Friday's Fixin's: Let's go Out!


During this festive week, we have been frequenting our favorite Santa Barbara watering holes. Though Santa Barbara isn’t a culinary epicenter, we happen to have quite a few spots that we love, so I thought I’d share them with you (with high hopes that you get to come to Santa Barbara one day!).

Renaud’s Patisserie and Bistro for the BEST croissants outside of Paris. Seriously. When I was sick (and everything in the kitchen made me nauseous), my dear friend brought me the one thing that she knew I would eat: a Renaud’s almond croissant. The Silver Lining is that they were good for putting on a couple of pounds when I needed them. Now, though, they are an extra super special treat! 1324 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. 805.892.2800

The Four Seasons Biltmore is a favorite spot for the HOTY and Sweetly Six to have their weekly Daddy-Daughter breakfast. Though it’s a tad pricey, the food is delish and the ocean views are the best in town. The Silver Lining is that after most breakfasts, they walk across the street and go for a walk on the beach…while I’m playing tennis with my girlfriends (Silver Lining). See why he’s the HOTY (Husband Of The Year)?!? 1260 Channel Drive, Montecito, CA 93108. 805.969.2261

Cafe Luna, located in the adorably quaint antique village of Summerland, is the perfect spot for a causal, sea-air-filled lunch. They have the yummiest sandwiches, salads (my fave is the “breakfast salad”) and sweet treats. They also have the best tea and coffee drinks. I’m there almost daily having a decaf almond milk latte. In addition to the delish delicacies and friendly staff, they have a screen door that makes the most charming sound when people come and go….usually in flip-flops, nearly always with sand between their toes (Silver Lining). 2354 Lillie Avenue  Summerland, CA 93067. 805.695.8780

Trattoria Mollie in Montecito is one of my absolute favorite restaurants! I’ve written about Mollie’s here before and as you may recall, I could eat there breakfast, lunch AND dinner there! Mollie grew up in Ethiopia and learned to cook in some of Italy’s finest restaurants. In fact, she once made breads for the Vatican!  We took a dear friend of ours from Rome there for lunch and he said that Mollie’s carbonara pasta is the best he’s had outside of Rome. I have a very special place in my heart for Mollie because she took extraordinary care of me during my FBC treatment and made the most perfect meals for me when I couldn’t eat anything else (a MAJOR Silver Lining). 1250 Coast Village Road, Montecito, CA 93108. 805.565.9381

The San Ysidro Ranch is, hands down, one of the most special places for dinner. From the the lavender-lined driveway, to the acres of flowering gardens and red bougainvillea-covered reception bungalow, I get goosebumps every time I’m there. It is a magical, romantic, heart-warming place. When you go, be sure to order the chocolate cake (sometimes it’s on the menu, sometimes it’s not…but they always have it!). My dear friend Elizabeth Colling created this masterpiece and I am drooling just thinking about it! 900 San Ysidro Lane, Montecito, CA 93108. 805.565.1700

When it comes time for a family dinner, you’ll frequently find us (and about half of Sweetly Six’s school) at Via Vai. It is a super relaxed, easy-peasy atmosphere. The majority of the wait staff is Italian and they seem to know (and kibbutz with) all of the kids. Sweetly Six loves the Pizza Margherita. The HOTY loves the Insalata Cappuccina (which is basically a WHOLE butter head lettuce stuffed with fresh tomato, asiago & parmesan cheese). 1483 East Valley Road, Montecito, CA 93108. 805.565.9393

In case you’re wondering, Montecito is a charming little village that is adjacent to Santa Barbara. Many people refer to Montecito and Santa Barbara interchangeably.

I hope that you get to visit one day soon!  Santa Barbara is the most incredible place to live. I feel so fortunate and blessed and giddy that I get to call this magical, healing, inspiring place home (Silver Lining).

Leave a comment


  1. anne says

    Thank you for the recommendations! I just printed the list as we leave tomorrow for a family trip to the Biltmore for a few days. Any recommendations as to activities for young children? I have two girls under 5. Your blog is a constant inspiration to me. Thanks for brightening my morning.

    • says

      Hi Anne!
      I'm super excited for your trip. I have lots of suggestions!
      1. The Kids Club at the Biltomore is amazing…and will get you some spa time (Silver Lining).
      2. The Coral Casino across the street is absolutely fantastic! Sweetly Six hangs out there ALL the time!
      3. The Santa Barbara Zoo is total cuteness.
      4. The Pier is fun and has a GREAT ice cream shop.
      5. There is a really fun Carousel near Chase Palm Park (across the street from the Ocean).
      5. Kids World park is one of Sweetly Six's favorite spots. It's on Garden Street.
      6. McConnell's is one of our favorite places for ice cream. It's on Mission Street.
      7. East Beach cafe is a fun spot for breakfast. It's right on the beach and there is a playground there. The HOTY and Sweetly Six go there for Daddy Daughter breakfast.
      Please let me know if you need any other suggestions!
      I know great hiking trails as well…though the girls may be a little young….
      Have FUN!!!!!!!

  2. says

    It is lunch time and you have me drooling. Sounds like you have some great restaurants in Santa Barbara. I especially would like to try those Renaud's almond croissants. Yum!

  3. E.B. says

    Growing up in L.A., one of my family's favorite weekend spots was Santa Barbara. We spent many happy weekends on that beach, visiting the mission, just walking around enjoying the wonderful atmosphere. Were I ever to consider moving back to California, Santa Barbara would definitely be my choice. It is a lovely, artistic, brimming with history place and the people are pretty darn nice too! One park I remember, but can't quite remember the name, is where a very, very old tree grows. It is huge, with nooks and crannies perfect for hide and go seek. I remember playing on it with my cousins and our grandparents yelling "Get off that tree, you are going to BREAK YOUR NECKS!" I hope it is still there, it was quite majestic.

    • says

      How wonderful, E.B.! I love your grandparents saying…we'd never say that now, would we? Ahhh…the old days. Thanks for your comment!