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  • The Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara

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The Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara
The Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara

The Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.thehungrycat.com/home-1162.php?loc=sb
  • Email: infosantabarbara@thehungrycat.com
  • Phone: (805) 884-4701
  • Hours of Operation:

    Serving Lunch and Dinner:
    Tuesday - Thursday, 12 noon - 10 pm
    Friday 12 noon - 11 pm
    Saturday 11 am - 11 pm
    Sunday 11 am - 10 pm

    Lunch is served until 3 pm
    Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday: 11 am - 3 pm
    Raw Bar is available throughout the day
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Executive Chef: David Lentz
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Our recently added Dining Room can be reserved for parties from 6 to 14 people. The perfect size for a small celebration, wine tasting or business lunch.

    We are also available for larger parties with advance notice. This may require a complete restaurant buyout.
  • Private Party Contact: Bob Van der Veer (805) 884-4701

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Anapamu
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Street Parking is available and we are located 1/2 a block from 2 SB Public Lots. Enter off Chapala Street.
A word from The Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara
Proudly Serving Santa Barbara since 2007!



The Hungry Cat Santa Barbara retains the same focus as the Hollywood and Santa Monica Canyon locations: fresh, high quality fish paired with fresh, locally sourced ingredients from nearby farmer's markets.



Our rotating raw bar showcases Pacific and Atlantic oysters, clams, Santa Barbara sea urchin, raw and marinated fish dishes, crab and lobster.



The Bar at the Hungry Cat specializes in seasonal, market driven cocktails, craft brews and an eclectic wine list made for seafood.



We are open daily serving lunch and dinner, with brunch on the weekends.



