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Diners' Choice: Good for special occasions restaurants in Santa Barbara

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OpenTable
Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for the best special occasion restaurants in Santa Barbara? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch restaurant
4.9
4.9 (2403)
$50 and over
Contemporary American
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
The Stonehouse, located in a beautiful 19th-century citrus packing house, offers an unparalleled dining experience. Guests can unwind in a relaxing lounge with full bar service or enjoy the ambiance of the separate dining room, complete with a crackling fireplace and world-class views. Chef Matthew Johnson creates evocative regional cuisine, utilizing fresh herbs and vegetables from the Ranch’s organic chef’s garden. The Stonehouse boasts the only Grand Award-winning wine program in Central California, ensuring an unparalleled selection of wines to complement your meal. For a unique twist, visit the restaurant's speakeasy for before or after dinner drinks, where you can enjoy expertly crafted cocktails in an intimate, nostalgic setting.
Top review
MChristopher
Dined 3 days ago
Excellent overall experience. Highly recommended.
A photo of Bouchon - Santa Barbara restaurant
4.8
4.8 (5273)
$31 to $50
Californian
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
We are delighted to have added additional outdoor seating but Santa Barbara nights are chilly so bring a sweater or light jacket!

Fresh, local ingredients, prepared with care. Excellent wines that reflect the quality and character of our region and work in concert with the cuisine. Warm, inviting ambiance, service at a relaxed, leisurely pace. Santa Barbara ‘Wine Country Cuisine’ means we source our ingredients using an ‘as-fresh-and-as-local-as-possible’ approach, with fish from the Santa Barbara Channel and produce from the surrounding countryside. We then take into account how these flavors can be presented in concert with our local wines. We believe you’ll taste the difference. Bon Appètit!

Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 5 days ago
Wonderful The restaurant and the food are very nice
A photo of Lucky's restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2793)
$50 and over
Steakhouse
Montecito
About the restaurant
LUCKY'S is widely known for its exclusive selection of USDA Prime steaks, fresh seafood, farmer's market vegetables, no-nonsense cocktails and world class wine cellar.
For take-out, please call the restaurant.
We do not accept bar table reservations online, please call the restaurant.
For larger parties, please call or email the restaurant directly.

Top review
Calbamafanvip
Dined 1 day ago
Consistent fine dining. Always enjoy their steaks.
A photo of Gala restaurant
4.8
4.8 (231)
$31 to $50
European
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
Gala exudes a European meets Santa Barbara charm, where you feel like you’re transported to a beautiful bistro somewhere in the Mediterranean. Enjoy shared tapas, seasonal favorites, oysters and a great steak with bone marrow butter & chimichurri. Or cozy up with a pulled pork sandwich or our duck confit. Experience craft cocktails with fresh juices & house infused liquors as well as local Spanish wine & beer. Right down the street from the Santa Barbara Courthouse enjoy an evening at Gala.








1 Block From State Street, Easy Parking, Public Lot Nearby, Free 75 Minute Parking, Walking Distance, El Pueblo Viejo Landmark District, Superior Court, Spanish Colonial Revival Courthouse, Santa Barbara Museum Of Art, Courthouse Gardens, Bell Tower, Farm to table, Farmer's market driven, Tapas, Seafood, Steak, Oysters, Happy Hour, Food, Cocktails, Wine, Restaurant, Vegetarian, Friendly, Dog Friendly, Outdoor Patio, Heaters, Warm, Inviting, Hospitable, Modern Design

Top review
jessicaf
Dined 4 days ago
owner is personal and nice staff is friendly and accommodating. creative and delicious drinks and appetizers are my favorite!
A photo of Stella Mare's restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2181)
$31 to $50
French
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
French country bistro...Between Montecito and Santa Barbara, Stella Mare's Bistro is located in a historic Victorian home overlooking the Bird Refuge. French country cuisine rules the menu, with dishes like coq au vin, cassoulet, and moules frites. Sip seasonal cocktails amid cozy décor -- all the right ingredients for a great dining experience. Bon appétit!

When requesting the greenhouse please note that is considered indoor dining.

