Favorites in Santa Barbara County

The view as you enter Sanford Winery in Santa Barbara County

The view as you enter Sanford Winery

Santa Barbara County is a beautiful travel destination where you can find stunning views of valleys, mountains, vineyards, and even ocean beaches.  It’s also the location for multiple wine festivals, release parties, and food and wine events throughout the year.  Visitors will find five distinct winegrowing regions here (Happy Canyon, Los Alamos Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Sta. Rita Hills, and the Santa Ynez Valley).  If you are heading to Santa Barbara County, these are our favorite wineries, restaurants and other food purveyors there.

Favorite Wineries in Santa Barbara County

Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards – Pioneer winegrowers in the Sta. Rita Hills since 1970, Thekla and Richard Sanford (founders of Sanford Winery) bring over 40 years of award-winning winemaking experience to their wines.  In fact, Mr. Sanford was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame in early 2012.  Their new (and gorgeous) tasting room is in Buellton near the 101, right next door to Industrial Eats.  We particularly like the Pinot Gris (Santa Barbara County and La Encantada Vineyard), Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County and El Jabalí Vineyard), and the Pinot Noirs (La Encantada Vineyard, El Jabalí Vineyard and Sta. Rita Hills) here.    181-C Industrial Way, Buellton  (805) 688-9090

Brewer-Clifton – About a mile west of the Lompoc “Wine Ghetto” neighborhood, Greg Brewer (winemaker for diatom and Melville) and Steve Clifton (winemaker for Palmina) make Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs true to the terroir of Sta. Rita Hills. They believe that each vineyard  in the appellation has its own “imprint” which they try to portray through the wines. Of their portfolio, we tend to prefer their Gnesa Chardonnay, 3-D Pinot Noir, Ampelos Pinot Noir and Machado Pinot Noir. 329 North F Street, Lompoc (805) 735-9184

Drake Wines – This off-the-street tasting room in the middle of the “Funk Zone” is worth hunting down for delightful Pinot Noirs.  Winemaker and Founder Mark Cummins previously worked with both Ken Brown and Kenneth Volk and eventually created this family owned and operated winery.  We really liked their Tele Norte, Les Galets, Go West and “Block G” Pinot Noirs.  32 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara (805-845-4801)

Dierberg Estate Vineyard/Star Lane Vineyard – Jim and Mary Dierberg are no newcomers to wine as they’ve owned one of America’s oldest wineries (Hermannhof, in Missouri) since 1974 and purchased the Star Lane property back in 1996. The Dierberg vineyards provide both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Dierberg Estate wines.  The Star Lane Ranch is the source for Cabernet Sauvignon and related varietals.  The tasting room staff here are friendly, knowledgeable, and fun.  We have several favorite wines here, including the Dierberg Drum Canyon Vineyard Chardonnay, the Dierberg Vineyard Pinot Noir and Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir, and the Star Lane Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.   1280 Drum Canyon Road, Lompoc  (866) 652-8430

Fess Parker Winery – Actor Fess Parker’s portrayal of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone garnered him a large fan base during the 1950’s and 1960’s and after that his business ventures included a hotel in Santa Barbara (The Fess Parker, a Doubletree), a luxury inn in Los Olivos (The Fess Parker Wine Country Inn) and this winery, situated on a 714 acre ranch on the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.  Although Mr. Parker passed away in 2010, the winery remains family owned and operated. Our favorites here include Ashley’s Chardonnay, Marcella’s (Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc), Parker West Pinot Noir, Clone 115 Pinot Noir and Bien Nacido Pinot Noir.  6200 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos  (805) 688-1545

Fiddlehead Cellars – Kathy Joseph established Fiddlehead Cellars in 1989 to capture the pure essence of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.  We particuarly enjoy her Pinot Noirs, some of which are from grapes grown in Southern California and some of which use grapes from Oregon.  At Fiddlehead Cellars we highly recommend the Seven Twenty Eight and Lollapalooza Pinot Noirs from her estate vineyards (Fiddlestix), and the Alloro and Oldsville Reserve Pinot Noirs from Oregon grapes.  1597 East Chestnut Avenue, Lompoc  (805) 742-0204

