Restaurants in Santa Barbara, CA

There are few places that offer as many healthful eating opportunities as Santa Barbara, California. Foremost among them is Backyard Bowls, a small shop two minutes from the beach where acai/berry and non-acai blends are available as well as oatmeal, muesli, yogurt, quinoa, and plenty of toppings. Favorite dishes here include the Island Bowl, which is acai, banana, mango, pineapple juice, and coconut milk with a topping of granola, banana, fresh berries, coconut, and honey; and the Green Bowl: acai, banana, kale, spinach, ginger, lime, and apple juice topped with granola, strawberries, blueberries, honey, and chia seeds. Those less concerned about salubrity favor Shalhoob’s Funk Zone Patio, a former butcher shop that serves great burgers and BBQ tri-tip. Or Cold Spring Tavern, which is a vintage stage stop that also makes tri-tip a specialty. No food trip to Santa Barbara is complete without a visit to La Super Rica, an informal gem that Julia Child once declared was her favorite Mexican restaurant in the U.S. Now that its tacos and tamales are well-known, there’s always a wait to get in the door. But the line moves fast, and the Mexico City-style food is worth it.

Santa Barbara’s Most Famous Dishes

Cup of chili topped with cheese and chopped raw onions

Chili

Tacos filled with shrimp, salad, and jalapeno cream

Tacos

Bowl full of acai, banana, mango, pineapple juice, and coconut milk, plus a topping of granola, banana, berries, coconut, and honey

Acai Bowl

Hominy corn & peppers make posole a spicy bowl of food.

Posole

Santa Barbara’s Best Restaurants

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