Harbor Restaurant

4.2
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577 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
It's always smooth sailing at The Harbor Restaurant, which feature exquisite dining and Santa Barbara's most spectacular ocean views. Come join us for the freshest seafood and USDA Prime steaks, cocktails and an award winning wine list featuring both local and imported wines. All served in the area's most romantic setting and best place to watch the sun set.

For parties of 10 or more, please give us a call and we will be happy to assist you!
What 577 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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HH
Central Coast
15 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

8th wedding anniversary at our reception restaurant. Have loved this place since coming to Santa Barbara in 1983. 2-tier seafood tower was over the top, with lots of king crab, shrimp and lobster to take home. But the Bombay Sapphire martinis made the night and did me in. Glad we made it home without a DUI. That’s the way I like it. Uh huh uh huh. Worthless the next day, but thank you, Harbor for a memorable night. Great job, Eric, and thanks for the 3rd martini after you splashed some butter Into my 2nd one.
I’m ok now, and remember most of the night. Love the Harbor, Harry’s and T-Off. Best places in town. Thanks, John Scott.

RR
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food and service

OT
Dallas
5 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and views were amazing! Lovely server, Jen and the ladies up Front ( Daisy and Rebecca) were so welcoming and very accommodating. Full of smiles!!!
Will recommend this place to anyone traveling to SB and will be back for sure!!! Thank you!!!

s
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Expensive , but wonderful to our family of ten. Good food! Something for everyone

VT
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Friendly staff and great food! The views are amazing, the brunch menu has it all.

OT
Greensboro
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My sister and I came for Christmas dinner. The food was buffet style. I will say open table could have mentioned this during my booking of this reservation. It was monsoon raining on Christmas Day and the parceling valet and staff could have not been any nicer. Food buffet was excellent. Complimentary champagne was offered. Will definitely come back when in town.

BY
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We love the Harbor Holiday buffets! Great food and service. Its definitely a bit pricey, and I don't eat enough to make up for the cost, but I still LOVE IT!

BC
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

The harbor is an annual tradition. Each year I take a group of 6-10 for the Xmas dinner. I have a boat in the Marina just nearby.
It’s the only game in town on Xmas and I always tip very good because the servers works so hard. But this year despite my usual window table request, we were show. To a table right At the front door away from the windows in the cold wind. We immediately reminded them we had requested a window table and so they took us to yet another non window table but at least we could see the ocean.
With this and the fact that the deserts were terrible this year, no pieces of pie and cake, just marshmallows on a stick dipped in who knows what. So we wi t be back next year I’m afraid.

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been there many times for holidays and we will be back!! Everything was very nice!!

S
Austin
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Christmas lunch

GC
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Our food was great and the service was excellent!

RF
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite visit to the Harbor Restaurant is always the parade of lights. Great view of the boats and great view of the fireworks after. Miguel our waiter always fabulous. A master of his trade. Food is great. One of the few places you can get fried calamari steaks for appetizers and scalloped potatoes. Feels like Christmas!!!

KL
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and the view was excellent! We had a really nice breakfast and look forward to going back soon.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved it our waiter was amazing!!

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Their Thanksgiving buffet was horrible! They didn’t fill up empty trays and food was cold and gamy. The prices are highly inflated because it’s a tourist trap. They have very few options for vegetarians even though they say that they do on TripAdvisor. The service was so slow that we had to put our dirty plates on an empty table next to us in order to sit down with our dessert plates. I complained to the manager and owner and they did nothing. DO NOT SPEND MONEY HERE!! It’s a scam!

MP
Western NC
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Thanksgiving dinner there was nowhere near worth the $75 per person that was charged. Server never told us the champagne was included in the price so we ordered drinks and it went downhill from there. Might go back for a normal dinner but never again for a holiday meal. Very disappointed.

AS
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

I made a reservation here for Thanksgiving dinner after reading all the great reviews--& the experience was great! The staff was extremely friendly & the atmosphere fun & festive! Keep in mind: It is VERY crowded with celebrating families & groups, so if you don't like that ambience, it's not for you. But if you do enjoy a lot of people out doing the same thing you are, then it's pretty fun. The buffet itself was great--tons of options & even a Kids Buffet with sliders, pb & j, fries, fried shrimp, & chicken nuggets (super cute, set at a lower table). The turkey, coconut shrimp, salmon, tuna tartare with caviar were fantastic! There were 3 types of gravy and ham, prime rib, & lamb in addition to the turkey, so they did not skimp on this buffet! We were sat at a table at the opposite end of the restaurant from the buffet, so the walk was long, but our room was quieter, which was great. The desserts were perfect--displayed on a sailboat table & in small portions great for trying different items. Our waiter didn't come to bring us water & champagne for almost 30 minutes, but after he found out we were his, he was very attentive. I think they were just so busy, & our table was far off in that quiet corner. The bottomless champagne was awesome. :) A hostess from the restaurant called twice in the days before the date to confirm our reservation, & she was great about adding an extra person. She also explained the parking options very clearly, which was a help since we were coming from out of town. Everyone had a great evening & thought it was a fun choice for Thanksgiving Dinner! We would do it again!

