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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
Closed now
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
More Info
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310 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 303: English reviews
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Seated promptly, serviced was efficient but not overbearing. Food was excellent!! We had Duck, Salmon and Crab salad and everything was well done. If you like the"deal" menu I recommend it as it saves money and everything comes from the regular menu. Only problem is there ius no streets parking but there is a muni parking lot within a block... More 

Helpful?
Thank saltzmanm
Santa Barbara
Level Contributor
36 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The restaurant is small which makes for an intimate environment which was exactly what i wanted for dinner with clients. We were able to have a long conversation without interruption and the staff were discrete and utterly professional. They knew when to top off our wine glasses and water. Food was utterly amazing. The chef picks up things from the... More 

Helpful?
Thank FlySafeHaveFun
Santa Barbara, California
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Downey's is the fine dining gold standard in Santa Barbara. Superbly prepared food and excellent service.

Helpful?
Thank Bob K
New Jersey
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

My husband and I dined here our first night in Santa Barbara and both loved everything we tried. He had the prix fixe menu and I ordered ala carte. I loved the lobster and angel hair salad appetizer and also enjoyed the roast duck with mango. The fixed menu included mussels and sea bass, both very good. We shared the... More 

Helpful?
Thank coopmommy
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you so much for taking time to write such a glowing review. We truly appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you the next time you are in Santa Barbara. John & Liz. More 

2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We went to Downey's for our anniversary. The restaurant is a bit old school with a French bistro feel. We were treated very well. The wait staff was patient, friendly and well informed. The food was great! I had the prix fix meal and I would recommend it highly. The smoked salmon salad was beautiful and very tasty. The corn... More 

Helpful?
Thank Stack999
san francisco
Level Contributor
38 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We had a family dinner at Downey's during UCSB graduation weekend for my daughter. It's a bit more formal than other SB restaurants and the food was good and the dessert excellent. We had courteous service as well.

Helpful?
1 Thank etshih
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you for choosing to have your family dinner at Downey's. We're glad you enjoyed yourselves with us. We truly appreciate your taking time to post your review online. John & Liz Downey More 

Brooklyn, New York, USA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

My friend and I were fortunate to dine at Downey's last weekend. The food was beautifully prepared. It was absolutely delicious too. We started with the artichoke salad, excellent light dressing and the prosciutto which is house-cured. We then had the salmon and duck entrees. The wines that were suggested paired wonderfully with the food. We then ordered the cheese... More 

Helpful?
Thank dobrich2013
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thanks so much for taking time to write your wonderful review of Downey's. Sounds like we got it just right for you! We will look forward to seeing you again soon....John & Liz More 

Level Contributor
44 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2016 via mobile

We looked for a special place to celebrate our anniversary dinner. We were so pleasantly delighted with our find at Downey's. The storefront is unassuming and as you enter are welcomed by staff. We were seated and after the server introduced menu items we made our selections. My choice was the Swordfish in a red pepper sauce with parsley potatoes... More 

Helpful?
Thank Windswept2
John D, Manager at Downey's, responded to this review

Thanks for the kind words. Come an see us again soon! More 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2016

This is real cuisine in combination with consistently fabulous fresh, local ingredients. The atmosphere is delightful and the service impeccable!

Helpful?
Thank pougetdrum
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you for your generous compliments! When we see reviews like this we know we are on the right track. Cheers...John & Liz More 

2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2016

Downey's is that restaurant that has everything we could ask for.....food that is excellently prepared ( no wonder Julia Child came here!), by John Downey with the creativity and steadiness of the experienced chef. John uses high quality local ingredients and makes magic with them. The atmosphere in this restaurant is of the kind hard to find anymore. It is... More 

Helpful?
Thank Susan D
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you for taking time to review our restaurant. I fondly remember having many quiet conversations with Julia over the years. I think we were on the same "no-nonsense" understanding of good food. I am glad we all agree! More 

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Restaurant Details

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
Average prices
$30 - $60
Cuisine
French, American, Seafood, Contemporary
Meals
Dinner
Restaurant features
Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
Good for
Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic
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
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
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.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Downey's and other visitors
1 question
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santa barbara
7 months ago

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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?