Santa Barbara’s food scene is unique and ever changing. Operating a restaurant during the pandemic is no easy task; supply chain issues, rent increases, staffing shortages and inflation are just some of the challenges restaurant owners currently face. The ongoing pandemic has drastically altered the area’s offerings, resulting in the closure of some beloved establishments. However, these closures also make room for new and inventive restaurants, breathing a new life into areas of Santa Barbara, Goleta and Isla Vista. 

Isla Vista’s Pizza My Heart shuts its doors

One of I.V.’s three pizzerias permanently closed its only Southern California location in August, most likely due to expensive rent prices in Santa Barbara County. Pizza lovers will now have to choose between Woodstock’s and Domino’s to get their fix. There are no signs of new development in the restaurant space at this time.

Checo’s opens in Isla Vista

I.V.’s new taco shop held their grand opening on Oct. 1. The opening day drew a large crowd of hungry students who sold out the restaurant by the end of the day. Read an interview with the owner and learn more about Checo’s menu and story by reading the article from La Vista, our Spanish section. 

Oat Bakery to open second location in Old Town Goleta

Oat Bakery announced via Instagram that they will be opening a second location in Old Town Goleta at 231 Magnolia Ave. The bakery already has a location on West Haley St. in downtown Santa Barbara. Their new location will have a new lunch menu, pizza oven and more room for sit-down dining and possible collaborations with other local businesses. We recently visited the space, and the owner Louise Ulrich shared that their estimated opening date is sometime in November. 

Harbor & Seafood Festival returns on Oct. 15

After two years, the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival returns to the Santa Barbara Harbor Waterfront. The daylong event will include complimentary boat rides, live musical performances and, of course, lots and lots of seafood. Booths along the harbor will sell paella, fish tacos, fresh fish and more. The festival is a great opportunity to meet and appreciate the work of local fishermen all while enjoying the freshest catch. 

Indulge in ghost stories and drinks during the Creepy Cocktail Crawl on Oct. 14 and 21

Get tickets now for a paranormal beverage crawl in downtown Santa Barbara. Your guide will share spooky stories in between stops at Santa Barbara’s best known bars and restaurants. Visitors can choose to make two or three stops for cocktails during the tour. 

Thai Bistro replaces TAP Thai Cuisine on State Street

Thai Bistro recently opened at 3130 State St. in the space previously occupied by TAP Thai Cuisine, a multi-location Thai restaurant with a location on Hollister Ave. in Goleta. The restaurant’s menu features Thai favorites including pad thai and panang curry as well as a Thai Street Food menu. 

A version of this article appeared on p. 10 of the October 13, 2022 of the Daily Nexus. 


Stephanie Gerson
Stephanie Gerson is a fourth-year Art History major and On the Menu Co-Editor. She can usually be found taking long walks, wandering about museums or grocery shopping.