JE
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

The Thanksgiving buffet foot was very good. Lots of variety and well prepared. Service left something to be desired. We had a 4:15 reservation. Arrived on time and were told it would be a few minutes (no problem). After half an hour standing around by the host desk we inquired how long it would be and were told another 15 minutes. So we said we'd go wait upstairs and have a drink - they said OK and they'd find us up there when our table was ready. 45 minutes later we went downstairs again to check and it was clear they had completely forgotten about us. If we hadn't gone down to remind them we'd still be sitting upstairs.
They did seat us immediately after that. Next thing is we ordered OJ for our 7-year old, and after what had just happened, the server informed us there'd be an up-charge for OJ. Not a big deal, but seriously!? I was a server all through college and never would have charged someone for a glass of OJ after they got seated over an hour late. That's just customer service 101.
Then in general, the service was just kind of mediocre -- not what you'd expect at the Harbor. The problem was NOT our particular server - she was fine, it was obviously what management had instructed them to do. For example, when they cleared our plates after the main course, they told us to keep our silver wear for desert. Again, seriously?! We're paying $75/plate and you want me to use my dirty silver wear from dinner to eat desert. That's what you expect at a Denny's, not the Harbor Restaurant.
All that said, we had a good time, and the food was good, and we'd go back again; but I hope the management can get their act together for next year.

ED
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thanksgiving buffet-5th or 6th year for us—always excellent!

E
Central Coast
38 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outstanding Thanksgiving buffet. Selection was marvelous. The beginning champagne was delicious. Service especially by Ricardo was impressive. May have to go again next year.

TE
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful annual Thanksgiving feast in a gorgeous setting. It's a family tradition each year for us.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed all of it

e
Central Coast
66 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We met some friends there and enjoyed a beautiful sunset while totally enjoying their buy two dinners for $29.95 special! Two of us had the swordfish which was amazing - a very plentiful portion with tasty scalloped potatoes. One of the others had the fresh fish of the day which was sole and the other friend had the fried shrimp. We were all delighted with our meals and the service!

R
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very pleased.

RS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Lobster special was very expensive and not a large enough portion to justify price.

OT
Central Coast
9 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I made the reservation to take advantage of beautiful sunset views. This place is excellent for that while watching boats come and go to the marina. I wanted a place where I could get seafood while my family who don't like seafood would have beef, chicken, salad, and sandwich options. Staff was friendly and helpful. Parking on the wharf is free for 90min or less.

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Visiting from New Mexico, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!! Just wish they had a scallop fish

RB
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

25th anniversary. The food was okay. I thought it would be more unique because of the location and not something I could get at Red Lobster. Lights way too bright to enjoy the ocean view after dark. Could only see our own reflections. Very disappointing.

DS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience5

Waiter didn’t give us much attention. He only came over when we called for him. One meal (the local spiney Lobster) was a little burned & hard. Otherwise things were ok.

MC
Houston
166 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Gracious, friendly service!

Our party of 10 enjoyed a business dinner that ran almost to their closing time, and they did a great job of allowing us to feel unrushed in our own corner of the restaurant.

Views are STUNNING! The restaurant, itself, could use a bit of freshening/updating. Food was good - not spectacular, but not bad either.

Great place for a large group to enjoy the best views in Santa Barbara.

PF
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Excellent no-pressure service by Eric and the host staff, with the unbeatable harbor view at sunset it made of a wonderful experience.

OT
Los Angeles
195 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

My spouse and I decided to come back to Harbor Restaurant after a day of kayaking. Pleased they had a delicious meal of fish tacos to round out our day. The service was attentive and the atmosphere was relaxing and quiet. We will be back again when in the area!

JS
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I enjoyed my dinner at the Harbor Restaurant. The food was good, but a bit pricy. The server did a good job and had a good attitude. My only complaint was the light from the setting sun was annoying. The shade helped, but didn't block out all the sun.

KR
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

My family and I came here for the first time. The experience wasn’t awful, it was just mediocre. The servers were clearly in college, and I understand the attire is black but some just didn’t look professional. I felt as though the server could have been better trained in professionalism, frequently coming back because a question was forgotten. The food was good, but heavily overpriced for the amount that was given. Wouldn't entirely recommend this place as a place to go for fine dining, go to the El Encanto if you want that.

M
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The manager and our server went out of their way to accommodate our group of four. Pleasant, fun, the food was excellent and priced affordably.
As this was my choice and my group was extremely pleased, so, i was a hero.
Definitely a repeat for me!

f
Los Angeles
48 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Best brunch spot! Great views, $10 bottomless mimosas and delicious brunch options. Get half orders of the salads... they are massive. My dining partner had the Ranch Benedict and said the filet mignon was some of the best he's had. We had a great server who was charming and never let us see the bottom of our mimosas until we had to go.

BG
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience4

The restaurant has an amazing ambiance with being on the pier and overlooking the ocean. Unfortunately the same canot be said about the food. The fried breading on everything was so hard it cracked when cut with a knife and was difficult to chew. The contents - onion rings, fish and chips were well cooked but is difficult to ignore the rock hard breading cover. The fish and chips and fried shrimp came with fried potatoes and cole slaw. Although the plating looked nice, the fries were made soggy by the cole slaw’s dressing. Lastly, the hibiscus flavoring in the iced tea made it undrinkable. The wait staff was great but cannot overcome the bad taste in my mouth.

MM
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

the waitress was polite, need training to clear the table, my menu was in the window the entire meal. My wife got sick from under cooked shrimp in her salad.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

First off, the place smells of old, dingy, dirty carpet. Our sea bass was gummy and lobster tacos smelled so bad we wouldn’t even taste them. Service was super slow.

R
Orange County
54 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience5

We selected this location because it had the best ratings of available seafood spots in downtown Santa Barbara area. The restaurant is on the Pier, but it was busy so we didn't have seats to really take advantage of the views. Our food was not good, and it was mid-upper price point. I don't even remember what we ate, it was that unmemorable. Anyway, this is a touristy spot, so try one of the other ones if you are looking for any more than a view.