Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Best Santa Barbara Outdoor Dining


Enjoy dining al fresco?  Let yourself be romanced by the sidewalk sounds of a big city or pampered by the peacefulness of a patio garden. Flock to the terrace, deck or boulevard table and share a bite, under the sun, an oversized patio umbrella or the stars. Be it a brunch in the breeze, sunset supper or long lunch, all of it tastes best outside. Visit these restaurants for the best outdoor dining in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara
Santa Ynez Valley


SANTA BARBARA

Aldo's Italian Restaurant Italian
11/20
1031 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
A lovely setting belies an otherwise mediocre restaurant in the heart of downtown. More...

Beachside Bar & Cafe American
12/20
5905 Sandspit Rd.
Goleta, CA 93117
Menu
Beachside Bar & Café's oceanfront location is prime for summer noshing. More...

Bella Vista Italian
14/20
Dining Room at Bella Vista , Montecito, CA Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore Santa Barbara
1260 Channel Dr.
Montecito, CA 93108
Menu
Italian-inspired Californian coastal cuisine in one of Santa Barbara’s best settings. More...

Blush Restaurant & Lounge Eclectic
13/20
630 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
Nightlife and fine dining collide at this hot-spot in downtown Santa Barbara. More...

Boathouse at Hendry's Beach Seafood
11/20
2981 Cliff Dr.
Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Food plays second fiddle to views at this seaside restaurant, where an idyllic location is the main draw. More...

bouchon Contemporary
15/20
Dining Room at bouchon, Santa Barbara, CA Victoria Court
9 W. Victoria St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
Santa Barbara and Central Coast cuisine complemented by local wines. More...

Brophy Bros. Seafood
12/20
119 Harbor Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Brophy Bros. is known for fresh-caught fish and harbor views. More...

Bucatini Italian
13/20
436 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
Traditional Italian favorites meet al fresco dining in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. More...

Le Cafe Stella American
11/20
3302 McCaw Ave.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

French and American influences merge in Santa Barbara's Upper State Street neighborhood. More...

Carlitos Cafe y Cantina Mexican
12/20
1324 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
Traditional Mexican fare in an open-air setting. More...

Chuck's Waterfront Grill California
12/20
Dining Room at Chuck 113 Harbor Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
Menu
Chuck's Waterfront Grill is all about seafood and steaks. More...

Cielito Mexican
13/20
Dining Room at Cielito, Santa Barbara, CA La Arcada Courtyard
1114 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
An upscale approach to Mexican food in Santa Barbara’s La Arcada Courtyard. More...

Cold Spring Tavern American
12/20
Dining Room at Cold Spring Tavern, Santa Barbara, CA 5995 Stagecoach Rd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Menu
A rustic setting and weekly game dishes, steaks, burgers and barbecue. More...

The Dining Room at Belmond El Encanto California
No Rating
Dining Room at The Dining Room at Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara, CA Belmond El Encanto
800 Alvarado Pl.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Menu
California cuisine with local ingredients on the American Riviera. More...

East Beach Grill American
Quick Bite
1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Burgers, burritos and breakfast at the sands of East Beach. More...

El Paseo Mexican
13/20
10 El Paseo
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
Pricey but satisfying Mexican food in an historic setting. More...

Garden Market California
Quick Bite
3811 Santa Claus Ln.
Carpinteria, CA 93013

Fresh, healthy food and a charming setting on Santa Claus Lane. More...

Giannfranco's Trattoria Italian
13/20
666 Linden Ave.
Carpinteria, CA 93013

Authentic Italian-style eatery in downtown Carpinteria. More...

Harbor Restaurant Seafood
11/20
210 Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
Decent food is second to the ocean views. More...

Holdren’s Steaks & Seafood Steakhouse
14/20
512 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
A classic locally owned steakhouse in downtown Santa Barbara. More...

The Honor Bar American
13/20
1255 Coast Village Rd.
Montecito, CA 93108

Casual dining in upscale Montecito. More...

Intermezzo Bar + Café California
13/20
Dining Room at Intermezzo Bar + Café, Santa Barbara, CA El Paseo
819 Anacapa St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Wine-focused food and an intimate setting make this one of Santa Barbara’s favorite places to gather. More...

The Lark New American
14/20
Dining Room at The Lark, Santa Barbara, CA 131 Anacapa St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
Seasonally inspired fare in Santa Barbara's trendy Funk Zone. More...

Longboard's Burgers
10/20
Stearns Wharf
210 Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
Great views and tasty fare. More...

