Let’s face it: Some of your parents already spent all their money on your expensive-ass college tuition, so an expensive meal may not be an option. If that is the case, you may want to check out Kyle’s Kitchen, a burger joint with a great cause that donates part of its proceeds to a different special needs organization every month. The restaurant has two locations, one in Goleta and one in downtown SB. It offers something for everyone, from burgers and shakes to salads. The restaurant also has nice outdoor seating at both locations, so you can soak up sunny Santa Barbara one last time. Beer is served on tap and tasty lemonade is brewed to perfection. Each meal is only about $9 dollars including fries, so well within budget.


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This suggestion may not be very useful because if you don’t have a reservation at this point, it’s going to be pretty hard to find a table for four-plus. However, the Beachside Bar-Cafe is serene and beautiful and has an abundance of seating, so a reservation may still be available. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and boasts a seafood-heavy selection featuring fresh ingredients provided by the harbor’s bounty. Pricing can’t be an issue if you want to eat here because you’re bound to have a hefty bill at the end, but the atmosphere and view make it well worth it.


For breakfast at a reasonable price, head over to Cajun Kitchen Café, which has several locations around town. Grab a delicious plate of French toast or a savory omelet, and, of course, don’t forget to grab a plate of beignets. The place usually has a big wait, but that’s because it’s a local favorite — and for good reason. Hefty plates for roughly $9 pack a huge flavor and save you money for your gap year of traveling after graduation.
Lounge by the hookah pits and enjoy a beautiful ambiance provided by Zaytoon restaurant. Enjoy the decadent and exotic Lebanese cuisine while nestled in a garden lit by hanging lights, huddled around a blue glass fire pit. You’ll feel like a worldly traveler while you and your friends reminisce on your past journeys and get excited for your new adventures. Reservations do fill up quickly, so book it now or be prepared to wait an hour for an open table.

One Last Hoorah:

There is something special about the beauty of a greasy plate of nachos, and who knows when you’ll be back to partake in the Isla Vista ritual of waiting drunkenly in line at Freebirds? So go splurge and get extra cheese, meat, guac, get every salsa and some take-home cups of your favorite one. Sit there and eat the whole thing or share it with a friend; either way, make sure you enjoy every last bit of this very special restaurant that got most of us through our college years.