Happy Hour is available daily from 3pm to 6pm.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Hungry Cat is one of my go to places. My experience tonight was negative mostly due to an arrogant waiter. He started out very rude. One person at my table ordered a burger ($20) and asked for no blue cheese. It came out smothered in cheese. My friend asked the waiter if he could send it back. The waiter took the burger and stormed off. He came back and said the kitchen refused to remake the burger and would only offer to put it back on the grill to melt off the cheese. When my friend protested he said, "Well we're not going to just throw it into the trash". My friend decided to not eat he was so upset and the waiter never offered to get him anything else. I've noticed that type of attitude the last few times i've dinned there."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "My husband and I loved this place. The raw oysters were fresh and delicious. My trout was perfectly prepared and scrumptious. We were enthralled with their handcrafted bourbon cocktails. The service was prompt, professional and welcoming. We also loved the decor - the woodwork, the chalkboard, the old school ceiling fans - it reminded me of the Blue Jacket in Milwaukee, which must have gotten its inspiration from the Hungry Cat. We plan to come back regularly."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "The menu is changed since the last time I was there. Delicious food-- limited choices."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "The seafood was tasty but pricey, and the fish portions surprisingly small. We had to ask for bread with the mussels, and it cost extra. The wine was also surprisingly expensive, given the location near the wineries of Santa Barbara. The ambiance was casual, and upbeat, with grunge decor. The service was friendly and helpful."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "For the best of the best in "pie" I always go to Olio Pizzaria! It can't be any better...unless your in Italy!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "As usual the food is great. I took a business colleague who had never been there. Certainly didn't disappoint. I had the lobster roll and it was just delicious, homemade pickles were also a nice touch."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "I was quite excited about booking a reservation for Valentine's day at what I consider to be one of the best places to eat. I have been to the Hungry Cat in Los Angeles quite a few times and while I know it's not cheap, I have had pretty good experiences every time. Unfortunately, the Valentines day set menu in Santa Barbara was a COMPLETE disaster. I don't know what they are thinking, but the portions were SO TINY that my tiny Japanese wife was still starving. There is absolutely NO excuse to serve such small portions on a set menu. At $75/person it was higher than I wanted but for a memorable meal with the love of my life, it wasn't a huge concern. My 10lb dog could have polished off the 3 dishes I was given in about 5 minutes. Seriously."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I explained to the waiter that I was on a restricted diet. I chose the Diver scallops (squash risotto, roasted brussels, roasted sun chokes). I opted to not have the risotto because I am off carbs. What I received were 4 scallops, 1 brussel sprout (nicely cut in half) and slivers of I don't know what (seriously - a few slivers). I guess it was incorrect of my to assume that by not having the Risotto, they would logically assume I could not eat it and provide more vegetables. What I did have was really yummy, but not to the tune of $32.00. Needless to say, I was one hungry cat. I was not pleased. I really don't know if I would return just because of the inconsiderate choice of the chef."
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "Love the food and the cocktails at the Hungry Cat. Fun place to sit at the bar and watch the kitchen. Always something new, in both the food and fresh cocktail world. Great cheeses too. Service is good, which is rare in Santa Barbara."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We had a very nice dinner except for one waiter with an unfriendly attitude. He would rather have been somewhere else, I guess, but the others were extremely nice and helpful. It is too bad that one person can put a damper on our evening out."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "That is my husbands parting comment. We were sooo dissapointed! This restaurant had so many great reviews, positive comments and a wonderful menu. However the execution and preparation was terrible. We left after finishing our appetizers and went across the street to Milk n Honey for a great finish. We spent too much money on dry seafood. Oysters were excellent. Mussels and crab legs seemed to be cooked prior and served."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "We made reservations for Valentines not even thinking about the fact they may have a special menu. I was looking forward to shrimp and a salad. Well, the special menu, while pretty expensive was excellent. We loved it. The dessert, the cheesecake was pretty teeny tiny, probably better for us anyway! I love Hungry Cat..."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My husband and I had a lovely dinner. The food was fantastic -- oysters and sea urchin to start, followed by diver scallops and a whole grilled fish. First round of drinks too a little long to arrive, but otherwise the service was great and we had a great experience. Dessert was a perfectly-portioned cheese platter."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Very fresh food, innovative recipes, seafood oriented."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Went recently for lunch on a Friday afternoon. The sea trout market salad ($22) was very good, with excellent salad greens and lemony dressing (not too much), but the fish maybe weighed in at 3 oz. Likewise my wife enjoyed a delicious Cobb style salad. What appeared to be four medium shrimp turned out to be two that were butterflied. Both entrees were delicious, but a little scant on the protein. Fortunately, the side of French fries saved the day. Excellent, hot and savory (and only $5 at lunch.) Looking forward to trying more of the menu, perhaps at dinner."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Our third visit here and probably won't return for a while. The service was horrible and not because the restaurant was packed. After our waiter took our order we never saw him again. Not even to see if our food was okay or if we wanted a second glass of wine (which we did). The only other time we saw our waiter was when he brought us our check."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "We went on a Saturday night and were hoping to sit at the bar but too full so we were sat at a table that was a bit cockeyed and it felt strange to be at a slant. At any rate we will continue our love for AOC but not the hungry cat."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "The food is good but quite pricey. I had to pay separately for the bread to go with my mussels in broth, a dish that requires bread and is usually served with several pieces of bread. The charge for a cup of coffee was exceptionally high. We will not be returning - there are too many other choices in Santa Barbara that serve high quality food and provide more value."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Excellent service and a perfect meal well explained by our server and nothing disappointed. Will go back often"
