Santa Barbara Specialty
Bell Street Farm (Closed)
406 Bell St., Los Alamos
No trip to the Santa Ynez/Santa Maria wine region is complete without a pit stop at Bell Street Farm, particularly if you have little ones in tow. Part market, part restaurant, they offer everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to rotisserie chicken. There's also a deli counter for to-go orders, plus plenty of sweets, including pretty epic mini-cobblers.
Corks ‘n Crowns
32 Anacapa St., Lower State
This popular wine and beer tasting room makes short work of tasting way too many varietals from the Santa Ynez valley—and the best part, is they only source from award-wining wineries, meaning there are no doozies in the flights. Located in The Funk Zone, it's a fun place to go before a dinner reservation—or for a longer, lazier Saturday (they open at 11). They offer beer flights, too.
825 Santa Barbara St., Downtown
This compact little shop stocks varieties from all over the world, as well as the gourmet accoutrements (jams, nuts, charcuterie) that take any cheese platter from good to transcendent. For a quick breakfast of fresh-baked pastry and coffee or a hearty lunch stop by the adjoining cafe (get the grilled-cheese). What’s more, they offer pro-hosted classes ranging in topic from ideal cheese-and-honey pairings to the basics of cake decorating.
128 E. Canon Perdido St., Downtown
If Santa Barbara is Mecca for cycling enthusiasts, then Handlebar Coffee Roasters is their temple. The owners, ex-competitive cyclists Aaron Olson and Kim Andersen, took up coffee roasting (using a vintage Probat roaster, no less) after the recession put their cycling careers on hold. Fast forward a few years and their creamy capps, cold brews, and killer almond-milk lattes have made their tiny coffee shop the go-to rest stop for riding groups (the wall outside is never without a stack of bikes) and pretty much anyone looking for a quality cup of a coffee and a low-key place to enjoy it.
33 Parker Way, Lower State
Juice Ranch checks all the boxes when it comes to doing juice right. It's bottled in glass, cold-pressed, and organic, making it the go-to in Santa Barbara for great greens juices and delicious almond milk based drinks.
131 Anacapa St., Lower State
Co-founded by Eric Railsback and Master Sommelier Brian McClintic (if the name sounds familiar it’s because his journey to masterdom was documented in the film, SOMM), this Funk Zone wine bar/shop is a must. The cool, wood-trimmed space is split into two: Hardcore oenophiles will go nuts for the hand-picked selection of European and domestic wines on the retail side, while those looking to expand their knowledge will benefit from a wine flight at the tasting bar. A tight offering of small plates is available throughout the week; Fridays and Saturdays, weirdly enough, are reserved for ramen.
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
728 State St., Downtown
Founded in Santa Barbara by a husband and wife team more than 70 years ago, McConnell's still uses many of the same farms and purveyors they did when they first began. You’ll find flavors ranging from sea salt cookies and cream to lemon and marionberry, as well as top-notch traditional flavors like mint chip and vanilla bean. If you can’t make it to this shop, you can find pints in many upscale grocery stores, and also at LA outposts in Studio City and Downtown LA.
Santa Barbara Public Market
38 W. Victoria St., Downtown
This goldmine of a gourmet market, is comprised of individual artisanal vendors specializing in local and sustainably-sourced fare. This means that it's essentially set up like the perfect pantry: There’s organic produce at Foragers Pantry, the freshest loaves at Crazy Good Bread, and humanely-raised meats at Belcampo. As far as prepared foods go, Flagstone Pantry serves up lunchtime basics like soups, salads, and sandwiches while Empty Bowl is all about steamy noodle bowls and handmade dumplings.
Some of the best wine in the area comes from this winery in the Santa Rita Hills. Produced by a small team of six, the winery does not offer tastings, however they do recommend visiting Taste of Santa Rita Hills in nearby Lompoc to try Sea Smoke’s Pinot Noir and other hard-to-get wines of the area.
1700 Industrial Way, Lompoc
Tucked away on an outcropping of limestone, this family-owned vineyard focuses on Syrah and Roussanne grapes, which they tend through sustainable and natural dry farming techniques. They take just as much care post harvest, using native fermentation techniques whenever possible. While they only offer private tours of the vineyard, they have tasting rooms in both Los Olivos and Lompoc.
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