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Downey's

Certificate of Excellence
$$$$
French, Californian, Seafood, Contemporary
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1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (Victoria)
+1 805-966-5006
Website
Monday
Closed
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 261 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 196
    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
27th Wedding Anniversary

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... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 22, 2015
Allan S
,
Glendale, Arizona, United States
Good for:
  • Entertaining clients
  • Special occasions
  • Local cuisine
  • Romantic
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261 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Glendale, Arizona, United States
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015 NEW

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
Tenby, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

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
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

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
Top Contributor
187 reviews 187 reviews
100 restaurant reviews
105 helpful votes 105 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
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 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
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 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
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 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
Corona Del Mar, CA
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2015

It was a nice small restaurant that was very personalized service was wonderful and the dishes are very unique. Food was outstanding and they have a phenomenal dessert selection. A nice romantic getaway.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Hong Kong, China
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2015

The appetisers are in general good, fresh salad and crab cakes. But portion is really tiny. Entrees are average. Considering the portion of the dishes, the price tags are high. But, the ambience of the restaurant is good and the lady owner is very friendly.

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los angeles
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2015

Ate at Bouchon the night before; tried Downey's the next night. We mentioned to the server that we had been to Bouchon, and she immediately said that the duck entree at Downey's was much better. So I ordered the duck, as well as the lobster and angel hair appetizer. The appetizer was excellent, but the duck was not. Bouchon's was... 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
    (Victoria)
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Barbara
  • Phone Number: +1 805-966-5006

Price and Cuisine

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

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Good for: Entertaining clients, Special occasions, 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?