The Bistro at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

4.4
239 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
American
Named “Top 100 Best Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America” by OpenTable, The Bistro offers a casual and relaxed atmosphere to dine and enjoy sweeping views of the coastline. Chef Vincent Lesage’s American cuisine can be enjoyed indoors or al fresco on a spacious oceanfront terrace. Local produce and sustainable seafood highlight an acclaimed menu of traditional bistro favorites, including brick oven flatbreads, seasonal salads and the signature Bistro burger.

Recent upgrades to The Bistro’s patio include the addition of a cozy wood-burning fireplace, direct access to an oceanfront pool bar, and enhanced outdoor heating to enjoy breathtaking ocean vistas all year long.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
American, Mediterranean, Californian
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Breakfast Daily - A La Carte & Buffet: 7:00 am - 10:30 am;
Lunch: Daily: 11:30 am - 4:30 pm;
Midday Fare: 4:30-5:30;
Dinner: Monday-Thursday: 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM- 10:00 PM
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(805) 571-4217
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private party facilities
The Bistro offers a private dining space that accommodates up to 20 guests.
Please inquire with The Bistro for requests of larger, non-private, reservations or buyouts.
icon/ic_contactCreated with Sketch.
Private party contact
Maria Mondragon: (805) 403-8309
Open Google Maps
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
Hollister
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Valet complimentary
Additional
Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 239 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
PS
Los Angeles
376 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome five thumbs up service!!!

Report
Helpful
p
Sacramento
7 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had wonderful service at the Bistro from both the hostess and our server. The Jamon Iberico is delicious and the tomato bisque was unique and yummy. It was a little chilly on the patio in November but the cocktails helped with that. I don't love that dogs are ok on the patio but that seems to be the trend these days. It was a great dinner and gorgeous location.

Report
Helpful
OT
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Service was ok. Asked repeatedly for things like more chips for the guacamole, silverware, and to have the heat lamp turned on. Steak was over cooked and a bit chewy. The other food items we ordered were delightful. Ceasar salad was especially good

Report
Helpful
PS
Los Angeles
376 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great new menu!!! The seafood paella was awesome!!!

Report
Helpful
JL
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 2ambience 4

We had a res for 7:45 pm. Upon arriving at the reception desk to ck in for dinner, there was a line...it moved very slow. Then when we got to the desk, we were told to be seated in another area where we waited for at least 20 more minutes, with no explanation, no offer of a comp drink, etc. The folks at the reception desk were obviously flustered and ill-prepared for a busy pm. AND, when we were finally seated outside...there were PLENTY of tables...empty! What was the wait for? I had a res for the next day for an out of town relative....we cancelled it. You're the Ritz....put on the Ritz!

Report
Helpful
D
Cleveland
19 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food but the service stands out. Everyone is friendly and accommodating. Definitely give this one a five starx

Report
Helpful
j
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent and expert service

Report
Helpful
GL
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was amazing and the staff so friendly and kind. The food quality was amazing and we will for sure, go back.

Report
Helpful
OT
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I had a wonderful evening dining on the patio while celebrating our anniversary. Our sever was fantastic!! We are staying at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara. The
Resort Is absolutely gorgeous, our guest room is wonderful and all of the staff are incredibly welcoming!

Report
Helpful
OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

It took almost an hour to get our food. Indoor seating area was loud and unimpressive. Expect more for the high prices.

Report
Helpful
l
Sacramento
38 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Disappointed. Ordered the ahi tuna appetizer and it came to the table brown. The waitress said it was browned on the edges. I asked why the raw portion was brown and she said because the chef marinated thw raw fish in soy sauce overnight. Umm, you do not marinate raw fish. Sushi fish needs to be served at a specific temperature and served right away. I was disgusted. They didn't get our orders right. The kids liked their sandwiches, but they forgot my salmon to go with my salad. By the time salmon came out, it was undercooked and my salad was wilted. Ther service was not good.

