Convivo

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4.4
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644 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.

Specials

Father's Day Special Menus & Reservations

Take Dad for a walk on East Beach then a delightful meal on our Oceanfront patio!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

What 644 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
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LD
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

It’s always a fun happy hour at Convivo!

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RL
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best food in SB.... nothing can touch it!

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g
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

A bit pricey, so order carefully. Service (Mike was our waiter) was very good and
very accommodating as we were on a time schedule. We will be back.

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CP
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We didn’t enjoy all the food. The halibut was good but veggies were way too al dente. The Brussels sprouts were good but came with fried chicken skins that had a hair in it. The manager comped us for dessert, which was excellent. We had chocolate with caramel and lemon tart.

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JD
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant inside the Santa Barbara Inn. No better view in the City and the food was fantastic!

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SR
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a pleasure to sit out on the beautiful terrace with my dog, enjoy the view, great food and a wonderful staff.
Thanks

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MF
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Second time at Convivo, first time for brunch. Had hoped to eat outside, but gloomy weather. Only one other party in dining room, we were seated next to kitchen area, very noisy and with dishes clattering, cooking fans , view down hallway of linen from hotel being processed. Service was average, plates attempted to be removed while still eating, certainly no rush as sparsely attended. Interesting menu. Crab cakes, with poached eggs, peas,Brussels sprouts very good. Two Pergatoria dishes, recommended by waiter came with burnt toast and eggs cooked hard on top, but runny raw on bottom, cooked in wood oven according to waiter, not successful. Brisket was enjoyed, but eggs also not cooked properly. Cocktails were good, took forever and didn't arrive until after main dishes arrived.

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IL
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional food with attentive service. The custom cocktails are phenomenal and I can’t wait to go back!!

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OT
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great spot to have lunch! Lots of flavorful food choices.

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Z
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

We wanted to like it because it was a beautiful evening and the large open windows gives the restaurant a nice ambiance, but it really fell short on several fronts.

The worst of them was the halibut which was a piece of charcoal disguised as fish. It's hard to believe the kitchen didn't know it was completely overcooked. The charred side and corners were boldly obvious, and it's not something a chef would dare want to be served in their restaurant. Too bad.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice place totally recommend

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FO
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best meal we had during our west coast journey.

I highly recommend their home made pastas.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Knowledgeable and accommodating service but not not overbearing.

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OT
Seattle
16 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Staff talked too fast in a loud environment. Hard to hear. Food was good. More of dishes with an Italian twist versus authentic Italian.

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E
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best place in town! Love going here! Great views, food

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RB
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

We do like Convivo, however we have mostly eaten there for lunch. Dinner was mostly the same menu which is ok. However, please note: the Halibut Entree which cost $27 was very poor, very dry and just not right. I always enjoy fish however this was not well prepared. I hope the staff reads this so they know to improve this item. Otherwise everything was fine.

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JL
New England
5 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been there two days in a row. How bad could it be with that as a recommendation? The dining room tends to be noisy, but in warm weather, outside dining is delightful. If it is somewhat cool, there are heat lamps and even warm throws available. It has become our neighborhood restaurant.

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OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 3ambience 4

Went for Axxess 2 for 1 and was told that Mother’s Day was considered a “holiday”. They would not grant the deal and manager was quite rude.

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MD
Central Coast
9 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious pasta dishes and tasty non-alcoholic cocktails!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding Service
Extremely nice and wonderful attitudes

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a
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great local wine selection. Wonderful selection of small plates and mains.

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RE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

True story: my friend & I planned a road trip to Santa Barbara specifically to try the vermillion at Convivo after Michael Bauer posted a photo of the dish on his IG account. We got incredibly lucky, in that the vermillion was on the menu the night we visited *and* we snagged the last one of the night! The entire meal was beautiful and beyond delicious, and the staff all were friendly and made time to engage their customers. I highly recommend Convivo SB to visitors and locals alike

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IL
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every dish we had was exceptional! The service was attentive but discreet. The cocktails are were unique and fun. We went with a group and everything came out hot and fresh. Overall very impressed!

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M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great service and food. I think they only allow a certain number of reservations because it was really hard to get a table reserved so I settled for a second choice of time but the restaurant was not full. The food and service were amazing, but it still feels like you're in a hotel. Not that it's bad, just a heads up for the ambiance

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R
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was delicious! Great salad to start, then wonderful entrees that were very reasonably priced. Try the seafood risotto - you won't be disappointed!

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M
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Warm and excellent service and delicious food in a beautiful setting.

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AP
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend and I asked our waiter for food and wine recommendations. I ordered the quail dish and she the halibut. Both were exceptionally prepared and presented. The wine pairing was a bullseye!

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PH
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Tasty food but the menu was fairly small. Charred avocado and bucatini were delicious. The risotto was loaded with seafood but a bit too liquidy.

At this price point, however, I’d expect better service. It was lackluster at best. They didn’t bring a plate for all the shells, didn’t clear side plates after the salad, and didn’t offer clean silverware for the main course. I might not take it, but it should be offered.

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M
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very relaxing dining experience and very polite service.
Will go back

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F
Central Coast
54 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Always lovely and accommodating welcoming Svc, best happy hour around, love the lamb meatballs❤️

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IL
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and the best service. Dusan is always so thoughtful and welcoming. Can’t wait to go back!

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HC
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Beautiful setting near the beach. Easter was such a special day for us. The server was attentive.

My wife loved her seafood choice.

My pasta dish was mediocre, nothing special for the price. (I'm Italian-American and know real Italian dishes.) Plus, we had to order from the limited Brunch Menu.

Nice outing. For me the location tops the food.....

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D
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Not many places in Santa Barbara to feel the channel breeze and see the beach over a cocktail and great food.

Not sure I would do brunch again but dinner for sure

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LS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

The food was not as good as usual. The service was spotty and overall quality of the experience was not amazing. Chicken was dry and was much better when we came last year.

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MM
Minneapolis
6 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

The setting for this restaurant is awesome. Outdoor seating with very effective gas heating to warm up a cool evening. Across the street from the ocean and surrounded by exotic plants. The food was OK, but not great. We ate there twice, and perhaps the pizza was the highlight, risotto was also pretty good. There's not much around this area, so if you are in a local hotel - this is likely your best bet

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j
London
2 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Arrived at the restaurant, were shown to our seats and then no one even acknowledged us for 20mins. No drink,food, any order taken.

So we left

Terrible terrible customer service will not be returning

Avoid at all costs

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Poor service. We left 10 minutes after we were seated. Nobody even acknowledged our arrival!!!

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m
Hawaii
15 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Best pizza in Santa Barbara; also Brisket with eggs were PERFECT !!!!

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SB
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent fresh food and great service with wonderful ambiance.

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A
Central Coast
40 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

WE continue to return to Convivo. Probanby our 20th visit. Lots of positives, but it seems like (tonight) the busing service was sloppy and very slow. Tough to get good help!

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