Santa Barbara Recs?

Glad you enjoyed it! Great photos.

Going back up in September for 3 days/2nights. Here is my initial list based on past visits and recent info on this thread. Anybody have others to add into consideration? We want to go wine tasting one day and have been to Paso - anybody have specific area/wineries they recommend within 20-30 minute drive of the area?

Handlebar Coffee
Helena Ave Bakery

Recipes Bakery
Lilac Patisserie

Super Rica
Lucky Penny
Los Agaves

The Lark


A little further than 20-30 minutes (about 40) is Saarloos and Sons in Los Olivos. They have the best wines I’ve had up there. They do (or used to do) pairings with scratch-made mini cupcakes. I thought it was weird at first, but it was great. My ex wife and I were club members for years.

Thanks @OCSteve. Los Olivos looks like a fun town. Not familiar with Saarlos and Sons but will keep this in our back pocket. It’s a bit further than I want to drive but doable.

When we used to go, we would use a shuttle service (Cloud Climbers was one of them) to take us out there from SB, drive us to different wineries, and drive us back at the end of the day. We would usually hit 4-5 wineries. Not sure if you have that much time, but it’s a fun day.

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Solid plan.
I might also consider Bibiji for a different take on Indian. I like what they are doing with wine, I love what they are doing with beer, and their limited menu is surprisingly tasty.
I can’t say it’s better than Lark or Loquito, but since you’ll be hitting Lucky Penny, Helena Ave. Bakers AND Lark, all owned by the same group, you might seek a different perspective.

Also, I’m kinda over La Super Rica these days. It’s still as good as ever, but I got a little burnt out on them. Corazon Cocina in the Public Market is what I’m liking these days.

I only went once and thought it was ok. Wanted to try it again. I think @ipsedixit also mentioned Corazaon Cocina. We’ll see. May skip LSR if the lines end up being too long.

Almost every restaurant mentioned on the thread is on this list

LSR lines are short at off-peak hours. I think we caught it at around 2PM. Quick bang and then on the freeway home.

Ill write tomorrow. If you’re in Los Olivos, the top quality in town are Dragonette and Samsara

Best in SB is Whitcraft.

Barbareño we’ve had amazing dinner at after wine at Au Bob Climat and Marjoram walking distance

@Nemroz thanks.
We like the idea of staying in Santa Barbara and not having to drive around a lot, especially with kids in tow.

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Then you’ve got several options in town. I’d vouch for Whitcraft, Au Bon Climat, Kuni, Jaffurs, Margerum, Pali is a fun space. The rest I couldn’t rec for quality. We never used to miss a stop at Les Marchands but it was sold a while back

Just had La Super Rica for the first time in a decade. Very good tortillas and enjoyed the red salsa and fresh pico de gallo. I ordered the beans and especial. The especial felt like a pound of melted cheese with about 12 pieces of chopped up chorizo. I liked the beans but I know that’s not what they are necessarily known for.

Was on the way to check into the hotel for a conference and wasn’t very hungry. May try to go back during the week.

My especial came with chorizo and no chili and was served in a styroform bowl with tortillas on the side. This is what I thought I was getting but must have ordered incorrectly. Now I have to go back.

Corazon Cocina was great. Love the tortillas. Got the pastor quesadilla and ensenada fish taco. The fish was lingcod. Would come back here over LSR every time. Doesn’t hurt that the beer + wine shop in the public market had a great selection.

Thanks for the recommendation of BiBi Ji @frommtron. Forgot to take pictures but highly recommended. They have a very good selection in their beer fridge but we opted to partake in their all natural wine selection. Very nice somm shared many tastes and even brought us over 2 glasses that were poured accidentally. They had a whole section for orange wines. Love that skin contact funky stuff. We had an orange Riesling and my friend tried a super funky smoky wine from Mexico. Lots of interesting unique natural wines.

Food was great too. Don’t forget to order the General Tso cauliflower. Indian spiced riff. Well prepared with a kick. The chicken tikka was not the heavy orange sauced version but more of a grilled marinated chicken but delicious. Chana masala was wonderful spooned on top of the rice with raita. All of the dishes had wonderful amounts of spice. I was expecting this place to be more expensive so was pleasantly surprised to get out at $50 per person with a good amount of wine.

Sorry @Nemroz looks like Les Marchands recently closed.

Lucky Penny was a nice casual dinner spot. Seating is all communal and outdoors right next to the Lark. Ordered margarita and classic which came with sopressata. Kids, wife and I all enjoyed the pizza. Great fresh tasting sauce. Not a ton of spots on the pizza. Crust tasted more like bread but wish it was cooked a bit more. The roasted veggies were corn, jalapenos, scallions, tomatoes with an avocado mousse. Excellent when combined together. McConnell’s ice cream down the street was much better than the last time I had at it GCM.


Nice report back and I’m happy you enjoyed Bibi Ji! Great pics, too!

Yikes! We weren’t much excited since they sold a couple years ago anyway. But things are achangin

Brophy Bros is a nice local place with good views of the harbor. The clam chowder was fantastic. Big chunks of potatoes, clams and celery whilst not being overly rich or creamy. Good peel and eat shrimp. A good amount of shrimp. They only had 1 type of oyster but well priced at $12.95 for half dozen. I think they were blue points which aren’t my favorite. Wish they had beers on tap. A nice place to go for a daytime snack but not sure I’d go out of my way with all the great choices to eat in SB.

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