Santa Barbara Brunch Guide: Where to Go This Weekend

Our favorite spots around the city to grab eggs benedict, mimosas, and more.

Santa Barbara is a gorgeous city on California’s central coastline that has absolutely beautiful beaches nestled in the shadow of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

The city is a surfing hotspot with a clear Spanish colonial influence that’s evident in all of the art and architecture around town.

egg waffles at santa barbara california brunch spot

This city is so bright and full of life that there’s no end to the fun activities here in Santa Barbara for both visitors and locals alike, but on the weekends, there’s one crucial thing you have to experience while you’re here: brunch.

Weekend brunch is a must when you’re in Santa Barbara, but only if you know where to go. Luckily, there’s no need to take any chances on a bad brunch because I’ve got the ultimate guide on where to go this weekend right down below.

I’ve gone ahead and scouted out all the greatest brunch spots around Santa Barbara and I put them on a list ranking them for your convenience.

Best Brunch in Santa Barbara

  1. Scarlett Begonia
  2. Jeannine’s Restaurant & Bakery
  3. Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach
  4. Lilac Pâtisserie
  5. Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro
  6. Finch & Fork
  7. Cajun Kitchen
  8. Stella Mare’s
  9. The Shop Kitchen
  10. Helena Avenue Bakery
  11. Chad’s Cafe

Simply pick any one of these restaurants that strikes your fancy and stop on by for an incredible brunch in Santa Barbara. 

Scarlett Begonia

21 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-770-2143
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Taking the number one spot on my list of Santa Barbara brunch spots is Scarlett Begonia. I love this place for a lot of reasons, but I think my favorite is the fact that they have a dog-friendly patio on which you can enjoy your brunch alongside your four-legged friend!

This charming little breakfast and brunch joint is located off of West Victoria Street near the Laguna neighborhood, right around the corner from the The Arlington Theatre (Metropolitan Theatres).

I highly recommend a Bloody Mary when you come here because, well, is it even brunch without that or a mimosa?

Jeannine’s Restaurant & Bakery

3607 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Phone: 805-687-8701
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Right off of State Street inside the Harbor View Inn is Jeanine’s Restaurant & Bakery. This brunch restaurant is fantastic thanks to its convenient location right at the beginning of Stearns Wharf on West Beach. It’s perfect for a delightful brunch before a day of soaking up the sun next to the Pacific Ocean.

As for the food, Jeanine’s cannot be beaten. I absolutely adore their classic eggs Benedict, but there are so many other amazing options on their menu that it gets hard to choose sometimes.

For that reason, I usually grab a drink or one of their fresh fruit smoothies to sip on while I decide.

Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach

2981 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109
Phone: 805-898-2628
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This next stop for brunch on my list is called Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach. This is another fantastic place to eat if you’re spending a day nearby enjoying the sunshine in Arroyo Burro Beach County Park where you’re allowed to have your dog off of their leash.

Besides the incredible waterfront view of the Pacific, this place is a must-visit for anyone that’s in the area thanks to the delectable food and cozy, heated outdoor patio.

What I recommend from Boathouse is chilaquiles. You really can’t go wrong with this classic Mexican dish for a tasty brunch.

Lilac Pâtisserie

1017 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-845-7400
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Lilac Pâtisserie is the next place I want to mention on my list of Santa Barbara brunch restaurants and I think you’ll quickly see why I feel that they deserve a spot. Lilac Pâtisserie is primarily a bakery, but they do so much more than that.

Besides all of the delicious, freshly-baked goods that will tempt you from inside the display case when you walk into Lilac Pâtisserie, this place serves up phenomenal omelettes, Irish oatmeal, house made granola, and even a mouth-watering quiche that will definitely have you starting your day off the right way.

Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro

Multiple locations
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Just up the road from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art inside Arlington Plaza, right around the corner from both Alameda Park and Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden, is a wonderful brunch spot that I think everyone needs to visit called Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro.

Whenever I have the pleasure of paying Renaud’s a visit, I find myself drawn towards the croissant sandwich.

The croissant sandwich comes made with aged Gruyere cheese, scrambled egg, smoked ham, smoked bacon, and sautéed mushrooms.

