Stella Mare's

4.5
1310 Reviews
$31 to $50
French
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!

Support Stella Mare's during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
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
What 1310 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
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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PP
PhilipP
New York Area
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food. Attentive service. We sat inside because it was a cool evening but the outside terrace seating looked romantic too. Parking was no problem.

HL
HoomanL
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Good, quality food with ample portions. Great French country feel & decor. Service and value were just was OK.

M
vipMarsha
Central Coast
178 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

LOVE this place. Warm and wonderful ambiance, excellent service, and a menu full of great choices with several French dishes that are nearly impossible to find anywhere else! All this for extremely reasonable prices, and we’ve never had a menu choice that wasn’t delicious!

SY
SallyY
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My coq au vin was the best I ever had. The setting was peaceful and charming. Service was excellent. Tables were spaced apart so felt COVID safe. We didn’t eat outside because the smell of the birds from the lagoon was too unpleasant but indoors was fine. Portions were large and we thought the prices were reasonable.

k
vipkathleen
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terry was a fabulous waiter. He was very attentive and made fantastic recommendations. He made my mom’s 87th birthday lunch celebration extra special. And the food was superb!

AA
vipAAngelo
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service. My friends and I had a wonderful dining experience.

LT
LTR94556
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent appetizer, entre and dessert. Very accomplished wine list. Service was excellent and outdoor seating was very pleasant. Very memorable evening. Would recommend highly!

NG
NealG
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

When spending close to two 'Benjamins' for dinner, I expect everything to be pretty amazing, and it wasn't. Both the food and the service was so so. Our waitress was nice enough, but it seemed like she was just about the only server on our side of the building. She'd bring something, and then we wouldn't see her for awhile. My wife ordered the sole, and I ordered filet mignon. We shared the endive and pomme salad. I guess endive IS supposed to be yellow, but it just didn't look very appealing. I wouldn't eat here again I'm afraid.

DR
DavidR
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and ambiance , I would recommend, food was very flavorful.

JG
JamesG
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Stella Mares is still one of the best French places in SB. Food, service, ambience are spot on!

RC
RichardC
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We were in Santa Barbara for a wedding and made a reservation at Stella Mare for Friday night. We arrived early, were seated right away and the wait staff was excellent. After an artichoke appetizer and Martinis, our main course took a little longer to arrive than expected. Overall, the food was very good and the wait staff excellent. The main course just took longer to arrive than it should have. In defense of the Chef, the place was very busy and a large group was seated in the main dining room. I would certainly recommend Stella Mare to everyone.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Central Coast
73 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They have really refreshed their look. They've upped their game with food and drink. Our waitress was fantastic.

L
Luv2sail
Vancouver
22 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our extended anniversary weekend.

FC
FabiC
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything about this place is great. Food, service and feel are all great!

CM
CamilleM
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Wonderful French food, the wait staff was wonderful

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All great
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DS
DavidS
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

From the time we arrived to the moment we left this was a great experience. Our table was away from any noise so we could talk without feeling like we had to shout, the server was excellent and helped us make our choices for our entree. Food was served in a timely manner and the flavors were excellent. I had short ribs which were so tender I didn't need the knife they brought and the reduction sauce was very favorable. My wife's duck was very tasty and both of us enjoyed our meal very much. I highly recommend Stella Mare to anyone looking for a great meal and nice ambience.

F
Fellshort
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2021
Overall2food1service5ambience5

We used to eat here regularly for special occasions and never had something bad. Unfortunately, everything was horrible this time and it will be the last time we go.

BG
vipBillyGGruff
Houston
33 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience2

We visited the restaurant for lunch on a Tuesday. The menu is composed of many classic French country dishes. Stick-to-your-bones down home country French cookin’.

For our meal, we tried two soups: onion & cream of spinach, followed by the special app of the day, grilled artichoke. We ordered Coq au Vin for our entree. Dessert: creme brûlée.

The onion soup was the shining star of the entire meal. If I had it to do over again, I’d order that with the ham-and-cheese sandwich. The cream of spinach was excellent, too.

The grilled artichoke was beautiful, with plenty of fresh-chopped fines herbs nestled throughout it’s charred leaves. The lemon aioli accompanying it was delicious & perfectly balanced. I do wish the artichoke had been better seasoned. Nonetheless, it was good.

When it came to the Coq au Vin (chicken my hat’s off to him.

