Represent your ‘Hood
I can’t even put into words how much I love The Neighbourhood bar and grill – so good they’ve opened up a bar right next door and called it ‘The Neighbourhood 2’ [I’m not kidding]. The Neighbourhood bar was my local when I lived in Santa Barbara and I can’t explain how excited I was to come back here again.
The Neighbourhood is the sorta place that isn’t dressing up for anybody – take it as it is or leave. Sublime blares from the speakers, you can play ping pong while drinking your locally brewed 805 beer, play beer pong in the back with the UCSB college kids, or enjoy a pitcher of shark top, some ranch potato skins and leave your mark by putting some graffiti on the walls.
Joe’s café has a good old fashioned American theme to it and serves fantastic cocktails that are outrageously strong. It became a running joke amongst us – you wanna get drunk? Go to Joe’s. They don’t measure out portions so your Tequila Sunrise is just 2% sunrise. Joes has been a ‘local’ for the locals since 1928 and its history is depicted along the walls. I love this place.
Everyone in Santa Barbara goes to the Wildcat. Katy Perry has even referenced it in her songs. What happens at the Wildcat, stays at The Wildcat. It’s the kinda place where you stick to the dance floors, your hair frizzes out like you’re in a humid rainforest, it’s that damn hot and sticky – but always a lot of fun.
Figueroa Mountain Brewery
A new arrival in ‘The Funk Zone’ Fig is a little more sophisticated, as far as breweries go – sit in the illuminated garden and taste local wines and beers. Fig Brewery is based in Southern California and has six local taphouses, including this one in Santa Barbara. My favourite? Hoppy Poppy IPA (If only Woman-Beer marriage was socially acceptable!). You should give them all a try though, and ask to sample the options.
My friend’s would kill me if they saw I was recommending this place [sorry guys, don’t hurt me] Delightfully tacky yet unrefined… [Oh wait that tagline’s taken!] Sharkeez is a College Sports bar with a couple of branches in California. It’s cheap and cheerful and if there’s a group of you you’ll get a free platter of Mexican food. Win all round.
Santa Barbara Brewing Co.
One of SB’s great breweries! If you don’t want to commit to a full beer, you can buy a platter of 1/3s or 1/2s to try and the atmosphere is so fun, laid back and friendly.
Have you been to Santa Barbara? I love this town! What are your recommendations?