Whether you’re looking for a casual dining experience on-the-go as you’re experiencing the Valley on foot, or you want a fine dining setting for a romantic dinner for two, there are many must-try restaurants in the Valley to consider. Many world famous chefs make their way to the Santa Ynez Valley to open one-of-a-kind restaurants with unforgettable menus. Make the most of your trip and experience some of the flavors that the Valley has to offer.
Since you’re in California wine country, you will appreciate how the menus can suit any wine enthusiast’s palate and pair beautifully with many of the local vintners’ selections as well. Regardless of what you’re looking for in a meal, you can find restaurants, cafes, vineyards, bars and dining options in the Santa Ynez Valley. Below, our list of Santa Ynez Valley restaurants is broken out by town.
Ballard Inn & Restaurant
After graduating from the California Culinary Academy, Chef Kazali began his career in San Francisco in such renowned restaurants as the Campton Place and La Folie. He then relocated to Boston for a sous chef position at the acclaimed Ambrosia on Huntington. Chef Kazali later helped to open and serve as chef de cuisine at the James Beard award winning Blue Ginger, where he worked closely with Chef Ming Tsai. Following recent stints at Gary Danko, MC², and Ozumo in San Francisco, Chef Kazali has returned to his native Santa Barbara County. He looks forward to sharing his unique and globally inspired approach to cooking with the Santa Ynez wine country at The Ballard Inn.
Japanese Restaurant Buellton
The lacquered, bento box-like interior of A-RU is a quick departure from the strip mall exterior – an unexpected and pleasant change. The stylish owners bring big city, yet traditional, Japanese cuisine to the Santa Ynez Valley. Sushi highlights include kanpachi and ama ebi, as well as a tidy tekka maki with avocado. Tamer choices include a California roll made with fresh snow crab. A large selection of cooked items and combo plates are also available. Desserts like mango mochi ice cream or cassis sorbet are refreshing temptations. The modest wine list dedicates itself to the reds and whites of the surrounding Santa Barbara wine country, and there are several Japanese beers and premium sakés on hand.
AVANT Tapas and Wine at Terravant Wine
35 Industrial Way, Buellton, CA 93427
Discover amazing tapas and boutique wines by over 30 vintners. Tour California’s newest state of the art winery. Open Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for lunch, grazing, dinner, wine bar, Figueroa Mountain Ranch Brewing beer tasting and wine tasting and wine shop.
181 Industrial Way, Buellton, CA 93427
Quality, local food served here. Their restaurant and butcher shop feature unique food items sourced from the Central Coast in a lively, industrial environment.
Los Alamos Restaurants
Bell Street Farms
406 Bell Street, Los Alamos, CA 93440
With the freshest cuisine and sophisticated yet comfortable design, Bell Street Farm offers a distinct environment to enjoy a meal, snack or a wine tasting for residents and visitors alike. Hang out in the market and dining room or eat and drink outside on the big patio. The market showcases Assemble-your-own picnic baskets and accessories for creating a portable meal, as well as gifts and merchandise from local artisans and some of the best of California.
Bob’s Well Bread
550 Bell St, Los Alamos, CA 93440
Bob’s Well Bread Bakery products are hand-made with only the finest ingredients and natural starters. No added preservatives will be found in any of the items they bake, and they strive to source their ingredients locally from farmers and growers who practice pure growing initiatives. They serve up their bread with eggs and other delicious items for both breakfast and lunch.
Full of Life Flatbread
225 Bell St, Los Alamos, CA 93440
Amazing oven baked flatbread pizzas and an ever changing, always locally-sourced weekend menu which is sure to delight. “When you eat there you share plates and the place looks so rustic and people are really happy. There’s a lot of wine being poured, and everybody is cheerful. It’s a place of joy.” Check out the LA Times article.
Los Olivos Restaurants
2350 Railroad Avenue Los Olivos, CA 93441
Tel: 805-688-3550 – Fax: 805-688-8965
The ‘new’ Mattei’s Tavern is a discovery, interpretation and definition of Santa Barbara County’s cuisine and spirit. The menu sources the finest local ingredients. The Tavern’s wine list highlights local selections, with a focus on more mature vintages. Cocktails from their talented Spiritsmith and thoughtfully selected spirits complete the list.
Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café
2879 Grand Avenue, P.O. Box 205 Los Olivos, CA 93441
Tel: 805-688-7265 – Fax: 805-688-5953
A must stop for every wine and food lover. Featured location in the award-winning movie Sideways. Well known for California-Mediterranean cuisine. Wine store with a wine tasting bar, gourmet retail area and banquet room, all under one roof! Come and enjoy lunch or dinner served daily and take home your favorite wine at an unbeatable price! Over 300 wines to choose from!
Petros Los Olivos
2860 Grand Avenue (inside the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn), Los Olivos, CA
Featuring upscale California-Hellenic cuisine, Petros uses only the best and freshest ingredients, many of which are from his own region in Greee. The menu balances classic Greek cuisine with dynamic Mediterrnean ingredients and haute stylings that hit the mark every time.
Sides Hardware and Shoes – A Brothers Restaurant
2375 Alamo Pintado Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 93441
American craftsmanship cuisine, open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.
Santa Ynez Restaurants
Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn
3539 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Dos Carlitos Restaurant and Tequila Bar
3544 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Dos Carlitos offers inspired Mexican and Latin cuisine handcrafted from the freshest ingredients. Combining the bold flavors and lively ambiance from sibling restaurants Carlitos Cafe y Cantina and Cava Restaurant & Bar in Santa Barbara. Dos Carlitos is a place to enjoy dining on a relaxes outdoor patio or casual indoor setting.
1110 Faraday, Santa Ynez CA 93460
Located on a Santa Ynez side street in a restored California farmhouse, S.Y. Kitchen serves up inspired Italian food with a rustic, west coast twist. Cocktails are handcrafted using fresh ingredients and the wine list showcases a carefully curated selection of both local and Italian wines. Guests may sit in the dining room, porch, bar, or outdoor courtyard for an intimate evening.
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Casual Italian bistro with fine Italian food. Trattoria Grappolo specializes in country regional food: Veal Scaloppini, Risotto, homemade Tortellini, and also Cioppino and Pizza in a fun “gathering place” atmosphere – with friendly and excellent service. Extensive wine selection, large VIP room to accommodate up to 40 people for private parties.
Vineyard House Restaurant
3631 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez CA 93460
Located in a charming Victorian with outdoor veranda serving California wine country cuisine for lunch and dinner Wednesday-Monday. Daily specials and nice local wine list. Family owned and operated.
Bacon & Brine
453 Atterdag Dr, Solvang, CA 93463
The ladies who own Bacon & Brine are 300% committed to ACTUALLY using all local, organic vegetables and all organic, grass fed, pasture raised animals. Nothing from more than 100 miles away, except their salt & spices, and even those are fair trade. Great place to picnic out front on the lawn, or grab sandwiches to-go for a day out on the vineyards.
Mirabelle Inn & Restaurant
409 First Street, Solvang, CA 93463
Open for dinner Thursday through Sunday from 5 p.m. on, featuring exquisite wine country cuisine. The elegant ambiance is the perfect setting for couples, small groups, as well as an intimate private event, birthday or wedding dinners, business meetings, wine tastings. The wine list offers Santa Barbara County’s finest offerings as well as a rare selection of older Napa, Sonoma and French vintages. Call for reservations.
Paula’s Pancake House
1531 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463
Solvang’s original pancake house featuring thin Danish style pancakes served with fresh fruit as well as a full breakfast and lunch menu.
420 Alisal Road, Solvang, CA 93464
To experience the Santa Ynez Valley’s award winning wines and freshest farm to table cuisine, look no further than Root 246. Hip and innovative, Root 246 is the newest addition to the Valley. Root 246 uses the freshest local ingredients to create new and savory dishes daily. Serving dinner nightly; lunch on Saturday & Sunday.
Solvang Brewing Company
1547 Mission Dr., Solvang, CA 93463
Where Danish tradition, craft beer and delicious pub meals come together.
Succulent Cafe & Trading Company
1555 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463
A family-owned business specializing in house cured meats, specialty food items and hand-crafted artisan goods. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition, local and hand-picked import wines are available for dine-in or takeaway. Party platters and catering available.
More Great Restaurant Choices in the Valley
Panino – Los Olivos/Solvang/Santa Ynez
Tel: 805-688-0608 (Lunch)
Paula’s Burger Barn – Santa Ynez
Tel: 805-688-2366 (Breakfast/Lunch)
The Baker’s Table – Santa Ynez
Phô 805 (Vietnamese) – Solvang
The River Grill – Solvang