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Diners' Choice: Best Ambiance restaurants in Santa Barbara

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OpenTable
Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants with the best ambiance in Santa Barbara? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch restaurant
4.9
4.9 (2410)
$50 and over
Contemporary American
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
The Stonehouse, located in a beautiful 19th-century citrus packing house, offers an unparalleled dining experience. Guests can unwind in a relaxing lounge with full bar service or enjoy the ambiance of the separate dining room, complete with a crackling fireplace and world-class views. Chef Matthew Johnson creates evocative regional cuisine, utilizing fresh herbs and vegetables from the Ranch’s organic chef’s garden. The Stonehouse boasts the only Grand Award-winning wine program in Central California, ensuring an unparalleled selection of wines to complement your meal. For a unique twist, visit the restaurant's speakeasy for before or after dinner drinks, where you can enjoy expertly crafted cocktails in an intimate, nostalgic setting.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Wonderful experience and best server Antonio! Coming back!
A photo of Angel Oak restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1204)
$50 and over
Steak
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
The signature fine dining restaurant located at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, Angel Oak brings elevated California coastal cuisine to the perfect venue. The oceanfront restaurant offers a California Coastal steakhouse menu curated by our Chef Diego Seitour.

Accompanying the cuisine is an ambiance of pure scenic beauty, with floor-to-ceiling ocean views and a striking 25-seat bar topped with vibrant blue Amazonite quartz. Seating on the outdoor patio is also offered, showcasing some of the most captivating sunsets over the Pacific.

Complementing the Angel Oak dining experience is a premier cocktail program and exclusive wine cellar that houses the restaurant's 12,000-bottle collection.

Locals can enjoy a 10% discount.

For parties with 6 guests or more a 26% service charge fee will be added to your final bill. For all guests there will be an 8.75% California State tax added to the final bill.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Excellent service from Alan the waiter and all staff. Highly recommend
A photo of Gala restaurant
4.8
4.8 (231)
$31 to $50
European
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
Gala exudes a European meets Santa Barbara charm, where you feel like you’re transported to a beautiful bistro somewhere in the Mediterranean. Enjoy shared tapas, seasonal favorites, oysters and a great steak with bone marrow butter & chimichurri. Or cozy up with a pulled pork sandwich or our duck confit. Experience craft cocktails with fresh juices & house infused liquors as well as local Spanish wine & beer. Right down the street from the Santa Barbara Courthouse enjoy an evening at Gala.








1 Block From State Street, Easy Parking, Public Lot Nearby, Free 75 Minute Parking, Walking Distance, El Pueblo Viejo Landmark District, Superior Court, Spanish Colonial Revival Courthouse, Santa Barbara Museum Of Art, Courthouse Gardens, Bell Tower, Farm to table, Farmer's market driven, Tapas, Seafood, Steak, Oysters, Happy Hour, Food, Cocktails, Wine, Restaurant, Vegetarian, Friendly, Dog Friendly, Outdoor Patio, Heaters, Warm, Inviting, Hospitable, Modern Design

Top review
jessicaf
Dined 7 days ago
owner is personal and nice staff is friendly and accommodating. creative and delicious drinks and appetizers are my favorite!
A photo of Barbareño restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1789)
$31 to $50
Californian
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
At Barbareño we seek to help further shape and define Central Coast cuisine. We take our inspiration from traditions and specialties of our area, delicacies unique to our region, and the many outstanding purveyors with whom we are so fortunate to work. In all of our efforts, we hope to capture the essence of a particular place or local flavor, embracing the nuances that make our food and drink unique to our home.

Top review
Deliciousvip
Dined 4 days ago
We love eating at Barbareno ❤️ Chef Julian does a fabulous job. He is So creative and the food is delicious!!!
A photo of Lucky's restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2795)
$50 and over
Steakhouse
Montecito
About the restaurant
LUCKY'S is widely known for its exclusive selection of USDA Prime steaks, fresh seafood, farmer's market vegetables, no-nonsense cocktails and world class wine cellar.
For take-out, please call the restaurant.
We do not accept bar table reservations online, please call the restaurant.
For larger parties, please call or email the restaurant directly.

