Drink the best of Santa Barbara® 2021

Credit: Brian Kuhlmann


Handlebar roasters


Deep in the pandemic, Aaron Olson and Kim Anderson of Handlebar Coffee Roasters saw an opportunity. Armed with a thorough analysis of COVID protocols and driven by a desire to do everything possible to support the community and keep their employees at work, they transformed the De la Vina Handlebar site into a quarantine canteen, complete with sacks of flour , lots of honey and bottles of wine. Masked folks showed up, a few at first, then more over time, melting their days in the warm comfort of a cool cup of coffee.

Finalist: The Daily Grind

Selection of tea

Vices & Spices


With roots stretching back three generations of the Booth family and a dedication to sourcing and delivering the finest teas from around the world, Vices & Spices offers tea drinkers a place of their own. While the tea selection is unmatched, thanks to founder Blue Booth, there’s always freshly roasted Kona coffee in the store and an ambiance that radiates exploration and adventure.

Finalist: Dune Coffee Roasters

Juice • Smoothie bar

Mixers in the grass


According to Keric Brown, Founding Partner of Blenders in the Grass, being the best means “using the best ingredients to make a delicious, healthy meal in a cup, and doing it fast.” Started in 1995 by three friends with a common passion for endurance sports and healthy eating, Blenders has grown into one of Isla Vista’s great entrepreneurial success stories. Just look for the giant mug on the roof.

Finalist (Juicery): Juice Ranch

Finalist (Smoothie Bar): Backyard Bowls

Happy Hour

[See Eating: Sunday Brunch]

Selection of draft beers • Best spot in Funk Zone

Lama Dog Tap Room + Bottle Shop


For Pete Burnham of Lama Dog Tap Room, all the hard work that has gone into building a great business in a new neighborhood like the Funk Zone seems to be worth it when your efforts bring you the best of Santa Barbara.® in two very competitive categories. Burnham says that “it means so much to win the Best Of, especially after winning two awards! He credits his incredible employees and says they also feel “a tremendous sense of pride.”

Finalist (selection of beers on tap and best spot in Funk Zone): Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

SB County Brewery

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.


Figueroa Mountain Founder and CEO Jaime Dietenhofer acknowledges that “these are a tough few years for the brewery and restaurant industry,” adding that going through tough times makes receiving an award like this ” very humbling and a testament to the effort of our team. ”Her favorite part of the job is“ sharing a beer with our amazing customers ”. Look for an expansion of Figueroa Mountain operations that will be announced soon.

Finalist: Mr. Special

Valley tasting room

Sun Stone Cave


With a prime location in Santa Ynez and cultivated by generations of the Rice family, Sunstone Winery consistently ranks among the most visited tasting rooms in the region. Under the watchful eye of the Director of Breton Viticulture Rice, organically grown grape varieties from Rhône and Bordeaux unite to produce some of the region’s most respected wines. Add to that the spectacular Sunstone Villa, with its wonderful assortment of salvaged European architectural elements, and you have a winning formula for the perfect tasting experience.

Finalist: Stolpman Vineyards

Urban tasting room

Margerum Wine Company


In this stylish space of the Californian Hotel, the Margerum team clearly does a lot of things very well. Combining the Margerum and Barden wine lists, serving good food and staying open until 8 p.m. (9 p.m. in summer) are all strategies that have proven to be successful with our constituents. For Doug Margerum, the best thing about his job is “the seasonality of the wine business. It’s very busy during the harvest, and of course the bottling is stressful and very important, but between those times there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy the wine and sell it to our friends in the restaurant business and of wine retail.

Finalist: Vineyards of the Grassini family

SB Wine Tour Company

Scott Taurus | Credit: Brian Kuhlmann

Sustainable wine tours


For Scott Bull, owner of Sustainable Wine Tours, “there really is no greater joy than being of service and inspiring our own community! Bull says the approval and recognition from the people of Santa Barbara “means the absolute world to us,” adding the message: “Thank you very much! We raise our glasses to you! He and his team are eager to organize your next one. wine tasting adventure and bring you “an incredible, delicious and unforgettable experience in the world and wonders of sustainable small batch winemaking”.

