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Downey's - CLOSED

1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609
+1 805-966-5006
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  • Excellent79%
  • Very good13%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“duck” (49 reviews)
“tasting menu” (11 reviews)
Restaurant Hours Closed
French, American, Seafood, Contemporary
1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609
All Details
Reviews (356)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
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31 - 40 of 349 reviews

Reviewed December 25, 2016 via mobile

We were lucky enough to share chef Downey's holiday menu. The lobster papaya salad was wonderful. The chestnut soup was served hot just the way we like it. Christmas goose was a special treat. The staff is warm and accommodating. The ambience classy and inviting....More

2  Thank David K
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this reviewResponded December 27, 2016

Thank you David! We're so glad you enjoyed your Holiday dinner at Downey's. We truly appreciate your taking time to write this wonderful review. Happy New Year from John & Liz

Reviewed December 11, 2016

We just had another wonderful dinner at Downey's tonight. The food, service, overall peaceful ambiance (in spite of the parade right outside their door) was outstanding. And, the special holiday menu John created was fabulous starting with lobster and papaya salad with a pomegranate and...More

2  Thank VickieBHS
Reviewed November 30, 2016

Downey's is our favorite restaurant in Southern California. The food selection. preparation and presentation combine to create outstanding menu choices. Service is professional and attentive. On our most recent visit, I had the best duck I ever ate, and my wife had one of her...More

1  Thank Zafss
Reviewed November 4, 2016

Downey's is one of Santa Barbara's finest restaurants. Centrally located on upper State Street, Downey's is a small,intimate space where you can dine with friends and actually have a conversation without having to shout. The menu is limited but the dishes are all well prepared...More

1  Thank Penn69
Reviewed November 2, 2016

A beautiful little restaurant run by a lovely couple. The food was fresh and fabulous and the staff (including one of the owners were very friendly and attentive. This is really a little gem in Santa Barbara, and I would go back time and time...More

1  Thank Ian R
Reviewed October 25, 2016 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...More

1  Thank Rachel W
John D, Manager at Downey's, responded to this reviewResponded October 27, 2016

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

Reviewed October 23, 2016

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...More

1  Thank Joe U
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2016

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!

Reviewed October 14, 2016

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!

1  Thank RozDe
John D, General Manager at Downey's, responded to this reviewResponded October 27, 2016

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

Reviewed October 1, 2016

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...More

2  Thank NewportNic
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2016

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

Reviewed September 23, 2016

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...More

1  Thank Mma_Ramotswe
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2016

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

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Restaurant Details

Average prices
$30 - $60
French, American, Seafood, Contemporary
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
Good for
Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions, 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
  • E-mail
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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