Convivo

4.5
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727 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 727 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
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

C
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was an amazing experience and well be back

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

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
16 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, wine service and ambiance!

c
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and great service!

HB
Orange County
107 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
19 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

m
Hawaii
19 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best in Santa Barbara without a doubt !

a
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

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

MC
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

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
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

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

j
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dining outside like having a private table on the beac

C
Los Angeles
53 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great local place for tapas and a drink

K
Los Angeles
45 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

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

M
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

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
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Ok service

GG
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

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.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great vibes by the ocean with tasty food. Get the Margherita pizza!

EC
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

I was disappointed with my experience. My husband and I planned a special night out, coming up from LA to have dinner before a concert at the bowl. Even though I had requested a nice table, we were sat outside at a two-top that was crammed in between another table and a heater. Having worked in fine-dining tandem to a hotel, I felt it was sub-par. It seemed that because we were there during the end of happy hour, the service was almost non-existent. A sign of a careless restaurant.

Would not recommend for anything special. Come with low expectations.

I dislike leaving negative reviews, but it really did put a damper on our night.

OT
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great in every way

b
New England
6 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went to Convivo with my girlfriend to celebrate my birthday. Our waitress was great, made several spot on suggestions and she was personable and got into teasing me along with my girlfriend about celebrating my birthday. Everything we ordered was amazing, great taste, great presentation and a very creative menu.
We will definitely go back to Convivo!!

s
Central Coast
33 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely dinner on the patio with friends. We shared several small plates and loved everything.

M
Central Coast
12 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Convivo is our favorite Santa Barbara resturant. The staff are friendly, knowledgable and attentive, the food is fantastic and they have an innovative wine list. What more could you want?

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was amazing!

R
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

No Gluten free options!!!!
Nice venue for eating inside or outside

OT
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent food and service with someone from out of town that really enjoyed it.

S
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am constantly impressed with the new foods I try every time I visit. Live this place!

DH
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Our waiter was inattentive, distracted, and unpleasant.

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