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Sarah's Guidebook

Sarah

Sarah's Guidebook

Food scene
Great mexican food! This is a little understated hole in the wall place that shouldn’t be missed. With all of the options, you can easily be led astray from experiencing the truly good Mexican food during your stay. Going to Mony’s would solve that issue — plus it’s located in the Funk Zone!
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Mony's Mexican Food
217 Anacapa St
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Great mexican food! This is a little understated hole in the wall place that shouldn’t be missed. With all of the options, you can easily be led astray from experiencing the truly good Mexican food during your stay. Going to Mony’s would solve that issue — plus it’s located in the Funk Zone!
Local favorite spot. Classic California Diner with great breakfast scrambles!
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Mesa Cafe & Bar
1972 Cliff Drive
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Local favorite spot. Classic California Diner with great breakfast scrambles!
High end Indonesian fusion cuisine. Probably one of the “hipest” places to eat on state street.
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Sama Sama Kitchen
1208 State Street
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High end Indonesian fusion cuisine. Probably one of the “hipest” places to eat on state street.
One of the newer hot spots in town! Cuban fusion food with a cool scene. It’s also a combo place with swanky Modern Times bar in the back and Shaker Mill food and cocktails in the front!
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Cubaneo
418 State St
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One of the newer hot spots in town! Cuban fusion food with a cool scene. It’s also a combo place with swanky Modern Times bar in the back and Shaker Mill food and cocktails in the front!
Little hidden high end spot off the main drag. Peaceful outdoor patio and rustic and charming interior. Food is high end, small plate, and beautiful.
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Barbareño
205 West Canon Perdido Street
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Little hidden high end spot off the main drag. Peaceful outdoor patio and rustic and charming interior. Food is high end, small plate, and beautiful.
Great swanky bar scene and limited but delicious pub food. Attached to Cubaneo and Shaker Mill in the front — so it’s a three for one!
Modern Times Academy of Recreational Sciences
418 State Street
Great swanky bar scene and limited but delicious pub food. Attached to Cubaneo and Shaker Mill in the front — so it’s a three for one!
Great place for seafood! Full raw oyster bar! Despite the location in the parking lot of a mall, Lure has done an awesome interior decorating job that transports you.
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Lure Fish House
3815 State St
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Great place for seafood! Full raw oyster bar! Despite the location in the parking lot of a mall, Lure has done an awesome interior decorating job that transports you.
This place has location, location, location! It’s situated right on Hendry’s beach so it’s the perfect place for a sunset walk followed by cocktails by the sea! I’m not a huge fan of the food, but other people seem to like it.
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Boathouse at Hendry's Beach
2981 Cliff Drive
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This place has location, location, location! It’s situated right on Hendry’s beach so it’s the perfect place for a sunset walk followed by cocktails by the sea! I’m not a huge fan of the food, but other people seem to like it.
Very charming and authentic vegetarian restaurant. They do a great job of making vegetarian dishes both beautiful and satisfying! Ask your server for recommendations from the menu as the options are numerous.
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Mesa Verde Restaurant
1919 Cliff Drive
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Very charming and authentic vegetarian restaurant. They do a great job of making vegetarian dishes both beautiful and satisfying! Ask your server for recommendations from the menu as the options are numerous.
Very fancy high end place with beautiful food — and the price tag to go along with it! Spanish style tapas and family share plates. Beautiful outdoor patio with fireplace — the inside is beautiful as well, but the acoustics could be improved, as you may find it difficult to hear the person sitting next to you.
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Loquita Santa Barbara
202 State St
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Very fancy high end place with beautiful food — and the price tag to go along with it! Spanish style tapas and family share plates. Beautiful outdoor patio with fireplace — the inside is beautiful as well, but the acoustics could be improved, as you may find it difficult to hear the person sitting next to you.
Great tacos at the batting cages! Outdoor picnic tables, offers a casual setting with good and creative food (try the Gangnam Style Tacos!)
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East Beach Tacos
226 South Milpas Street
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Great tacos at the batting cages! Outdoor picnic tables, offers a casual setting with good and creative food (try the Gangnam Style Tacos!)
This locals bar pays homage to the restaurant that was there before called “Jimmys Oriental Gardens” — they serve Reuben egg rolls (a tribute to their sandwhich shop next door) and awesome pork fried rice! Very good well drinks served in a swanky speak easy atmosphere.
The Pickle Room
122 E Canon Perdido St
This locals bar pays homage to the restaurant that was there before called “Jimmys Oriental Gardens” — they serve Reuben egg rolls (a tribute to their sandwhich shop next door) and awesome pork fried rice! Very good well drinks served in a swanky speak easy atmosphere.
