I’ve professed my undying love for Santa Barbara multiple times on Instagram and here on WGC. It’s one of my favorite weekend getaways for many reasons. 1 it’s only about 90 minutes from LA (pending traffic), the beaches are downright empty compared to the beaches in Santa Monica, the food scene is one to be reckoned with, and it’s the perfect place to bring together a handful of friends for a weekend!
COFFEE + BREAKFAST + BRUNCH:
Dart Coffee - A super cute local roaster and coffee shop.
Handlebar Coffee Roasters - Coffee and kombucha - what more could you need after indulging in a breakfast burrito and fish taco for breakfast!
On The Alley - Just a quick drive away from The Four Seasons is one of my favorite places to grab a breakfast burrito and shrimp tacos. And yes, shrimp tacos for breakfast are totally encouraged in Santa Barbara! #normal
Scarlett Begonia - Without a doubt my favorite place for breakfast! The breakfast burritos + the potato cinnamon rolls are out of this world!
Mony’s Mexican Food - After an unexpected afternoon filled with wine tasting, we randomly stopped into Mony's for a quick bite. Minutes later I had ordered the entire menu and the nachos.... OMG! Must order.
Honor Bar - a Hillstone classic. It's so dependable and we love a Hillstone in this family!
Lucky Penny - My love for pizza runs deep and Lucky Penny is the place to get it! Grab a pizza and sit at the sister restaurant next door for some wine and beer to go along with it!
Lilly’s Tacos - You guys know how much I love a taco crawl. Lilly's was one of our first stops and while they don't have breakfast tacos, they have pretty much everything else you'd ever want from a little corner taco shop.
Cheese Shop Santa Barbara - You know me and a cheese store. Grab some cheeses and head to the beach for a picnic!
La Super Rica - Perhaps my all time favorite Mexican joint in Santa Barbara. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu - but the poblano and cheese taco situation is a life changer.
Bettina - Omg some truly incredible pizza!
Olio Pizzaria - While there isn’t any seafood happening here, the pizza is beyond and the prosciutto burrata appetizer is what dreams are made of.
Barbareño - One of my favorite restaurants that’s consistently changing their menu and putting out great seafood dishes like their grilled scallops (YES) and market fish (doesn't matter what it is - I always order it!) and burgers.
Zaytoon - Between the lobster rolls, oysters and pizza, we stopped at Zaytoon and ate our way through their appetizers. I love any kind of hummus / tzatziki situation so if you do too - this place cant be missed!
The Lark - This outdoor/indoor urban eatery situation that makes me beyond happy. It’s cute / the food is incredible / and it’s right by the Funk Zone wineries so you can go have a bite after all the vino!
DRINKS + DESSERT:
Jamie Slone / Margerum / Funk Zone wineries - All wine tasting rooms located right in the heart of SB. Jamie Slone and Margerum are two of my favorites - and I cant pick a favorite in the Funk Zone area! They are all so cute and fun and great for wandering around all day and sipping some local wines.
McConnell’s Ice Cream - The best ice cream in Santa Barbara without a doubt! Grab a cone and stroll up and down state street.
Scoop Shop - Love this poolside ice cream shop on the Rosewood property.
WHERE TO STAY:
Canary Hotel - If you want to stay in town, close to State Street than The Canary Hotel by Kimpton is 100% your best bet! It's way cute, the staff is incredible, free happy hour every night and you might just get some ice cream in your room when you check in! Ten thumbs up!
Rosewood Miramar Beach - Rosewood is right on the beach, totally lux, a bit of a splurge and an incredible spot to spend a few nights if you’re looking for some relaxation. The food, the views, the rooms… it’s perf
THINGS TO DO:
Bike Rentals - Santa Barbara is super bike friendly! We rented bikes from The Canary last time we were there and just biked around town hoping from one taco joint to the next with a few wine tasting pit stops in between! There are plenty of other bike rentals so just find one close to you!
Butterfly Beach - My favorite beach! It's right off the Four Season and it's gorgeous.
Municipal Wine Tasting Room - Anacapa Street is a haven for wine tasting rooms and my absolute favorite was Municipal. Maybe it had something to do with the epic outdoor patio, or the fact that we downed an entire bottle of their Rosé (which was amazing), but either way it's officially on the must-do every time we are back!
Santa Barbara Farmers Market - The Santa Barbara Farmers Market is one for the record books. So much of our LA produce comes down from this neck of the woods and I’ve never missed a Farmers Market expedition when visiting SB!
And that’s a wrap on my favorite things to do in Santa Barbara! If you’re looking for more city guides check these out:
- Gaby’s Guide to Los Angeles, CA
- Gaby’s Guide to Santa Ynez (and surrounding areas)
- Gaby’s Guide to Ojai
- Gaby’s Guide to San Francisco, CA
- Gaby’s Guide to NYC
Did I miss anything? Shout it out in the comments below so I can go give it a try!! There are too many restaurants and not enough days in the week to try them all. But I’m willing to give it a try!