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Downey's

Certificate of Excellence
$$$$
French, American, Seafood, Contemporary
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1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (Victoria)
+1 805-966-5006
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Today
5:30 pm - 9:30 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, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 272 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 206
    Excellent
  • 39
    Very good
  • 19
    Average
  • 4
    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
Standards still very high

return visit to Downey's, Main St,Santa Barbara. once again the experience was perfect,you must try the scallops,(out of this world) sweets ummm✨

5 of 5 starsReviewed September 3, 2015
Jennifer C
via mobile
Good for:
  • Special occasions
  • Doing business
  • Local cuisine
  • Romantic
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272 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2015 NEW via mobile

return visit to Downey's, Main St,Santa Barbara. once again the experience was perfect,you must try the scallops,(out of this world) sweets ummm✨

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
50 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

I like these types of restaurants: quiet and professional. The food was divine, dessert included. Top in Santa Barbara. See you

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2015 NEW

I visited Downeys with my wife after seeing all of the great reviews on Tripadvisor. It's a nice room and the staff are nice and the food's ok but that's just it, it's all just kind of ok. To be honest it's really a bit boring. One of my pet hates is that restaurants ask about dietary requirements when you... More 

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Ampthill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2015

Definitely on our list of best ever restaurants. Beautifully devised and balanced choices on a varied menu. Intelligent and discrete expert service with humour and care. A delightfully calm space with lovely paintings by Liz and subtle lighting. A lot of care and love has gone into creating this great place and great food over the years. We loved our... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Lahaina, Hawaii
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2015

Fantastic Food and service. Took 3 young gentleman aged 20, 22 and 24 to enjoy a fine dining experience (my sons and nephew). We all were thrilled with the food and service.

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Santa Barbara, Ca
Level Contributor
211 reviews
154 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2015

We dined here with friends during the week. Reception was welcoming, owner's wife, Liz, was extremely helpful with the wine list. Atmosphere is elegant and relaxed. I had as first course Lobster with Angel Hair pasta-outstanding, my husband had the local mussel dish which he loved. We both had as main the Duck which was also wonderful. All had the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Albany, NY
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2015

From the immediate and welcoming greeting of the most gracious hostess, we knew that we would be enjoying an excellent dining experience. The dining room is small, but the well-appointed tables were set widely apart and, when unused, were treated as buffers between dining parties. Service was impeccable, except for an overlooked wine order. The menu offered a considerable variety... More 

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Padua, Italy
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2015

I currently live out of the country but came to my hometown of Santa Barbara to visit family. My wife was going to celebrate her birthday during this period and did not know of a nice place to celebrate it. My older brother recommended Downey's so I contacted the restaurant via email specifically stating that we would be celebrating my... More 

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Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
80 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2015

In the past, Downey's has been our choice for special birthdays and anniversaries And half way through dinner, we inevitably ask ourselves "Why do we 'save' this place only for special occasions? We need to treat ourselves to Downey's more often!" We said the same thing last week on our 44th wedding anniversary. True, it IS a treat, to be... More 

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Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2015

I chose this place thanks to it's great reviews and was not disappointed. The service was great and the food lovely and fresh. It was the perfect place to end our month trip to the states.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

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

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 30 - 60
  • Cuisine: French, American, Seafood, Contemporary

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Good for: Special occasions, Doing business, Local cuisine, Romantic

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?