Lively Restaurants in Santa Barbara


  • American
  • Californian
  • Sometimes you simply want a meal, sometimes you just want to have a good time, and sometimes you want all of the above wrapped up in a tasty, fun-filled package. Herewith, you'll find Santa Barbara restaurants where games are encouraged, wine flows freely on tap, and family-style meals are the norm. Arnoldi's Cafe serves up hearty Italian fare and has bocce ball courts out back for after-dinner tourneys. Palazzio is known for Italian dishes that can feed a whole family, and the wine-on-tap is on the honor system, so keep track! Cold Spring Tavern is a wagon wheel stop turned fine dining restaurant located in the hills. On Sundays, live bands entertain while locals inhale tri-tip barbecue sandwiches and frosty brews. Two-step encouraged! Live music and stiff drinks flow at SOhO, while fresh farmers market cocktails are the draw at the Hungry Cat, and both are hangouts for the 20- and 30-something crowd. Spice things up with cool mojitos and Tango night at the Argentinian inspired Cafe Buenos Aires. For a casual meal, wait in line at the famos La Super-Rica Taqueria (a favorite of onetime Sana Barbaran Julia Child), and stick your feet in the sand while sipping a cocktail at Shoreline Beach Cafe.

    Arnoldis Cafe

    600 Olive Street

    One of the oldest restaurants in Santa Barbara, this cafe serves up authentic Italian fare... read more


    229 West Montecito Street

    Home brews and live music draw crowds at this lower Westside hangout... read more

    Brophy Bros. Restaurant & Clam Bar

    119 Harbor Way
    Off Cabrillo Blvd. in the Waterfront Center

    Fish time... read more

    Cafe Buenos Aires

    1316 State Street

    Quiet Dining... read more

    Cold Spring Tavern

    5995 Stagecoach Road

    This onetime stagecoach is located on San Marco Pass and has been serving cold brews and hearty steaks since the 1940s... read more

    Hungry Cat

    1134 Chapala Street

    Creative cocktails and fresh fish draw crowds to this sleek and modern downtown eatery... read more

    La Super-Rica Taqueria

    622 N. Milpas St
    Between Cota and Ortega Sts


    1026 State St

    Shoreline Beach Cafe

    801 Shoreline Drive

    Feast on fish tacos and margaritas while dining on the sand... read more

    SOhO Restaurant & Music Club

    1221 State Street
    Suite 205

    Live Music 7 Days a Week!... read more
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