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Certificate of Excellence
American, Contemporary
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1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609 (Victoria)
+1 805-966-5006
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Closed now
All 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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323 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 316: English reviews
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

I have been coming to this restaurant since I was a little girl- this is my family's top and favorite choice for special occasion meals! I always start with the crab appetizer and have duck as my main course. SO GOOD. I definitely recommend this restaurant with no hesitation- it is by far one of the best in Santa Barbara.

Thank Rachel W
John D, Manager at Downey's, responded to this review

We are always happy to help you celebrate any occasions, and thanks for sharing your enthusiasm! More 

Santa Barbara, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We've just come back from celebrating my wife's birthday with a superb dinner at Downey's. We love the elegance of the restaurant, the thoughtful and professional service, and the warm greeting from Liz Downey herself. We had appetizers of fresh tomato soup topped with pesto and local crab meat served with cantaloupe, then entrees of local sea bass and roast... More 

Thank Joe U
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you very much for your review. I (Liz) just made some truffles today and I might have consumed one or two..... so good! We are glad you enjoyed the birthday celebration in our restaurant! More 

Ojai, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We stopped to grab a bite before a show and were delighted with the appetizers and dessert menu. We will definitely go back to sample the main course next time we visit Santa Barbara. Great location on State Street!

Thank RozDe
John D, General Manager at Downey's, responded to this review

We are so glad you stopped in! And we look forward to seeing you again when you're in town. Liz and John More 

Corona del Mar, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We eat here regularly (have had dinner at Downey's probably 15 times) when we are in SB because you can get in with a couple days notice and it is consistently excellent. John Downer is a fantastic chef and his restaurant is a classic in Santa Barbara. He makes his dishes refined, uses delicious & fresh ingredients, and is right... More 

1 Thank NewportNic
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you very much for your gracious review of Downey's. We truly appreciate your frequent business. Cheers...John & Liz More 

Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

We were holidaying in Santa Barbara last month and decided to try Downey's based on reviews. We were not disappointed. The appetizers (crab salad and salmon) were delicious (and "normal" sized for one person which was a relief) and the black cod and lamb entrees we tried were excellent. We don't normally bother with desserts but had to try the... More 

Thank Mma_Ramotswe
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thanks so much for taking time to write your positive review. We will look forward to seeing you next time you feel the need to escape the cold wintry chills of old England. Cheers...John & Liz More 

Los Angeles, California, USA
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2016 via mobile

I must tell you how delicious a dinner was enjoyed this week at Downey's in Santa Barbara. From soup to main course to cheese course to desserts ... it was non-pareil. Old fashioned white table cloths with white walls covered in local artists'( very local ) paintings ...it's quiet and simple. Yet it's slightly over the top ... desserts are... More 

Thank Robert W
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thanks for your thoughtful review. We truly appreciate your feed-back. Were you thinking of the squab? We hope to see you again soon...John & Liz More 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2016

We choose Downey's to celebrate since it may have the best food in Santa Barbara. The hostess and owner Liz Downey seated us at a comfortable table. The ambiance is subdued and QUIET an almost impossible finding in today's world. Fine, limited menu with fresh organic greens. I had a veal dish on bed of pasta with mushroom sauce and... More 

Thank mountain18
Ventura, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2016

We were looking for a place really special to celebrate our 40th anniversary and found it at Downey's. Great atmosphere, quite, best service and excellent food and presentation. The Mussels and Duck Breast, the best ever. Liz and the front staff make you feel like you have been coming their all your life. Thank you for the most enjoyable dinning... More 

Thank Vtajim41
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thanks so much for spending your special anniversary with us and also taking time to write such a lovely review....John & Liz More 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
101 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2016

I have been here a few times and every time I go, it is just okay. The decor is so dated and it seems like the chef is simply phoning in instructions for how to cook the food that has been the same since my parents started going there! There are many better places to go to in town...so don't... More 

Thank Lucky7Traveler
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thanks for visiting us several times. I'm sorry you have not enjoyed it each time. Unfortunately we cannot be all things to all people. More 

Santa Barbara, CA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2016

Downey's has been our favorite restaurant for years - always the same high quality, creative menu in a very elegant but understated setting. My husband and I love the little alcove at the back for special occasions. Everything on the menu is outstanding - but, according to my husband, the homemade desserts are "to die for." I don't know how... More 

Thank VickieBHS

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
$30 - $60
American, Contemporary
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
Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Open Hours
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Barbara
  • Phone Number: +1 805-966-5006
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
10 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?