The holidays are some of the best times of the year in Santa Barbara. The California coastal days are generally still warm and sunny but give way to cool and crisp evenings or comfortable “sweater weather.” Santa Barbara is one of the rare places in the country where outdoor dining is possible nearly year-round. Take advantage of the weather on the American Riviera and visit some of our favorite Santa Barbara eateries with patio dining that’s great for either daytime drinks under the sun or evening dining under the heat lamp.


santa barbara patio dining

image credit: @okurestaurant

Located in the heart of Santa Barbara and just off the beach, Oku’s menu draws from Asian favorites like Wagyu Steak, Sushi, noodles, dumplings and locally sourced seafood. Enjoy fresh ingredients from Central Coast farmers, local fisherman and California wine. The owners of this fine establishment are longtime Santa Barbara locals who want their guests to feel a unique sense of hospitality and atmosphere. “We want locals to feel like family and visitors to feel like locals…come join our family!”

 Flor de Mais

patio dining santa barbara waterfront

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Savor tantalizing Mexican food paired with a mouth-watering selection of margaritas and a robust choice of tequilas. Flor de Mais modern Oaxacan cuisine is fresh, colorful and delicious. Located across the street from the Waterfront, restaurant goers can drink and dine on the outdoor patio with the warmth of the sun by day and heat lamps in the evening.

 Salty on the Beach

santa barbara harbor patio dining heat lampsEnjoy lunch or dinner, wine and cocktails at Salty on the Beach located at the iconic Santa Barbara Harbor. Get cozy with heated patio dining as you sip and eat while watching sailboats drift by. There’s something for everyone at this quintessential Santa Barbara spot, with snacks and bites like clam chowder and buffalo wings, burgers, salmon, steak and even vegetarian and vegan options.



Chomp on the Rocks

Located downstairs from Salty on the Beach is the diner-style restaurant, Chomp on the Rocks. This family-friendly joint is known for its burgers, fries and shakes – it has an Old-Fashioned Ice Creamery and Soda Fountain serving up shakes, malts, floats, banana-splits and sundaes. But their menu also boasts salads and sandwiches, wraps, tacos and more. Kids can stick to the root beer, while adults can wash it down with a beer, wine or even a bubbly Spanish brut.


M.Special Brewing Company

outdoor dining santa barbara

image credit: The Restaurant Guy/

The popular spot in Goleta now has new spot on State Street with large outdoor dining areas on the street and in the back. Enjoy a portfolio of beers brewed passionately by this local crew. The new State Street taproom has a full kitchen with a robust menu to enhance your beer-drinking experience. Check out the Loaded Fries, and Dirty Tacos, as well as bratwurst and build-your-own burgers.