My Favorite Montecito Restaurants….
1. Cava Restaurant & Bar Have is a great restaurant with an inviting ambiance and staff. From the minute you walk in the door, the staff is friendly and the amazing fresh chips and salsas hit your table! Inside is lovely and the patio is great and social as you watch life as it goes on Coast Village Road. It is difficult to recommend something specific on the menu because I have had so many different things and they are all AMAZING! The garlic shrimp appetizer is fantastic, the ceviche’ is so fresh and light, the tomato basil quesadilla is delicious, I could go on…the food is worth the visit! As for drinks- Cava serves many local wines at reasonable prices (which is rare to find in Montecito) Also if you like spicy- give their spicy margarita a try! Pop in for the generous happy hour from 4-6.
2. Little Alex’s Mexican Grill Little Alex’s is great for a quick bite at an affordable price (most things are under $10) The food is so fresh and made right as you watch. I usually call in my order and take it to go but there is indoor and outdoor seating there as well. The nachos put all other nachos to shame but better if you are eating there so they don’t get soggy. The steak fajita burrito, the ensalada pollo, and the soup are my personal favorite dishes to order.
3. Montecito Wine Bistro Wine Bistro has a cozy atmosphere with low lights and fireplace, the back patio also has a fireplace and heaters for chilly nights, and the front patio offers a seat in the sun on a beautiful day…whatever the weather, you will find the right seat. Great Happy Hour from 4-6PM (I believe the food is offered at Happy hour prices until 8 at the bar.) The ahi bites are great and the pizza’s are a good deal. Also, they have a great children’s menu. My favorite dishes are the risotto, the butternut squash pizza, Kobe meatloaf and meatballs, and the Chicken Piccata.
4. The Honor Bar Good vibe inside and out. A great place to meet friends for lunch, dinner or just a drink. One drawback is that they have a very small indoor space with no tables for parties over 4 people. Outdoor patio is nice and tables have built in heaters to warm your lap on a cool day. Honor Bar has a very small menu but the food they do have is really good. I love the Dings Crispy Sandwich, the steak salad and the deviled eggs. Also, the fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice is amazing.
5. Giovanni’s Pizza Montecito Giovanni’s Pizza right on Coast Village Road has incredible pizza and salads. The pizza is a medium crust with a huge amount of cheese and toppings. I always get it to go but I have to admit it is much better if you eat it there. Sometimes because of the cheese and toppings the crust can get a little soggy on the drive home. If you eat it at the restaurant the crust is crispy and delicious. Ambiance is what you would expect of a pizza parlor and there are a couple games for the kids to play.