It’s savory, filling, and it goes perfectly with a strong cup of French coffee and maybe even an eclair.

Finch & Fork

31 W Carrillo St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-884-0300
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Up next is Finch & Fork. This amazing restaurant is easily one of my favorite brunch spots in Santa Barbara, by far.

You can find this place off of West Carrillo Street inside the Kimpton Canary Hotel, right across the street from the Paseo Nuevo shopping mall.

It’s the perfect place to go for a midday meal in the middle of a shopping spree when you need to take a break and refuel.

I find Finch & Fork to be a fun, creative spot to grab brunch where everything is fresh and locally-sourced. Definitely try some of their house-cured lox on a bagel!

Cajun Kitchen

901 Chapala St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-965-1004
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Now, if you’re looking for a little something different than what I’ve listed so far for your brunch experience, I strongly suggest paying Cajun Kitchen a visit for a little bit of authentic Cajun-Creole food in a casual, laid-back environment.

Check out Cajun Kitchen off of Chapala Street, right down the road from the Metropolitan Fiesta 5 Theatre and the Lobero Theatre. If you’re looking to grab brunch before a show, then this is your place.

For food, I always recommend some of the beignets from Cajun Kitchen because they pair so well with coffee.

Stella Mare’s

50 Los Patos Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Phone: 805-969-6705
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Up next, we have Stella Mare’s. This wonderful French restaurant is such an incredible place to visit for brunch if you ask me.

Stella Mare’s is located right off of Los Platos Way near the Waterfront neighborhood, right next to the Andree Clark Bird Refuge and across the highway from the sprawling Montecito Club golf course.

When you get to Stella Mare’s, I suggest trying one of their crepes since it is a French restaurant, after all, but the coq au vin is also a savory treat at any time of the day, so be sure to try that as well.

The Shop Kitchen

730 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone: 805-845-1696
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The next place I want to introduce you to, if you haven’t already had the pleasure, is called The Shop Kitchen.

You can find this place off of North Milpas Street, just a few minutes south of the Santa Barbara Bowl event venue.

What I love most about The Shop Kitchen is that they have both savory and sweet toast dishes.

For example, when I want something salty, I usually get the salmon toast served with creme fraiche, capers, onions, and a poached egg. For some sweet options, they have classic French toast or banana toast with local honey. 

Helena Avenue Bakery

131 Anacapa St c, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-880-3383
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Helena Avenue Bakery is the next place I want to recommend for your brunch tour around Santa Barbara and I really think everyone is going to love this place.

Not only is Helena Avenue Bakery located near the popular MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, but it’s also within walking distance to the Santa Barbara Amtrak station for ease of transportation.

You can’t go wrong with any of their baked goods here, but one thing I recommend above all else is the breakfast sandwich on brioche. The homemade brioche bread at Helena Avenue Bakery is unbeatable.

Chad’s Cafe

216 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-965-3269
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Chad’s Cafe is the last place I want to mention, but there’s no need to wait to try this one, especially if you’re looking for a delightful brunch restaurant with a picturesque view of the water.

I love coming to Chad’s Cafe because they have a spacious outdoor patio where I usually eat brunch. Not to mention, the food here is spectacular; I highly recommend steak and eggs.

If you want a nice, boozy brunch, then Chad’s is the place. I always get a mimosa flight so I can try all the different flavors, including orange, peach, grapefruit, and cranberry.

Final Thoughts

The only thing more beautiful than the scenery of Santa Barbara is the brunch scene, in my opinion.

Every restaurant I’ve listed above is sure to satisfy all of your brunch desires, no matter what you’re in the mood for, so go ahead and get started checking them off the list and find your new favorite spot!

Planning on staying in Fresno? You should check out our list of our favorite restaurants in the area.

Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!

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Written by Kyle Green

Kyle lives never passes up the opportunity to try a new restaurant. As a former New Yorker of 7 years, he enjoys regular trips to NYC to visit friends and enjoys all the restaurants and activities the city have to offer. He also spends time on the road tasting and reviewing other restaurant scenes around the country.