Awesome cocktails served in an open air bar and lounge right on state street! They have really great food as well and it’s a combo place with Cubaneo and Modern Times So you can shop around for the right food, drinks, seating style, and atmosphere based on your mood!
Shaker Mill
418 State St
Awesome cocktails served in an open air bar and lounge right on state street! They have really great food as well and it’s a combo place with Cubaneo and Modern Times So you can shop around for the right food, drinks, seating style, and atmosphere based on your mood!
After taking over and renovating the former location of the Santa Barbara Brewing Company, The Cruisery has breathed new life into SB’s oldest brewery. It’s a fun, hip environment with great beer and pub food!
The Cruisery
501 State Street
After taking over and renovating the former location of the Santa Barbara Brewing Company, The Cruisery has breathed new life into SB’s oldest brewery. It’s a fun, hip environment with great beer and pub food!
This is yet another new hip place in town that is a two for one with both Corazón Cocina serving up delicious new style Mexican food and Captain Fatty’s Brewery taking on the bar and beer side of things.
The Project - Corazon Cocina & Taproom
214 State St
This is yet another new hip place in town that is a two for one with both Corazón Cocina serving up delicious new style Mexican food and Captain Fatty’s Brewery taking on the bar and beer side of things.
Amazing. The. Best. Ice. Cream.
Rori's Artisanal Creamery
38 W Victoria St
Amazing. The. Best. Ice. Cream.
McConnell’s is a classic, pure and simple. Everyone loves it and it’s been an established favorite forever. Great classic flavors and fun creative new ones as well! There are two locations in SB, but this one is on state street.
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McConnell's Fine Ice Creams
728 State Street
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McConnell’s is a classic, pure and simple. Everyone loves it and it’s been an established favorite forever. Great classic flavors and fun creative new ones as well! There are two locations in SB, but this one is on state street.
Great new bar with great pub food and awesome salads too. The beer is excellent, and the scene is popping (...it’s always packed!)
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Finney's Crafthouse & Kitchen
35 State St
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Great new bar with great pub food and awesome salads too. The beer is excellent, and the scene is popping (...it’s always packed!)
Do you ever just want to get super cheesy and drink and sing along and dance to classic rock played by a very talented piano player? If you said “yes” really enthusiastically then this is your spot! This is a multi generational (early 20s to late 60s) bar with beer, wine, and straight forward well drinks that is entirely about the red piano and the music :) Really fun night out if you get into it!
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The Red Piano
519 State St
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Do you ever just want to get super cheesy and drink and sing along and dance to classic rock played by a very talented piano player? If you said “yes” really enthusiastically then this is your spot! This is a multi generational (early 20s to late 60s) bar with beer, wine, and straight forward well drinks that is entirely about the red piano and the music :) Really fun night out if you get into it!
This is an adorable, farm to table, artisan lunch spot. Great simple sandwiches and salads with outdoor picnic table seating.
Goodland Kitchen and Market
231 Magnolia Ave
This is an adorable, farm to table, artisan lunch spot. Great simple sandwiches and salads with outdoor picnic table seating.
Awesome thai street food can be found at the low key lunch and dinner spot in the heart of the Funk Zone. Order from the counter and choose to sit indoors or outdoors.
Tyger Tyger
121 E Yanonali St
Awesome thai street food can be found at the low key lunch and dinner spot in the heart of the Funk Zone. Order from the counter and choose to sit indoors or outdoors.
Excellent ramen prepared in under 15 minutes! Great for dining in or taking out. Limited menu means not many choices, but they are all amazing.
Nikka Ramen
5701 Calle Real
Excellent ramen prepared in under 15 minutes! Great for dining in or taking out. Limited menu means not many choices, but they are all amazing.
Hands down best sushi place in town! I always choose to sit at the bar so I can chef recommendations for the best sushi of the day. I've never been disappointed, and my wallet isn't too light when I walk out full and satisfied :)
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Ichiban Sushi
1812 Cliff Drive
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Hands down best sushi place in town! I always choose to sit at the bar so I can chef recommendations for the best sushi of the day. I've never been disappointed, and my wallet isn't too light when I walk out full and satisfied :)
Great Indian food. The samosas are unbeatable!
Masala Spice Indian Cuisine
5796 Calle Real
Great Indian food. The samosas are unbeatable!
Difficult to pronounce the name of this one, but they have great mexican food! Not really a dine in situation, unless you want super casual street side tables. You can always grab food to go and take it to the beach :)
Romanti-Ezer
701 Chapala Street
Difficult to pronounce the name of this one, but they have great mexican food! Not really a dine in situation, unless you want super casual street side tables. You can always grab food to go and take it to the beach :)
Great Taqueria -- no frills tacos with regular and interesting meat options ("cabeza" anyone?). They have two locations -- one nearby in goleta, and the other at the end of Chapala downtown.
