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The Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, Goleta, CA

The Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

4.2
4.2
398 Reviews
$50 and over
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. Local produce and sustainable seafood highlight an acclaimed menu of traditional bistro favorites, including brick oven flatbreads, seasonal salads and the signature Santa Barbara 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.

Please note that dining on holidays are only available for in-house guests, and room confirmation number is required to officially confirm your dining reservation.

Make a reservation

2 people

June 2022
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8:30 PM


Booked 16 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    American, Mediterranean, Californian

  • Hours of operation

    Breakfast Daily 7:00 am–11:00 am Lunch Daily 11:00 am–3:00 pm Dinner Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (805) 571-4217

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Justin Purpura

  • 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.

  • Private party contact

    Maria Mondragon: (805) 403-8309

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Barbara

  • Cross street

    Hollister

  • Parking details

    Self Parking and Valet

  • Additional

    Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Wine

What 398 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.2
4.2 based on recent ratings
  • 4.2Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 3.7Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • California Central Coast

    Great for Brunch

  • California Central Coast

    American

  • Santa Barbara

    Great for Brunch

  • Santa Barbara

    Outdoor Dining

  • Santa Barbara

    Scenic View

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Filters

  1. P

    Patsy

    Seattle

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience5

    The outdoor ambiance and ocean views are wonderful, but our pasta dishes were very disappointing.

  2. f

    foodie

    Los Angeles

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on June 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The food was great, the service was wonderful, and we loved the view!

  3. JW

    JonW

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    2.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall2food2service4ambience3

    Essentially this is exactly the same type of food you get for room service at a Hilton at room service prices. Mostly over inflated dishes at over inflated prices. Food for rubes.

  4. RD

    RobertD

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience4

    Short staffed, served the wrong order to us twice including incorrectly serving a regular pizza to a gluten intolerant person when a gluten free pizza had been ordered.

  5. JK

    JohnK

    Hawaii

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall2food3service4ambience4

    This is regarding valet parking. Misplaced our car and we waited 30 minutes to find our car and help us. Wasn’t very apologetic.

  6. A

    Amieata

    Central Coast

    12 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on May 27, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience5

    Waiter seemed totally unprepared and out of its element. We asked for butter to go with our warm bread. He came back 15 min later and said he looked everywhere but couldn’t find any butter (Ritz Carlton has no butter in their restaurant?). Gluten-free sausage pizza wasn’t cooked enough. Lasagna was delicious but enormous portion that was very oily (but good!). Meatballs appetizer was our favorite part of the meal. Lots of heaters on the patio, I think I counted 20. Very comfortable sitting on the patio when it was chilly outside.

  7. PP

    PriscillaP

    Denver

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience5

    We enjoyed two breakfasts at the bistro. Neither of us had ever had a breakfast this expensive anywhere in the best hotels in Europe. The service was generally good but it took a long time to get hot chocolate and it was not hot enough. The food was generally good But certainly not spectacular.

  8. C

    Colin

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 19, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience5

    I've been here for breakfast twice. The food most likely isn't going to knock your socks off unless they have the buffet out. Maybe I'm just really partial to buffets, but I generally find myself enjoying the freedom to mix and match different fruits, pastries, carbs, and proteins more than getting a specific dish. When I went to the buffet here several years ago it was definitely a positive experience. When the buffet isn't out you'll have several moderately-priced menu items to choose from, which are generally of marginal quality. You may enjoy them, or they just be a bit mediocre. For this reason I gave the food 3/5. The atmosphere is pretty great and the service is usually good. Not sure what else to mention. Overall I would consider it a worthwhile experience for dates, holiday gatherings, or special occasions, but generally not for casual eating.

  9. CH

    CynthiaH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Terrific food and excellent service. The staff is well trained and very accommodating.

  10. r

    redredwine

    Sacramento

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on May 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Dillon was an outstanding host. Thank you for the great experience. All the staff were great.

  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    27 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Thank you!!! Was an absolute beautiful lunch.

  12. K

    Kelly

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Yummy casual food with a beautiful view. The fish tacos and the smash burger were perfect. We will be back!

  13. A

    Anonymous

    New York Area

    25 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience4

    The location is perfect. The menu is unfortunately limited. The pizzas were so so, and same for the pasta. Food was overall disappointing…and expensive.

  14. KD

    KathyD

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The chef was generous with the requested ingredients and cooked the omelette perfectly. The service was friendly, the coffee hot and the cup was kept full. Loved the attention. The view was gorgeous - could stare at the sea and Santa Cruz island all day if we could. The breakfast buffet had a 20% discount for Bonvoy members so the value was good.

