good ladies for lunch place, or Tre Lune also in the same area which is more the guys casual power lunch spot. Stella Mares is for ladies who lunch, but a little more genteel and quiet than what you are looking for.

        The bar zone on Lower State Street around the 600 block is livelier and younger, but not much for food- Bucatini's in this area is good. Outdoors. Cafe Luck on East Cota if they are open for lunch or Blue Agave and Palace Cafe in this same lower State Street area, but also may not be open for lunch - young and lively places. Check their websites.

        Blush in Lower State Old Town has had a recent stylish makeover and has outdoor tables and is known more for its drinks than its food. This part of town mainly come alive on weekends and evenings so don't know how lively it will be at lunch.

        The harbor and wharf have some livelier places and lots of tourists this time of year during the daytime hours - lots to choose from but few memorable for food. Just walk around the harbor and see what draws you in - a food/bar scene there too.

        Not a drinker myself so don't know much about fun drinks. Be careful driving home. Drink responsibly when you are the driver. Know your limits and what the law says. Our freeways here are dangerous enough on their own. Lots of construction going on right now.

        Most likely you will not need reservations for weekday lunches anywhere.

        Blue Agave
        20 E Cota St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

        Tre Lune
        1151 Coast Village Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108

        Stella Mare's
        50 Los Patos Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93108

    2. Stella Mares is a good call..
      The Chase is one of my all time fav's on State and they make the best calamari picatta with a side of fettucini and salad for around $ atmosphere with full bar and you can park in the back.