Report
Helpful
FD
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Service was wonderful, but food was not impressive at all. The caesar salad had way too much dressing and had such a strong anchovy flavor that I could not eat it. The shrimp and scallop linguine was better than the salad course, but heavy on cream. The carrot cake for dessert was quite disappointing, looking more like a Boca burger/slider with an large, oval shaped cream cheese topping. It lacked flavor and was visually unappealing. Even though the ambiance was very nice and our server was lovely, the food was so mediocre that we would not return.

Report
Helpful
SK
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Gorgeous view of the beach. Great drinks and service as well.

Report
Helpful
F
Central Coast
12 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

We live in the area and though we’d try the restaurant. Service and ambiance were fine. Food left a lot to be desired. Every item tasted like it had been provided through corporate buying. Nothing was fresh or local. Was sort of like what you’d expect to eat at a huge business convention. Very disappointing. We aren’t sure how long Ritz Carlton has been managing the property but they have work to do to get the food up to snuff.

Bottom line: Expensive, bland, industrial food.

Report
Helpful
OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday !!!!!!!!

Report
Helpful
BM
San Francisco
144 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

The breakfast buffet was delicious but the line to wait for omelettes and pancakes got a bit tedious. Wish they would offer a mixed green salad to round out the buffet selections, just a simple salad would be great. The service is still hit or miss...why doesn't management notice this?

Report
Helpful
OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 2ambience 5

Great outdoor space! Very relaxing

Report
Helpful
1
Central Coast
66 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The food and service has vastly improved since our last visit in July. Probably due to the takeover by Ritz Carlton. Some of the menu items remained and no doubt because they were the better items. The vegetable chicken soup is hearth warming and delicious. New on the menu is the black cod on a bed of black rice. The Chinese flavors took it over the top. The shrimp and scallop scampi was also very delicious.
The service by Kassandra was impeccable. She was extremely attentive and courteous.
Overall, a vast improvement.

Report
Helpful
OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous experience! Service was impecable.

Report
Helpful
M
Los Angeles
106 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

I don’t think you come here for value. But the food was not delicious. Granted I only had a $50 soup and salad, but the tomato soup tasted like warm ketchup. The Caesar salad with grilled salmon was also not the yummiest I’ve had. I would go back and maybe have a coffee or drinks-but prob not the lunch

Report
Helpful
S
Central Coast
26 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Outstanding night at sunset with great friends & wonderful food, the only let down was service was not what one expects at Ritz Carlton.

Report
Helpful
C
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We all ordered burgers ( which I have eaten there on other visits). They were outstanding.
Service was great, there is no rush, and of course the view is just lovely.
It is a great place for lunch on a beautiful Goleta day.

Report
Helpful
RO
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 4

Normally, we have been very pleased with this place. However, this time, all of our food was terribly greasy & the service was mediocre at best. The view can't be beat though.

Report
Helpful
D
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful setting
Many heaters so sitting outdoors was really comfortable

Report
Helpful
J
Cleveland
17 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2017
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

Great food, horrible service. Would still go back and hope the restaurant can work out it’s service issues.

Report
Helpful
G
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Had reservations to celebrate my wife's birthday. Was greeted and sent into the waiting area for 5-10 minutes. No outdoor seating available despite a bunch of empty tables. Friendly waitstaff, but unfortunately our main dishes took about 25 minutes to arrive from the time the appetizer dishes were cleared. Profuse apologies from our server. The food was mediocre. Pre-cut pork chop with a blah wild rice side infused with pretty nasty cheese served on a hokey little cast iron skillet. Was $130+ dinner for two. Another weird thing is when I made the reservation online I checked a little box to indicate we were celebrating a birthday. However, no acknowledgement was made during dinner. Not a big deal, but it does show the service and attention to details were lost. Perhaps all this is just due to a transition phase as the hotel moves to new ownership under the Ritz? Compared to similar "casual" options in the price range (such as the bar/bistros at El Encanto, the new Californian Hotel, and San Ysidro) I'd say this ranks right at the bottom. However, there were tons of families enjoying dinner if you're looking for a casual spot that is kid-friendly and you aren't concerned about the cost.

Report
Helpful
KS
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Phenomenal view at the Bistro , and love the new menu that debuted 2 weeks ago.