Los Arroyos Mexican
13/20
1280 Coast Village Rd.
Montecito, CA 93108
Menu
Traditional Mexican food in the heart of Montecito. More...

Louie's California
15/20
Dining Room at Louie The Upham Hotel
1404 De La Vina St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
A quintessential Santa Barbara experience featuring California Wine Country-style cuisine in a country cottage setting. More...

Lucky's Steakhouse
14/20
Dining Room at Lucky 1279 Coast Village Rd.
Montecito, CA 93108
Menu
Lucky's is a sophisticated steakhouse with an impressive wine and spirits list. More...

Outpost at the Goodland New American
13/20
The Goodland, A Kimpton Hotel
5650 Calle Real
Goleta, CA 93117

Fresh, creative food, along with cocktails and wine, at this hotel restaurant. More...

Pane e Vino Italian
14/20
Dining Room at Pane e Vino, Montecito, CA Montecito Upper Village Shops
1482 E. Valley Rd.
Montecito, CA 93108
Menu
Tucked away in one of Santa Barbara's poshest communities, Pane e Vino offers a genuine taste of Italy. More...

Paradise Cafe American
12/20
702 Anacapa St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

With classic outdoor dining, Paradise Café is all about a casual vibe, with chili, burgers, seafood, chops and steaks. More...

Reyes Market Mexican
Quick Bite
4795 Carpinteria Ave.
Carpinteria, CA 93013
Menu
Mexican food is done right at this longstanding restaurant-market in Carpinteria. More...

Root 246 New American
No Rating
Dining Room at Root 246, Solvang, CA Hotel Corque
420 Alisal Rd.
Solvang, CA 93463

A delightfully simple approach to cooking takes full advantage of the region's bountiful ingredients. More...

Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch Barbecue
Quick Bite
2618 De La Vina St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Menu
Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch is a casual place popular for its home-style approach to barbecue and Mexican specialties. More...

Scarlett Begonia California
13/20
Victoria Court
11 W. Victoria St., Ste. 10
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Local, organic ingredients are thoughtfully rendered into creative breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner dishes. More...

The Shop Cafe New American
Quick Bite
730 N. Milpas St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

A contemporary American restaurant disguised as a humble diner. More...

Soho California
13/20
1221 State St., Ste. 205
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Menu
Hopping live music and California cuisine are the selling points of this Santa Barbara hot-spot. More...

Stonehouse Contemporary
14/20
Dining Room at Stonehouse, Montecito, CA San Ysidro Ranch
900 San Ysidro Ln.
Montecito, CA 93108
Menu
Rustic elegance at one of Santa Barbara’s most storied properties. More...

Summerland Beach Cafe American
12/20
2294 Lillie Ave.
Summerland, CA 93067

Summerland Beach Café dishes up home-style breakfast and lunch in a classic low-key beach setting. More...

Taffy's Pizza Pizza
Quick Bite
2026 De La Vina St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Menu
A classic California version of the family-style pizzeria. More...

Trattoria Mollie's Italian
14/20
1250 Coast Village Rd.
Montecito, CA 93108
Menu
Gracious Italian dining in an elegant location characterizes this Montecito eatery. More...

Tydes Restaurant & Bar Italian
14/20
Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club
1281 Channel Dr.
Montecito, CA 93108

One of Santa Barbara’s most unique restaurants, Tydes is recognized for its limited access and contemporary architecture. More...

Via Vai Italian
13/20
Dining Room at Via Vai, Montecito, CA 1483 E. Valley Rd., #20
Montecito, CA 93108
Menu
Wood-fired pizzas and other rustic Italian specialties are especially winning in an outdoor-patio setting. More...

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe European
13/20
Dining Room at Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe, Los Olivos, CA 2879 Grand Ave.
Los Olivos, CA 93441
Menu
Located squarely in the heart of Santa Barbara's wine country, Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café offers Mediterranean-themed cuisine and an array of wines. More...

Panino – Los Olivos Deli
Quick Bite
2900 Grand Ave.
Los Olivos, CA 93441

A casual yet topnotch deli in the heart of the wine country. More...

S.Y. Kitchen Italian
14/20
Dining Room at S.Y. Kitchen, Santa Ynez, CA 1110 Faraday St.
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Menu
A modern take on Italian cuisine in a California farmhouse setting in Santa Ynez. More...

The Vineyard House California
13/20
3631 Sagunto St.
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Menu
Local produce and the bounty from the on-site herb garden factor into the cooking at this Santa Ynez Valley restaurant. More...

Best Outdoor Dining in Other Cities

2017 RESTAURANT AWARDS

GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.