Top review
SuzieP
Dined 7 days ago
Celebrated our wedding at Lucky’s and the staff was so friendly and welcoming from the start. The food was delicious & the ambiance made it so romantic. Can’t wait to return!
A photo of Bouchon - Santa Barbara restaurant
4.8
4.8 (5280)
$31 to $50
Californian
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
We are delighted to have added additional outdoor seating but Santa Barbara nights are chilly so bring a sweater or light jacket!

Fresh, local ingredients, prepared with care. Excellent wines that reflect the quality and character of our region and work in concert with the cuisine. Warm, inviting ambiance, service at a relaxed, leisurely pace. Santa Barbara ‘Wine Country Cuisine’ means we source our ingredients using an ‘as-fresh-and-as-local-as-possible’ approach, with fish from the Santa Barbara Channel and produce from the surrounding countryside. We then take into account how these flavors can be presented in concert with our local wines. We believe you’ll taste the difference. Bon Appètit!

Top review
Ilovetoeatvip
Dined 1 day ago
We had a delightful dinner. Wonderful food and service. Gluten free bread would be a nice addition for those with celiac disease.
A photo of Tre Lune restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1876)
$31 to $50
Italian
Montecito
About the restaurant
"Upbeat and comfortable, serving real-deal pastas and pizzas that make you feel like you're in Italy again." - ZAGAT 2010

Fresh fish, veal scaloppini, osso buco, prime steaks, Kobe-beef burgers, organic salads, and house-made desserts.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner-Cocktails.

Award Winner of Italian wines list.

Please call to make reservations.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 8, 2024
My guest and I had a lovely time. We went after the lunch rush, so the place was quiet. We saw a mutual friend at another table. I got the risotto special with scallops. My dish had only 4 scallops and a lot of risotto, which was very good. But, I just wanted a couple more scallops, the four weren't enough. My guest had his usual veal scallopini and took half of it home for dinner.
A photo of Stella Mare's restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2182)
$31 to $50
French
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
French country bistro...Between Montecito and Santa Barbara, Stella Mare's Bistro is located in a historic Victorian home overlooking the Bird Refuge. French country cuisine rules the menu, with dishes like coq au vin, cassoulet, and moules frites. Sip seasonal cocktails amid cozy décor -- all the right ingredients for a great dining experience. Bon appétit!

When requesting the greenhouse please note that is considered indoor dining.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
A very special and well priced French Restaurant across from the Bird Refuge. I’ve eaten her over 40 times and they never disappoint. Everett
A photo of LOCAL Montecito restaurant
4.6
4.6 (219)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Montecito
About the restaurant
Incredible outdoor seating with two heated patios, firepit, couches, and a 360 degree bar. Featuring local ingredients and exceptional dishes from multiple cuisines paired with an extensive and rare wine collection, LOCAL has it all in the heart of Montecito.
Top review
JillH
Dined 4 days ago
Great food and excellent service. We felt so welcome.
A photo of Louie's California Bistro restaurant
4.4
4.4 (715)
$31 to $50
American
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
Intimate and exclusive due to it's limited seating, Louie’s California Bistro has long been touted as one of Santa Barbara's favorite local secrets. Unconcerned with flashy food trends, the focus at Louie's has always been to take local ingredients and make them shine, often through classic style cooking and recipes. Add in Central Coast wines and a table on the historic wrap around veranda and you have the makings for a truly enjoyable dining experience. Louie's resides within a local landmark: The Upham Hotel. The Upham, built in 1871, is California's longest continuously operating hotel and is one of Santa Barbara's oldest buildings, having survived the earthquake of 1925.
Top review
Brucedvip
Dined on Jul 7, 2024
A great dining experience! Outstanding food, service and ambiance. Will be on our list of favorites.
Explore Diners' Choice best of Santa Barbara
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