  15. KD

    KathyD

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on April 20, 2022

    overall4food4service2ambience4

    The server greeted us enthusiastically and then everything after that fell flat. We ordered wine for both of us and the server had the sommelier pour his and forgot mine. We had to search for a manager to get the wine for my wife. The dinner came and no one came to even ask if we wanted another drink or the bill. We had to find another manager for that. Friendly people who do not understand service or follow up.

  16. m

    mavisjune

    San Diego

    18 reviews

    3.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience4

    We were initially seated by the bathroom and kitchen doors. It was my daughters birthday along with Easter, so we requested a new table. We were told there wasn’t anything available outside, though there were many empty tables. The booster seat for our grandson had a broken “seat belt” so we had to ask for another one. Easter brunch food was ok, not great. I’ve seen the buffets in the past and this wasn’t as good. There was a mystery 26% service charge that I was not expecting. No real explanation, other than it was because it was Easter. Our server was new and very sweet. It took a very long time to get our check and it wasn’t that busy then. A beautiful setting and property, but we won’t be going back ant time soon.

  17. VV

    VeeVee

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience5

    We went to the Bistro for Easter Brunch. The absolute best thing about the experience was the staff. We were met with friendly greetings and smiles by everyone. These folks work really hard to make their customers feel welcome and valued. Now the not so good: The food was mediocre at best. It wasn't bad, but could have been a buffet at any chain restaurant...and with more limited offerings. Nothing special or interesting. And the bad: We were prepared for the over $80 per person price, but the food is simply not worth it. And worse...they tacked on a 26% service fee for a party of 2. Bottom line: Go to the Pub for a drink on the terrace and enjoy the view and talking to the awesome staff. Avoid the food. You can get a better meal anywhere.

  18. MM

    MontecitoMaMa

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    What a great way to spend Easter - Alyssa our server went above and beyond!

  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall1food2service3ambience4

    We had an 11:00am Easter Brunch Outside reservation. They called us and moved us to 10:45am When we arrived our table was Inside not outside per the reservation. The brunch buffet did not open till 11:30! We had to sit & wait at our table for 45 minutes. 4 children hungry & impatient. Had we been outside as requested the children could have played on the lawn. To top it off the buffet was mediocre definitely not worth the price. The head chef sat at a table with his family and ate (still in his chef’s shirt). Shocking !!! Paid the Ritz-Carlton price & sat next to the help. This experience is far from what one would expect from Ritz-Carlton

  20. DD

    DonnaD

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall2food4service2ambience5

    A few issues with my experience. First the good: beautiful surroundings next the bad: 1. I requested a heater as we were outside and it was chilly. I had to ask 3 times, they finally brought it over and didn't know how to turn it on. I had to ask a number of times to get it turned on. But the time is was on, we were just waiting for the check. 2. they brought the wrong food for one of us, and by the time they brought the correct food the other two of us were nearly done eating 3. I asked someone who worked there where the restroom was, he said "I just started working here and don't' know, ask someone else".

  21. DA

    DANR

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 14, 2022

    overall4food2service3ambience5

    Vegetarian menu. Always a throw away meal. Never any prep Hard rigatoni in a tomato soup marinara. A few shards of precious parmesan and Walla! A 30.00 dinner! I had some leftover and had about 4 items. Could have used a bag.

  22. GG

    GailG

    Yosemite

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 11, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience5

    We expected to have the food arrive hot, not barely warm, and for the dishes to be gourmet at those prices. The pizza was the worst we’ve ever had, tough and lacking taste, and the bass was mediocre. An expensive meal that left us hungry. The highlight was our waitress from Ukraine who was a delight.

  23. J

    Janm

    Los Angeles

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on April 10, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4

    it took too long for the food to arrive and it was very cold in the room

  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Dallas

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 1, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience4

    $98 plus $20 for tip for 2 Caesar salads and a pizza. Server and restaurant great but very pricey.

  25. W

    Wendygr

    Los Angeles

    32 reviews

    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on March 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We returned to the Bacccara bistro restaurant for the first time since Ritz Carlton took it over. The place was beautifully redone, the service was friendly and impeccable It was a birthday luncheon for friends, and she was treated to lots of attention and good wishes from all the staff. it was a great and happy day that we were back after Covid restrictions

  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The breakfast buffet is outstanding! There are plenty of options, and the most delicious bacon you’ll ever have!

