We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609
+1 805-966-5006
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
Ranked #4 of 449 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $28 - $80
Hours:
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.
Write a Review

232 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    175
    33
    18
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
1 review
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
Santa Barbara
1 review
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
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
boulder, co
Contributor
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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Chorley, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 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 

Great Neck, NY
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2014

2nd trip to Downey's (ate here in 2006). Liz Downey, the owner's wife, greets you at the door. Her lovely paintings hang on the walls available for sale. Dining room is pleasant and well-lit. The dessert trolley sits there to entice. Food is excellent, though the bread served is very ordinary. We ate lamb and veal as main courses and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
John D, Manager at Downey's, responded to this review

Thanks for your glowing response! We are here to please, and we're glad you enjoyed yourselves. Have a wonderful holiday season, stay warm, and eat well! Liz and John More 

Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2014 via mobile

My wife & I had never been here before and thought we knew most of the restaurants in Santa Barbara. While the staff was pleasant enough the dinner was bad... really. Sea Bass undercooked that smelled and tasted old along with soupy veggies. My swordfish was undercooked and the accompanying simple half boiled potato was hard. Decor was mid-western 'fine... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
newport coast
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2014

We were very disappointed to dine at Downeys. We had a reservation, waited at the desk for at least five minutes while the maitre d spoke with a couple in the dining room. Waitresses saw us and looked the other way. Finally he came to us and asked "can help you" with such an unwelcoming attitude. We ordered wine which... More 

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

Thank you for your comments. We take all feedback seriously and your input will help us to improve and refine. More 

Jackson, Wyoming
Top Contributor
158 reviews 158 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2014

The food was very good. The mussel appetizer was wonderful (and different from any mussels I have ever had) as was the grouper with a tarragon mustard sauce. The atmosphere was quiet and refined. The service was attentive and professional We would recommend this restaurant to anyone wishing a quiet, elegant dinner with great food prepared in interesting ways.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
John D, Manager at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you for your comments. We take all feedback seriously and your input will help us to improve and refine. More 

Novato, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2014

Downey's was a pleasant surprise. You can tell the chef is classically trained, but the menu is up-to-date and execution is flawless. Looking for a place that is quiet enough to hold pleasant conversation? Downey's fits that as well. Great service from the team.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
John D, General Manager at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you for your kind words and Liz and I are very happy to hear that you enjoyed our dining room! More 

Travelers who viewed Downey's also viewed

 
Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
 

Been to Downey's? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

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?