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Jun 14, 2012 12:34 PM

Santa Barbara Italian

Hi all, I will be in Santa Barbara for a bowl concert.We would like opinions on the best Italian in Santa Barbara for dinner.I know there are a few spots but I would love some true foodie referrals.Money is not a issue just really want great food...Thank you!

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  1. My top favorites are: Via Maestra 42 in Loreto Plaza, Trattoria Mollie in Lower Village Montecito and Giannfranco's in Carpinteria. Grappolo in Santa Ynez can also be worth the drive.

    More menu specific favorites are: Ca Dario and Bucatini.

    Nice and occasionally worthy: Emilio's, Olio e Limone and Tre Lune.

    Outlier: Crocodile - varied eclectic menu, but he makes his own pasta.
    Deli/groceries: Italian Market on East Dela Vina; Metropolus; Via Maestra 42
    There has long been an Italian community here from the stone masons, to the fisherman to the truck gardeners. Traditionally the "Boot Club" hangs out at Arnoldi's for bocce ball and boisterous memories - not great for food, but it is the place to pay homage to the last stand for this special local community.

    I personally don't like either of the Montecito Upper village choices: Pane e Vino and Via Vai.

    1. Olio e Limone is consistently excellent and very authetic. Yesterday we had lunch at OlioPizzeria next ddor to athe restaurant. The cheese, mushroom andtruffle pizza was extraordinary!
      This is the placeto eat italian in SB!

      4 Replies
      1. re: pnutbuddah

        Funny, I just had the Giovanni's (Upper State Street - San Roque) special combo pizza yesterday and it was just about perfect too. Totally typical American pizza joint however. You get style and decor at Olio e Limone. You get red checkered table cloths under glass and paper plates at Giovanni's. Two draft Pacifico's and a medium pizza that we couldn't finish so took two pieces home for a second meal for a little over $30 bucks. Noise from the families and kids running around were free!

        1. re: glbtrtr

          Ca Dario is very good and only about a 5 minute drive from the bowl. I also love olio pizzeria-they have some great starters (asparagus with pancetta and egg, black ink calamari), but only pizza for entree. They do feature one non pizza special, but that's kind of a roll of the dice. It is also 5-10 minute drive to bowl. We live right above the bowl, so will be listening to whatever concert you are attending. Have fun.

          1. re: macdog

            Keep in mind parking is very limited at the Bowl - you don't want to dine and then get there just before the concert starts because all the spots will be gone and it will be quite a walk to find something else.

            Any tips macdog how you timed this? We walk to the Bowl so this is not a problem, but it is a question that comes up a lot - where to eat close by when attending County Bowl concerts -- not much that is great but a few that are okay to good within walking distance if you want to come early, park first and then walk up to the bowl after eating.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              Well, we don't ever attend-just listen from our house. But you could eat downtown, leave your car in public lot and take one of the bicycle rickshaws or a cab to the bowl. I guess you could walk from Arnoldi's-not very high end but fun to sit in the patio and watch the bocce ball.