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May 17, 2014 04:26 PM

Second Tier Santa Barbara

We can argue which is the "best" Santa Barbara restaurant and there are many from which to choose. But there are also plenty of good second tier restaurants that offer excellent variety, are more casual, less pricy and worthy of exploration too.

Some favorites:

French: Petit Valentin, Renaud's
Mexican: Las Superica, El Bajio and Supercucas
Indonesian: Sama Sama
Brazilian: Brazil Arts Cafe
Vietnamese: Saigon Downtown
Italian: Via Maestra 42
Steak: Chuck's, Harry's
Variety - Take Away: Santa Barbara Public Market
Pizza: Giovanni's - San Roque
Bread: Our Daily Bread
Good Chow: Paradise Cafe, Cafe Stella, Opal, Las Aves, Crocodile
Ice Cream: McConnell's at Mission
Breakfast: Garrett's, IHOP on State - with the tree
Japanese: Sushi-Teri, Sakura
Seafood: SB Shellfish Market

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  1. Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar is a great addition to SB. I guess most of the dishes are mainly Thai. It's located in SB public Market and there usually is a wait for counter only seating.

    Ate outside at Sama Sama this week. The back patio is really lovely.

    2 Replies
    1. re: macdog

      "Empty Bowl" as a name for a place to eat is, uh, somewhat lacking. I don't get it.

      1. re: macdog

        Don't get too discouraged - there were some places at Empty Bowls in the Public Market last time through, now that the initial opening crush is slowing down.

        Hate to think people won't bother to come if they keep hearing there are lines. Of course timing the visit will make a difference by going at non-peak hours.