Best Seafood in Santa Barbara, CA

11 Best Seafood in Santa Barbara, CA

Located along the picturesque Pacific Coast, Santa Barbara, CA, is 92 miles north of vibrant Los Angeles, earning its nickname as the “American Riviera.” This city mesmerizes visitors with seaside views, famous film festivals, and exquisite wines.

However, it is the delicious seafood that truly defines Santa Barbara. The city’s culinary scene is a seafood lover’s paradise, from juicy clams to delicious shrimp. Explore the best seafood in Santa Barbara, CA, and enjoy a culinary journey that harmonizes coastal charm with gastronomic pleasure.

1. Brophy Bros.

Best Seafood in Santa Barbara, CA

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Located along the picturesque Santa Barbara coast, this lively and casual port eatery is the epitome of seafood delights. Renowned as the best seafood restaurant in Santa Barbara, CA, it attracts seafood lovers with the allure of its charming clam bar and its famous signature Bloody Marys.

Immerse yourself in the authentic waterfront atmosphere, where The menu, though modest, is full of mouth-watering delights. The Dungeness Crab Platter is a true standout, showcasing the crustacean’s sweet and juicy meat, while the Clam Chowder, a creamy and savory delight, promises to warm your soul.

The menu includes other delicious offerings like a Dungeness crab cocktail, fresh oysters on the half shell, and crispy fried shrimp. Embark on a seafood journey and let this eatery become your go-to destination for an unforgettable culinary experience.

2. On The Alley

Established as the charming sibling of Brophy Brothers, this seafood joint offers a laid-back atmosphere, creating an inviting atmosphere for lovers of maritime delights. Offering an extensive menu, this establishment stands out with its all-day breakfast lineup and exquisite seafood selection.

The appeal extends beyond the palate, as communal outdoor seating attracts those seeking an al fresco dining experience. A prime spot for people-watching, it combines the joy of delicious cuisine with a feast for the eyes. As far as culinary recommendations go, the clam chowder steals the show, featuring a gorgeous portion of tender, juicy clams.

Equally tempting is the Shrimp Taco, a symphony of flavors with chunky grilled shrimp, ponzu slaw, mango relish, queso fresco, and salsa blanca. Every bite turns into a delightful explosion of flavor.

3. Santa Barbara Shellfish Co.

Located on Stearns Wharf, this waterfront gem is the epitome of seafood fun in Santa Barbara, CA. With a casual ambiance, the eatery offers a delightful array of seasonal treasures sourced from live tanks, ensuring seafood of the highest quality. Patrons can enjoy watching skilled fishermen pull live crabs straight from their boats, which will add an authentic touch to the dining experience.

The outdoor patio provides a picturesque backdrop of the sea, enhancing the pleasure of savoring your meal. A definite highlight on the menu is the unforgettable fresh oysters, celebrated for their briny richness that tantalizes your taste buds with each juicy bite. Promises to stimulate the buds.

A must-try dish featuring scallops cooked with uni is a culinary journey elevated. The inherent sweetness of the scallops perfectly complements the fresh creaminess of the uni, creating a symphony of flavors that lingers on the palate.

4. Santa Barbara Fish Market

Best Seafood in Santa Barbara, CAhoto by Ruslan Khmelevsky:

Santa Barbara Fish Market has solidified its reputation as a premier seafood destination serving the community for over 15 years. Renowned as one of Santa Barbara’s top fish restaurants, they distinguish themselves by providing high-quality, sustainably sourced seafood.

Despite the lack of indoor seating, the establishment compensates with a commitment to freshness, showcasing daytime charm from the moment you enter. A standout on their menu is the uni, exquisitely fresh and harmoniously blending buttery, briny, and slightly sweet notes.

Equally delightful is the Baby Octopus Salad, a textural masterpiece with a satisfying crunch and chewiness, complemented by the zing of the sesame sauce and citrus infusion, creating an irresistible savory dish.

5. Santa Barbara FisHouse

This casual eatery is a must-visit spot for seafood lovers looking for a culinary adventure with a view. Brahming unique maritime landscapes, the restaurant prides itself on its simplicity and focuses solely on the freshest catches sourced directly from local waters.

With ample outdoor seating and a convenient pickup window, patrons can enjoy the tastes of the ocean in a casual setting. Undoubtedly, the Skuna Bay Salmon is a star on the menu, a culinary masterpiece that is tender with a pleasant crispiness. Matches, all seasoned to perfection. The visually pleasing and perfectly portioned dishes exemplify the commitment to quality that defines this establishment.

Additionally, the appetizer is a showstopper, featuring expertly seared juicy shrimp and scallops served with crispy fried polenta. For those looking for the best seafood in Santa Barbara, CA, this eatery offers an unforgettable experience that combines exceptional cuisine with breathtaking surroundings. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy the freshest seafood of the day and elevate your dining experience at this coastal gem.

