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“Awesome wedding night experience!”
Review of Downey's

Downey's
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Ranked #20 of 534 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $60
Cuisines: French, Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
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.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome wedding night experience!”
Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

Once a year we venture to Downey's! This was our 8th year and happened to be our Wedding night so we brought 8 of our closest friends and family! So 10 of us and one 9 month old baby who was so good for our four hour meal! Year after year we always look forward to our experience. The food was incredible as usual, the dessert to die for. I had the Malfoy Raspberry heaven! Our one set of friends with the baby were so impressed at how the staff treated the baby, didn't turn up their nose at all. They still are talking about the dessert and how it was the best they have ever had! We actually brought our own wine this year which was fun too! I think this place is just the cream of the crop and be around for 32 years they obviously are doing things right! Can't wait till next year!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BryanCsanramon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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355 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    277
    47
    22
    4
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A pleasant surprise”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

I made reservations based on Trip advisor and when we arrived I didn't expect a small yet elegant resturant. We had a great culinary experience. The herbs and seasoning was distinctive in each dish. The service was exceptional. I will definitely recommend.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Douglas1009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Quinta, California
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Classy Restaurant, poor service”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

While walking along State St. looking for a restaurant, we came across a small cozy restaurant that served a set menu for that evening. After being seated we were given water and the waiter explained how the set menu works. After about 15 minutes the hostess noticed that we hadn't any bread, and asked if we didn't want any bread. I said we did but no one had brought any to our table. Finally, after a long delay, when the bread was delivered, it didn't taste fresh or warm.

The split-pea soup was only luke-warm. The salad was entirely lettuce w/vinaigrette. We were dissapointed. Things were moving so slow, we asked the waiter to bring the check/bill when he was to bring the main course.

The main course finally came. The little red potatoe's were so crisp you could only cut them with a knife. The fish was very good.

We finished our dinner and the check/bill still had not arrived. It took at least 15 additional minutes before the bill finally came. We did not enjoy the restaurant.

Also, the entrance to the restaurant is like walking into an old British telephone booth!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ndnrtsst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Outstanding Restaurant”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We booked Downey's based on Trip Advisor reviews and we were not disappointed. The food was excellent and the service was friendly, efficient and knowledgeable. The Lobster and Pasta salad was superb, as was the venison for the entree. Cooked perfectly. Wine list is mostly local wines, but very nice.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Philip W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falls Church, Virginia, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Always perfection!”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

There is a reason Zagat loves these guys! I have been going to Downey's for 30 years. There has never been a bad meal, bad experience or anything less than perfection. Liz and John are amazing. The food is farm fresh and prepared to perfection. The wait staff is knowledgeable, friendly and fun. It is a not a trip to SB without a trip to Downey's. Look for the red french doors!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank RockandJan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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