The past couple years yielded quite a bit of turnover in the restaurant industry here in Santa Barbara. Residents and visitors were sad to see some old favorites permanently fold; however, several new establishments have since replaced those that closed due to the pandemic. And business is booming! Peruse the sweet and savory of Santa Barbara and visit these new restaurants and cafes just opened within the past year or recent months. 

alessias patisserie santa barbra

bakery display case at Alessia Patisserie & Cafe

Start the day with Breakfast in Santa Barbara

Alessia Patisserie + Cafe

Start the morning right at Alessia Patisserie + Cafe. Croissant and coffee lovers will be in bliss at this slice of Paris in Santa Barbara. Take a look at their website to view their patisserie case and menu, which ranges from the sweet to savory –  with brioche French toast loaded with fresh berries, mascarpone whipped cream and Vermont maple syrup, to vegetarian or ham quiche, avocado toast and a full smoked salmon board complete with all the fixings and an everything bagel to boot. Alessia’s is your favorite neighborhood spot you’ll want to get up early for.

Hook & Press 

The Instragram worthy donuts have a new home at 15 East Figueroa St. Now a full-fledged restaurant, the menu offers breakfast sandwiches, tartines and delicious sides, in addition to buttermilk biscuits and colorful donuts. All doughs are made fresh daily and glazes and toppings are all made in-house. Visit the website to view the craft donuts menu, as well as the food and drink menus.

Lunch or brunch in Santa Barbara – Here’s what’s new

Jeannine’s American Bakery & Restaurant – at the Shore

The long-time favorite bakery serving breakfast and lunch opened their newest location at the shore, just across from Stearns Wharf. This picture perfect spot is idyllic with sweeping views of the beach and pier when seated inside and a relaxing outdoor patio with umbrellas for a pleasant beachside brunch. Jeannine’s menu reaches far and wide with something for everyone – from classic breakfast favorites from the griddle, or egg dishes, to salads and sandwiches for lunch. Enjoy a refreshing midday cocktail, champagne, white or rose wine, as well. 

Taza Mediterranean Street Kitchen

Modern Mediterranean street food, like kebabs, falafel, gyro, wraps and more, are now on State Street waiting to satisfy your lunch cravings. There’s something for carnivores and vegetarians alike, as this savory and healthy menu is an oasis of Middle East fare. Nestled in the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara’s State Street, Taza is a convenient lunch location that’s sure to be a hit for locals and tourists alike.

Anchor Rose

Santa Barbara’s only rooftop restaurant and lounge is back under a new name and theme. Former Chomp on the Rocks and Salty at the Beach locations combine under a unified brand, Anchor Rose. The location is exactly what Santa Barbara is famous for, natural beauty, harbor and ocean views. The menu is influenced by the sea and surf along with Santa Barbara’s rich roots in Spanish culture. Enjoy craft cocktails and tapas for a midday snack or check out the full menu for dinner and drinks. While the views and food looks posh, Anchor Rose promises a  laid-back atmosphere and flip-flops are always welcomed.

Not to be missed, newly opened for dinner in Santa Barbara

Rare Society

Inspired by vintage Las Vegas steakhouses and given a dose of modern dining style, Chef Brad Wise brings the well-known Rare Society steakhouse to Santa Barbara. Reservations are recommended at this sure-to-be dinner and drinks hot spot. Diners will enjoy cuts of dry-aged ribeyes, wagyu, and tri-tip, in addition to oysters, lobster, snow crab, prawns, seafood towers and more, as well as a wide selection of family style side dishes and cocktail menu.

Reunion Kitchen + Drink

Modern comfort and innovative interpretations of traditional food favorites is the way Reunion describes itself. This restaurant sits inside the recently renovated Cabrillo Pavilion directly on the beach with indoor and patio dining. The menu includes a large variety of snack plates alongside Reunion entrees and traditional beach dishes with new flair, like beer battered fish & chips, tequila lime shrimp, miso-glazed sea bass, turkey pot pie, BBQ glazed meatloaf and even “Dad’s Ribeye.” Of course, there are plenty of sandwiches and burgers on the menu too. Whether it’s an evening dinner for two or a family affair, Reunion Kitchen + Drink is a can’t miss.

Courthouse Tavern

With patio seating overlooking the beautiful sunken gardens of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Courthouse Tavern is a winner. This restaurant is a welcomed addition for locals and tourists alike, as Happy Hour runs all day here and includes drinks and small plates. The bar serves craft cocktails, beer and wine and the all-day menu consists of simple yet satisfying options – from appetizers, such as wings or calamari, to burgers and sandwiches, as well as salads and entrees. Don’t miss the desserts, which include Kahlua tiramisu, double chocolate cake or apple bread pudding. This is a great spot for meeting friends or family any time of the day.

Where to stay in Santa Barbara that’s near restaurants and cafes. 

Santa Barbara culture is rich in food and history. Stay in one of our short-term vacation rental homes near Downtown restaurants, Funk Zone bars and popular Santa Barbara beachside spots. Live like a local in one of our coastal rental homes where breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks are within steps of your front door. Search vacation rentals in Santa Barbara and book your dates today!