spending some time in santa barbara-need restaurant recs
we are spending some time in santa barbara and would like some recommendations for good eats around town. one thing i wold like is a good tri-tip bbq place. other than that we like all types of ethnic food and will always enjoy a delicious tradiitionall dinner would love to hear from you folks so we can get down to some good eating
Welcome to Santa Barbara. You will find many of the same favorite recommendations by doing a search of this website and you will find there are few bad restaurants in this town and at least one or two exceptional items at most of them.
The range of choices is so vast in this area that it is hard to pin down a list. What you will find instead are favorites in different parts of town, different levels of amenities and costs, different ethnic cuisine favorites and price levels. Milpas Street is known for its Mexican restaurants. The blocks around the Arlington and Granada Theaters and the 1200 block of State Street have some of the favorite high-end places. The San Roque Area around Las Positas and State has some of the local smaller restaurant favorites. The Harbor area is more tourism oriented and often does not show up on many people's favorites lists but there are good dining experiences to be had and views of the city, mountain and ocean that can't be beat.
A real treat on Thurs and Friday evenings is the newly remodeled Gourmet Dining Room put on by the students of Santa Barbara City College Culinary Arts program. Lower priced but very serviceable dining can be found in Isla Vista and Goleta out by the University. Montecito dining is another venue that has some stylish casual options. And Carpinteria, a few miles to the south is turning into a dining destination as young chef put their heart and soul into young establishments where the rents are cheaper. We all have favorites in all these parts of town so can you narrow down your interests a bit more as to location, price range, tastes, curiosity and dining expectations.
Over all we are town of a lot of good restaurants, few really great restaurants, but almost zero that are terrible or without some valuable redeeming feature or menu items.
Top choice for me would be Julienne on East Canon Perdido which is an outlier that doesn't fit into any of the above dining zones, but for at least once, and after than there are lots of different ways you can go here.
And the one specific request you have, sadly goes unanswered - not really great tri-tip because the best is usually at a private BBQ event or the weekend carts in Santa Maria. We have the Chicken Ranch which does only tri-tip and BBQ chicken and its good but not great. I hear the tri-tip sanwiches at the Rosa Mexican bakery on San Andres street are really good but have not had them myself.
That is another dining destination area - San Andres and West Micheltorena for great nachos and burritos at Super Cucas, great pizza at Paesanos, and a great working class neighborhood bar with nice tap selection beers at Palmieri's - our mayors favorite watering hole. And the Mesa neighborhood has some favorites too ............. see the problem here? Help, need a little more specificity for a really good answer.