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Downey's

Certificate of Excellence
$$$$
French, Seafood, Contemporary, Californian
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1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609 (Victoria)
+1 805-966-5006
Website
Today
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue - Thu 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Downey's restaurant is the cornerstone of fine casual dining on State...
Downey's restaurant is the cornerstone of fine casual dining on State Street in the heart of the downtown Santa Barbara theater district. Chef John Downey has been serving "Farm-to-Table" cuisine since 1982. The dining room is comfortably furnished with well-spaced tables allowing for pleasant dinner conversation. Original plein-aire landscapes of local scenes painted by co-owner Liz Downey adorn the walls. Liz also is most often overseeing the smooth running of her dining room where you may expect professional yet friendly service.
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Good for:
Casual Elegant
Romance
Local cuisine
Special occasions
Entertaining clients

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 243 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 183
    Excellent
  • 35
    Very good
  • 18
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 4
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Most recent review
Most amazing meal

Downey's is a classy , traditional and not to trendy, formal and unpretentious. The staff was very cordial and knowledgeable. This is the place if you are looking for an exceptional plate to impress you. My dinner was superb - artichoke salad with a simple vinaigrette, the creamy heart of the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 4, 2015
Veronica G
,
Seattle, Washington
via mobile
Good for:
  • Casual Elegant
  • Romance
  • Local cuisine
  • Special occasions
  • Entertaining clients
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
  • Late Night
Add Photo Write a Review

243 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015 NEW via mobile

Downey's is a classy , traditional and not to trendy, formal and unpretentious. The staff was very cordial and knowledgeable. This is the place if you are looking for an exceptional plate to impress you. My dinner was superb - artichoke salad with a simple vinaigrette, the creamy heart of the artichoke was perfectly cook served on a bed of... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Santa Barbara, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015

We chose Downeys for dinner before going to an Ensemble Theatre performance at the Victoria Theatre. The restaurant is also very near the Arlington and Granada theaters. The service was fantastic, very attentive but not at all over bearing. Using fresh local products our dinners were nicest we have had in a long time. We had appetizers, seafood main dishes... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Portland, Oregon
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

After a long drive along coastline, we landed for the night in Santa Barbara, CA. Saturday night on State Street was packed, every restaurant we went to was packed & long waits ~ came across Downey's, got lucky and got a table. Wasn't starving, just wanted a nice glass of wine and something light ~ was happily surprised with lobster... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Corona del Mar, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015

Staff, food, ambiance, everything was spot on! I had the lamb, which was prepared perfectly. The deserts were excellent as well. It's no accident that this restaurant is ranked so high. One of the best, and most surprising, unique restaurants in Sant Barbara!

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
rhinebeck,ny
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2015

We were sent here by the owners of the B&B where we were staying. The chef has been here for many years and has an excellent reputation with the local community. The food was delicious. The hostess, the wife of the chef, was very attentive to our needs. Her artwork adorns the walls of the restaurant. An altogether wonderful evening.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Sitka, Alaska
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2015

Our meal at Downey's was superb. Everyhting about Downey's spoke local, carefully selected, beautifully prepared, imaginative and classy. The decor was subtle and relaxing, the art on the walls was well chosen and clearly of the area. The food was all locally sourced and perfectly prepared. The staff was warm, friendly and attentive. The wine list is well chosen and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Santa Barbara, California
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

A quiet paradise for those who enjoy the most delicious food prepared with great care in an environment of such calm appreciation for the farm to table opportunity. The excitement is in the delicious food and its preparation and service. Did I mention the quiet calm atmosphere?

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Santa Barbara CA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2015

Best of Santa Barbara! Small enough to be cozy. Wonderful food. casually elegant atmosphere. For special occasions, not cheap. Quality food, locally sourced and prepared by the owner/operators. Often closed for private parties when special events are on at the Granada so call ahead.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Los Angeles, California, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2014

Had a wonderful dinner at Downey's during our weekend getaway to Santa Barbara. The restaurant is small and intimate with exceptionally friendly and attentive service. The menu changes daily and features local produce. My dinner companion and I both ordered the tasting menu, and everything was delicious. Will definitely return on a future visit to Santa Barbara!

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2014

My father and I went out for dinner at Downey’s. The owner, Liz, came to our table and said that it was a great night for a date night. Obviously, she thought my dad and I were a couple. I said nicely “It’s also a good night for a dad and his daughter to go out for dinner”. Liz said... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609
    (Victoria)
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Barbara
  • Phone Number: +1 805-966-5006

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 28 - 80
  • Cuisine: French, Seafood, Contemporary, Californian

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients

Description

Downey's restaurant is the cornerstone of fine casual dining on State Street in the heart of the downtown Santa Barbara theater district. Chef John Downey has been serving "Farm-to-Table" cuisine since 1982. The dining room is comfortably furnished with well-spaced tables allowing for pleasant dinner conversation. Original plein-aire landscapes of local scenes painted by co-owner Liz Downey adorn the walls. Liz also is most often overseeing the smooth running of her dining room where you may expect professional yet friendly service.
Open Hours
Sunday
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Wednesday
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Thursday
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Saturday
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Downey's staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?