The Best Family-Friendly Restaurants in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

California food has a reputation for being fresh, natural, and healthy.  Santa Barbara did not disappoint.  First stop for breakfast was Malibu Farms at the Rosewood Miramar.  The weekend brunch is a must-try, where you will find it hard to choose between ordering from the bountiful buffet, or choosing something homey off the a la carte menu, like the lemon ricotta pancakes.  If you do opt for the buffet, good luck fitting everything in your belly! There are pastries, savory baked goods, roasted potatoes, an avocado toast station (genius), and the best buffet scrambled eggs I've personally tried.  As mentioned in my blog post, I come from a family of connoisseur egg eaters, and therefore was pleasantly surprised when eggs-in-a-pot were cooked to perfection.  However, as a head's up: the weekend brunch is a splurge, and we were charged $11 for a kid's yogurt!  


If you're staying on property, head back to the same restaurant for dinner.  Try the cauliflower tacos and take my word for it -- just give in to the angel food cake.  It's one of those desserts you'll wish you had the secret recipe for.  In addition, if you're vegan, there is a complete plant based menu.

Malibu Farm
rosewood miramar breakfast
rosewood miramar breakfast

Downtown Santa Barbara offers plenty of foodie-finds.  Be sure to try Brophy Bros on the wharf for delicious clam chowder, and Helena Avenue Bakery for their ricotta honey toast. Both restaurants are kid-friendly, and the little ones will surely gobble up the cinnamon toast.

Helena Ave Bakery
Lucky Penny

For dinner, my favorite restaurant was The Lark.  The atmosphere was the right balance of causal and intimate.  It's a perfect date-night spot, but they were also accommodating to young kids.  The Lark is quintessential farm-to-table dining, with an evolving seasonal menu.  I loved the crispy Brussel sprouts, truffle pappardelle, and black cod, which were perfect fall dishes.


If you're looking for something more casual for dinner head next door to Lucky Penny.  They are outdoor patio dining only, and offer wood-fired pizza, salads, veggies, and paninis.  

Get on the List!

Start gathering your future travel ideas now! Sign up to receive exclusive travel itineraries and tips.