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Downey's

4.6
986 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion (1276)
  • Fit for Foodies (1270)
  • Romantic (968)

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About

Fresh produce from the Santa Barbara Farmers' Market is skilfully prepared with sustainable seafood and naturally-raised meats by acclaimed Chef John Downey. We invite you to join us for dinner and taste why Downey's has been Zagat Survey's top-rated Santa Barbara restaurant for 26 consecutive years.
The Downey family take great pride in their small, intimate restaurant. John heads the experienced kitchen staff aided by Liz who also handles the wine list and manages the dining room.
You will be served by experienced and knowledgeable professionals who know when to be present and when to leave you to enjoy your dinner.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Californian, Seafood, Contemporary French / American
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm, Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
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Phone number
(805) 966-5006
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
John Downey
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Catering
Classical intimate dinner parties in your home with Chef John Downey for 6-20 guests.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Victoria
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Parking details
On street parking or two public lots available nearby.
Additional
Beer, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 986 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.6  based on all time ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.3
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipJillN (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on August 30, 2017

We love Downey's!! John and Liz are terrific!!!! We are going to miss them So much!!! They were an institution in Santa Barbara ❤ Gary and I wish them the very best in whatever lies in store for their next chapter of their lives!!!! Thank you for all of our superior meals weather for a special occasion or just a surprise splurge!!!! Love you both. XOXO Jill and Gary 🌹

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KU39 (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 29, 2017

Wonderful dinner. So sorry to see them closing. I was a very special evening.

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OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 26, 2017

Outstanding service and the best meal I've ever had! Very sad they will be closing.

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Momrumours (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 26, 2017

We have been enjoying Downeys since they first opened 30-35 years ago. John is a fabulous chef and Liz is a charming hostess! He uses the finest ingredients! Its a delightful place for a special occasion.

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OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 25, 2017

Great meal, too bad they are closing up shop... this was 'the last supper' for us. We'll miss it.

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SBgranny6 (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 25, 2017

Has been our favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara for years! Sorry to see them closing but wish owners the best as they retire!

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terry9270 (Central Coast)
4.0  Dined on August 24, 2017

Downey's is closing at the end of this month (August 2017). The wine list appeared abbreviated, so we took glasses, rather than a bottle. Also, a lot of people were having one last dinner there so it was packed and noisy. Otherwise Kate and John were perfect hosts and the food (Hawaiian Swordfish and Noisette of Veal) were prepared and presented perfectly. It was our 59th wedding anniversary and a good send off.

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MaryJo (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 24, 2017

So sorry to see Downey's close - great place for great dinner

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LongtimeHappyCustomer (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 24, 2017

Downey's is and always has been 5 stars. We will miss Liz and John but wish them well in their retirement!

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Kathleen1 (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 23, 2017

We have loved John Downey and his restaurant for all the years it was open - 35! John was an early and generous supporter of our wine (Whitcraft Winery) and we held many winemaker dinners there, celebrated anniversaries and birthdays, and just couldn't say more about what a legacy John is leaving as one of the premier chefs in Santa Barbara. Favorites: duck, angel hair lobster, vegetarian plate and everything else!

He will be missed.

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vipRalph (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 23, 2017

They are closing at the end of the month. I have been going there since 1982 and wanted one last top meal!

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vipSteve66 (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on August 19, 2017

IMO, this was THE BEST restaurant in Santa Barbara. But if you've never been, you're out of luck because they are closing after 35 years (owners retiring). It was never cutting edge, or cool, or happening. Just a friendly, sophisticated, family owned restaurant that cooked with the best ingredients, offered the best local wines, had great service, and was consistent year in and year out. HUGE LOSS to the local dining scene.

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vipSadie (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on August 19, 2017

Had dinner at this gem right before it closed, will certainly miss dining at Downey's.

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Brock (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 19, 2017

Downey's has been our favorite for over 30 years!
There is no other restaurant in Santa Barbara to compare.

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Peter (New England)
5.0  Dined on August 17, 2017

August is the last month with john as cook and owner. 35 years!! Downey's will be missed

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