One of our favorite things to do is to eat; on the flip side, one of our least favorite things to do is to cook and clean up afterwards. Fortunately for us—and for you, as well—Santa Barbara is a city filled with restaurants that serve the best of all types and nationalities of meals! Mexican, Japanese, Italian, American, Cajun, and fresh seafood restaurants are plentiful and tasty. You may not want to eat out every night once you move to town, but everyone deserves a break at least once or twice a week! Here’s a list of some of our favorite local restaurants in Santa Barbara guaranteed to bring a smile to your stomach.

The Hungry Cat

Open Tuesday through Sunday, and serving brunch on Saturday and Sunday, this Santa Barbara Restaurant at 1134 Chapala Street serves classic foods with a contemporary spin. Our favorite brunch menu item is the savory crab cake benedict. If you’re really hungry, we recommend their namesake seafood platter, The Hungry Cat, filled with oysters, clams, marinated mussels, peel n’ eat shrimp, snow crab legs, lobster, and one ounce of golden roe; it’s a bit pricy, but there is so much food, your entire family can share!

On the Alley

For those nights where the family is on the run, On the Alley is a small restaurant with outside picnic tables. You can also grab a meal to eat in your car as you take your kids from sports practice, to dance class, or to a birthday party without feeling like you are dying of hunger. Their OTA Burger comes with caramelized onion, fried jalapeno, avocado, bacon, jack cheese, and a fried egg! If that’s too much for you, their veggie burger is another popular choice. Located at 117 Harbor Way.

Lucky Penny

Sometimes, nothing hits the spot better than a wood-fired pizza served just the way you want it! Order online from Lucky Penny and pick it up on the way home. Their Milpas pizza comes with fingerling potatoes, Mexican chorizo, sunny side-up egg, spicy tomatillo marinara, cotija, and cilantro; we’re getting hungry just thinking about it! Located at 127 Anacapa Street.


For those mornings when you feel like being reminded that you are a local now, breakfast at Eladios, located at 28 W. Cabrillo Boulevard, inside the Harbor View Inn, offers the best Bloody Mary’s in town, and a vanilla dipped brioche French toast guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest palates. The view of Stearns Wharf and the Pacific Ocean will have you pinching yourself in disbelief. Aren’t you lucky it’s not a dream?

Paradise Retreats Property Management

Paradise Retreats knows all the secrets to finding the best restaurants in Santa Barbara. When you rent a long-term rental from us, all our secrets will be yours! Contact us today for more information about your move to Santa Barbara, or to see why living in Santa Barbara is the best decision you’ll ever make!