If you’re currently arguing with your foodie friends about where to eat tonight, look no further. Santa Barbara is known for its delicious food and I’m going to provide some insider knowledge about some of the crème de la crème that might be hidden from everyone else's lists.

Empty Bowl Noodle Bar

soup, ramen
Jasmine Salamat-amoli

First on our list (which happens to be my favorite) is Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar. This bar-style restaurant is located inside of the hidden and delicious nook known as the Santa Barbara Public Market.

You get what you pay for with these fusion noodle dishes that will quite possibly change your life. You can also check out their daily noodle specials on their menu. Comfort food and carbs? What more can we ask for?

The Shop Café

egg, toast, bread
Jasmine Salamat-amoli

“Brunch is the most important meal of the day.” That’s how the saying goes, right? This hidden spot is only open until 3 pm but offers endless open-faced toast, eggs Benedict, and scalloped potato options for every type of brunch lover. The Eastside on brioche toast incorporates jalapeños and queso fresco into your morning routine, pleasing your inner, adventurous foodie .

The Goodland Kitchen and Market

A photo posted by @coffee.and.dope on

Two words: Daily specials. Their website gives you a breakdown of the tempting daily specials that range from brisket sandwiches and pork shoulder tostadas to Vietnamese Banh Mi and Greek Chicken Souvlaki.

Whether you stop by for breakfast or lunch, The Goodland Kitchen is up and running until 2:30 pm; after that, they rent their kitchen to local businesses such as The Pantry. Nothing better than SB locals supporting each other. Yay community!

La Super Rica Taqueria

chicken, tacos, rice
Ashley Yun

It may be small, but you’ll never miss it. There’s a reason the line is always out the door and that Julia Child called it her favorite restaurant. La Super Rica Taqueria offers typical Mexican food in a setting about as authentic as it gets. You can see the chefs cooking in the kitchen from the ordering window!

Plus, you get to select from an array of salsas before indulging in seas of cheese, carne asada, and guacamole.

The Drunken Crab

This new spot has already stolen the hearts many of Yelp foodies, giving them an average of 4.5 stars. However, I’ll challenge that and give them 5… mostly because they encourage you to eat with your hands and get up close and personal with your food.

Your bag of seafood comes soaked in the seasonings of your choice and served with a bib. Better yet, they encourage you to make your order “Louisiana-Style” which adds buttery corn, potato, and seasoned pieces of sausage to your already massive feast. 

So, shake up your weekly dinner routine and check some restaurants off your foodie bucket list (admit it... we all have one). Pretend that you were extra productive this week and treat yo'self!