Ken Brown Wines – This small family winery focuses on small lots of Pinot Noir made from grapes grown in the Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley in acclaimed vineyards such as Cargasacchi, La Encantada and Rita’s Crown.  Ken Brown has been experimenting with clones, rootstocks, soils and winemaking techniques for over 30 years. The tasting room is simple and straightforward, conveniently located, and the customer service here is exemplary.  Our favorites include the Sta. Rita Hills, La Encantada Vineyard and Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot Noirs.  157 W. Highway 246, Buellton, CA  (805) 688-9400

Kenneth Volk Vineyards –  Ken Volk has been making Santa Barbara and Central Coast wines for more than a quarter of a century and has earned a reputation for crafting world-class wines. This is also a great place to discover well-made wines from rare heirloom grape varieties seldom produced in California such as Torrontes, Verdelho, Cabernet Pfeffer and Touriga.  We also like the Santa Maria Cuvee Pinot Noir and Enz Vineyard Zinfandel here.  The winery in Santa Maria is a little more off the beaten path than our other recommendations, but the journey is well worth the effort.  5230 Tepusquet Road, Santa Maria  (805) 938-7896  (there is also another tasting room in Paso Robles, at 2485 Highway 46 West, (805) 237-7896)

Koehler Wines – This winery sits on a spectacularly beautiful 100 acre estate (with 67 acres of vineyards) surrounded by rolling hills so guests are encouraged to enjoy their tasting experiences in one of the outdoor settings to enjoy the scenery of the estate and vineyard grounds.  Sights include 200-year old oak trees, 130 year old olive trees, and a small stream.  Our favorites here have been the Viognier, Rosé (of Grenache), Sangiovese, Magia Nera (Sanviovese, Syrah, Cabernet Franc) and the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  5360 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos  (805) 693-8384

Kunin Wines – Seth Kunin started his namesake winery in 1998, focusing on Syrah, Zinfandel and Viognier. Over the years he added additional wines made from Rhône and Loire Valley varietals. Our favorite wines here are the Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Pape Star Blonde (a Rhône white wine blend), Camp  4 Vineyard Carignane, Paso Robles Zinfandel and Larner Vineyard Syrah.  28 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara (805-963-9633)

Margerum Wine Company – The Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail is an assortment of about 17 wineries all within blocks of downtown and the beach.  This is our favorite of the bunch, located one block north of State Street.  Large tasting room, easy to get to, and great wines.  Our recommended wines here are the KLICKITAT (Pinot Gris) and the Rhone blend M5, but the other wines are worth checking out as well, such as the “Vin de Pays” Rosé.  813 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara  (805) 966-9463  (there is also another tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara, the “MWC32,” featuring reserve and limited production wines at 32 El Paseo, Santa Barbara, (805) 845-8435)

Montemar Winery – Located in Lompoc’s Wine Ghetto, one of the attractions here (in addition to the wines) is the large outdoor patio with plenty of seating (and they will come pour your tastes back there if that’s what you want to do).   The wines here are crafted from small-lot Rhone and Burgundy varietals, and there are cheeses and charcuterie available for purchase as well.  Be sure to try the Bentrock and La Encantada Pinot Noirs.  1501 E Chestnut Court #E, Lompoc  (805) 735-5000

Mosby Winery and Vineyard – Bill Mosby’s namesake winery is committed to producing high quality wines based on Italian grape varietals grown on the estate.  Our favorite wines here are the Cortese, Pinot Grigio, Sagrantino, Teroldego, and Lagrein.  Their website also offers recipes recommended to pair with their wines, including Pacific Black Mussels in Cream Sauce (for the Cortese), Roasted Prime Rib of Pork with Cranberry Coulis (for the Teroldego), and Braised Rabbit with Dried Cherries, Pearl Onions, and Pine Nuts (for the Lagrein).   9496 Santa Rosa Road, Buellton  (800-706-6729)

