Valentine’s Day is coming up soon and with a holiday that celebrates relationships and love, many restaurants can make the perfect destination for a romantic date. If you are planning on taking your significant other out this year, here is a list of options for those with both picky palates and price-sensitive wallets. Each of these five restaurants is located on State Street and is the perfect option for a Valentine’s Day meal or snack. The ranking of each place is dependent on four factors: cost, portion size, ambiance and taste.  

Emily Liu / Daily Nexus

Santa Barbara Craft Ramen

Cost: Average

Portion Size: Large

Ambiance: Very casal 

Taste: Why aren’t you there already?

Santa Barbara Craft Ramen is arguably the best ramen place in Santa Barbara. Just by looking at it, you wouldn’t expect this tiny ramen shop across the street from Himalayan Kitchen and Velvet Jones to possess such superb ramen. The secret is the bone broth, made from pork and beef bones, which is cooked for 24 hours. For a lighter side, they also serve amazing poke and rice bowls. 


Moby Dick

Cost: Semi-expensive

Portion Size: Average

Ambiance: Semi-casual

Taste: Best brunch on the pier

Located at the end of the Santa Barbara pier, this fish house serves some of the best brunch I’ve had in a long time. Their handmade cocktails are to die for, and their lobster Benedict is worth every penny. Though a bit on the expensive side, it is well worth the price. This Valentine’s Day, Moby Dick is also offering a special from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday. 


Patxi’s Pizza

Cost: Semi-expensive

Portion Size: Large

Ambiance: Very casual

Taste: The sauce is to die for

For those who want a more casual Valentine’s Day, look no further than Patxi’s Pizza. Located down the street from the Metropolitan Metro 4 Theatre, Patxi’s offers the perfect end to a movie and pizza night or a great start to a night out on State Street. Specializing in Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, Patxi’s puts their own spin on a classic recipe with a sauce that rivals any marinara that this writer has encountered. The pizza, however, comes with a bit of a wait — 25 minutes to be exact. If you are willing to wait, the pizza is well worth it.


805 Boba

Cost: Cheap

Portion Size: Average

Ambiance: Very casual

Taste: Best boba in Santa Barbara

If you want a break on your wallet and a calmer Valentine’s Day, be sure to check out 805 Boba. This boba place offers some of the best mix-and-match options for tea and coffee, along with some of the sweetest brown-honey boba and rainbow jelly in Santa Barbara. They can get a bit of a line and are only open until 10 p.m., so if you and your significant other want a laid-back Valentine’s Day with a nice dessert, this is the perfect place. 


Black Sheep Restaurant

Cost: Expensive

Portion Size: Small

Ambiance: Very fancy

Taste: Exquisite 

For those who really want to impress this Valentine’s Day, check out the Black Sheep Restaurant. A bit small on the portions and high on the price, this place is for those who want a truly fine-dining experience. The Black Sheep Restaurant offers the most delicious, creamy risotto du jour, and their bone marrow bruschetta is divine. The bone marrow becomes meat butter on a plate. So if you are looking for a nice night out and don’t mind the price, this is the place to be


This list offers only a small sample of the many delicious restaurants on State Street, with much more ripe for discovery and sampling this Valentine’s Day. If none of these options seem appealing, the Goleta and Santa Barbara areas hold a wide variety of restaurants to suit any taste and preference. However you decide to spend the day, either out on the town or indoors, I’m certain that you will be able to make the day a delicious one to remember.