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Santa Barbara Locals Only Spots
updated: Mar 06, 2014, 12:00 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

I have friends visiting from the east coast and they want to fully dive into the Santa Barbara life, not the touristy places. What are the top "locals only" places that edhatters would recommend us going and experiencing?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 500450 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:07 PM

Brewhouse for eating.

 

 COMMENT 500451 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:08 PM

Paradise Café or Boathouse at Hendrys!

 

 COMMENT 500455 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:11 PM

The Brewhouse, Hollister Brewing Co., Harry's, Joe's, The Palace, SB Roasting Co., Mesa Cafe, Cody's for Sunday breakfast, Opal's, Blue Agave.

 

 COMMENT 500457 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:16 PM

Goleta Sushi House

 

 SBSURFERLIFE agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:16 PM

To do.. hmm, the Funk Zone wine tasting... visit the Presidio instead of the Mission. Douglas Preserve, La Arcada shops

 

 COMMENT 500460 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:23 PM

Max's

 

 COMMENT 500461 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:23 PM

Get some good food and make a picnic in a park, should be great weather this weekend and honestly people dont come to SB for the food, they come for the scenery, so eating outside is the best way to do both!

 

 COMMENT 500462 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:28 PM

But if we tell you then there won't only be locals there anymore.

 

 COMMENT 500463 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:28 PM

You are asking for Locals only, but you are bringing someone from out of town??? I can not recommend any places.

...besides Rincon.

 

 COMMENT 500464 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:29 PM

Maybe take them on an easy front country hike. More Mesa, Ellwood Shores butterfly preserve.

 

 COMMENT 500465 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:30 PM

Harbor restaurant on the wharf. Moby Dicks!!! Beachside Cafe!! Lost Mission Canyon. Joe's. Douglas family preserve. Polo fields. Big Yellow house. Miramar Hotel Lobby. The Habit and environs of parking lot 10. Oak Park wildlife. Starbucks at canon perdiido n state

 

 COMMENT 500469 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:34 PM

Los Agaves instead of Superica for some great Mexican. Mesa Café for breakfast. Edomasa if they like sushi. Maybe a hike on Tunnel Trail. A lot of great places can be considered tourist spots but are also frequented by locals.

 

 COMMENT 500475P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:44 PM

Lake Los Carneros. While there you can also visit historic Stow House, with the old farm equipment museum, plus the Goleta Depot, which offers a museum and train rides for kids (of all ages) on the weekends, plus maybe see a fire truck at the adjoining station.

 

 COMMENT 500479P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:51 PM

Define "Santa Barbara Locals"?

 

 COMMENT 500480 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:54 PM

Lily's Tacos

 

 COMMENT 500481 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 12:56 PM

Brewhouse is good for brunch/endless mimosas.

 

 COMMENT 500485 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:00 PM

Parking lot at Kinkos is also great for mimosas!

 

 COMMENT 500486P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:00 PM

Denny's and IHOP. Period.

 

 COMMENT 500493 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:10 PM

Lake Arrellaga !!!

 

 COMMENT 500494 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:12 PM

Please don't bring them to the Mesa ! It's still somewhat of an oasis for locals. Some normalcy is desired for those seeking quiet life's ! No where to run to baby,no where to hide !

 

 COMMENT 500497 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:19 PM

La Super Rica! Best Mexican food in the world in a tiny Milpas shack.

 

 COMMENT 500498 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:19 PM

The Line 11 bus.

 

 COMMENT 500501 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:23 PM

East Beach, West Beach, Butterfly Beach, Hendry's, Goleta Beach, Thousand Steps, Arroyo Hondo Beach, Gaviota Beach.

And if you don't mind trespassing, the Tea Gardens.

 

 COMMENT 500510 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:37 PM

I'm happy to see that my favorite "locals only" place hasn't been mentioned yet.

 

 COMMENT 500513 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:38 PM

Take 'em to the Wilcox.

 

 COMMENT 500516 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:42 PM

Pickle Room.

 

 COMMENT 500518 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:47 PM

Of course anything by the waterfront or along State would be some what touristy. Drinks at Joe's, dinner at the Chase or Mesa Cafe and breakfast(menudo)at El Bajio. Hikes in the front country Seven Falls has great views, Cold Springs Trail. Sunset at Douglas Preserve or Long Boards Grill. Perhaps a movie at the Arlington and a stop at the courthouse clock tower. Of course it's touristy, but hey that's what we do best. Have fun and enjoy your time together, that's what really matters.

 

 COMMENT 500519 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:48 PM

Dutch Gardens or Cody's.

 

 COMMENT 500521 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 01:53 PM

Definitely go to the Mesa.

 

 COMMENT 500523 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 02:08 PM

Lotusland, Gerard's, Tee-off steak dinner, breakfast at East Beach grill or Cajun kitchen in Goleta, shoreline park for sunset, weird movie at the Riviera theater.