Pali Wine Co. – In 2005, Tim Perr and Scott Knight founded this winery dedicated to producing small lots of artisanal, high-quality Pinot Noir.  They named it “Pali” after their coastal hometown of Pacific Palisades and some of the wines are even named after Pacific Palisades neighborhoods or streets. Our favorites here are the Huber Vineyard Chardonnay, Huntington Pinot Noir, Alphabets Pinot Noir and Rancho La Viña Pinot Noir.  Winery is at 1036 W. Aviation Drive, Lompoc  (805) 736-7200, 2nd Tasting Room at 116 E. Yanonali Street, Santa Barbara  (805) 560-7254

Palmina  – Headed by Steve Clifton and his wife Chrystal, Palmina is a Californian interpretation of the Italian lifestyle around food, wine, friends and family.  Each wine here is released with a paired recipe for that wine.  We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Tocai Friulano, Vermentino, Arneis, Dolcetto, Lagrein, Nebbiolo (Sisquoc Vineyard) and Barbera (Walker Vineyard) here.  We also recommend the Alisos, a Sangiovese/Merlot blend which is made “appassimento” style (during the winemaking process, some grapes are set aside to dry out before being added back to the wine later).  1520 East Chestnut Court, Lompoc  (805-735-2030)

Presqu’ile Winery – Two generations of the Murphy Family form the heart of Presqu’ile (“almost an island” in Creole), a stunningly beautiful winery in the Santa Maria Valley with a new tasting room and facilities.  The property includes 73 acres of certified sustainably farmed vineyards and a newly opened tasting room offers public rooms, private rooms, indoor/outdoor seating options, caves that are part of scheduled tours, and a great destination for picnicking.  The winemaking philosophy here is minimalist, letting the fruit convey the essence of its variety, vineyard and vintage.  Our favorites are their Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir, Presqu’ile Vineyard Pinot Noir and the Steiner Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir.  5391 Presqu’ile Drive, Santa Maria, (805-937-8110)

Qupé  – Qupé (pronounced kyoo-pay’) is the Chumash Indian word for California poppy, the state flower.  While there may be about 30 wineries now with tasting rooms in downtown Los Olivos, this is one we recommend you don’t miss (especially since the actual winery in Santa Ynez doesn’t have a tasting room).   Be sure to try the Bien Nacido Vineyard Cuvée (Viognier and Chardonnay), Grenache, and Bien Nacido Vineyard Syrah.   Hopefully, you can also try some Verdad wines as well (aim for the Alabarino and Graciano).   2963 Grand Avenue, Suite B, Los Olivos  (805-686-4200)

Sanford Winery and Vineyards – This pioneering winery was founded in 1971, and the Sanford & Benedict parcel is the area’s oldest Pinot Noir vineyard.  The beautiful stone and adobe tasting room includes front and back covered terraces offering 360-degree views of the winery and vineyards.  Our favorites here are the La Entrada Chardonnay, the La Rinconada Chardonnay, the Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir, and especially the Sanford and Benedict Pinot Noir.  5010 Santa Rosa Road, Lompoc  (805-735-5900) [there is also a second tasting room at 1114 State Street #26, Santa Barbara (805-770-7873)]

Tercero Wines – This boutique producer of high quality, reasonably priced wines has one of our favorite tasting rooms in Los Olivos: friendly, casual and unpretentious. Winemaker Larry Schaffer sources grapes for his wines from leading Santa Barbara County vineyards, focusing on Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah and Syrah varietals.  Our favorites here are The Outlier (Gewurztraminer), Rose (of Mourvèdre), Grenache (Larner Vineyard) and Mourvèdre.   2445 Alamo Pintado Avenue, Suite 104, Los Olivos, CA   (805) 245-9584

Favorite Restaurants in Santa Barbara County

Bouchon Restaurant – Since 1998, this California French restaurant has offered fresh and local ingredients prepared with care, including fish from the Santa Barbara Channel and produce from the surrounding countryside.  The wine list is impressive and received the Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” in 2013.  Our favorite dishes here have been Roasted Beet Salad, Forest Mushroom Ragout, and the Mustard-Glazed Black Cod.  9 West Victoria Street (805-730-1160)

