The Hottest Santa Barbara Restaurants

The Hottest Santa Barbara Restaurants

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Eat well in The Santa Barbara Area with the perfect meal for every craving.

5 Places
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    This godfather of the Santa Barbara taco scene comes bearing some serious street cred. (Most famously, it was Julia Child’s favorite spot during her later years.) And the mile-long lines and cash-only setup only add to the appeal. That said, La Super-Rica’s small eastside stand boasts all the Cali-Mex bells and whistles — scratch-made tortillas, gooey rajas, handcrafted tamales — as well as some decadent curveballs (i.e. bacon queso). 
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    Come Friday night, there is no hotter table to be had than one at Arigato. This Santa Barbara staple falls to the “fusion” side of the sushi spectrum, but never sacrifices taste (or freshness) for the sake of getting artsy. What that means is lots of delicate flavors, quality ingredients, and seriously stunning seafood presentations. All of the specialty sashimi offerings are worth the splurge, but we reserve a special place for the yellowtail and jalapeño pairing.
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    David Lentz’s trio of restaurants (there are Hollywood and Santa Monica locations, too) offers site-specific ocean fare that aims for freshness first. Between the daily selection of oyster options (shucked right behind the bar) and the multi-tiered seafood platters, you can easily go all raw. But if you’re looking for your food to hit the grill, the Cat’s bleu cheese and bacon burger is a hands-down winner.
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    This two-for-one hotspot in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone — a micro ‘hood featuring restaurants, wine tasting rooms and distilleries — offers the best of all worlds. The currency-covered Lucky Penny is dishing up bubbling wood fire pizzas alongside fresh salads, sandwiches and house-made baked goods. And next door, The Lark’s bustling open kitchen is cranking out some of the best rustic farm-to-table bites Santa Barbara has to offer. 
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    Seasonality is the name of the game at Justin and Emma West’s kitchen, located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s historic downtown district. The menu features a rotating cast of fresh-from-the-farmer’s-market characters. The starters and salads are not too be missed. 
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