On the Road Eats: Santa Barbara

Hotel:  Hilton Santa Barbara
Would I stay again?  Yes.  The last time I stayed it was a DoubleTree and I always got an upgrade.  This year, upgraded to a partial ocean view in the building I like.  The hotel has been rebranded and updated and some things have changed like the free breakfast which used to be better as a DoubleTree.

Restaurants:

Lunch: Oku
Would I dine again? Yes
.  Sushi with a view!  Needed to have a light lunch so I shared a couple items with a friend before attending an event, the way of the dragon roll and the cauliflower appetizer.

Super Bowl Party: The Project
Would I dine again? Yes. 
Corazon Cucina does the food and they have a good size bar and patio.  It was an easy walk to the Hilton as well as to other bars, restaurants and shopping on State Street.

Dinner: Loquita
Would I dine again? Yes
.  Amazing. Loved this place.  I would go back multiple times if I could visit Santa Barbara more often.

Dinner: Finch & Fork
Would I dine again? Yes. 
I chose this restaurant for my last night in town although for some reason I was not 100% excited. Happy to report that dinner was wonderful and the service was amazing.

 

On the Road Eats: Santa Barbara

Hotel:  Ritz Carlton Bacara
Would I stay again?  Yes.  I received an upgrade so I had a suite with a bedroom and a separate sitting area.  I also had an AMAZING view.  The hotel is a bit far from downtown Santa Barbara but the rooms are great and in between conference sessions, I was able to sit outside and find time for me.  This would be a great place for a relaxing long weekend with girlfriends or a spouse/partner.  If you want to be closer to town, there are some other great options closer but not necessarily Marriott brands.

Restaurants:

Dinner: Smithy (closed)
Would I dine again?
Yes.  Loved my dishes at Smithy and the company was even better!  We sat outside, tried numerous items since we had a larger group and headed to Dargan’s!

 

On the Road Eats: Santa Barbara

I have something to share with you.

Business Trip to Santa Barbara.  Determined to make it downtown early for dinner so I have a few hours for emails at night.  This trip I will try something new!

Matt’s Big Breakfast
One flight done.  Two hour layover.  Left the house at 5:15a.  Time for breakfast.  Where to eat at the airport in Phoenix?  Matt’s!  Pancakes, bacon and a quick check of email and I am ready for flight number 2.
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On the Alley
Two flights, two-hour layover(with a great breakfast) and I land to the most amazing weather in Santa Barbara.  Time to find a spot to eat with outdoor seating.  Back to On the Alley.  Close to the airport and work and not too expensive.  Fried clams again and a crab cake sandwich – share both with my co-manager.  Perfect.  Ready to get to work!

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Trattoria Vittoria
It was a long day.  Meetings, calls, product demo.  I need some food after I check in to the hotel.  Drive downtown, walk down State Street to get some fresh air and head to an old favorite of mine for Italian.  Comfort food.  Eggplant parm made with japanese eggplants.  WOW!  Big thanks to the bartender that recommended my dinner spot for the next night!
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Corazon Cocina
I grabbed a sandwich at the deli in our office park.  Three Pickles.  Pretty good.  But only got to finish half due to back to back meetings.  So I needed to make sure I picked something great for dinner.  I remembered the bartender told me about a new spot.  Said it was fantastic.  Well, that was easy.  After I posted a picture of dinner on Facebook a friend in SB commented that this was a brand new restaurant and she was friends with the chef.  I ordered the shrimp taco and the ceviche.  How was it she asked?  Absolutely delicious!
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Beachside Bar-Cafe
One last meal before I leave.  I have a flight after lunch so I have 25 minutes to grab lunch before I drop the rental car.  And with my body not settled into this time zone, I was at the office at 5:30am so I already filled up the car with gas.  I needed fish and a cup of chowder.  And an OCEAN VIEW.  The Beachside Bar and Cafe is less than 5 minutes from the airport and I knew I could grab a seat at the bar and have a quick lunch.
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On the Road Eats: Santa Barbara

I have something to share with you.

Business Trip to Santa Barbara.  In the office by 7am, out after 6pm.  My first trip in 9 years to SB where I did not make it downtown.  But yes, I got two good lunches, two good dinners and found a great spot for breakfast burritos!

On the Alley
There is a restaurant Brophy Brothers that many in SB enjoy.  Me, not a fan for some reason but they have two small counter service restaurants, On the Alley, that a colleague who lives in SB recommended I try during my next visit.  Fish tacos(fish and shrimp), fried clam strips and the ability to sit outside in the beautiful California weather.  It was a great way to start my trip!

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Outpost at the Goodland
I was staying in Goleta and after a long day of travel and time in the office I had no energy to drive downtown but was super hungry.  The Kimpton hotel is close by and has a great restaurant about 10 minutes from where I stayed.  Small plates were on my mind and I tasted the Artichoke & Brussels, Empanadas and the Pork Taco and Brisket Bao-Bun.
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Sage & Onion Cafe 
I was starving and needed a better breakfast than the Hampton Inn.  Two minutes away was Sage & Onion and since I arrived prior to 7am, they only offered two breakfast options.  And I enjoyed the egg white breakfast burritos with bacon so much that I went back two days in a row.
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Lure Fish House – Santa Barbara
Second day in the office and got back to my hotel around 7pm.  Again, too tired so I opted for something closer to the hotel and not as far as downtown.  I went with whatever the server recommended…and all of it was quite good.  New England clam chowder, Arctic Char with brussel sprouts and a potato cake and the Fresh Squeezed Lure Martini.
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Lilly’s Taqueria
When my colleague said we had to go to Lilly’s for tacos, I wasn’t on board.  I live in Texas and can eat tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner without going more than a mile from my house.  But he insisted and closed the deal by offering the option to take the food to go and eat at the beach.  Beach?  OK – I’m in.  And Lilly’s was great.  No frills, order at the counter, tacos three minutes later.  I chose beef cheek and pork, took it to go and enjoyed both my tacos and views of the ocean!

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So tell me – what should I add to my list for my next trip?  Add your comment next to the title of this post!