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


721 Chapala St. (W. Ortega St.) Send to Phone
Massive portions of quality food served in a homey surf-themed café.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily

* Click here for rating key

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Esau's Cafe Restaurant Review

: This classic West Coast beach town café is adorned with surfing paraphernalia. Breakfast is the main draw, specifically pancakes made with fresh buttermilk and the same recipe for more than 60 years. Owners Scott and Arti Stanley sell the pancake mix by the pound; they also put their unique stamp on dishes such as Arti’s scramble: three eggs with grilled mushrooms, spinach and feta cheese. The duo is known for packing plates beyond the normal limit and sending patrons wobbling out the door. Esau’s version of diet food is a mountain of protein called "The Atkins" that mixes bacon, sausage, chicken, avocado, two cheeses and a few eggs. Lunch and dinner fare is equally hearty, from a wide range of burgers, sandwiches and salads made with ingredients sourced at the local farmers market. A rotating selection of homemade pies follows the seasons, and old-fashioned desserts like milk shakes, hot fudge sundaes and ice cream floats are an unpretentious way to end a meal. Also located at 507 Linden Ave., Carpinteria.


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