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Party Size
For 2
Sun, 2/25
8:30 PM
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Booked 4 times today

Bistro at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

224 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Scenic View (5)
  • Special Occasion (3)
  • Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
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
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American, Mediterranean, Californian
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Hours of operation
Breakfast: Daily: 8:00 am - 11:30 am;
Lunch: Daily: 11:30 am - 5:00 pm;
Dinner: Monday-Thursday: 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM- 10:00 PM
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Phone number
(805) 571-4217
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Vincent Lesage
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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.
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Private party contact
Bistro Manager: (805) 571-4217
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Cross street
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Parking details
Valet complimentary
Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 224 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4  based on recent ratings
Noise · Quiet
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipBlueMoon (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on February 4, 2018

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?

OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on December 29, 2017

Great outdoor space! Very relaxing

vip1foodmaniac (Central Coast)
4.0  Dined on December 8, 2017

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.

OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on December 1, 2017

Fabulous experience! Service was impecable.

vipMichb18 (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on November 28, 2017

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

vipSbroadhog (Central Coast)
4.0  Dined on November 5, 2017

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

Claravm (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 5, 2017

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.

vipRobertO (Orange County)
1.0  Dined on November 4, 2017

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.

vipDelicious (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on October 27, 2017

Beautiful setting
Many heaters so sitting outdoors was really comfortable

vipOpenTable Diner (Cleveland)
3.0  Dined on October 23, 2017

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

George (Central Coast)
2.0  Dined on October 14, 2017

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.

OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on October 12, 2017

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

OpenTable Diner (Miami)
5.0  Dined on September 14, 2017

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.

letsgrind (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on September 9, 2017

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.

vipPaul (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on August 25, 2017

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.

OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
1.0  Dined on August 24, 2017

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

vipDonjs (Las Vegas)
1.0  Dined on August 13, 2017

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

vipRivierafoodie (Los Angeles)
2.0  Dined on August 6, 2017

Nonexistent service, very average food, $$

vipDinnerPat (Chicago)
4.0  Dined on August 5, 2017

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.

OpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
2.0  Dined on August 3, 2017

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.

vipFoodyone (Tucson)
5.0  Dined on July 31, 2017

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!!!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on July 29, 2017

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.

OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
2.0  Dined on June 23, 2017

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.

OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
4.0  Dined on June 23, 2017

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

vipAnn1212 (Orange County)
5.0  Dined on June 17, 2017

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

HorseMomSB (Central Coast)
4.0  Dined on June 16, 2017

Second visit to this particular Restaurant at Bacara. As before, the location is breathtakingly beautiful, the service top-notch, ambience perfect. Unfortunately the food quality does not match the above. Would say "decent but not great" on dishes that are not hard to make (Eggs Benedict this time; luncheon salad the last). But loveliness of the venue makes up for it.

vipPSILoveFood (Los Angeles)
2.0  Dined on May 21, 2017

Disgusting food. Such a shame, as it used to be one of my favorites. They need to get a new chef...

vipTielb214 (Denver)
5.0  Dined on May 1, 2017

The Bistro had excellent food and they were willing to 'do thing from the lunch menu' for dinner. I had a hamburger from the lunch menu in a lettuce wrap form vs. with a bun. The server checked with the chef and granted my request. The food was delicious and the view over the Pacific was wonderful.

anonymous (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on April 29, 2017

just an awesome setting for a casual, but nice meal. great service and good food, too.

DCCE (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on April 20, 2017

We stopped by in the middle of the afternoon for my wife's birthday. The whole Bacara resort staff from the auto valet to our server, are impeccably trained, helpful and courteous. The food was great, the wine was chilled and the view spectacular.