 

 COMMENT 500532P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 02:33 PM

Even though this is a tourist destination, the view from the Courthouse tower is really wonderful. That would be on my list for guests.

 

 COMMENT 500533 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 02:34 PM

Take them to Cold Spring on Sunday, or any night for a cozy dinner in the Vaquero room.

 

 COMMENT 500535P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 02:37 PM

I've lived in SB for 10 years but I don't know where Lake Arrellaga is... where/what is it?

 

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 02:38 PM

Anything in the Funk Zone, but particularly 'The Lark' Just had my first meal there recently…it is among the best restaurants in SB at the moment. Definitely give it a try.

 

 COMMENT 500539 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 02:41 PM

Go to the Santa Barbara Mission. Take a bus if possible.

 

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 02:52 PM

Wilcox for a morning stroll.

Breakfast or Lunch at Boathouse

A hike on one of our awesome front country trails, or a drive out along the East Camino Cielo for a birds eye view of SB, and a hike out to Knapps Castle.

A walk on the beach at low tide… Haskell's or Hammond's

Shopping on Linden in Carpinteria

A tour of Lotusland

Lake Los Carneros or Devereaux Slough walk

Any of the great Taquerias on Milpas for lunch or dinner

A local production/play or UCSB arts & lecture series

 

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 02:55 PM

Forgot to add, a walk out on More Mesa or Ellwood Mesa is always good for visitors.

 

 COMMENT 500553 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 03:11 PM

Starbucks, and the Mission

 

 COMMENT 500563 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 03:44 PM

494 oasis for locals? the mesa?1st place an out of towner wants to live and one of the last for the normals

 

 COMMENT 500565 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 03:48 PM

I can't tell you. You're not a local.

 

 COMMENT 500573 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 03:56 PM

+1 for Joe's, and Los Agaves

 

 COMMENT 500577 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 04:14 PM

Second vote here for the Lark.

Since when are any restaurants on the wharf 'local spots'? I tend to avoid them due to the fact that they're all pretty overpriced and touristy. Except for Shellfish Co. at the end of the wharf, I like their food/prices.

 

 COMMENT 500580 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 04:19 PM

Pepe's Mexican Food in Goleta

 

 COMMENT 500585P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 04:25 PM

Cold Spring's Tavern, Joe's, Sandiches from Eller's and then off to one of the local parks or beaches.

 

 COMMENT 500586P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 04:26 PM

Hot dogs at CostCo, Julia Child's favorite, as was La SuperRica. Don't know how similar they are, but they're certainly popular.

 

 COMMENT 500598 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 04:41 PM

Brophy Brothers at the breakwater?

 

 COMMENT 500601 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 04:44 PM

Ya, go to the Mesa, they love tourists. Nothing to see out at Ellwood

 

 COMMENT 500606P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 04:52 PM

Take them to the beach! The trail above El Cap.

Take them to Mesa Harmony Garden's "food forest" on a reclaimed vacant lot--a real SB food sustainability project they won't likely see too many other places.
http://www.mesaharmonygarden.org/
Mesa_Harmony_Garden/The_Garden.html

A trip to Terra Sol Nursery in Goleta would be a great place for someone from "winter" to visit--lots of great succulents and cacti, plus ornamentals that thrive along the coast. Friendly staff! http://www.yelp.com/biz/terra-sol-garden-center-santa-barbara
Another nice nursery is Seaview Gardens in Carp on Padaro Lane. A one-acre demonstration garden for all the Mediterranean climates of the world. Very nice! Succulents galore. Eat lunch across the highway at The Garden Market. On the beach. Nice wine selection. http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-garden-market-carpinteria

The Botanic Gardens, of course! a renewed meadow has been planted! admiss. $8 for adults, $6 for Sr.'s and kids over 12. Trails to hike and streams to cross. Always something blooming! (Mission Cyn Rd has some constr. on new water/sewer piping.)

To Fairview Gardens and then Goodland in Goleta for lunch.

 

 MESARATS agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 05:06 PM

563. Funny and true. The Mesa is the new OC. The only local spot left on the Mesa is the Cliff Room.

 

 COMMENT 500619 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 05:18 PM

I Googled "Lake Arrellaga" and the only hits I got were the ones on this thread. I suspect that Lake Arrellaga is one of those mythical places like Brigadoon and the McCaw woman's conscience.

 

 COMMENT 500626 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 05:25 PM

Knapp Castle and The Bourbon Room.

 

 COMMENT 500628 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 05:39 PM

Lake Arrellaga? The turtle pond at Alice Keck Park? Its on Arrellaga Street....hmmmm

 

 CHERIDIANE agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 06:42 PM

For excellent Japanese food - Sakana Sushi Bar & Japanese on Coast Village Rd in shopping center with the Starbucks in Montecito.

Santa Barbara has 57 parks. Alice Keck Park... At sunset or anytime go up the hill to Franchesci Park, up on the Riviera, to overlook the city.

La Arcata for a stroll, sights, and shopping.

Botanic Gardens

Walk downtown. All these are within a block or two of each other. - Le Meridan Studios, Paradise Café, SB Historic Museum (free), up Anacapa to C'est Cheese, and one block to the Presidio. Paninos. Of course the Courthouse. Everyone loves the courthouse. Arts & Letters.

 

 COMMENT 500658 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 07:31 PM

a home cooked meal at a Santa Barbara home is about as local's only as one can get ;)

 

 D8VANILLA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 07:43 PM

The Frog Shrine. I can't tell you where it is, cuz it's a secret!!!

Red Sands Market and Deli, 207 W. Anapamu St - Really yummie sandwiches ....

Mel's Lounge on West Carrillo....

 

 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 07:45 PM

Good choices, I love Alice Keck Park Park. :-)
I just love to say or even write that!
It's technically Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden, right?
"Gardens." I was close.

"La Arcada was designed and constructed under the supervision of famed architect Myron Hunt in 1926. The entry signs, with the lion and castle motif, were taken from original artwork on the building dating back to 1927. The magnificent clock on State Street was modeled after an historic clock and Chicago landmark since 1880. The historic Barber Shop is a working establishment and a mini-museum of the decorative arts that embellished the hair cutting parlors in the early 1990's. The lifelike statues by J. Seward Johnson and George Lundeen, the playful bronze dolphins by Santa Barbara artist Bud Bottoms, the inteactive Mozart Trio by Bonifatius Stirnberg, all enhance the magical experience of strolling through La Arcada."

 

 PATRICK agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 07:50 PM

Knapp's Castle.

 

 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 08:03 PM

So many good ideas here! I agree with walking State street and turning right or left. I've had great adventures with great friends, all of us have lived here 40 or 50 years!
The waterfront too. I still love to walk on the pier or at the harbor and eat at places like Breakwater, Brophy's, Moby Dick's, Enterprise Fish (great happy hour), FisHouse & SB Shellfish Company. I'm not an employee nor a tourist! I like and frequent these places. (Yes, I know some are at the harbor, some on the pier, some/one on State, and some/one on Cabrillo.)

 

 MADMAX agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 08:12 PM

Cold Springs and Dutch Garden.
Rose Cafe on Mesa

 

 CHILI_CON_ARTCARNEY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 08:13 PM

The diaspora...

 

 COMMENT 500677 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 08:23 PM

Farmerboy Restaurant;
Franchesci Park for the view;
Walking South from Goleta Beach;
The koi pond near the downtown PO.

 

 COMMENT 500678 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 08:24 PM

For lunch: Boathouse, Brophy's, State & Fig, Paradise Cafe. For dinner: Ca' Dario, San Ysidro Ranch, Jane, Wine Cask, Petit Valentien, Arnoldi's. Other: hike Rattlesnake Canyon or Botantical Garden or Mesa to the Harbor, drive Gilbratar Road, walk Hendry's to Hope Ranch at low tide.

 

 COMMENT 500684P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 08:39 PM

Been here 45 years and I'm not a recluse. What the heck is Lake Arrellaga?

 

 COMMENT 500686P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-06 08:40 PM

Good one, Rex!

 

 COMMENT 500705 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:01 AM

Gino's Pizza Figueroa & State...the place is so local its a secret no-one wants to share

 

 COMMENT 500706 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:08 AM

Real locals know there is only one Botanic Garden!

Surprised no one mentioned the overlook that Warner built. For a double header see how a multi-million dollar tax dodger lives.

 

 COMMENT 500708 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:09 AM

Publicly say what and where for "locals only"?? Ahahahahaha! Sorry.

 

 COMMENT 500709 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:13 AM

The Tee Off

 

 COMMENT 500714 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:21 AM

We were just up at Lake Arrellaga around sunset last night. Just simply spectacular. A true gem and a true locals spot to relax. I will not post directions because if you are an old school local you should already know.

 

 BARGS agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:30 AM

Tino's for sandwiches (God rest his mighty soul) then up to Francheschi Park.

 

 COMMENT 500717P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:31 AM

Mission Rose Garden.

 

 COMMENT 500721 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:39 AM

You've all forgotten about Playa Barbareno, or maybe you don't remember where it is?

 

 COMMENT 500725P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:48 AM

706: ha ha! got me. at least I didn't type 'Botanical' Gardens, eh?

would Bot Gar make you feel better?

