Seeking Santa Barbara Recommendations

Hello! We’ll be visiting Santa Barbara for the first time in many years. We’ll be staying near State St and the beach, so we’d prefer recs in that region. We enjoy everything: food trucks, bistros, brewpubs, pizza… not picky. Our biggest restriction is outdoor dining only for us. Don’t mind entering the establishment to order or pickup takeout, but we’ll only do “dine-in” outdoors.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Bibi Ji

Tondi Gelato


Taqueria El Bajio (go here instead of the more hyped, and overplayed, La Super Rica)


Then pick up some provisions to take home at Metropolus, or a charcuterie board or basket for a beach picnic.


Thanks so much for the recommendations. It’s been so long I’d forgotten about La Super Rica. I’m both glad it’s still around and even more glad of the recommendation for something better. The tapas and market look particularly great. Thanks again!

We love Hendrys beach and the Douglas preserve and there’s a spot on the beach which is cool.


Thank you!

@nd @ipsedixit recommendations for Bibi Ji and Loquita. The wine list at Bibi Ji is pretty great. If you go to Loquita (reservations highly recommended) we like walking down the street for ice cream at McConnell’s.

Llama Dog has an excellent craft beer selection on tap and cans/bottles.

Good coffee at Handlebar


Thank you!!

The east beach grill used to be a cool casual place on the beach to get breakfast burritos buckwheat pancakes etx. Ample seating outside just on the edge of the sand. It is definitely missed. A new spot opened in that location which I’ve been curious to check out.

So if you’re on that part of the beach or near the zoo maybe worth a look see.

It’s a great morning location for central SB, or spot to get a sunset beer or soft drink.


If we’re near it, we’ll check it out. Thanks!

The Lark
Lucky Penny

The Good Lion

Lilac Patisserie


Thank you!

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Many thanks to everyone for their suggestions. We dined well.

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company ( - on Stearns Wharf, because I am a firm believer in enjoying the touristy cheesy experience. It’s also a sister restaurant to the Boathouse recommended above. Beautiful outdoor dining near the end of the pier, great lobster tacos, and the food on all the other tables looked fresh and fantastic.

Bettina ( - Wonderful stuff. We shared meatballs and a margherita pizza, which was just simply perfect. Nice outdoor space.

Loquita ( - Solid tapas. The croqueta de queso paired with roasted red pepper and quince was a lovely combination. Very nice outdoor dining space.

And most importantly for my summer trip needs, McConnell’s (

  • Eureka lemon and marionberry - really refreshing. I liked this one a lot.
  • Mapled blueberry and shortbread crumbles - good, a bit too sweet. Would be better with a more tart berry.
  • Double peanut butter chip - definitely the best peanut butter ice cream we’ve tasted.
  • Chocolate chocolate chocolate - a truly excellent chocolate ice cream.

Thanks so much to everyone for the recs!