Bree’osh – This French artisan bakery and café in Montecito specializes in both sweet and savory brioche bread.  And, it’s genuinely French; husband and wife owners Pierre and Nelly Henry are actually from France.  They’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but you can come here for breakfast, brunch and/or lunch the other days of the week. The menu here is focused on pastries, eggs, and sandwiches, and you’re bound to find something appealing to you.  Brioches, Croissants, Breakfast Sandwiches, Quiches, Omelets and Croque Monsieur (and Madame) are all on the menu (some of which also come with a side salad).  Bree’osh even has high quality beverages: coffee from Handlebar Coffee Roasters and tea from Smith Teamaker.   1150 Coast Villlage Road, Montecito  (805-570-9151)

Ca’ Dario – This popular restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara is an outstanding Trattoria overseen by chef/owner Dario Furlati, hailing from Il Lago di Corni in Northern Italy.  Friendly staff and a casual atmosphere offer up the kind of pastas, salads, grilled meats, and fish that everyone loves.  We recommend the house salad (Insalata Ca’ Dario) and any of the pasta dishes (especially their Tagliatelle Verdi alla Bolognese or Ravioli al Burro e Salvia).  Reservations are strongly suggested.  37 East Victoria Street, Santa Barbara  (805-884-9419)

Corazón Cocina – This open-kitchen Mexican restaurant from Chef Ramon Velazquez features Tacos, Ceviches, Salads and a wonderful Salsa Bar.  They’re open seven days a week and even make their own tortillas. Some of the highlights at Corazón Cocina are their Fresh Guacamole (with Serrano, Cilantro and Onions), Quesadilla de Mercado (with Farmers Market Seasonal Vegetables), Coliflor (Cauliflower) Taco, Norteño (Grilled Skirt Steak) Taco and Al Pastor (Spit-Roasted Pork marinated in Adobo) Taco.  However, what impressed us the most was their Ensenada Taco with Beer Battered Ling Cod, Cabbage, Salsa Cruda and Mayo-Lime Crema.  Santa Barbara Public Market, 38 West Victoria Street, Santa Barbara  (805-845-0282)

East Beach Grill – Considered a local’s secret, this casual beachside restaurant is popular for breakfast so come sit outside and people-watch all you want (and bring your dog with you).  We recommend the Blueberry Pancakes and the Santa Barbara Omelet and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover they serve Peet’s Coffee.  1118 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara (805-965-8805)

Hitching Post II – Established in 1986, this restaurant is your key to experiencing “Santa Maria Style BBQ.”  Sourced from small packers in the Midwest (Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas), the Cornfed beef here is cut and grilled over an Oakwood fire.   If you’re not in the mood for beef, other grilled choices include Prime Rib of Pork, Baby Back Ribs, Rack of Lamb, Quail, Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast, or Duck Breast.   If you become a convert, their unique blend of salt and spices called Magic Dust is available for sale. 406 East Highway 26, Buellton  (805-688-0676)

Industrial Eats – This delightful restaurant and butcher shop features salads, sandwiches and pizzas using food sources from the Central Coast so come enjoy pâtés, cheeses and handmade bacon and/or the daily specials listed on the butcher block paper menu.  The wood oven pizzas have combinations such as Tomato/Basil/Mozzarella, Gorgonzola/Pear/Bacon, or Skirt Steak/Tomatillos/Queso Fresco.  We also loved the Smoked Pheasant Salad with Citrus.  And, no corkage fees!  181 Industrial Way, Buellton  (805) 688-8807

Jane – This fabulous bi-level restaurant is in the heart of Santa Barbara, right on State Street.  The setting at Jane is classy but comfortable and the service is excellent.  The salad selections are superb, particularly the Boston Lettuce Salad with Sliced Pears and a Blue Cheese & Honey Dressing.  We also loved the Grilled Pasilla Chiles, and our favorite burger is the Macho Burger (with Pasilla Chile, Jack Cheese, Avocado, Tomato, Red Onions & Spicy Chipotle Mayonnaise).  Family owned restaurant, named after the owner’s grandmother (whose pictures adorn the walls).  1311 State Street, Santa Barbara  (805-962-1311)  