    Dined on 1/13/2014
  • "Since it opened I have been a regular of this fine establishment. The food is off the rock. And the cocktails? Well I will just say, drink up!"
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "Had such a wonderful night at the Hungry Cat!! DELICIOUS dinner and dessert was out of this world :)"
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Great dinner! Our server was attentive, fun and knowledgeable. Food was delicious. Two tiered seafood platter was a lot of fun for the table. Market lettuce is one of my favorite salads ever. Enjoyed the scallops and the octopus. Small but eclectic wine list. Great vibe."
    Dined on 1/1/2014
  • "Good service and awesome salad. I enjoyed the scallops"
    Dined on 12/29/2013
  • "I've been here 3-4 times and have also been to the one in Hollywood, so my expectations were already high…This particular night, though, was pretty epic…The seafood filled squash blossoms, the grilled octopus and the scallop special were three of the best seafood dishes I've ever had…Great cocktails was a cherry on top along with the great service."
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "The food is always terrific and the service is friendly and outstanding."
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "Always busy, always beautifully prepared fish,excellent sides well matched curated wine list. Go for the seafood - stay for the beignets !"
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "I've eaten at the HC several times -- lunch, dinner and just for drinks. This last time was the special dinner for the "AOC Cookbook" launch. PROS: - Food well prepared and presented; portions well sized - Service is pleasant, competent... even if acting a bit rushed - We refused the table by the open front door; no problem to be moved CONS: - It is loud, loud loud (Maybe I'm just too old to appreciate the lack of softer acoustics) - I find their desserts to be their weakest offering WILL I GO AGAIN: Absolutely!"
    Dined on 12/2/2013
  • "We like to order the raw seafood tower. It is still good, but not as good as it used to be for some reason. Recently, two of us ordered a tower to share. The other two entres came but the tower did not show up for over 15 minutes. The excuse was that "a new person was working in the kitchen"."
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "I ate dinner at the Hungry Cat with a friend. We had a sea urchin, seafood-stuffed squash blossoms, and the divers scallops with risotta. The food was absolutely delicious, but we felt like it was ridiculously expensive for what you got. The scallop dish was $32 and included just three scallops, maybe a cup of risotta, and a couple of brussels sprouts. The other dishes were more in the $15 range and were no more than a little nibble. We finished with the cheese plate because we were still hungry. With drinks, our bill was about $70 per person. Everything was delicious, but at those prices I expect to leave a restaurant feeling satisfied."
    Dined on 11/21/2013
  • "It was GREAT! The service was first class and the food, drinks, dessert - the whole experience was outstanding! I would heartily recommend this place, if you have never experienced it I strongly suggest you give it a try!"
    Dined on 11/8/2013
  • "We had the 2 tier of Seafood, and it was splendid. Had enough fresh flavorful seafood that was very good. They let the Seafood speak for itself, but did have a couple of really good sauces on the side. I am stickler for drawn butter for Crab and Lobster, the only thing missing. Jeff was a great server and though I missed the name of the other staff member that helped us, we were treated to a very nice meal. He was attentive to our needs, and even brought more sauces he saw getting low. Kept taking our trash bowls. Had a great post celebration for a marathon ran!!!"
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "While the food is very solid and among the best in Santa Barbara, the culture of the place is a bit troublesome. The wonderful ceviche is served with a handful of tortilla chips. the water asked me if we wanted a few more when we ran out. "That will be $2". The waiter came back and asked if we needed more bread to soak up the wonder jus in our lamb n' clam. "That will be $2". Both the waiter and our group were embarrassed and joked about being charged for our chairs. It seems the owners are attempting to squeeze every nickel and dime from the clientele at the cost us not wanting to return. Alas we will. But we hope the management has the foresight to allow the wait staff the flexibility to do what is right."
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "Good flavors and pleasant spot. But the cobb salad is too salty and the lettuce was soggy-- over dreased. Oyster fritatta had oysters separate--not a tragedy but I was a little disappointed. Maybe let the menu tell me. Bacon was the strong flavor in both dishes. Is this a lack of confidence in letting the fish be fish without being too fishy?"
    Dined on 10/19/2013
  • "Fantastic meal. Seafood so fresh it tasted like it was just plucked from the ocean!"
    Dined on 10/18/2013
  • "This downtown corner bistro never disappoints. Fresh oysters, locally sourced fish snd creative chef's make this casual hip place a must visit when in in downtown SB. Sometimes there is a wait for a table but it's worth those few extra minutes. Great staff."
    Dined on 7/29/2013
  • "Our short visit in Sta. Barbara made it complete with out dining experience at Hungry Cat. Our fristo misto was excellent, maybe less batter next time,the heirloom tomato, watermelon, arugula, opal basil, persian mint, with watermelon vinaigrette was so refreshing, and the clams with chorizo was amazing. All paired with vermentino, made it all satisfying to our palate! The apple beignets to finish is a must too. We love to share different dishes, to make it more like a tasting menu. Will definitely go back with out next visit to Sta. Barbara!"
    Dined on 7/24/2013