Top review
SBGiGivip
Dined 3 days ago
The food was, as always, lovely. I felt the frogs legs dish was not up to the usual standard, however. And my steak on the steak was definitely overdone. I asked for rare and it was more medium. Service was a little slow because many people came in at the same time so we had a little difficulty getting our bill in time to get to our concert at the Music Academy. Otherwise, a lovely time was had by all!
A photo of Olio e Limone Ristorante restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2470)
$50 and over
Italian
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
Olio e Limone Ristorante, located in downtown Santa Barbara's ARTS District, serves artisanal Italian cuisine. Meaning “oil and lemon” in Italian, their restaurant’s name reflects husband-wife team Alberto and Elaine Morello’s philosophy: rely on the integrity of the ingredients and quality of the preparation to provide Santa Barbara diners “simply sophisticated” Italian cuisine served in an inviting atmosphere with European hospitality. Start with eggplant souffle, then tuck into a plate of house made duck ravioli or Sicilian spaghetti with bottarga. And be sure to take home a bottle of their own olio, an organic extra-virgin olive oil made from Sicilian olive varieties.
Bonus: their contemporary Italian breakfast, lunch & retail spot Olio Bottega, and authentic pizzeria next door at Olio Pizzeria. Private dining in the Cucina Room for up to 40 guests.

Top review
ScottD
Dined 4 days ago
I took my daughter there for her birthday. She loved everything and it felt very special to her. The food was delicious. The atmosphere was great. The service was wonderful.
A photo of Opal Restaurant & Bar restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1666)
$31 to $50
Californian
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
We have inside and limited outdoor sidewalk dining. If you prefer to sit outside, please indicate that with your reservation request.
To accommodate our second seating, early parties should plan for a maximum stay of 1.5 to 2hrs, depending on party size. Please call 805 966 9676 for more details.
A popular local’s favorite, opal restaurant & bar’s Eclectic California Cuisine fuses creative world cuisine influences with American Regional touches, from a 14 oz. Herb-Grilled Ribeye Steak on Tuscan White Beans, to Fresh Pan-Seared Fish & Seafood, Homemade Pastas, Gourmet Pizzas, fresh Baked Breads, imaginative Salads, & Homemade Desserts.
We have a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list, & a full bar with seasonal Craft Cocktails.
Our entire dining room staff assists to take care of each table, enabling exceptional service in a warm engaging manner, properly nuanced to your mood & taste. Our staff genuinely cares about giving you the best possible experience!

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Lovely evening at Opal, everything was amazing! Cocktails, shrimp appetizer, salmon dinner, wine, and mango ice cream birthday plate were all perfect. We will be back soon!
A photo of The Black Sheep SB Brasserie restaurant
4.6
4.6 (607)
$31 to $50
Contemporary French / American
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
A locally owned and operated, modern-classic California-French Pub. We serve elevated, eclectic, locally sourced Cuisine paired with incredible wines and craft beer. We are NOW OPEN for SUNDAY BRUNCH 10am-1:30pm. Located in Old Town Santa Barbara on 18 East Cota Street, the building boasts a rich history of French restaurants and saloons dating back over a century.

We are open for Dinner Wed-Sun from 5PM. We are known for our incredible family style tasting menu’s where multiple dishes are presented to your table for each course.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Thank you, Travis for helping me make my first date extra special by delivering the flowers. Perfect timing;-) and thank you Hannah for giving us wonderful service and making it a super special evening. And also thank you to the bartender who made us delicious cocktails! Wonderful experience can’t wait to go back. 10 outta 10, no notes.
A photo of Timber's Restaurant restaurant
4.6
4.6 (116)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Goleta
About the restaurant
Timber's Restaurant is an American food outlet which serves fast-food as well as seafood options. The restaurant has a sunny ambience and classic interiors which are very relaxing. The waiting staff at the restaurant is very friendly and cooperative. Timber's Restaurant offers live music for entertainment as well as television and free Wi-Fi. It is a good place to dine at with family and friends (child friendly atmosphere). Timber's Restaurant has a full alcohol bar and serves delicious food. Some of the popular cuisine options include steaks, grilled varieties, burgers, sandwiches, fried chicken, pizza, nachos and tacos. The restaurant also serves mouthwatering dessert options and non-alcoholic beverages.
Top review
PeiH
Dined on Jun 15, 2024
We appreciate you to accommodate our 12 people party post graduation ! Great food and excellent service !
A photo of San Setto restaurant
4.6
4.6 (97)
$31 to $50
Sushi
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
An intimate space featuring a contemporary Japanese menu highlighting fresh sushi, saké, craft cocktails, and occidental spirits.

Locals can enjoy a 10% discount.

For parties with 6 guests or more a 26% service charge fee will be added to your final bill. For all guests there will be an 8.75% California State tax added to the final bill.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 7, 2024
Fresh fish, great service! Very accommodating for GF diners!
Explore Diners' Choice best of Santa Barbara
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