Finding the “best brunch” in any city depends a lot on your definition. Most food choices? Best price? Quality of ingredients? Overall dining experience?
As a top coastal visitor destination, Santa Barbara offers plenty of brunch choices. If it didn’t, travelers and locals alike would be heading elsewhere to satisfy their culinary cravings.
We’ve found three restaurants that serve at least one brunch a week in the charming city. Consider dining at one on your next visit, then vote with your palate on an online review site. There probably are more sites than restaurants, so check out the reviews before you commit your stomach to what should be a memorable meal.
Scarlett Begonia in Victoria Court is one of the few restaurants in town that offer brunch daily (closed Mondays). Everything is a la carte, so you can design your own brunch budget in advance by perusing the online menu.
Restaurant-review site gayot.com selected the cozy indoor-outdoor restaurant as one of 10 Hot Spots for Dining in Santa Barbara, with local, sustainable, organic ingredients creatively rendered into breakfast, brunch, and lunch dishes. The brunch menu changes seasonally and often, to provide the freshest ingredients and flavors. Selections include:
11 W. Victoria St., No. 10
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Stella Mare’s serves classic French-bistro fare in its greenhouse-style dining room overlooking Andree Clark Bird Refuge. Brunch is offered Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It’s also a la carte, with an online menu available for price planning. Reservations recommended.
This charmer is a locals’ favorite, offering fresh fish, meats and poultry cooked on a wood-burning grill. The owners are committed to sourcing the highest-quality ingredients at the peak of their season. Cocktails or French and Central Coast wines are served, along with a variety of cheeses and chocolates. A gluten-free menu is available.
Food Network star Rachael Ray is among Stella Mare’s biggest fans, raving, “If you come anywhere near Santa Barbara, this is a must … first of all, it is so casual and homey … it is beautiful to look at … very relaxed atmosphere, and secondly the food is fantastic!”
50 Los Patos Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
The Four Seasons Resort Santa Barbara Biltmore’s legendary Sunday brunch is so huge, it takes up two rooms at the beachfront luxury resort. Stunning views of the ocean are part of the dining experience. And when you’re finished, you can start walking it all off at Butterfly Beach across the way.
Built in classic Spanish Colonial style and infused with modern amenities, the gracious Biltmore delights the eye with its red roof tiles, ivory adobe, and graceful archways featuring atmospheric meeting spaces and picturesque gardens.
Brunch choices include chilled shrimp, oysters, and crab claws on ice; caviar; a salad, charcuterie, and cheese station; sushi and sashimi; omelet station; carving station with chef attendant with options such as herb- and mustard-crusted lamb rack; and chocolate fondue and dessert station.
$72 adult, $35 children ages 5-12. Served 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Reservations recommended.
1260 Channel Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93108