The creme brûlée is a must try. The custard is silky, rich, & perfectly balanced in the sweet & vanilla. And the berries garnishing it were massive. Blueberries the size of grapes, beautiful raspberries & blackberries, all sweet, tart, & juicy.

Chef Ironside is a craftsman in the kitchen & obviously cares about the food. The waitstaff is enthusiastic without being overbearing.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the atmosphere: full-on French country style. White linen tablecloths from what I’ve read it has to do with the bird sanctuary across the street, & some stagnant water that needs to be drained. Nonetheless, you cannot eat outside without the smell of fresh turds assaulting your nostrils.
I’d like to give the restaurant another try next time I’m in town.

LS
LamegoSteve
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Food was not consistently good. Great risotto, but the duck and short ribs just just OK. It's been better in the past. I would still recommend because I know they can do better.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall2food3service3ambience2

If you are booking an outside table, be aware they are located next to a lake that smells lime sewage. It was so bad that we had to move things around.

L
Lamoor13
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Always great. I don’t eat French food very often. Coq Van very French and very good. Duck burger was a bit different. Not to my taste but I’m sure many will love it. Lemon cake dessert was to die for.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All great don’t ask for more or I won’t submit my review

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Central Coast
73 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food has definitely improved...excellent dinner. The Cadillac Margarita was the best ever! We had to wait quite a while for the drinks but then our waitress explained that he was the only one at the bar and there were so many patrons there! Thus I was expecting an average drink...not so! Mattie was our server and she was busy. ..but so attentive! They have limited hours and have refreshed things. All good moves!

e
edwardwilde
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience3

The atmosphere is unique and rather beautiful and the staff are California-friendly. Unfortunately, the food is the worst I have had in twenty years and I eat out a lot. I began with the escargot which did not have garlic in it and was smothered in tasteless parsley and tons of olive oil. I then had the sole meuniere which was inedible. The fish was overcooked on the top and undercooked at the bottom and had divided horizontally into two fish that were now welded together by some form of goo. It did not take long to figure out that the meal had been microwaved which accounts for the utter lack of taste and the uneven nature of the 'cooking'. I felt very sorry for a young couple who had clearly saved their pennies for what was meant to be a celebration--I gathered--but their forlorn looks after ten minutes said it all. AVOID THIS PLACE.

c
vipcarolet
Miami
12 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptional food, served beautifully. Could not ask for anything more

GC
GlenC
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

nice service, room was loud, train passed very nearby

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
541 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our first time here for a lovely dinner. The food was excellent, if a little rich for me. I loved the lobster bisque which was the soup du jour. My entree of chicken cordon bleu was very tasty, and my wife liked her moules-frites very much. Excellent dessert of a fresh berry tart. Overall, excellent service and food!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great time!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed our dinner at Stella Mare’s. The food, service, and ambiance were exceptional. Will definitely return next time we vacation in Santa Barbara.

CJ
CJFoodie
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We needed an outdoor place for 15 people for lunch at the last minute. They were extremely gracious, and when we arrived half an hour later our table was set and ready. Great service, wonderful food—probably my favorite place in Santa Barbara.

BM
BruceM
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great French Bistro food. Fun house and sun room. We will go back often.

G
vipGreg
Los Angeles
64 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, lots of gluten free options, always a favorite.

AA
AaaaaaaasassAaaaaaaaaaaa
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food and good atmosphere
I will recommend to my friend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really enjoyed our lunch. Fun cocktails. Great French onion soup. Yum Creme brûlée. Had a wonderful salad.

MD
vipMarinD
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Fairly basic French bistro food.. good, not great.

i
impytoes
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We love going to Stella Mares and went for a late lunch at 1:30. Only complaint
was that I specifically asked the waitress to bring us a starter and then when we were through with that to bring the salad we were splitting and then when done our entrees. We wanted a long lunch and the greenhouse room wasn't full at all. But both the starter and the salad came at the same time and before I was even halfway done with the salad the entrees arrived. But we loved the food and I guess I must be even more explicit as to how the food should arrive. Had a lovely French Savignon
Blanc and came away full and happy but sooner than we wanted.

RT
RomeT
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful experience, relaxing and great food! The service was exceptional!

N
vipNoname
Central Coast
14 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is always great here and so is the service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience5

Great ambiance, good but under seasoned food and poor service. Waiter never came to check on us and I had to constantly seek out help for things we wanted or needed.

FAQs

Stella Mare's offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (805) 969-6705.

Stella Mare's is rated 4.5 stars by 1310 OpenTable diners.

Stella Mare's does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://stellamares.com/.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.