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Santa Ynez Restaurants

Everyone knows a good glass of wine always pairs better with an exquisite meal. While Santa Ynez is known around the world as having some of the best wineries in California, Santa Ynez is also a highly sought after destination for foodies. If you’re looking for the best Santa Ynez restaurants you’ve come to the right place! Here is our list of some of Santa Ynez Valley’s best restaurants.

Mad and Vin

Located in the boutique hotel The Landsby, Mad and Vin makes for one of the best restaurants in Santa Ynez. For quick bites with small shared plates and wine pairings or a full dining seasonal menu, you can choose to dine al fresco on the patio, dine in the main hall or even the lounge area. 

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations
  • Seasonal Menu
  • Signature Cocktails, Beer, and Wine
  • Indoor and Outdoor dining 
  • Easy Parking

The Gathering Table

Captivating, yet with a comfortable atmosphere, the Zagat rated restaurant The Gathering Table at The Ballard Inn is on the top of our list for best restaurants in Santa Ynez. Chef Bud Kazali, adds Asian fusion with locally sourced ingredients to meet American cuisine making for an over the top dining experience and sensory overload.   

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations
  • Asian Fusion
  • Beer and Wine
  • Zagat Rated Restaurant in Santa Ynez
  • Easy Parking


First & Oak

First & Oak is the first-ever Michelin star restaurant in the Santa Ynez Valley. This restaurant is located in the heart of Solvang at an exquisite boutique hotel The Mirabelle Inn. First & Oak features a curated seasonal menu with signature dishes in addition to playful newbies. This is one of the many reasons this restaurant is one of our top picks for the best restaurants in Santa Ynez. 

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations
  • Michelin Star Restaurant 
  • Signature Cocktails, Beer, and Wine
  • Easy Parking

 

246 Root 

A quick jaunt from the Corque Hotel in Santa Ynez, 246 Root fine dining restaurant features a bar & lounge area, fine dining area, signature cocktails and a kids menu. There are also delicious vegan, and gluten-free options.

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations
  • Bar & Lounge
  • Locally Sourced Ingredients 
  • Signature Cocktails, Beer, and Wine
  • Easy Parking
  • Kid Friendly

Nella Kitchen & Bar

Nella Kitchen & Bar is located at Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. The menu features cured meats and cheeses, “Pinsa” Italian style pizzas and flatbread, traditional Italian starters, and main courses of hand made pasta to short ribs with seasonal vegetables. This makes Nella Kitchen & Bar one of our top picks for best Santa Ynez Italian Restaurants.

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations 
  • Italian Cuisine
  • Cocktails, Beer, and Wine
  • Easy Parking


The Hitching Post 2

Self-proclaimed best BBQ steaks in Santa Ynez restaurant, The Hitching Post 2, is a must visit for any BBQ foodie.  They make our top pick for best BBQ restaurant in Santa Ynez Valley period. Their menu consists of grilled artichokes, grilled corn, grilled seafood, BBQ steaks, and much more.  The Hitching Post was introduced to many as one of the premier dining spots from the ever so popular wine enthusiast movie Sideways

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations
  • Easy Parking
  • BBQ Cuisine
  • Cocktails, Beer, and Wine


Panino

Panino is the best deli in Santa Ynez. With a simple menu of gourmet soups, salads, and sandwiches, it is easy for to-go pick ups or a nice place to grab a quick bite on the patio in between shopping, art galleries, and wine tastings. 

Features and Recommendations:

  • No Reservations
  • Walk Up Order
  • Sandwiches
  • Easy Parking
  • Soft Drinks, Beer, and Wine
  • Patio Sitting


Brothers at the Red Barn

With two wood fire burning fireplaces and a tavern feel, the Brothers Red Barn restaurant in Santa Ynez, is a locals favorite.  Known for their experimental cuisine and made from scratch attitude, the menu is inventive with a touch of hometown comfort food, leaving the patrons coming back for more and feeling like family. This restaurant is on the top of our list for best restaurants in Santa Ynez. 

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations 
  • Inventive locally sourced Cuisine
  • Cocktails, Beer, and Wine
  • Home to JC’s Bar at the Red Barn
  • Easy Parking


Cold Springs Tavern

Cold Springs Tavern is known for it’s legendary tri-tip sandwiches. Located on the way to wine country or back from wine country depending on which way you are driving, it is known as a biker’s pit stop.  However, has become really more known now for it’s country style atmosphere, best BBQ in Santa Ynez, live music on the weekends, breathtaking views, and family fun atmosphere! Cold Springs Tavern is one of the best restaurants in the Santa Ynez area.

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations
  • In Door and Outdoor Sitting
  • Cocktails, Beer, and Wine
  • Limited Parking- Roadside parking
  • Live Music
  • BBQ


R-Country Market

Whether it is for their delicious tri-tip sandwiches or gourmet groceries, locals and tourists alike make the stop at R-Country Market.  It is a charming marketplace and easy to stock up on snacks, water, and a contender for best BBQ in Santa Ynez for their sought after tri-tip sandwiches. Before heading to the vineyards or back to the lodging to relax, this is a must stop.

Features and Recommendations:

  • No Reservations
  • Walk Up Order
  • Gourmet Market
  • Easy Parking
  • Limited Sitting


SY Kitchen

SY Kitchen is known for its rustic Italian cuisine, extensive wine, beer, handcrafted cocktail list, and beautiful Farm-Style setting.  This is a very romantic setting for a first date or fun group outing for small plates and drinks on the patio. This is one of our top picks for best Santa Ynez Italian Restaurant.

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations
  • Private Dining
  • Italian Cuisine 
  • Cocktails, Beer, and Wine
  • Easy Parking
  • Large Patio

 

Dos Carlitos

Tired of wine tasting?  Look no further than Dos Carlitos Restaurant in Santa Ynez.  With a stellar tequila list and tequila flights available for tasting, this is the best Mexican food in Santa Ynez hands down. Enjoy beautifully Mexican food, fresh guacamole, handcrafted drinks and more!

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations
  • Easy Parking
  • Tequila Flights
  • Mexican Cuisine
  • Cocktails, Beer, and Wine
  • Patio Sitting


Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe

Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe is located in the heart of Los Olivos.  With a seasonal menu, there are options for Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free substitutes and without compromising the integrity of the fine dining experience. Great menu for everyone and beautiful patio setting with a very extensive wine list. Also, on our list for one of our top picks for best Santa Ynez Italian Restaurant.

Features and Recommendations:

  • Reservations
  • Farm Fresh with Italian Fair
  • In Door and Outdoor Sitting
  • Easy Parking
  • Beer and Wine
  • Wine Club

 

Industrial Eats

With communal table tops, Industrial Eats oozes a cool atmosphere, inclusive and inviting to locals and tourists alike. With a craft butcher shop, the menu includes anything from veggie dishes to local fishes, local meats, sandwiches, and gourmet pizzas! Truly a bit of something for everyone!  One of the best restaurants in the Santa Ynez area.

Features and Recommendations:

  • No Reservations
  • Walk Up Ordering
  • Craft Butcher Shop
  • Beer and Wine
  • Communal Dining
  • Easy Parking