6. Toma Restaurant and Bar

This charming eatery presents the essence of sunny Italian cuisine with a touch of seaside beauty. The cozy atmosphere complements an impressive wine list, creating an attractive place to savor exquisite flavors while enjoying the breathtaking harbor landscapes.

Renowned as one of the best seafood restaurants in Santa Barbara, the exceptional service provided by the dedicated and friendly staff enhances the overall dining experience. The highlight on the menu is their signature Tuna Cone, a unique dish that sets them apart from other Differentiates from local establishments.

This simple yet delicious sushi fix has a sesame twist, adding an extra layer of flavor to the culinary journey. For a memorable seafood experience, enjoy the Grilled Spanish Octopus, a must-try masterpiece.

Perfectly grilled octopus legs exhibit just the right amount of char without any burnt crunch, providing a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. With couscous and tobiko, this creative combination takes the dish to new heights.

7. Bluewater Grill

Best Seafood in Santa Barbara, CA


Located on Cabrillo Boulevard, this charming nautical-themed restaurant stands out as a must-see seafood paradise in downtown Santa Barbara. Bluewater Grills offers a delightful dining experience that includes exceptional service, breathtaking views, and a diverse menu of delicious seafood options.

Delight your taste buds with their Shrimp Cocktail, featuring chunky shrimp paired perfectly with a spicy cocktail sauce. are complementary. A must-try is the giant crab and avocado salad, which showcases a huge pile of juicy crab meat.

For shared enjoyment, savor the mouth-watering mahi-mahi with creamy scalloped potatoes. Bluewater Grills guarantees an excellent culinary adventure, making it one of the best seafood spots in Santa Barbara, CA.

8. Convivo Restaurant and Bar

Convivo, which serves inventive and seasonal New American cuisine set against the backdrop of a charming hotel setting. As one of the best seafood establishments in Santa Barbara, it offers a breathtaking view of the ocean, making it a perfect spot for a memorable lunch. What sets Convivo apart is the unique twists and options on its menu, with a particularly delicious seafood selection.

Their giant charcoal prawns are a must-try, displaying a perfect char and a subtle smoky flavor in every bite. The harmonious blend of clementines and shishito peppers further enhances this culinary experience, creating a dish that is both visually stunning and gastronomically satisfying.

9. Bibi Ji

Bibi Ji, located in Santa Barbara, bills itself as an exceptional seafood paradise that seamlessly blends contemporary Indian cuisine with a carefully curated wine selection in a casual atmosphere. Renowned as one of Santa Barbara’s premier seafood establishments, Bibi Ji’s commitment to the sea-to-table ethos guarantees unmatched freshness and quality.

The menu showcases traditional Indian curries prepared with authentic recipes, enhancing the dining experience. Particularly noteworthy is the Uni Biryani, a visual masterpiece and a triumph of freshness. Infused with house-roasted Indian spices, this dish exceeds expectations, offering a unique blend of flavors that firmly establishes Bibi Ji’s as the epitome of the best seafood in Santa Barbara, CA.

10. Lure Fish House

Located within the beautiful confines of La Cumbre Plaza, Lure Fish House stands as a paradise for seafood lovers, offering a unique marine culinary adventure. Dedicated to epitomizing seafood excellence, Lure exclusively sources the freshest and most sustainable catches from local fisheries, ensuring a dining experience beyond expectations.

Enhancing the gastronomic journey, a wide range of wines from nearby vineyards grace the menu, perfectly complementing each delicious dish. The pinnacle of freshness and flavor, the Lobster Roll is a must-try.

Delight your palate with juicy, sweet lobster pieces wrapped in buttery bread, creating a harmonious symphony that defines top-tier seafood indulgence. At Lure Fish House, every meal is a celebration of the finest the ocean has to offer, making it a must-see destination for those looking for exceptional seafood.

11. Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach

Best Seafood in Santa Barbara, CA

Photo by Sarda Bamberg:

Enjoy a culinary haven at the Boathouse, the epitome of the best seafood in Santa Barbara, CA. Located near the Arroyo Burro Beach County Park beach, this dining gem offers a unique brunch experience. The Boathouse prides itself on sourcing only the freshest, local ingredients, ensuring a dining experience that exceeds expectations.

Located on Hendry’s Beach, the restaurant offers a breathtaking Pacific view, creating an atmosphere that is both lively and lively. A must-try dish is their seafood platter, a true masterpiece that showcases juicy clams, briny oysters, tender mussels, delicious stone crab, flavorful ceviche, and delicious poke. Immerse yourself in the essence of the sea with this exceptional cuisine, making The Boathouse a must-eat destination for seafood lovers.


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