Blue Tavern
Blue Tavern

Blue Tavern

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bluetavernsb.com/
  • Phone: (805) 845-0989
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday-Thursday: 8:00am - 10:00pm

    Friday-Saturday: 8m - 11pm

  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Peruvian
  • Executive Chef: Alex Carrasco
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: Private Dining Room of up to 10 people. Buy outs of Restaurant also available.
  • Private Party Contact: Jason Talsky 8058450989x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Cabrillo
  • Public Transit: Downtown Shuttle stop, Next to Train Station
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Free valet parking at 5pm everyday
A word from Blue Tavern
Blue Tavern is 2011 Food & Wine Magazine Best Chef In America Chef Ricardo Zarate new restaurant concept. Blue Tavern is a Cali-Peruvian restaurant that serves elegant food in a casual environment. Famed Mixologist Deysi Alvarez has created seasonal hand crafted cocktail. The wine list has great local wines and latin wines.
Pizzas from the wood-burning oven, hand-made pastas, fresh local seafood from nearby waters are the centerpieces of the frequently changing menu.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Blue Tavern reviews from OpenTable diners
52 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
81% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (41)great for outdoor dining (19)hot spot (15)great for lunch (12)vibrant bar scene (11)neighborhood gem (11)special occasion (10)romantic (8)late-night find (6)good for groups (6)great for brunch (5)notable wine list (4)kid-friendly (3)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Wonderful Different Flavors
    expat7VIP
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Second time we have been to the Blue Tavern and we had a very different pick of the menu. I think what stands out for me is that the flavors are so different - not sure I can I can identify them by name but who cares. The hanger steak skewer was juicy with a marvelous sauce, scallops perfect, and the calamari were crisp with just an original mix of peppers and sun-dried tomatos - very different to any calamari elsewhere. The star though was the Guanciale pizza. Really, Really good, and infused with a bunch of original flavors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Went back to Blue Tavern for the fifth visit this afternoon. I can now say it is one of my top favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara, especially for the price. The best deal in town is the striped bass that comes with soup and salad for only $16. For lunch today, I had the beet and burrata salad. Many restaurants make this salad but the Blue Tavern makes it best. My friends had the striped bass and the quinoa risotto--both excellent. Evenings are fun to sit at the bar and watch the master making pizza to go into their wood burning oven. A group of us did this on New Year's Eve when the tables around town were all booked and had a great time. The mixologist is terrific, too, with many interesting drinks like the Palma Fizz made with ginger, pomegranate juice and vodka. Casual, fun atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Loved the variety of foods offered. Desserts were wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding a Food!
    Louie2451
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Outstanding restaurant! The food and flavorswere exceptional. Do not let the peruviAn fusion scare you..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Funk Zone Fine Food Addition
    Sapile
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    This is the kind of restaurant that shows Santa Barbara is on a par with other foodie cities. We liked the Latin inspired cuisine which was creative and tasty. As vegetarians, we appreciated the special attention to interesting options (e.g. quinoa risotto, which was excellent). The setting is terrific and on mild evenings, the patio is really enjoyable. My only complaint is that our plates got taken away too quickly, while we were still chewing the last mouthful. I realize this happens at most American restaurants, but I can never get over it - it's rude!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a Pleaser
    blue
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Have YOU ever had coconut/jalapeno soup? And loved it? I did this week at Blue Tavern and it was outstanding. Chef Mark is innovative with delicious dishes and small plates; service is fast and professional. Always my "go-to" place with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tapas Plus
    blue
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    From wood fired pizza to wonderful small plates Blue Tavern has it all. Service is outstanding -- you never want for anything. Fun place to go with a small group (4 -6) so you can share and taste it all. Go and enjoy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SB's best
    woodie
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Definitely one of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara. My only complaint, really hard wooden chairs, but they kindly gave us a banquette. The food was excellent and inventive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent
    Juansthang
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The restaurant is a tad but loud but the food and service more than makes up for it. Highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad breakfast experience
    LadyBoddingtonVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    We'd been to Blue Kitchen several times for breakfast so we knew the menu was limited, but since we both had favorite dishes it didn't matter. I ordered the French Toast and my husband ordered the Crab dish. We waited far too long given how empty it was and then our food was practically thrown at us...cold like they had been sitting for a while. We had to flag someone down to explain the problem. Well, they somehow re-heated the crab dish to molten hot, but my French Toast was not only the same cold plate, it was the same pieces just rearranged! I had taken a couple of small bites so I knew for sure I got back the same sad bread. The worst part was that the crab dish had nowhere near the great flavors in the past.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner at the Blue Tavern
    Thomas1
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The Blue Tavern offers some of the most imaginative cooking in Santa Barbara. The food is consistently good at this gem with a wonderful meldign of flavors. The Sea Bass ceviche comes with calamari, the Yellowtail Tiradito offers is set off with little sweet potato puffs. The Santa Barbara prawns are done in a Yuzu Kosho Marinade and came perfectly grilled. The wait staff is attentive and I recommend this place highly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Interesting food/vibrant setting
    impytoes