Lilly's Taqueria
290 Storke Rd
Great Taqueria -- no frills tacos with regular and interesting meat options ("cabeza" anyone?). They have two locations -- one nearby in goleta, and the other at the end of Chapala downtown.
Great mexican food! I highly recommend the burritos and the super combo plate -- they know how to strike the perfect balance between veggies and meats in their wide variety of classic mexican dishes. The beast is on West Micheltorena, but the runner up is on cliff drive on the mesa (don't bother with the one in Isla Vista!).
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Super Cucas
626 West Micheltorena Street
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Great mexican food! I highly recommend the burritos and the super combo plate -- they know how to strike the perfect balance between veggies and meats in their wide variety of classic mexican dishes. The beast is on West Micheltorena, but the runner up is on cliff drive on the mesa (don't bother with the one in Isla Vista!).
This is a classic Mexican market -- great for cheap and delicious food shopping. In the front of the market they have a little food window with awesome burritos! Perfect for grab and go when you're off the explore Santa Barbara.
La Chapala Market
5780 Hollister Avenue
This is a classic Mexican market -- great for cheap and delicious food shopping. In the front of the market they have a little food window with awesome burritos! Perfect for grab and go when you're off the explore Santa Barbara.
This classic deli has huge sandwiches and salads that can feed two people! So many options it's hard to choose, but you really can't go wrong. They have two locations -- one in Goleta and the other downtown.
South Coast Deli
185 South Patterson Avenue
This classic deli has huge sandwiches and salads that can feed two people! So many options it's hard to choose, but you really can't go wrong. They have two locations -- one in Goleta and the other downtown.
Excellent soups and sandwiches -- the reuben is not to be missed!
Three Pickles Subs & Sandwiches
420 South Fairview Avenue
Excellent soups and sandwiches -- the reuben is not to be missed!
This is a very casual place to eat — the food is basic, but good. The really fun part of this place is that it’s located on the beach and if you sit out back, it’s a great place to watch the sunset with a beer or cocktail!
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Shoreline Beach Cafe
801 Shoreline Drive
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This is a very casual place to eat — the food is basic, but good. The really fun part of this place is that it’s located on the beach and if you sit out back, it’s a great place to watch the sunset with a beer or cocktail!
Neighborhoods
This entire street is scattered with small, family run, totally authentic Mexican food. Delicious, affordable, and a must visit for first timers :)
North Milpas Street
This entire street is scattered with small, family run, totally authentic Mexican food. Delicious, affordable, and a must visit for first timers :)
Activities
Stuff to do other than the Food/Bar/Wine scene!
This place is such a gem and not well known even to the locals. Those that do know it readily laugh at the simplicity of the name, but go weekly for some much needed massage therapy! This is a classic Asian massage — the massages take place in a communal space — you keep your clothes on and it’s a whispers only soothing environment. You can choose between a full body, shoulder, or foot massage or select a combo. I highly recommend an hour long combo full body/foot! The best part — it’ll only cost you $36 for the whole hour!!
Evans Relaxing Station Inc
3009 State Street
This place is such a gem and not well known even to the locals. Those that do know it readily laugh at the simplicity of the name, but go weekly for some much needed massage therapy! This is a classic Asian massage — the massages take place in a communal space — you keep your clothes on and it’s a whispers only soothing environment. You can choose between a full body, shoulder, or foot massage or select a combo. I highly recommend an hour long combo full body/foot! The best part — it’ll only cost you $36 for the whole hour!!
Rent Kayaks and SUPs at this full service sports center located in the Santa Barbara Harbor. They have got the routine down perfectly and you will be on the water within 15 minutes of walking through the door! This is a great way to get out on the water for cheap and see the seals and sea lions up close and personal :)
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Paddle Sports Center
117 Harbor Way
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Rent Kayaks and SUPs at this full service sports center located in the Santa Barbara Harbor. They have got the routine down perfectly and you will be on the water within 15 minutes of walking through the door! This is a great way to get out on the water for cheap and see the seals and sea lions up close and personal :)
Book a spot aboard the Sunset Kidd for a beautiful afternoon or sunset sail along the Santa Barbara coast!
Sunset Kidd Sailing Cruises & Whale Watching
125 Harbor Way
Book a spot aboard the Sunset Kidd for a beautiful afternoon or sunset sail along the Santa Barbara coast!
