Although the best way to start your day is breakfast, the best way to start the weekend is brunch. Santa Barbara is home to many great brunch places and I have created a list for every situation you may encounter while you’re here.
The Best Place To Forget Your Actions From Last Night and Cure Your Terrible Hangover: Cajun Kitchen
What to order: anything greasy
Cajun Kitchen is a chain restaurant with multiple locations in the Santa Barbara and Goleta areas. They offer a variety of breakfast and Cajun foods. Their menu is extensive, which makes it a perfect read to take your mind off of whatever you did last night. The portion sizes here are very large, which can help soak up any alcohol that’s still left in your body.
The Place To Take Your Parents and Pretend the Quarter Is Going Okay: Scarlett Begonia
What to order: lemon ricotta pancakes, cinnamon roll, shrimp & grits
Scarlett Begonia is on the god tier of brunch places in Santa Barbara. Everything on their menu is delicious and their ingredients are all organic and locally grown. The food here is so good that your parents will take one bite of their cinnamon roll and ignore all the bad news you told them. It doesn’t matter that you failed a midterm or your housemates are fighting or you bought a Coachella ticket when your rent is due next week. All that matters is that you brought them to an amazing brunch spot.
The Place To Run Into Someone You Never Want To See Again From the Night Before: Bagel Cafe
What to order: Benedict Eggle, Super Emma
Bagel Cafe is in the heart of Isla Vista and many students flock here after a long night. The line typically extends to the sidewalk and is filled with people you don’t want to talk to. Maybe it’s someone that you met the night before but don’t remember their name or someone that you’ve had multiple classes with but never really talked to or someone you had a crush on during your first year. Regardless of who it is, you come here and only talk with the one person you came with or you stay glued to your phone, order your bagel, wait for it to be ready and walk back home.
The Place To Take Your Aesthetic Brunch Photos for Instagram: Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach
What to order: Boathouse Signature Breakfast
Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach has great views, great food and great vibes. Its location is right on the beach, making this the best place for an Instagram shoot with your friends. You can pose with your coffee cup, mimosa flute or just a glass of water since everything looks good with the Santa Barbara sun shining on you.
The Place To Get the Best Egg Popping Boomerang From Your Benedict: The Shop Kitchen
What to order: any Eggs Benedict
Everybody knows that a good Eggs Benedict is the epitome of brunch. At The Shop Kitchen, you’re able to customize your own Eggs Benedict. It doesn’t matter if you don’t eat meat, if you want fish or if you want fried chicken early in the morning, there is an Eggs Benedict dish for you! You can’t go wrong with any Benedict you pick on the menu, so have fun popping that yolk for the Boomerang on your Instagram story.
The Place To Get Wasted at 11 a.m. on Bottomless Mimosas: State & Fig
What to order: bottomless mimosas and State burger
For my 21+ friends, you know that bottomless mimosas are the way to go. There is no better way to start your morning than a mixed drink on an empty stomach. The service here is really good at making sure your mimosa flute is never empty. I highly suggest ordering something heavy for food like the State burger or the short rib Benedict to help you take advantage of the bottomless drinks. Cheers!
The Place To Go if You Like Dessert in the Morning: Jeannine’s
What to order: french toast or pancake combo
Jeannine’s is a bakery and restaurant with multiple locations in Santa Barbara County and they have recently expanded to Goleta. Jeannine’s is the perfect place to go for your sweet tooth. They offer an assortment of pastries from their bakery but one of the best dishes Jeannine’s has to offer is french toast. Jeannine’s makes their french toast with the challah bread from their bakery, which is so fresh and yummy. I highly recommend this place if you love a classic french toast.
The Place To Take That Girl You Really Like but Won’t Commit To: Finch & Fork
What to order: short rib sweet potato hash and fire-roasted milkshake
Finch & Fork has some of the best food in Santa Barbara. This is the perfect place to take that girl you won’t commit to because the food is so good that she’ll forget all about your commitment issues. The menu changes seasonally so you won’t have to worry about ordering the same thing when you bring a different girl next quarter.
The Place To Go With Your Vegan and Vegetarian Friends Even if You Don’t Like Vegan Food: Mesa Verde
What to order: green plant bowl and baklava
Every friend group has a vegan or vegetarian friend that always has to compromise when eating out. Lucky for them (and you!), Mesa Verde is a vegan spot that everyone will love regardless of dietary restrictions. The aesthetics and vibes of the place are super trendy and their food is delicious.
The Place To Go To Cancel Out All the Unhealthy Things You Put in Your Body the Night Before: Backyard Bowls
What to order: berry bowl with coconut milk base instead of apple juice
Everybody knows that ordering an acai bowl the morning after a long night is the best way to detox your body. Backyard Bowls has the best acai in Santa Barbara, in my opinion. The staff is very accommodating with any substitutions you may have but their pre-made combinations are amazing as well.