  27. RM

    RobertM

    San Francisco

    84 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    84 reviews

    Dined on March 26, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience4

    Ritz Carlton should be embarrassed by their continued decline in menu creativity and service. This beautiful location should be a shining star of the north coast of Santa Barbara. We have dined here at least 15 times in the last two years. Service has always been spotty and the food is ok and pricey. Recently the menu has lost its creativity and offers no identity with place. On our last few visits the service has been uninspired and disorganized. There is no feeling of positive team morale or any interest to create a nice dining experience. It felt like we were at a funeral. What the hell are you doing Ritz Carlton

  28. AM

    AllisonM

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 21, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience5

    Everything you could ask for in a breakfast buffet—eggs, bacon, sausage, made-to-order omelets and mini Belgian waffles, perfectly sweet fruit, yogurt, granola, chia seed pudding, avocado toast, bagels, lox, and all the fixings. And the list goes on. The Bistro Terrace overlooks the water and the views are stunning. Exactly what you'd expect from a restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara. Despite being short staffed, the restaurant staff was friendly and attentive.

  29. EB

    EleanorB

    Los Angeles

    8 reviews

    4.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on March 20, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience5

    A little dysfunction with assigning the wait staff. I had three different servers and I kept falling thru the crack. A bit unsettling; I felt unseen and on my birthday no less. Otherwise it was good.

  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on March 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Amazing atmosphere/views, food and service. The host Daniel went above and beyond…highly recommend it!

  31. AB

    AB007

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Brunch was wonderful and the view incredible! Staff was kind, efficient and fun!

  32. SH

    SHANL

    Chicago

    10 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on March 8, 2022

    overall2food1service3ambience3

    Poor food quality. Brown lettuce. Lack of flavor. Polite but inexperienced staff. Not at all on the level synonymous with the R-C. You could do better at Applebees and that’s not saying a lot.

  33. CK

    CarlK

    Los Angeles

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on March 6, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5

    The buffet was a little pricey but fairly sumptuous. Service was excellent.

  34. RL

    RLee

    San Francisco

    35 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    35 reviews

    Dined on March 5, 2022

    overall2food2service1ambience3

    Was not expecting this type of experience from the Ritz Carlton. I would have to say the more recent reviews are on point. Our experience was similar to a self.serve station at a chain restaurant. For a family that ordered salads, pizza and pasta it took 3hrs to get out of there. It was almost 90min before they served our dinner, with no silverware .... we had to actually track someone down to get the check so we could leave. The GM should really be held accountable. We are coming out of a pandemic and he may have a whole new staff under their charge but it is no excuse for bad training. The servers, were plenty, but the service was scarce. Even after asking for the wine to be opened by a "manager" after it was brought to our table and then sat through our appetizer course, he himself never came to our table to check on us once. I would have a hard time going back here or recommending it for more than a place for a cocktail on the patio during sunset (cute fireplace and sunset gets the 2 star). Set your expectations accordingly.

  35. IC

    IndayC

    Phoenix

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on March 1, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5

    Everything went well. I was there to celebrate my love ate birthday and was acknowledged when we arrived. Maybe I was expecting too much and was disappointed when I didn’t get a celebratory cake at the end of the meal. ..

  36. r

    ruthh

    Central Coast

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 27, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1

    A terrible experience babies crying, toddlers hanging off chairs, clients shouting from table to table, very mediocre food - "house made pasta" seemed to be Trader Joe's pasta with some marinara sauce - from $23. Could be a relaxing dining patio experience, but instead was extremely anxiety-producing.

  37. MH

    MarilynH

    Las Vegas

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 26, 2022

    overall2food5service3ambience1

    FOOD WAS VERY GOOD. WAS NOT OUR SERVER'S FAULT. HOSTESS PUT US RIGHT IN MIDDLE OF OUT OF CONTROL CHILDREN. ALSO THE HEATER WAS PUT ON AT HIGHEST LEVEL TO ACCOMMODATE ONLY ONE TABLE WITHOUT CONSIDERATION TO NEIGHBORING TABLES. HAD TO BOX TO GO.

  38. MH

    MarilynH

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Our server Dulce was so sweet, very capable, and very attentive. Alejandro and Vincent who assisted Dulce completed the team waiting on us and could not have been kinder and made sure we were never in need of anything. Breakfast was a true joy at The Bistro. Ordered off menu.

  39. J

    Jean

    Central Coast

    14 reviews

    3.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2022

    overall3food2service3ambience3

    Food was plentiful but really mediocre. One of the worst Caesar salads I’ve had in awhile because the dressing was tasteless. Service was fine. Ambiance was nice. Will go to El Encanto next time.

  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 9, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5

    Great night, awsome service and delicious food.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

The Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara is rated 4.2 stars by 398 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

June 2022
Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
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11
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8:30 PM


Booked 16 times today
Google Map for The Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

8301 Hollister Ave. Goleta, CA 93117

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Hollister

  • Neighborhood

    Santa Barbara

  • Hours of operation

    Breakfast Daily 7:00 am–11:00 am Lunch Daily 11:00 am–3:00 pm Dinner Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    American, Mediterranean, Californian

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Self Parking and Valet

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Justin Purpura

  • Additional

    Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Wine

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