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1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609
+1 805-966-5006
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Ranked #8 of 454 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $28 - $80
Sun 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue - Thu 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Cuisines: French, Seafood, Contemporary, Californian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Victoria
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.
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237 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Sitka, Alaska
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 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 

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Santa Barbara, California
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 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?

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Santa Barbara CA
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 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.

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Los Angeles, California, United States
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!

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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
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

What a treat!!! I have heard about how great Downey's is for years Finally I got the opportunity when my husband took me to Downey's for our Anniversary. It was such a delight. The service was wonderful and the food far surpassed my expectations. Our entire meal was delicious. After splitting a generous helping of dessert we left completely satisfied.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Santa Barbara
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2014

For our first time experience Downeys did not disappoint , had a nice quaint comfortable atmosphere, excellent service and the food from the wine,appetizer to entree to dessert they were just exquisite! All the glowing reviews I had read were more than justified. Our special day was complete with this fabulous meal! Dean and Diane

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
John D, Manager at Downey's, responded to this review

So glad you came in to celebrate your anniversary. I remember your big smiles when you said you were celebrating 23 years together. Thanks for visiting, and many happy returns. More 

1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2014

I never miss an opportunity to go to Downey's when I visit Santa Barbara. In the twenty plus years I have been dining at Downey's, I can honestly say I have never had a meal that wasn't superb! The service is always great too! It is probably my favorite restaurant in the area.

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boulder, co
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2014

Downey's takes the cake for wonderful local cuisine that's sophisticated but not over done. Staff was attentive, professional and knowledgeable but not intrusive. Have eaten at numerous Santa Barbara restaurants and just returned for a second remarkable meal. Dining a weeklong visit we enjoyed some very good meals in highly rated Santa Barbara eateries though some featured tiny tables, high... More 

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Chorley, United Kingdom
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

Only in Santa Barbara for 2 nights. Chose Downeys from the trip adviser reviews and was not disappointed. My wife and I both had great meals. The main course of veal and pasta was excellent. The decor is simple, but hey. Some great wines on offer. Would definitely recommend. Don't understand the previous tro poor reviews at all. I would... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Hi, it's Liz responding to your review. Thank you for writing and for coming to our dining room. I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves and we look forward to seeing you again sometime. Have a wonderful holiday season. More 

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Additional Information about Downey's

Address: 1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609
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 28 - 80
Cuisine: French, Seafood, Contemporary, Californian

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?