The Secret Is Out – A List Of The Top Santa Barbara Restaurants in 2012!

Is is no secret that Santa Barbara has some amazing top tier restaurants.

In this article we are going to review some of our picks on what we consider the best restaurants in Santa Barbara. Then you can further investigate these restaurants and plan out your dining experiences. This leaves one less thing you need to waste time on to do other incredible things while visiting Santa Barbara.

Arigato Sushi

1225 State Street State St, Santa Barbara.
(805) 965-6074
Price: $20+

If you’re looking to have a the best sushi in town look no further. This fish is incredibly fresh and served to perfection. Make sure to enjoy the Sake with your dining experience. Some recommended dishes include: Jalapeno yellow tail, pacific rim, and Wakame salad. While your enjoying your sushi the atmosphere is very inviting. If you want a more intimate setting ask to be seated upstairs in the loft dining area. Great for couples. They can get crowded so make sure to plan in advance and make reservations to avoid wait times.

Customer Review

Reviewer: Alexis Livier from San Juan Capistrano, CA

Our 1st time here. We enjoyed our chef Ramon, we allowed him to pick all of our food. Every choice Ramon made for us was delicious! I myself and my daughter eat Sushi all over San Juan Capistrano, New Port Beach, Long Beach to small towns in between. We want to take this time to give this restaurant an excellent review. Price was not bad at all if your use to paying for sushi it’s about average.

Holdren’s Steaks & Seafood

512 State St Santa Barbara.
(805) 965-3363
Price: $20+

If your looking for incredible steakhouse this is it. Large selection is available for both lunch and dinner. Holdren’s has that old restaurant feel atmosphere and style to it. The food sizes carry that old style feel as well. Order most specials and you will be getting a doggie bag with for sure. For the price, quality of the food, and the portions you cannot beat Holdren’s. Our recommended dish here would be of course anything with steak and potatoes.

Customer Review:

Reviewer: George Blake from Santa Barbara, CA

Enjoyed appetizers, artichoke and calamari. Great wine which the waiter recommended a local Pinot. Dinner was the special fish sea bass and my wife had the wedge salad and petite steak with the classic rose Mary blue cheese sauce. Waiter was great a very enjoyable experience.

Ca Dario

37 East Victoria Street, Santa Barbara.
(805) 884-9419
Price: $20+

Who can’t forget about good old Italian meal. Phenomenal pasta, little Italy feel, and service to make it an amazing dining experience. Ca Dario does all of the above and then some. Again you could do this for lunch and or dinner choices. I would recommend dinner for the beautiful night setting. If you’re looking for that very authentic delicious Italian menu this is the spot no doubt.

Customer Reviews:

Reviewer: Michele from Columbus, Ohio

First visit to Santa Barbara and first night had the most wonderful meal at Ca Dario. The Ravioli is fantastic, the costata amazing and the risotto the best i have ever had. Our server was Claudia and she was excellent! Had meals at other restaurants but none compared to Ca Dario-had to return for lunch. Once again-fantastic artichoke salad can’t remember what it was called and a delightful dessert.Servers were great-Luis and Chuy. Chauncy was the manager who visit our table. Can’t say enough about the service.


9 West Victoria Street, Santa Barbara.
(805) 730-1160
Price: $20+

If you’re looking for a French restaurant Bouchon will over deliver on your expectations. Majority of visitors not only rave on and on regarding the food but the service as well. Many of the opinion that it was the most spectacular service they have received while dining. You can find everything from duck, venison, and amazing salad selections on this menu. Your server will also recommend some top quality wine that will compliment your meal choices. Overall, Bouchon is in a league of its own. If you’re looking for that fine dining experience, great wine selection, paired with sensational dishes this is it.

Customer Reviews

Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara, CA

Bouchon is in a class all by itself in Santa Barbara. Amazing food, amazing service and world-class management. Congrats Mitchell on winning Best Overall Restaurant in 2012!

Santa Barbara FisHouse

2981 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara.
(805) 898-2628
Price: $20+

If you’re looking for the best dining experience with the view to match this is where you want to be. Breathtaking view of the sunset and water. What we love most about Santa Barbara Fishouse menu is that you can get just about anything. Delicious seafood, fish and chips, classic burger, and then some. This is our recommendation for a spectacular ambiance. Come for their happy hour as well to stop in for a beautiful atmosphere and drinks to recap your incredible Santa Barbara trip.

Customer Review

Reviewer: Liza S from Saratoga

We decided to eat last minute due to the location, beach view was awesome. We requested a table overlooking the ocean and the very friendly staff granted this after a reasonable wait. The food was excellent, the staff was knowledgeable about what to recommend. As we were finishing our dinner, we enjoyed it so much that we asked if they took reservations for my husband’s bday the next day. They told us that they didnt accept reservations in a very friendly way, but if we called them ahead of time, they will do their best to give us a nice table. And then..they surprised us with a huge mud pie cake with a candle to celebrate my husband’s bday. Would recommend them anytime.

We hope you enjoyed our top 5 picks for the most amazing dining experience while your in the Santa Barbara area. If you have any other recommendations to pass along please be sure to add them in the comments section. We would love to hear them!

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