 

 COMMENT 500727 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:51 AM

Aquaholic nailed it, though I would add Farmer Boy for breakfast, Goleta Sushi House for lunch, and Harry's for dinner.

 

 COMMENT 500733 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 08:18 AM

Goleta Sushi House is so odd. I would not recommend it at all. The lady that runs it will scold you and tell you what you can and can't eat. It's creepy. Also she will say they she has some sort of house special that she wants to serve you implying that it is on the house, but no it will show up on your bill and is typically expensive. The main thing is the fish is just not very good and not prepared by a real sushi chef. Avoid.

 

 MESAJIM agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 08:24 AM

Definitely Dutch Garden. And then you can burn off one or two of the gazillion calories taking a hike up Cold Spring Trail.

Don't bother with the Mesa. It's ugly up here and it smells.

 

 COMMENT 500744 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 08:33 AM

mikes for breakfast. derfs for lunch. dutch garden for dinner.

 

 COMMENT 500748 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 08:35 AM

Arnoldi's

 

 COMMENT 500749 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 08:38 AM

I'd be leary about eating fish these days especially sushi. The Fukushima disaster created a huge radioactive plume in the pacific ocean and detectable levels radionuclides have indeed been found in ocean fish. It's estimated 400 tons of contaminated water is seeping into the Pacific every day from the damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

 

 COMMENT 500774P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 09:25 AM

The Lake Arrellaga references on several threads besides this one are already getting real old real quick.

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 09:34 AM

Wow, Poster! You have some wonderful choices here. A trip to Carpinteria would be worth your while; small 1950's style beach town with fun shops and good places to eat. Check out the Historical Museum for a look at Carp's past. Have a good time with your friends, bet they will enjoy our weather!

 

 COMMENT 500804 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 10:08 AM

So I'm 6th generation from sb. I love Montecito cafe, via maestra, Harry's for a stiff drink, the palace, bourbon room, jane, Stella mares. No disrespect to the people that call themselves locals most of you that commented probably aren't.. Just because you stayed after you graduated ucsb and as much as you "feel like a local" your not.

 

 COMMENT 500805 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 10:08 AM

749 - Hogwash. Detectable levels of radioactivity can be found in every living organism. Since the beginning of time. Every plume picture you have seen on the internet is a fake. I wouldn't eat fish caught off the Fukushima coast, but then again I don't like fish anyways.

 

 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 10:36 AM

Congratulations, 804. I've only been here 50 years. There are people on this board who know more about SB's treasures than I do and have been here a much shorter time.

 

 COMMENT 500821 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 10:44 AM

805: Ok, I guess NOAA is wrong. Google NOAA and Fukushima.

 

 COMMENT 500831 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 11:00 AM

Nortons, Gino's is pretty incredible. They're paninos are amazing the cappocollo.

 

 RED CREEK agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 11:40 AM

Did anyone mention the Arlington Theater or the SB Historical Society Museum? The Granada has frequent productions and is a beautifully restored facility, all very unique to SB. For walks/hiking, the Devereaux Slough area near UCSB includes an ocean vortex and the Coal Oil Point preserve, complete with nesting Snowy Plovers. Arroyo Hondo Preserve includes a real historical and environmental overview of the area, with free docent led tours twice a month.

 

 COMMENT 500878 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 12:01 PM

The palms in Carp

 

 COMMENT 500911 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 12:46 PM

500749 is correct, 500805 obviously has no idea what he's talking about and is extremely rude to call what 500749 hogwash when that applies to his own statement. There are no detectable levels of radiation in most organisms.

 

 COMMENT 500963 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 02:06 PM

From another thread about Lake Arrellaga:

It's a place that a certain commenter made up to comfort himself while his mom is at work and unable to make him a toasted cheese sandwich and bring it down to his basement lair. If you look closely, you'll notice that posts from this commenter referencing "Lake Arrellaga" happen only when the World of Warcraft servers are down.

 

 COMMENT 500981 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 02:37 PM

What is a Local? ....and where could be a local's only place?
Hope Ranch Beach....or a private club...just sayin....

 

 COMMENT 501001 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 03:11 PM

Ahhh, so glad my 'locals only' place isn't listed here. Most of the places listed, although good, are rather touristy. Let's keep 'locals only' only for the locals.

 

 COMMENT 501008P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 03:28 PM

La Superica, Botanic Gardens, Cali-Bresson chocolate and Vedanta temple.

 

 COMMENT 501085 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 06:46 PM

I hired a caterer and had a "private" surprise dinner for two under the Chromatic Arch. Table cloth, wine glasses, cook, waiter and guitar player. Don't ask, just do. Gary

 

 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 07:52 PM

1085, are you single?

 

 COMMENT 501115 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-07 08:15 PM

Nooooo! Not the Mesa! It's ourrrrs!

 

33% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

*** One comment was removed from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see it.

 

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