Wow, the time has finally come. In just a few short weeks, I’ll walk across the graduation stage and say goodbye to this lovely town I’ve called home. I am so grateful for my time at UC Santa Barbara and how it has really become my place. During my time in Santa Barbara and Isla Vista, the food and restaurants have really made me sad to leave. So here we have it, in no particular order, an ode to my favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara. Cheers. 

An Isla Vista Favorite, Cajé

Thank you ​​Cajé for fueling my caffeine addiction the past two years. Cajé is the spot for everyone to gather after a night out, eating bagels and acai bowls, while we people watch at the front tables. Thank you to the baristas who knew my name when I came in and for making me my “The Works” bagel. Also, my $7 oat milk latte will truly be missed. 

Pali Wine Co.

Tasting flights from Pali Wine Co.

Jill Ridens / Daily Nexus

As soon as all my friends and I turned 21, all we wanted to do was go wine tasting. Pali Wine Co. in the Funk Zone was our spot for many Saturday afternoon tasting flights. Pali always brought great vibes and great people, and you could always count on a dog to be there. The live music was always just a great way to add to the already immaculate vibes. When I think about wine country and Santa Barbara, I’ll always think of Pali. 

Flor De Maiz

The Tostada de Mariscos at Flor De Maiz.

Jill Ridens / Daily Nexus

I am constantly craving Flor De Maiz; it’s seriously the best Mexican restaurant I’ve ever been to. Not only is the food amazing, but the ocean view pushes it into must-visit territory. The tortillas and rice are always so fresh and the margaritas have the perfect amount of spice. This place got me hooked on seafood, and because of that, all I ever ordered was the Tostada de Mariscos. (Seriously, this is a must-try). Thank you Flor de Maiz for all the fun dinners with my friends and always being the place we would take our parents when they came to town. 

Rockfire Grill

A flatbread burger and wings from Rockfire Grill.

Jill Ridens / Daily Nexus

You can always count on me to be at Rockfire in Isla Vista every week for Wing Wednesday. This place is a classic IV hangout; it’s always a great spot to go to before a night out and a staple go-to meal. I watched countless sporting events and spent karaoke nights here and will always have memories of the luau music and house-made aioli. Thank you Rockfire for the memories, I will miss my Wing Wednesday nights.

Santa Barbara and Isla Vista have treated me so well the past few years. Some of my fondest memories come from all the restaurants my friends and I went to, celebrating holidays, birthdays or just as an excuse for a night out.