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Anna Keeve Anna Keeve

Your Vegan Guide to Santa Barbara Restaurant Week

Santa Barbara Restaurant Week has vegan options! Every year when your city’s restaurant week rolls around, you might find yourself scouring the website, fingers crossed for some plant-based items on the menus. The good news is, more mainstream restaurants are realizing the importance of catering to the growing demographic of vegans, plant-based foodies and veg-curious. The restaurateurs in Santa Barbara are no exception. For the third annual Santa Barbara Restaurant Week (February 21st- March 6th, 2020), there are a number of plant-forward offerings at some of the best restaurants in town, in addition to participating vegan-friendly wineries and hotels. Now is the perfect time to pop over to Santa Barbara for a taste and sip of its culinary scene.

Restaurants

During the week, each participating restaurant will offer a prix-fixe menu that includes a $25, $35, and $45 3-course dinner option. While we wish any of the 100% plant-based restaurants in Santa Barbara were participating—none of them are … maybe next year—there are some incredible dining establishments offering an all-vegan menu track, so you can enjoy the special prix-fixe offering. A number of places also provide vegan-friendly dishes, so even if you don’t opt for the prix-fixe dinner, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy some thoughtful plant-based dishes ordered a la carte.

Malibu Farm at Miramar

$45 per person, 3-course, vegan-friendly menu

Chic and classy dining is at its finest at this first-class resort in Montecito. For standard dining, they also have a seperate plant-based menu, so you will find lots to choose from here.

Bella Vista at The Four Seasons the Biltmore

$45 per person, 3-course, vegan-friendly menu

To be wined and dined at some of Santa Barbara’s best oceanfront properties, visit the Bella Vista. They also offer a number of vegan wines—The Hilt is a must try. If you are in a vodka sort of mood, try the new mission-driven vodka, Hera The Dog, which donates a portion of sales to animal rescue organizations.

La Cocina

$45 per person, 3-course, vegan-friendly menu

Itching for some good Mexican food? Try La Cocina, located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara just off State St. La Cocina has some great, dedicated vegan dishes (clearly marked and labeled) on its prix-fixe Restaurant Week menu. With the beautiful ambiance and gorgeous outdoor olive tree-lined courtyard, you’re sure to enjoy your evening. Make sure to try one of their unique margarita concoctions to pair alongside your meal.

Lucky’s

$45 per person 3-course menu, *sub dessert to make vegan

For that primo fine-dining experience in Santa Barbara, Lucky’s is a must visit. Think old-school charm meets modern elegance. While Lucky’s does specialize in steaks, it also stocks a number of vegan items.

You don't have to order the prixe-fixe menus to take advantage of participating restaurants’ dining. Even if your dinner company wants to try the prixe-fixe, you can still order a la carte. One of the Restaurant Week participants of note is Sama Sama, dishing up a southeast Asiain-inspired cuisine with a great wine list and located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. They provide a few vegan items and many others that can be adjusted to be made vegan. A hotspot new-kid-on-the-block is the highly-anticipated Oku. This is a hardcore sushi spot with a few vegan items and an unbeatable ocean view. It’s the perfect spot to start with a drink and app before venturing out to dinner. For a more laid back vibe, Eureka is a great casual bistro with a number of plant-based options, including its killer Beet Burger. Make sure to peep their mimosa tasting flight … worth it during any time of day.

Wineries

Here are a few tasting rooms offering specials for Santa Barbara Restaurant Week. You can rest assured these wines do not use animal-based fining and are vegan.

Margerum Wine Company

$25 flight + a pizza, which can be made vegan

Magerum has a beautiful open and airy tasting room in the Funk Zone of Santa Barbara. They are doing a $25 flight featuring some of their highest-rated wines, like their 92 point (Wine Enthusiast rated) 2017 M5 Red, Rhône Blend. They also offer a number of vegan-friendly food items. Pizzas can be made vegan by asking to hold the cheese.

Grassini Family Vineyards

$20 flight

Grassini’s grapes hail from the Happy Canyon region of Santa Barbara County, and boy do they produce some incredible juice. Most notable on their tasting wine menu is their Merlot, some of the best in California.

Frequency Winery

$20 flight + 1 complimentary wine tasting for every $60 in wine purchased

Located in the historic Presidio neighborhood of downtown Santa Barbara.

Cebada

$8 flight + 20% all bottles

If you like Chardonnay and Rose, make sure to stop in and try this great-value flight.

Visit the Santa Barbara Restaurant Week website for all the restaurants, menus, and details, including the list of hotels offering special discounted rates, such as the Hotel California—a must-consider if staying overnight.

Aside from partaking in food and wine, enjoy incredible hiking (especially at Inspiration Point), entertainment at the Santa Barbara Bowl, and beach cruiser treks around town. Shop at the premier Santa Barbara cannabis dispensary, Coastal (which carries lots of vegan products). Stroll along one of the many beaches where sand meets palm tree-lined lush green parks. There is no shortage of things to do, see, and taste in Santa Barbara. This 2-week event is the opportune time to experience the best the area has to offer.

 

RELATED: The Top 10 Spots for Vegan Eats in Silver Lake


Want even more LA vegan food, news, and lifestyle content? Subscribe to VegOut LA Magazine!

Anna Keeve

@lifesalternateroute

Anna is a contributing author for a number of publications covering veg-friendly lifestyle, food, culture and travel. She also is the founder of PlantBasedPopUp, a fine-dining pop-up experience that hosts wine and food pairing dinners while also advocating more chefs and restaurants to add dedicated plant-based food items to their menus.

Articles by Anna

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