Jeannine’s Restaurant – This local favorite for breakfast and lunch (with 25 years of experience) has three locations.  Jeannine’s is frequently crowded but they are also used to handling a large to-go contingent eager for their scones, muffins, breads, and other baked goods.  Simple, well-made food here made with wholesome and, whenever possible, organic ingredients. 15 East Figueroa and 3607 State Street in Santa Barbara (805-687-8701) and 1253 Coast Village Road in Montecito (805-969-7878)

Lilly’s Taqueria – If you’re looking for flavorful and authentic Mexican Soft Tacos, head over here.  Mix and match your order of Asada, Adobada, and/or awesome Vegetarian Tacos (made with a combination of Corn, Zucchini, Carrots and Green Beans).  For the more adventurous, they also sell tacos made with Maciza, Cabeza, Cacheta and Lengua.  290-D Storke Road, Goleta (805-845-9180) and 310 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara (805-966-9180)

Los Agaves – The food is made fresh to order from high quality ingredients at this casual Mexican restaurant known for its large portions.  We suggest ordering the Chicken Enchiladas Guadalajara or Tacos Del Mar, and our favorite choices from the extensive salsa bar are the Salsa Quemada and Salsa Chipotle.  600 North Milpas Street, Santa Barbara, (805-564-2626) and 2911 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara  (805-682-2600) 

Milk & Honey – Started by Chef Alvaro Rojas, this restaurant offers tapas, a casual environment, and nostalgic cartoons in the dining room (hello, Speedy Gonzales!).  Their extensive menu has many options appealing to traditionalists (Manchego y Membrillo, Chorizo, Sauteéd Gambas), and less traditional items include OMG Salad (Organic Mixed Greens, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese) and Blue Champiñón (Filet Medallions, Blue Cheese, Mushroom and a Port Reduction Sauce). Our personal favorites here were the Corazón Verde (Grilled Heart of Romaine, Balsamic, Blue Cheese and Shallot Reduction), Champiñones Al Ajillo (Mushrooms, Garlic, Italian Parsley, Sea Salt, and Olive Oil) and the Lamburghini (Sliders of Lamb, House-ground with Golden Raisins and Fresh Mint, served with Pesto).  30 West Anapamu, Santa Barbara  (805-275-4232)

Olio e Limone – This lovely Italian restaurant comes from husband and wife Alberto and Elaine Morello, with décor featuring white tablecloths and a glass-enclosed wine cellar.  You’ll have several outstanding salads and pasta dishes to choose from and we appreciate the large number of vegetarian options here.  We can definitely recommend the Prosciutto di Parma con Bruschetta, Fettuccine con Spugnole e Asaparagi and the Spaghetti allo Scoglio.  11 West Victoria Street, #17, Santa Barbara (805-899-2699) 

Olio Pizzeria – From the owners of Oilo e Limone (which we also love), this causal concept pizza bar/wine bar/full bar was inspired by the pizzerie and enoteche found all over Italy.  Bring your friends along for a fun meal of delicious artisanal dishes inspired from all of Italy’s regions.  The menu is already extensive but be sure to ask about the daily specials before finalizing your order.  We love the salads and pizzas here, and you can season the pizzas to your personal palate with sides of chili pepper flakes and/or oregano.  11 West Victoria Street, #11, Santa Barbara (805) 899-2699

Panino – If you’re working your way through the tasting rooms in downtown Los Olivos, Panino is the place you should head for lunch.  This storefront is part of six in the County, and you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings among their 30 sandwiches and 10 salads.  2900 Grand Avenue (805-688-9304) in Los Olivos, but also at 5666 Calle Real (805-683-3670) in Goleta, 1014 Coast Village Road (805-565-0137) in Montecito, 834 Santa Barbara Street (805-963-3700) in Santa Barbara, 475 1st Street (805-688-0608) in Solvang, and 3569 Sagunto Street (805-688-0213) in Santa Ynez

