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Oct 11, 2013 11:07 PM

Urban Wine Trail - Santa Barbara - lunch / Dinner - bar

Headed down to Santa Barbara for a friends birthday we will have a group of 6 and are looking for something fun for our group (3 couples early to mid 30s)

We are all pretty adventurous food-wise and are looking for something fun to accompany our wine walking as we are celebrating a friends birthday - for me great cocktails are a bonus but not required a good rum list is always nice but I can get along with anything

We are not looking for any specific type of food we are pretty open, if I could get a few ideas to research into then I can post some more specific questions, dinner would be on a Saturday night

We are doing Providence the day before in LA so something different than that would be good and also not as breaking the bank pricewise

Are there any light bites to eat to stop at during our walk about and / or any good place for dinner and the end of our wandering before returning to LA

Also does anyone know what the best wineries are on the trail?

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  1. Quick Update, we have scratched the LA part of the trip and only going to be doing Santa Barbara, so what are the best 3-5 restaurants in Santa Barbara?

    We will probably want one nice place and one good but more casual place

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dapuma

      1. Julienne
      2. Scarlett Begonia
      3. Downey's - old world, low key soft elegance, subtle for special occasions

      1. re: Dapuma

        one of the most beautiful setting would be downstairs patio at Stonehouse restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito. You can also ask for the Plow and Angel menu which is a little less pricey. Drinks at the Biltmore four seasons also give you a nice ocean view or more downscale is Brophy Bros at the marina.

        One of our current favorites in SB these days are Sama Sama Kitchen, an Indonesia farm fresh hybrid, located on 1200 block of State st. Great small plates and love their spicy Mie Goreng noodle stir fry. Also love Arigato Sushi across the street and Julienne's on Canon Perdido. Haven't been to the Lark in the funk zone, but their sister wine tasting spot, Les Marchand has great wines and good small eats. They also own Avelina winery, next door which is a fun new wine tasting room. And last but not least, try La Superica on Milpas- the number #16 Superica especial is so good.

      2. The Urban Wine Trail and the surrounding "Funk Zone is just developing as a hot place to explore and some new restaurants are opening in this area. Haven't been there myself so unfortunately can't give any personal recommendations. SB has few stay away restaurants, many with only a beer wine license so hitting all the targets in your request may be more difficult than it first seems. I'll do a little more research myself but if you google "funk zone restaurants" you might be able to narrow down the choices more.

        Since you are young and willing, there is a lot on State Street itself that is very walkable from the Funk Zone - our ground zero for restaurants is nearer the 1200 block of State Street, but one of the best is Julienne which is near the 900 block so this might help your Wine Trail planning. The Palace Cafe for Cajun food one block off State Street on West Cota is a solid favorite down in this part of town for good appetizers, drinks and younger buzz. The only one I would avoid is Fish Enterprise on State Street for dinner, but it has great drinks and appetizers from all reports.

        Your best recommendations may come from the wine sellers themselves. There is a new restaurant immediately in the area which is getting some nice, but mixed reviews but the name escapes me -- I just remember it as being in the old Bay Cafe location.

        And another new good one with very good reviews is in the old Emilio's location on West Cabrillo Blvd facing the ocean front blvd. Ooops, the new names escape me right now but I just flew in from Athens - more later.

        Later: here is a link to the new openings in town and you can see many are in the Funk Zone - Urban Wine Trail around the 200- 600 block give or take a few blocks on State or Anacapa streets:

        2 Replies
        1. re: glbtrtr

          The new restaurants in this are are Lark (old Bay Cafe) and Toma (old Emilios). Have not been there myself, but local reviews are good the point of suspecting they might be less than credible since they carry the ubiqutious high "amazing" content. But both do sound worthy of exploration in this beachside area of Santa Barbara.

          1. re: glbtrtr

            thanks for all the info, we ended up deciding not to do Santa Barbara this trip and stick with LA - however this is great info for next trip to Cali