Travel

Santa Barbara Specialty

Specialty neighborhood
Handlebar Coffee
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.
Les Marchands
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, which just celebrated its first birthday, 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.
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