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Sat at the bar near the pizza oven and got to chat with the pizza chef and also see the line cooks. Food was good (cauliflower very nice) but a bit pricey for the portions you get...Had asked for a booth upon entering but they said they were reserved for 4. Had made a reservation some time in advance and asked for a nice table. Tried to seat us in the middle of the room at a small 2-top which was just awful, so we opted for the counter. So much for requests. It was my husband'd birthday. Nice dinner but I doubt that I'd return due to the small portions for the $$$.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Noisy
    lldeats
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The shared plates concept was excellent, but really hard to appreciate as the noise level was so high we had to shout to the person sitting next to you.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Late, small and confused
    Joey
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We were on time for reservation but we were the only ones on time!!! Long wait for small portion high price and what is this roasted tomatoe appetizer with six small cherry tomatoes with tooth picks on a plate with nothing else was my cue to run for the exit... My entre was proportionately small although tasty was hard to justify the $26 price tag!!! Wait staff seemed confused on who was getting what...even my check required a long wait. I'll give it a minus 5 overall!!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Peruvian Gem
    foodurself
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We had a group of 7 for a special dinner and the staff accommodated our fairly large group so politely. All of our choices were familiar dishes with a delicious authentic Peruvian flair. There wasn't a single item that we disliked. We ordered four different appetizers and although some too small to share amongst all of us every one of them were outstanding! The entrees were large and cooked to perfection, especially liked the branzino dish which was cooked perfectly and had an amazing and unique pesto sauce. The service was friendly and prompt and we indulged in three of the dessert selections...all fantastic but the cheesecake was unique, fresh and perfect on a warm evening.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really nice!
    Goodfood
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We went their for lunch on my sister bacholerette weekend. The food was good and the were able to accommodate are large party. The service was amazing! If I'm down in Santa Brabara again I will defiently go back and recommend the restaurant to everyone!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cindy
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Disappointed in this restaurant. Poor service. Weak wine list. Food was hit and miss. Very little atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 35 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 30, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 97 reviews are from the Blue Tavern reviews archive.
  • Peruvian Corn!
    BoneApetit
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    My husband and I dined at Blue Tavern for the first time this week. The service was excellent. Our waiter was knowledgeable and able to describe each dish and unique seasoning. My husband had the sea bass--exquisite--and I had the quinoa stew, which was hardy and deliciious, with big nuggets of sweet Peruvian corn. We enjoyed the passing trains and it was fun to watch the wood oven pizza master at work. My husband is a foodie and I know we have chosen well when he smiles broadly throughout the meal and walks away smiling. We will definitely return and would recommend Blue Tavern to anyone who likes their food warmly spiced and a little exotic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The food was good, but relatively expensive. Our waiter was excellent, but we were a bit disappointed with the hostess. We made a dinner reservation and when we arrived we asked to sit outside. Although only one table was in use on the patio, we were told that all of the vacant tables were already reserved and that we would have to sit inside. After we finished our meal and left, we noticed that several of the tables outside had still not been occupied and that we should have been able to sit there had the hostess let us. It was disappointing as it was a beautiful Santa Barbara evening.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Foodie
    Foodie
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Interesting food, and nice spot close to the beach.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • SB foodie
    Seriouseater
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    The food was great, but way too noisy! Don't go unless you get a table outside. Can't hear people sitting directly across from you. Wine is overpriced. A $14 glass of wine was filled one quarter full. That may be okay if the glass is big, but one of us had a lot less in his glass than the other.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time at Blue Tavern
    SB4diningVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Went here for lunch with a friend. Both had the cobb salad which was great. More like a wedge with all the ingredients beautifully placed around the wedge. The chicken pieces were more like small chicken fingers, are were delicious. The salad came with the soup of the day. It was tomato basil and for sure was the best I have ever had! We would definately go back for dinner!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome Food - A Must Try
    AGAR7
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    I loved the Blue Tavern - I made a trip from Los Angeles specifically to try this restaurant as I had already had lunch at Paiche in Marina Del Rey which belongs to the same Chef Ricardo. The food is a little different but still really good. It's a must try for foodies. The only negative thing is that we went at 4pm and they did not have any meats or chicken ready (although listed in their happy hour and menu) so we could only try fish dishes. Except for the disappointment of not being to try those dishes, everything else was great. I highly recommend this restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food! Excellent service!
    Swedishchef
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    We visited for dinner. We were greeted warmly and seated promptly. Derek, our server was exceptional! He was friendly, attentive and knowledgable. We had the beet salad, shrimp skewers and white anchovy pizza. Would highly recommend all!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    I only wanna make sure that when you ask if something is not spicy, not spicy at all because it's for little children (mine have 4 and 6) and they tell you it's not, it should be so. It should be that simple.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Interesting fusion cuisine; the serviche, the scallop salad were excellent, and the beet, nitrates, and tomato salad was a nice twist of a classic. We sat outside and enjoyed the passing street scene. My guess is that the noise inside would have been a bit much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find
    BillVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Great local spot, very flavorful and unique dishes
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food but...
    LAnativesVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We have always had great meals at Blue Tavern, and put up with the noise level and inconsistent service. But this time, it was the worst. We sat inside in a booth, but it was so hot we are all dripping. Our waitress, while very nice, was all over us to order, but it took two requests to even get our cocktails. One item never arrived, yet she kept pushing. "Let's get the food going," Really, we'd only been sitting there for a few minutes! The patio dining isn't particularly special -- it's on busy State Street, right on the sidewalk, but would have been the better choice because it was so darn hot inside. Only saving thing was the food, but the ambiance: so loud you must scream to be heard, well we couldn't wait to get out of there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yell to be heard...maybe
    bhodges
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Blue Tavern gets my vote for the loudest restaurant in Santa Barbara. Yell-across-the-table-to-be-heard loud. While the food was quite good, the noise levels make this a place I'll never return to.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What a find!
    LoveSantaBarbara
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Amazing, amazing, AMAZING. This little restaurant is new and a must. We had drinks -- nice to have the option of $5 glasses of wine during happy hour. We had the tomato and beet salad (extra good) -- very fresh and just enough different to distinguish it from others. I had the pumpkin quinoa stew ... fell in love! My sister had the mushroom pizza and it was really tasty too. The Peruvian emphasis blended with 'normal recipe' touches everything has a wonderfully 'new' and unexpected twist. Can't wait to get back next summer but wish it was much sooner. Congratulations to the owners and chef for this worthy addition to the Santa Barbara food scene.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent new find!
    Luvinlunch
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    We were so lucky to find Blue Tavern! I believe it was actually through Open Table! We were at the Solstice parade and were looking for a place for 8 people to have lunch after, found this by accident, and had an unbelievable delicious meal! The nice part was that we could have delicious seafood (branzino is remarkable!) and the kids could have pizza - a win win for all! The service was VERY NICE! I would say not to go super hungry as the food came out a bit slowly, but we would not hesitate to go back and as a matter of fact will do so this week!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous!
    SBFoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    A pary of 4 of us went for brunch on a Saturday morning and we couldn't have been more pleased! The food was delicious -a combination of creative and fresh, and the service was great. We left our plates clean, and we cannot wait to go back for dinner!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Graduation lunch
    sfdenny
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    We came here for lunch after a recent graduation at UCSB. Lovely place, accommodating service, and great lunch specials. Delicious pizzas done in a wood burning oven. Only problem was that our 3 meals came out at different times and after waiting for all 3 diners to be served, the diner whose pizza arrived first no longer had a hot pizza.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing
    Judalah
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    As always, the food, service and wine were wonderful. Our favorite go-to-restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • miscommunication on wine list
    bernard
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    We got there at happy hour and noticed some nice glasses of wine for $5 and $8. The waitress suggested a special wine that was really great....and we assumed it was off the specials list. Wine was great....but...it was $20/ glass. I can't say were were deliberately decieved (the waiters were very gracious)...but in my world, if a recommended glass of wine is $20 a pop, I'd like to have some polite indication of it.....especially since I had ordered a $5 glass of the specials list (indicating my idea of what I want to pay for wine)
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • EXCELLENT MUSSELS
    gerisb
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    We ate here for Father's Day dinner 2014, as well as a business lunch the Thursday before, and dinner the week before last. So I have gone 3 times in the last 2 weeks. Everytime the food has been excellent, and the service very nice, attentive, and friendly. They do NOT have a kids menu per se, but they have a wood fire pizza oven to make kid friendly pizzas, and they made homemade parpadelle pasta with a béchamel sauce for my picky 7 year old per our request. Be sure to try the mussels, one of their awesome thin crust pizzas, the parpadelle pasta with beef, and cauliflower side dish. Great new place in SB!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Everything was amazing!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Usually when you try a bunch of plates to share, at least 1 is kinda "meh" but not here - we loved every dish and scraped it wanting more!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Margaret
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    The house was very responsive about moving our 4-some o/s as noise inside is DEAFENING! Sweet service, mgmt & servers anxious to please but they couldn't seem to produce a well orchestrated meal to 4. Tho they warned us the food wouldn't come out at same time (why not?)they left one in our group without any meal at all & attempts to remedy were botched. Sauces can be spicy & neither server nor menu alert unsuspecting diners. Interesting street scene especially the Sunday we dined. They try hard but the kitchen needs to try harder to organize their set up.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Beet Salad
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Unexpected combination of yummy tastes. Great spot in up an coming Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent find
    BillVIP
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    Awesome service, very helpful and unreal, unique food with a little spice to it ! We will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.