Book a spot aboard the Double Dolphin for a catamaran sailing cruise along the Santa Barbara coast! This boat is also available to rent for your own private party and comes equipt with a cash bar to complete your romantic sunset or afternoon cruising experience!
Double Dolphin Cruises
302 W Cabrillo Blvd
Book a spot aboard the Double Dolphin for a catamaran sailing cruise along the Santa Barbara coast! This boat is also available to rent for your own private party and comes equipt with a cash bar to complete your romantic sunset or afternoon cruising experience!
The name says it all! While there are many excellent front country hikes in Santa Barbara, this one is a must. You can summit in 40 min to an hour depending on your pace and the views are truly epic (dare I say, inspirational!)
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Inspiration Point Trailhead
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The name says it all! While there are many excellent front country hikes in Santa Barbara, this one is a must. You can summit in 40 min to an hour depending on your pace and the views are truly epic (dare I say, inspirational!)
This is a great easy trail that goes along the bluffs with epic views of the ocean! It's very exposed, so bring a hat, or go for a sunset walk.
Ellwood Bluffs Trailhead
This is a great easy trail that goes along the bluffs with epic views of the ocean! It's very exposed, so bring a hat, or go for a sunset walk.
This is a great walking beach, for both dogs and humans. It's an off leash beach, so there are many dogs of all different varieties -- if you're into that sort of thing, this is the beach for you! Long walks are possible at low tide, and you can cap it all off with food and/or drinks at the Boathouse Restaurant.
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Hendry's Beach
2981 1/2 Cliff Dr
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This is a great walking beach, for both dogs and humans. It's an off leash beach, so there are many dogs of all different varieties -- if you're into that sort of thing, this is the beach for you! Long walks are possible at low tide, and you can cap it all off with food and/or drinks at the Boathouse Restaurant.
This beach is right around the corner from the studio and is fairly remote. It's a great walking beach, but beware that it gets rocky in the winter months.
Haskell's Beach
This beach is right around the corner from the studio and is fairly remote. It's a great walking beach, but beware that it gets rocky in the winter months.
If you're in the mood for a fancy spa day, or would like to sit by the pool or soak in the jacuzzi while servers bring you pina coladas, then you should definitely check out the Bacara Resort. Located 4 minutes drive from the studio, you can pay individually for spa services, and also pay a daily rate for use of the two enormous pools on the property -- there's even an adult only pool if that's what floats your boat!
Bacara Resort
If you're in the mood for a fancy spa day, or would like to sit by the pool or soak in the jacuzzi while servers bring you pina coladas, then you should definitely check out the Bacara Resort. Located 4 minutes drive from the studio, you can pay individually for spa services, and also pay a daily rate for use of the two enormous pools on the property -- there's even an adult only pool if that's what floats your boat!
For a great way to explore Santa Barbara, these e-bike rentals are the best! It cost $20 per hour for a pedal assist bike that makes climbing into the foothills for spectacular views very easy.
e-BIKERY Electric Bikes Rentals and Sales
506 State Street
For a great way to explore Santa Barbara, these e-bike rentals are the best! It cost $20 per hour for a pedal assist bike that makes climbing into the foothills for spectacular views very easy.
There are a few different whale watching excursions you can book in Santa Barbara, but condor express is by far the best! They always find pods of dolphins and whales are almost a guarantee during the migratory season. It’s a fantastic way to experience Santa Barbara from the water, giving you a taste of the coast, the islands, and the oceanic abundance!
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Condor Express Whale Watching
301 West Cabrillo Boulevard
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There are a few different whale watching excursions you can book in Santa Barbara, but condor express is by far the best! They always find pods of dolphins and whales are almost a guarantee during the migratory season. It’s a fantastic way to experience Santa Barbara from the water, giving you a taste of the coast, the islands, and the oceanic abundance!
Captain Tony is a great fishermen and he knows how to create a fun and successful fishing trip experience for any and all skill types. No matter if it’s your first time, or you’re a seasoned angler, Tony can tailor your trip to your needs. Unlike larger charters, this is a 5-6 person max private cruise aboard the FV Rock Steady. Tony has been fishing these waters since he was a kid and his experience shows! Be sure to call in advance to book as his charter is popular and trips are weather dependent.
Santa Barbara Sportfishing Charters
132 Harbor Way
Captain Tony is a great fishermen and he knows how to create a fun and successful fishing trip experience for any and all skill types. No matter if it’s your first time, or you’re a seasoned angler, Tony can tailor your trip to your needs. Unlike larger charters, this is a 5-6 person max private cruise aboard the FV Rock Steady. Tony has been fishing these waters since he was a kid and his experience shows! Be sure to call in advance to book as his charter is popular and trips are weather dependent.