Pattibakes – You can find these products at many stores throughout the County, but why not just go to the source?  Founded in 1996 by Patti Wicks, Pattibakes prides itself on homemade baked goods, made from scratch, just like your grandmother used to make. Options include Muffins, Tarts, Scones, Bars, Coffee Cakes, and Cinnamon Rolls.  Come see, smell, and then eat freshly baked goodies at this hidden-in-the-back location.  240 East Highway 246, Suite 109, Buellton  (805-686-9582)

Santa Barbara Public Market – The LEED-certified Public Market houses regionally sourced and sustainably made food and wine representing the best of the area. Come here and peruse offerings from tenants such as Belcampo Meat Company, Crazy Good Bread Company, Enjoy Cupcakes, Green Star Coffee, Rori’s Artisanal Creamery, The Pasta Shop and Santa Barbara Seafood. The Santa Barbara Public Market doors open at 7 am daily, though hours may differ for each shop.   38 West Victoria, Santa Barbara  (805-770-7702)

Scarlett Begonia  – Small and slightly hidden away, this delightful restaurant showcases progressive modern food using sustainable, organic, high quality ingredients coupled with innovative cooking.  We haven’t personally experienced Cocktail Hour or Dinner here yet but can heartily endorse making this a destination for Breakfast or Lunch (or Brunch).  We recommend the Granola, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Soft Scrambled Eggs, and Kale Caesar Salad.  11 West Victoria Street #10, Santa Barbara (805-770-2143)

Scratch Kitchen – In the heart of Lompoc, Scratch Kitchen offers quality farm-to-table meals based on locally sourced and seasonally-focused ingredients (and all of their breads are made in-house).  Chef Augusto Caudillo offers rustic interpretations of modern cusine so you’ll find dishes like the recent Mushroom and Feta Ravioli with Sauteed Summer Squash and Early Girl Tomatoes.  We missed trying that, but recommend the Split Pea Soup, Beet & Burrata Salad with Avocados and Arugula, and their Charbroiled Burger with Fries.   610 North H Street, Lompoc  (805) 819-0829   

South Coast Deli – Incredible sandwiches, freshly made to order, at locations throughout the County.  Your options include Cold Sammies, Toasted Sammies, Panini, Tossed Salads, and Salad Sammies.  Even the Iced Tea and Coffee are high quality here.  1436 Chapala Street (805-560-9800) and 10 East Carrillo Street (805-845-4600) in Santa Barbara, 185 South Patterson Avenue (805-967-8226) in Goleta, and 6521 Pardall Road (805-770-2669) in Isla Vista.

Super Cucas Taqueria – This continual winner of “best burrito” in the Santa Barbara Independent’s annual rankings was the first taqueria opened (in 1991) in Santa Barbara.  The burritos are huge and wonderful with your choice of Chicken, Carne Asada, Carnitas, or Pastor as meats.  Come here, don’t be surprised if there’s a line, and be sure to grab their salsas to try (especially the Tomatillo/Habañero and Tomato/Chiles de Arbol ones).  Now with two locations.    626 W. Micheltorena Street, Santa Barbara, (805) 962-4028 and 2030 Clif Drive #1A, Santa Barbara, (805) 966-3863

Three Pickles – Cold and Hot Sandwiches (and several salads) made to order, with different preparations of pickles to hold you over until your order is ready.  The food is worth the wait and the portions are large.   FYI, the Pastrami sandwich is awesome.  126 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara  (805-695-1015) and 420 South Fairview Avenue, Goleta (805-964-4585)

Trattoria Grappolo – Outstanding friendly Italian bistro off the beaten path that is well worth the journey, but you should probably make a reservation first.  Trattoria Grappolo was founded in 1997 by Chef Leonardo Curti and Daniele Serra and the crowds are here because it’s a favorite for locals and the tourists are drawn by the food and the chef’s reputation.  In fact, the food is so good you’ll want to buy their cookbooks and luckily they sell all three of them here.  We highly recommend the pasta dishes, and the Rollino Veneto appetizer which is a cross between a Rolled Pizza and a Tomato-Basil Bruschetta.  3687 Sagranto Street, Santa Ynez  (805-688-6899).

