Convivo

4.5
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738 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Convivo is a Santa Barbara restaurant with an Italian soul. Chef-Owner Peter McNee's food is best described as ‘Nomad Italian’. It strays from the standard or traditional Italian, sourcing inspiration from many other cultures’ cooking but its soul is thoroughly Italian. The ever-changing menu includes small plates, housemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, rotisserie chicken, fresh seafood and steaks served family-style. McNee’s all-star supplier network provides the freshest produce and local seafood the region is famous for.

Inspired by the bounty of the sea, the lush farms and abundant vineyards nearby and the cooking methods of Italy, Convivo is a festive gathering place for locals and visitors alike inside the newly-restored Santa Barbara Inn.
What 738 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PW
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were staying at the hotel and decided to eat there the first night. We loved every minute and every bite. The service is top notch and the food delicious. We ended up eating most of our meals there. Don't miss Convivo!

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Beautiful restaurant and loved the spritzer drink I got. I wish I got the name of my server but she made the night as great as it was.

A
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Wonderful place for a dinner or lunch to impress with good food, good views, and good service.

M
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great location by the waterfront, great service, wonderful ambience and decor. just a little pricey.

C
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Quiet Monday night dinner sitting outside. Nice evening, good food and service.

JL
New England
7 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always.

JS
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Our waiter was combative and resentful. The ribs were burned. Otherwise a nice dinner.

AK
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Visiting Santa Barbara and we found this lovely spot that also allowed our pups. The food was amazing and the service was so good they even were thoughtful of our pups.

J
Central Coast
17 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a beautiful evening to sit on the patio and enjoy the delicious food and cocktails they served! Lauren was our server and she's is really great!!!

I would definitely recommend this restaurant for a nice evening out.

JR
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent and unique dining experience. The food, service and ambiance was all fantastic. Would absolutely recommend! Try the grilled avocado!

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific food; thoughtful wine list; attractive setting; attentive service.

C
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Well worth a visit! Food was so good and so was the service! We had the heirloom tomato salad, margarite pizza and shrimp with squid ink pasta, plus a delicious chocolate dessert. The bread with smoked gouda cheese was simply amazing. We will definitely be back!

M
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great. I think they say this is an Italian restaurant but it has more of a Mediterranean menu (ex. lamb meatballs on hummus). Lovely patio and the location is great!

R
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Convivo has a grand settiing with a gorgeous space and superb views both inside and out with of course the Ocean as a highlight.

Their menu, while not expansive covers most major areas. We had the pork which was done in a creative manner with the chop cut in small pieces with vegetables and small potatoes. Nicely seasoned and cooked to perfection. Excellent and memorable.

We had visited 2 years ago when last in Santa Barbara and menu was about the same.

Meal service was fine and waiter was both friendly and knowledgeable.

Will visit next time we are in the area.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was an amazing experience and well be back

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

My fiancé and I had a great time at Convivo. We definitely recommend it to others, the outdoor seating is amazing.

TP
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The whole fish special was great. The pizza was disappointing. Great server and great place to eat.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience3

The service was not good. We had a wobbly table (so wobbly it would not have been possible to set wine glasses on it) and the wait staff seemed very annoyed that this was a concern for us. To remedy the situation they brought a wooden door stopper wedge as opposed to doing what every other restaurant in the world does which is fold up a piece of paper and stick it under the portion of the table over the depressed portion of ground. The wooden stopper didn’t work so we essentially had to hold onto our glasses throughout the entire meal...

Second and more importantly the food was not good at all. My fiancée had the driest most underwhelming chicken and my seafood medley had portions that were basically inedible. I am still uncertain whether I ate a piece of octopus or a rubber meant to look like octopus as one might find in a display case...

R
Central Coast
17 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Good food, well presented. Friendly staff who take care of you and a respectable wine list. We had friends in town from Europe and Convivio was a great place to take them. The location, being near the beach, is very pleasant and the noise level low enough for conversation. Overall, a very good experience.

DK
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, wine service and ambiance!

c
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The dishes were delicious! Loved our appetizers, and entree’s the best. Desserts did not meet the level of the other dishes They good not great! It was our first time. Michael was our server and he was wonderful and gave us attention and Info regarding the food choices. It was busy but we always felt taken Care of.
We can’t wait to come again to try all of the fresh /local Farmers Market food creations. 😃👍🏼

C
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food and great service!

HB
Orange County
107 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Scheduled a delightful business lunch here during a conference. The patio was lovely. We were not rushed at all. Our drinks were refilled promptly. Everyone enjoyed their food!

J
Central Coast
32 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've been a big fan of Convivo since they opened, but unlike many restaurants that can disappoint after the glow wears off, I'm an even a bigger fan now. They have all the elements - ocean-front setting, comfortable inside and out (we particularly like sitting at the bar), friendly and attentive service, great local beer selection and always fresh, beautiful and tasty food at a good value. Our go-to is the NY steak that's on the lunch menu (but you can have for dinner), the half chicken, or the newly introduced (and our new favorite) pork chop. We usually split a mercado salad and an entree and usually have left-overs since the portions are huge. Also of note is their extensive and reasonably-priced lunch (the chicken or turkey sandwich comes with a side salad and is also plenty for two). Also appreciate the free valet parking and it's never too busy, even on the weekends.

F
Central Coast
58 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

We love Convivo!! The best happy hour spot ( and dinner spot outside dining) in Santa Barbara. Great views of ocean, attentive service e and great tasting food, a triple win!!

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great setting,across the street from the beach. Very creative menu options, even at Brunch. Service was excellent. We will definitely return.

SW
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress was so much fun. My cousins were visiting from Ireland, and they got such a kick out of her. I wish I remember her name; she was so charming. Terrific personality!

n
Miami
21 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always something different to try and great pizza if you just want casual comfort food.
Nice wine list.
A locals favorite.

LS
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food,good portions, reasonably priced, lovely ambiance and.......superb service, especially by the waiter

m
Hawaii
19 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best in Santa Barbara without a doubt !

a
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Beautiful place. Great Bistecca! Delicious small plates. Friendly service.

MC
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Amazing location, prompt service, delicious food! A bit on the pricey side, so make sure to go during Happy Hour and you'll be set!

OT
Western NC
3 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Very disappointed with the food. Tasted like reheated and cold.

BD
Los Angeles
29 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious dishes in an extraordinary location across from the beach.

j
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dining outside like having a private table on the beac

C
Los Angeles
53 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great local place for tapas and a drink

K
Los Angeles
45 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Beautiful space and accommodating staff! Thank you for a delicious meal!

M
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience4

Service was incredibly slow. Over one hour until first food. one appetizer was excellent, but the other appetizer and both entrees were disappointing.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Ok service

GG
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Overall a nice experience but the food could you more attention to detail and ingredients better sourced. There is no reason for mealy tomatoes in late August. Pasta, a dish that should convince you of Convino’s Italian heritage, did not make an impression. Warm service through out but opt for the dining room not the patio. There the focus on the food and gracious service are matched by a polished dining room.

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