Moving to Santa Barbara has made me appreciate the amazing selection of affordable and delicious lunch options in Downtown Lawrence. I’m seriously missing Wheatfield’s, Taco Zone, and Rudy’s. Luckily, I’m going back to visit in November and will get a chance to visit all my favorite Lawrence restaurants.
For now, these are the places that are in my regular lunch rotation in downtown Santa Barbara.
My friend Becca visited Santa Barbara just after I moved and took me to this cheese shop and cafe for lunch. It was just my style! Yes, it does seem like a lot to pay $10 for a grilled cheese, but it’s high quality cheese and bread with extras like fig jam and carmelized onions, so yum. Plus, you get a side of pickled veggies. The shop has all the picnic accoutrements you could want, too. Definitely a great lunch spot, especially because it’s right around the corner from the record store.
This cafe, bakery, and coffeeshop is just up the street from work. Of course their cupcakes are good, but they also have a great selection of breakfast and lunch plates. The veggie breakfast burrito is a great value, but I usually get the avocado toast and salad for lunch. It’s only $6.95.
I might actually prefer this place to Taco Zone in Lawrence, guys. It’s SO GOOD. The Santa Barbara Public Market is right around the corner from my apartment and an easy place to stop for lunch or to grab dinner on the way home from work. This quesadilla de mercado is a homemade blue corn tortilla with pan fried cheese and perfectly cooked veggies topped with a peanut salsa. And it’s only $6.50! One day the special was tempura cauliflower and date tacos. I never would have come up with this combination, but it was fantastic. Tacos are only $4.50.
I also really love the way this kitchen is set up. It’s efficiently run by chef Ramon, who is often there. It’s a clean space and your order comes up quickly. I have been known to stop by two days in a row.
A $10 Indian lunch buffet! This was the place that my co-workers took me out for lunch when I started work. It’s just a block and a half away from the library. It’s a quick place to grab lunch. They always have a variety of vegetarian and meat dishes available, and everyone gets a fresh piece of naan, too. Of course the danger is it’s a buffet, and believe me, I am always full and sleepy after indulging in a lunch here. But the curry is great!
Okay, D’Angelo’s is the most expensive option on this list, and it’s way down on the south end of State Street, so it’s a place I go infrequently. But I love egg salad, and their version comes with pumpernickel bread and a ton of greens. I like to stop and grab this on my way home from the train station, which is just a block away, and then Uber home. At $15.50, this seems ridiculously expensive, but they are a full bakery and have lots of breakfast options, too. A real local place, though it’s not nearly as good as Wheatfield’s Bakery in Lawrence.
Sometimes I just need pizza. Probably this is because my parents owned a chain of pizza restaurants growing up. I have seriously not gone a week without pizza in my life. I miss Rudy’s from Lawrence so, so much, but luckily right around the corner from work is Gino’s Pizza, where they sell a slice of cheese, a side salad with real romaine and local tomatoes, and a diet coke for $6.50. What a deal! I like the thin, New York style crust, and the people who work there are nice. Perfect little whole in the wall neighborhood place.
This is one of the closest places to the library, so it’s perfect when I need a quick bite. This sandwich is chocked full of fresh veggies. Jeaninne’s also has a great selection of pastries. Their scones are amazing.
Do you have a favorite lunch spot in Santa Barbara?