Other Favorite Food Purveyors in Santa Barbara County

C’est Cheese – The name alone sold us, but there truly is a great selection of cheese (and accompaniments) at this store staffed with friendly, knowledgeable people.  They also have an extensive online store.  Family run, founded in 2003, they expanded in 2013 so there is now also a Cafe serving breakfast and lunch items.  825 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara (805-965-0318)

Chocolate Maya – Just off of State Street is this gem of a chocolatier.  Come for beautiful treats utilizing flavors such as Pomegranate, Jasmine, Rose Water, Passion Fruit, and Nutella.  Owner Maya Schoop-Rutten scours the world looking for pure, luscious chocolates from ethical plantations to use in her confections.  Our favorites here include Dark Chocolate with Fresh Basil, St. Germain in Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Honey and Champagne, and Dark Ganache with Habañero, Cinnamon, and White Chocolate.  15 West Gutierrez, Santa Barbara  (805-965-5956)

The Daily Grind Coffee & Juice Station – A coffee and juice house with plenty of seating (both inside and out) and a wide selection of self-serve coffees each day.  This family run business has been around since 1995, and it’s across the street from McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream in case you and your friends can’t decide between a sugar rush or a caffeine rush.  2001 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara  (805-687-4966)

Farmers Market – The Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association was founded in 1983 to provide California farmers with the opportunity to sell their products directly to the community, and currently represents about 130 growers.  The Markets are open year-round, 6 days a week, at various locations throughout the County including Carpinteria, Goleta, Montecito, Solvang, and Santa Barbara.  Please check the link for locations and seasonal hours.

The French Press – Excellent and busy coffee house in the center of downtown Santa Barbara, the espresso drinks here are made by talented baristas.  Using Verve coffee, the hot coffee here is made with a French Press, and the iced coffee is cold brewed.  Frequently more customers than seats, the quality of the coffee here is to blame.  1101 State Street  (805-963-2721)

Los Olivos Grocery – Technically in Santa Ynez, this small country store is a smart place to go in order to buy quality breads, cheese, and wine to create your own picnic.  Or, you can just order sandwiches, homemade soups, or rotisserie meats at the deli counter.  This is also one of your local sources for Pattibakes products.  2621 Highway 154, Santa Ynez  (805-688-5115)

McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream – Founded in 1949, the ice cream-making process here (using a one-of-a-kind, artisanal small batch French Pot Process) is a highly guarded trade secret.   Come here for excellent Ultra Premium Ice Cream based on high-quality ingredients, as locals and visitors have been doing for decades.  In additon to the usual suspects you can also find flavors like English Toffee Crunch, Salted Caramel Chip, Chocolate Raspberry, Island Coconut, and Turkish Coffee.   201 West Mission Street, Santa Barbara  (805-569-2323) and 728 State Street, Santa Barbara (805-324-4402)

Olive Hill Farm – Whether you like Olive Oil as a dipping sauce, a cooking ingredient, or both, this store is a worthwhile diversion while in Los Olivos.  Multiple olive oils from many producers are available for sale here, and you can create your own tasting journey to help you select your purchases.  They also have an online store.   2901 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos  (805-693-0700)

The Winehound – Our favorite wine store in the area, they moved to a new location (Section 1E of La Cumbre Plaza, north of Macys and East of Vons) at the end of 2013.  Great selection for local, national, and international wines, the owner and his staff are friendly and helpful if you need advice.  3849 State Street, Suite I-163 in Santa Barbara (805-845-5247)

Other Helpful Links

Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association – a non-profit organization founded in 1983 to support and promote Santa Barbara County as a premium wine producing and wine grape growing region.

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *