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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
Website
Today
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Open 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 264 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 199
    Excellent
  • 39
    Very good
  • 19
    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
Birthday dinner for my wife

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... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed July 19, 2015
Fulhamfan_23
,
Padua, Italy
Good for:
  • Special occasions
  • Doing business
  • Local cuisine
  • Romantic
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264 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
Padua, Italy
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
77 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
3 reviews
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
Glendale, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015

We chose this restaurant based on the excellent reviews it received and we were not dissappointed. We had a wonderful anniversary dinner and were treated as if we were the only people in the restaurant by the attentive staff. The next week I received a call from the restaurant because I had accidentally left my hat on the floor after... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Tenby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015

We had a brilliant meal at Downeys. Great service, fabulous food - fresh, plentiful and priced about right. In 17 days in California this was our best meal by far. Would thoroughly recommend , and thank the people we met outside Downeys who convinced us that we had to go in.

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Sonoma, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015

We had dinner at several of the top ten restaurants in SB, but this was my favorite. The staff was exceptional, and was only exceeded by the food...and loved Liz at the front of the house. It is not a large menu but everything is done to perfection...and they even had Irish Soda Bread. I had made an reservation a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Bellevue, Washington
Level Contributor
207 reviews
110 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2015

We came to Downey's for dinner to celebrate my son's special birthday. From the moment we entered the restaurant we knew we were in for a treat. Liz's warm welcome and careful assistance in selecting a wine, the friendly and attentive service, the delicious menu, and the attention we received in accommodating a couple of requests made for a most... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Calabasas, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2015

I finally treated myself to a fabulous birthday dinner at Downey's! The wait staff, including Dan, were superb - friendly, efficient - wonderful. I was dining solo and well taken care of. Dan suggested the crab/papaya starter - it was superb and light enough so didn't ruin my appetite. I ordered the grilled salmon with tarragon sauce accompanied by artichoke... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015

A group of us have gone on an 11 day wine & golf tour of California -- Napa, Sonoma, Pebble Beach, Big Sur, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara. We've dined decadently at some of the best restaurants. On the last day, we very unexpectedly had the best of the tour -- a dinner at Downey's. The black cod was easily... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
La Canada Flintridge, California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015

Enjoyed the small and sophisticated restaurant with its wonderful fresh fish and lobster appetizer. The mild lobster sauce on the sea bass was to die for. This place is for a quiet and relaxed dinner with a ever changing menu of several fine choices.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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Additional Information about Downey's

Address: 1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone Number: +1 805-966-5006
Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Barbara
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
Average Prices: USD 30 - 60
Cuisine: French, American, Seafood, Contemporary

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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?