Report
Helpful
RG
Miami
8 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love the entire Bacara resort and the Bistro is a great "special occasion without being too formal" place. Had a "double date" dinner for our son's college graduation and all the staff was exceptional! We had forgotten the gifts in our car; the hostess arranged for valet to retrieve the car, bellstand to deliver the gifts to our table. Fantastic.

Report
Helpful
l
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food was great. But service was off. Drink took about 20 mins for cocktails. Main course was almost done before she asked if I wanted another drink. Took another 20mins. But over was still enjoyable.

Report
Helpful
P
Los Angeles
72 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, beautiful view from the patio, delicious food. Enjoyed the Kalifornia salad, clam pizza, shrimp ceviche and fried calamari. Great selection of wines and beers. Highly recommended.

Report
Helpful
OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

Bad service food was could and over cooked and took over two hours .

Report
Helpful
D
Las Vegas
11 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2017
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

Great Setting by the beach with a great view. The resturant was really bad and menu was horrible. Service was very poor.

Report
Helpful
R
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Nonexistent service, very average food, $$

Report
Helpful
DP
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Very good food but remember to ask for outside table with view as that is really what you are paying for. Had a great time.

Lunch begins at 11:30 not 11:00 as it says on website. Love the breakfast but was really wanting a lobster roll. We asked but no doing.

Report
Helpful
OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2017
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

Service was extremely poor. The wait staff seemed disorganized. One of the hostesses said she could not guarantee a table outside as I had requested on open table reservations. She went looking for a table told us to wait but proceeded to do other activities until we had to ask another hostess for assistance. The original hostess came back and when we asked her what happened she said she had some other things to tend to and she could not accommodate us outside. However, at that same moment the second hostess took us to our table outside where there were at least 15 tables open. We then proceeded to wait 15 minutes before anyone approached us and only after we stopped someone walking by. Overall extremely poor service, lack of communication between the staff and no care for our overall experience from beginning to end.

Report
Helpful
F
Tucson
385 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I visit the Santa Barbara area twice a year and usually like to have lunch at the top resorts. This was our first time at the Bistro at Bacara, and it was outstanding! I enjoyed perhaps the most delicious gourmet chicken tacos I have ever had, and my wife had an excellent grilled salmon. The service was wonderful as well. Our waiter recommended our dishes and glasses of wine to accompany the meal....and he brought us wonderful fresh pastries to have with our coffee.
The Bistro overlooks the pool and the ocean and lush foliage....a beautiful setting. We will definitely be back!!!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2017
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 4

Service was terrible- the opposite of what you expect at such a classy place. Was there for brunch and it took twenty minutes before my coffee arrived. Any good diner knows you bring the coffee right out and then let everything follow!
The busboy brought our order and somehow failed to notice the separate fruit plate that is supposed to come with that order. How many times a day do people order that dish that comes with a fruit plate? Our waitress failed to check with us at all to see how we were doing- could not care less and we had to shout across the room to her. We asked her getly about the fruit plate and she acted like we were bothering her- brought it without the slightest apology. In some restaurants they take it off your bill! Here, we were made to feel badly for asking for the food we had ordered an paid for!
We still tipped well as it is the right thing to do, though we were treated so poorly. It was a birthday celebration that went down very badly for one reason only: completely in-excusable poor treatment.

Report
Helpful
OT
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2017
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

All the food we ordered was delicious but like on previous visits the service was subpar. We ordered drinks when we first sat down and got them after both the appetizer and the main was served (after several promises by our waiter that he was going to get our drinks). Our waiter had to come back to our table after both our drink and food orders to double check he had it right. Never filled water glasses and disappeared for his break (I assume) without telling us. I would recommend this place for a lazy lunch but don't expect to get in and out as you will see lots of hands joining yours at neighboring tables every time your waiter reappears.

Report
Helpful
OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very nice atmosphere and food was very good. Enjoyed celebrating friends birthday, service was excellent. Would recommend.

Report
Helpful
A
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went recently for our daughter's graduation from UCSB. Amazing views and exquisite cuisine. A wonderful way to celebrate!

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
6

Tweets by The Bistro at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara