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

The Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.thehungrycat.com/home-1162.php?loc=sb
  • Phone: 8058844701x
  • 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 8058844701x

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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
The Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara reviews from OpenTable diners
58 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4.1
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance3.4
    Noise LevelModerate
68% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (36)neighborhood gem (23)special occasion (12)vibrant bar scene (12)hot spot (11)great for lunch (10)romantic (10)great for brunch (8)notable wine list (7)good for groups (4)late-night find (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • somewhat disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Being familiar with the original Hungry Cat in Hollywood and having previously lived in Santa Barbara for almost 10 years, the Santa Barbara Hungry Cat now seems to be more of a loud bar scene. As pricey as their good seafood is, the service was similar to diner quality. The waiter apologized for the very long wait between courses due to wedding parties that were being served. It was not his fault certainly. It was a special occasion for us but it was not an outstanding experience. We have eaten here before and it was much better all around, including it seems more diverse menu options. Perhaps it is becoming more of a bar hangout. Our fresh juice cocktails were great as we expected they would be. Maybe it was just a Sunday off night.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food but lousy service
    jsamp57VIP
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    The seafood and fish at this restaurant is fresh and very good but unfortunately the service does not live up to the food. The service was spotty and inflexible insisting that we place our order for our full dinner rather than just the appetizer that we wanted to start. Had we only ordered our appetizers, we would likely not have stayed for dinner so perhaps that is why the waiter insisted we place our full dinner order at the beginning. The bus staff did not appear to exist and with crab and oysters in the shell, the table definitely needed cleaning before the entree was served but that did not happen. The restaurant is also very noisy. There are definitely better choices in the area especially given the price of this restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Expensive Cat, more like it.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I live in LA, not Kansas, and it was still a bit much for what we got. Food was good but not memorable. Service was stiff.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointment
    91790Foodie
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We read reviews on-line & thought this would be a nice place to eat. Our waiter just wasn't as informative re: menu. We were disappointed. The food was good, it just wasn't our cup of tea.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great Fish!!!
    FromagerVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    I love this restaurant in Los Angeles and wanted to come here immediately. It's quite a bit smaller, but it's still the same excellent quality. The menus are a bit confusing though. I came at happy hour and still don't understand what is exactly meant by happy hour food, as it's just as expensive as the regular menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    bboublil
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Amazing fish and see food place, very inventive dishes, and a lobster roll as I never have before.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service is NOT on their Agenda
    luv2eatoutVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Our waiter was overworked. They are understaffed. We felt like intruders. Had to ask for water THREE TIMES. Had to speak to Manager to get a glass of wine. Reading the menu is a trip! The food is an experience. Creative and well prepared.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Almost fantastic
    Yumm
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    The service is one of the best in Santa Barbara. The oysters are awesome and they have a lot of great dishes, but the crab legs were just not something I would recommend. They were not on par with the rest of the food and beverage quality there. Paying $44 for a pound leads to high expecatations and I would say they were mediocre at best. Maybe they had an off day and over-cooked them though. You never know. But everything else was delicious and wonderful.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • As always,
    HaborView
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    As always the Hungry Cat met my expectations. My wife and I come here for special occasions in other words her birthday. The service and food are always exceptional. And the other night was just as good. We have never had a bad meal here.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but not great
    hellofish2
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Had the lamb and clams with an appetizer of crab and shrimp. All of it was good. The lamb and clams were new and interesting but it just wasn't great. The shrimp was dry. The ground lamb and clams mix to have kind of a strange rubbery texture. Nice atmosphere. Great waiter.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Crowded space
    Sfla
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Seating is very tight. Easy to get bumped by the other diners. Sea urchin was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent oysters and fish Ahi.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Had a very nice lunch but thought prices were a little high. Three people, one salad, no alcohol $85 plus tip.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ramen Night
    Tax03
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    We came here for the ramen special on Tuesday night. I was expecting more of a classic Tonkotsu ramen, but we got more of a "Les Marchands" deconstructed ramen, which was very good but unexpected. As a pre-meal treat, we ordered littleneck clams, which were DIVINE. The waitstaff was friendly, but a bit slow, and actually forgot to give us spoons for the ramen. This was awkward, as we were sitting closest to their computer system, and they had their backs to us as we tried to get their attention for a full five minutes. The maitre d' was very friendly and asked us how the ramen was after our meal. I appreciated his candid question, and felt satisfied that my feedback had been noted. Will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • eeehhh
    shaftmob
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Food was good but not great. Small choices of glasses of wine...they force u to by a bottle! The server was a little under attentive and not very helpful with the menu, food or drinks..........
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • BEST FOOD WORST SERVICE EVER
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    I was here a year ago and the food was amazing!!!! I took a friend who was visiting from Germany and talked you guys up well. Again the food again was amazing, but the service was one of the worst if not worst I have ever received, and I used to be a waiter for 3 years so I know how it is to be in the weeds. From our drink to the appetizers, and our main meal to the end. I ordered the seafood tower/platter which was a main reason I came their for the seafood, not only did she forget to order it, and delivered it AFTER we got our main course, then kept asking "if we were finished" when clearly weren't because the place was closing and she wanted to close up section and get out! I will visit your Santa Monica location, never again in SB
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed with 2nd visit
    2Donks
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    2nd trip to Hungry Cat-the first was after a very positive review in a local paper. Ordered lobster roll with FF and got a $25.00 plate of FF-still looking for the lobster roll. I should have sent it back and left most of the diner on my plate. Any tuned in waiter would have asked if the meal was to my liking but how foolish of me-he knew the answer. My wife's ordered whole fish with a similar result- she left most on her plate. Hope they have a Hungry Cat in the kitchen to eat what she left! We don't mind pricey restaurants that deliver good quality food but this was an insult to any discerning palate.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Live4food
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Excellent restaurant - food very interesting And delicious . Definitely worth going to
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We Love This Place!
    IoneTaylorVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    The food here was great, as always. We ordered the Pacific Gold oysters and a watermelon and tomato salad to start the meal - both delicious. Then we followed that with the New Orleans-syle lobster roll and the lamb/clams entree. The lobster roll was spot on, evoking the original but giving it a delightful twist. The lamb/clams was also very flavorful. We finished with a yummy fruit crisp. We received excellent service, as always, including a tip from the chef that the Pacific Gold oysters are delivered on Wednesdays. We love the cozy atmosphere and had a great conversation with the couple at the table next to us, who overheard us mentioning their hometown Omaha.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Meh
    michellew
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Not many people in the restaurant. The server wasn't friendly and forgot to bring water. They were out of ingredients for one of the three drinks they have that are non-alcoholic. The food was pretty good. The restaurant could use a little makeover; the Hollywood location is much nicer and staff a lot friendlier.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Seafood Lovers Paradise
    BadgersrockVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    After a superb cooking class at Market Forays on 7/12/14, my husband and I were on the lookout for a place to have a light but tasty meal and The Hungary Cat fit the bill perfectly. We shared a dozen briny tasty Sunset oysters on the half shell served with a zesty cocktail sauce and a zippy mignonette. We then moved on to a pound of delicious fresh off the boat local rock crab claws. Attempts to use the shell fish crackers resulted in uncracked crab claws. On to plan B, whacking the claws with our dinner knifes - eh voila - success. Fortunately were seated by the wall so no one was hit by flying shells. Better crackers & picks would be a much appreciated addition. We will be back to try the entrees which looked good!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GoldstelVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Loved this place! Not your usual Santa Barbara eatery-- and that's a compliment
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just the right touch
    Popcornman
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    This restaurant doesn't try to be too cute. Fish and shellfish perfectly prepared, with minimal extra ingredients. Grilled whole fish (orata) was as good as I've ever had. Wife said same about mussels.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • adult dining in sb
    sparkyVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Everything was good; the grilled octopus, seafood filled squash blossoms and the whole sea bass. A lot of other interesting menu items to check out next time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Over priced.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    I thought that the food and service were very good but the prices were about 25% too high.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently good
    LAnativesVIP
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    We adore the Hungry Cat and can always count on a great dinner, served hot and professionally.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bad experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    I could never recommend this restaurant to anyone. I felt as though they were doing me a favor to wait on us. When we arrived we were directed to a table, not shown a table. Do it yourself style. After waiting at our table at least 20 minutes, for someone to at least offer us a drink, We walked out. They weren't even busy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • High energy scene
    FoodfanVIP
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    We split the asparagus salad appetizer and the seafood tower and it was plenty for two people. The oysters were great, but raw clams weren't as fresh. Don't recommend the apple bignet dessert: it was a glorified donut. The overall scene felt like a bar with a restaurant attached. If you are looking for a high energy environment then give it a try, but if you want a quiet dinner find an alternative.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love the Seafood!
    IoneTaylorVIP
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    This is our second visit to The Hungry Cat, and it was just as good as the first visit. We ordered a half dozen raw oysters which were fresh and very good. My husband said his softshell crab sandwich was delicious. My red snapper with a Moroccan flair was cooked perfectly and had a crispy skin. We enjoyed our tasty bourbon cocktails and ended dinner with piping hot apple beignets. The service was spot on, and we love the atmosphere. This time we sat at the bar and watched the dishes being prepared, which was fun.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Seafood, even seafood novices
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    I don't like sea food and I loved my muscles and lamb entree. The server suggested it as an approachable dish for non seafood people. He was spot on, I would go there again just for that dish!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hungry Cat is terrific for seafood
    DiningDiva1VIP
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    We were pleasantly surprised and would highly recommend this restaurant for seafood lovers. Great oyster bar. Casual atmosphere but attentive and helpful staff. Or salad and seafood dishes were outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sea Urchin!
    wasabipudding
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Fresh Santa Barbara Sea Urchin - to die for! They serve it with these delicious salty crackers - a great pairing. We also had the raw oysters and grilled octopus. I highly recommend all the above!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not too good!
    Hungryoldman
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Crabs and shrimps were frozen fresh and a shelled sea urchin was too skinny. Oysters and clums were fresh. The restaurant foor was messy. Service was OK but the food was too gricy for the freshiness. Disappointed! ( Hungry Dog)
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 26 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 20, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 163 reviews are from the The Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara reviews archive.
  • 1/2 price oysters!
    Tax03
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    This place is great on Mondays as they have a half-price special on oysters, which immediately brings down the price of the meal (a concern, since Hungry Cat is quite pricy). The quality, however, remains the same. Our oysters were ridiculously fresh and the selection was admirable. We paired with some beers and a flatbread appetizer which was equally satisfying. I would like to see more beer selection, but look forward to returning on Mondays all the same.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Brunch
    Rbmiami
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Went for brunch. Kept ordering more and more as it was delectable
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • eatwithgustoVIP
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    Great food but to noisy.The Clams are out of this world. Wine portions were skimpy; should be more considering the price.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Seafood
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    A great place to go for fresh seafood, particularly their shellfish offerings. Had their mixed plate of oysters, clams, crab, shrimp, and lobster and it was outstanding. Wine list is limited and a bit pricey.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointing
    Junie
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    The raw oysters were delicious. We ordered crab cakes which the waitress said were made from lump crabmeat from the Chesapeake Bay. They were not lump nor were they from the Chesapeake Bay nor were they more than low average in taste. When we commented on them, the waitress said she made a mistake and that they were dungeness crab. The resataurant is very noisy and tables are packed together. The food is expensive for the quality received. Would not eat there again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Easter Brunch
    yarnhat
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    The food was excellent. It had great sea food and non-sea food options. The draft beer selection was focused and local. Mother loved that the iced tea came in a carafe. We both had a great time.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Typically one of my favorites
    Twalk
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • limited menu choices
    cindy805
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    The menu is changed since the last time I was there. Delicious food-- limited choices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.