Finalist: Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours

Restaurant wine list

Stone house at San Ysidro ranch

sanysidroranch.com/dining room / stone house

While we’ve all had our ups and downs over the past few years, the history of the Stonehouse Wine Cellar is hard to surpass. In 2018, the collection stood at around 12,500 bottles, including some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Overnight, when the Montecito mudslide destroyed the Stonehouse cellar, that total effectively dropped to zero. Now, just three years and a few months later, Stonehouse Wine Director Todd Smith has restocked the new cellar, and the list is as impressive – perhaps more impressive – than ever.

Finalist: L’Alouette

Wine bar



Judging by the response from our constituents and the crowds that flock to their parklet each night, winemaker Drew Cuddy and Chef Emma West have a hit with Satellite. Its central location on State Street, combined with its emphasis on natural wines and sustainable local produce, attracts a new generation of health and climate-conscious connoisseurs. Add live music outside and a scene is born.

Finalist: Santa Barbara wine therapy

Wine cellar

Renegade wines

renegade.com wines

Jenna Allensworth and Steve Wayne were surprised and delighted to learn that they had won the very competitive category for best wine store. They write: “The sense of community that comes with this store is really amazing to us. We are so lucky in Santa Barbara to have such a fantastic group of wine professionals, novices and all the rest. We feel truly blessed to receive this honor from our community. Thank you!”

Finalist: Vino Divino

Negroni • Place for craft cocktails

The good lion


When Brandon and Misty Ristaino started making craft cocktails at Good Lion, they knew what they wanted to accomplish – beyond making great drinks, of course. Brandon puts it this way: “We are, and always have been, a safe ‘third place’ for our community: a place to exchange ideas, build relationships and have a good time, and we are honored that our guests have spent so much time. time with us during this most difficult last year and a half. Good Lion’s new parklet is the perfect place to enjoy their award-winning negroni, itself a new category in this year’s Best of Santa Barbara®.

Finalist (Negroni): L’Alouette

Finalist (Place for craft cocktails): Test pilot


Harry’s Plaza Cafe


What more could you ask for on a beautiful night out in Santa Barbara than an iced martini in a classic restaurant with a straightforward decor? Once upon a time … in Hollywood? If you answered, “A small jug of martini refill,” then you know one of Harry’s Plaza Café’s winning strategies for this competitive category. While they have four martini options on the printed menu, including the CEO (Chopin vodka, vermouth and olives stuffed with blue cheese) and Tanqueray’s enriched classic Dirty, Harry’s support staff will be happy to prepare. your personal recipe, and they won’t dwell on the refill.

Finalist: Lucky’s




The superb margaritas at this trendy State Street branch of the Los Agaves empire come in many flavors; all can be embellished with one of the many fabulous mezcals in view behind the bar that gives the place its name. Happy hour from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday offers a tempting alternative to working from home, and Taco Tuesday, a lunchtime offer with seven types of tacos all priced at 3.95 $, is another. Unsurpassed quality and a friendly atmosphere mean that Santo Mezcal will be hard to replace as our city’s new margaritas master.

Finalist: Flor de Maíz

Bloody mary

[See Eating: Brunch]

Strongest drinks

Joe’s Coffee


Long before one of the Johnny-come-most recently Best of Santa Barbara® categories like… well, you get the idea, there was “Strongest Drinks”. Present at the creation of the said category, there was Joe’s Café. Launch pad for thousands of Santa Barbara stories, each harder to remember than the last, Joe’s continues a tradition that we hope will never die: great food, great people and dedication. almost addicted to the stiffness of your drink. Long live Joe’s, since 1928.

Finalist: Harry’s Plaza Café

Neighborhood bar

The pickle room

three pickles.com

With new outdoor seating amid the haystacks on East Canon Perdido, the Pickle Room continues its reign as Santa Barbara’s toughest and most beloved neighborhood bar. When your neighborhood is the Presidio, it can mean a lot: great cocktails, delicious food, great music, and most importantly, a friendly atmosphere that encourages socializing and conversation. And with winter approaching and the sunset ever earlier, don’t forget the $ 2 off food and drink specials from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, the hall is open. , Monday to Saturday.

Finalist: Harry’s Plaza Café

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