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.


Certificate of Excellence
French, American, Contemporary
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609 (Victoria)
+1 805-966-5006
5:30 pm - 9:00 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
Add Photo Write a Review

313 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 306: English reviews
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
348 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

For almost 30 years now John Downey has provided consistently top quality offerings. Loccated on State Street next to the Arlington Theater it is in a prime location. Be sure to ask for the specials of the night. John uses locally produced food prepared in a most wonderfully delicious manner. Hard to beat. Michelin should give him a star!! Enjoy.

Thank EDD1967_83
Ventura, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Tonight was our first visit to Downeys tho' we've lived in Ventura, CA for over 40 Yrs. We were the first guests of the week (first in on Tuesday PM) so were privileged to enjoy a private dining experience for a portion of the evening. Thoroughly enjoyed Downeys prosciutto, the filet and lamb entrees, a cheese course and dessert all... More 

Thank Judy J
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

For over 30 years I have been celebrating special occasions at this wonderful restaurant. John Downey is Santa Barbara's best chef, and has been doing farm to table with local ingredients for as long as I can remember. The food is always excellent, served simply with finesse, in a casual central coast style. Updated classics with a twist, that are... More 

Thank goldee59
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thanks for your kind words which capture everything that we are trying to achieve at Downey's. Thanks for your long-standing support also. Thirty years is a very long time! More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2016

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 

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

Thank you for your review. We look forward to seeing you on your next trip to Santa Barbara. More 

Santa Barbara
Level Contributor
35 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2016

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 

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

We're so glad you enjoyed dinner with us. Thank you for coming. More 

Santa Barbara, California
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2016

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

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

Thank you for bestowing the gold standard award upon us! We appreciate you taking the time to review us online. More 

New Jersey
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2016 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 

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 June 29, 2016

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 

Thank Stack999
san francisco
Level Contributor
38 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2016

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.

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 June 21, 2016

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 

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 

Travelers who viewed Downey's also viewed

Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara, CA

Been to Downey's? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
Average prices
$30 - $60
French, 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
Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
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
Ask a question
santa barbara
8 months ago

See all questions (1)

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?