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Best Lunch Places to Eat in Santa Barbara

Grab a quick and satisfying lunch before heading outdoors for an adventure with us!

Hana Kitchen

Hana Kitchen has you covered for Asian-fusion eats and tea drinks, with vegan options too! It’s an inexpensive, casual spot for a tasty rice bowl with all the fixings!

Hana Kitchen santa barbara

Best Mexican Food

Let’s taco ‘bout tacos! Santa Barbara has some great hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants. Whether burritos, tacos, tortas, or quesadillas are your thing, Here are our favorite lunchtime locations for great Mexican food:

  • Mony’s (in the Funk Zone), another awesome Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant.
  • Lilly’s has by far the best tacos in town (just ask any local!), with locations in downtown and Goleta.
  • Santo Mezcal definitely has a prime people watching location with an outdoor patio that is on State Street just two short blocks from the beach.
Best Mexican Food in santa barbara

These spots are a quick walk from the harbor for a morning or afternoon SUP lesson or Fun Paddle.

We also love: 

  • Los Agaves for their incredible selection of salsas.
  • Last but not least, La Super-Rica Taqueria is famous for winning the heart of Julia Child when she lived in Santa Barbara but it’s also one of our favorites for original recipes & unique flavors.


Best Tri-Tip

Santa Barbara County is famous for tri tip and there is no better place in town to try this delightful sandwich than at Shalhoobs. We also included Shalhoob’s in our round-up of Best Restaurants in Santa Barbara for dinner too! It’s an all-day exciting place to grab lunch or dinner thanks to their great location in the Funk Zone and their beautiful outdoor patio. Plus, did we mention they brew their own beer!

best steak in santa barbara

If you’re a big fan of tri-tip don’t miss visiting ColdSprings Tavern on HWY 154. We love stopping here on our Santa Ynez Valley wine tours.

Best Seafood in The Marina

Brophy Bros. is a Santa Barbara staple. You can’t beat their view or their select of fresh seafood. Did we mention they have really great (hint: strong) drinks as well. While dining here keep your eyes peeled for our guides & guests on our Harbor Wildlife Kayak Tour.

Best Seafood in The Marina

Finch & Fork

If you’re looking for something a little bit more upscale & with indoors seating check out Finch & Fork, in the Kimpton Canary hotel. They have incredible cocktails for a mid-day drink. This is also a great location for a “working lunch meeting”. We frequent the Kimpton Canary hotel for pick-ups & drop-offs for our Santa Ynez Valley Wine Tours.

finch & Fork santa barbara CA

A Few More Favorites

We included the Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach, Dawn Patrol, and Lilac Patisserie in our round-up of the 4 Best Breakfast Places in Santa Barbara, CA. We should note that they are also impeccable locations for lunch!

What are your favorite places in Santa Barbara to grab lunch? Leave us a comment below!

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