Best Cheap and Local Eats in Santa Barbara

It’s completely possible to get a fabulous product or service for a very affordable sum—you just need to know where to look! And if you’re looking for food in Santa Barbara, the same rule applies! As a haven for the rich and famous, there are plenty of restaurants here that’ll milk you for your money. But ask a local their secrets and they’ll show you some of these favorite local restaurants that’ll give you a full meal without draining your finances!

On the Alley

Between the City College and Santa Barbara Harbor sits On the Alley, boasting one of the best food-to-dollar ratios in town. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and particularly early dinners, closing around 6 or 7 each night. Their breakfast menu features staples such as muffins, parfaits, chorizo burgers, and pancakes, while they offer salads, sandwiches, and hot dogs the rest of the day. They’ve got an attractive array of desserts as well—which can go perfectly well with breakfast, too—we won’t tell anyone! A meal here will probably run you $9 to $11.50.

Mony’s Mexican Food

A fine spot for Mexican food, Mony’s gets its positive reviews for its deliciousness—we mention it here because it’s a great deal! Tacos are under $2, and meatless burritos and quesadillas will only cost you $8. If you really want to dig in, get one of their $11.25 meals, including fajitas, carne asada, nachos, and enchiladas. Mony’s is near Stearn’s Wharf, on Anacapa Street.

Renaud’s

Everyone loves France for its food, and Renaud’s Patisserie and Bistro is one of the few places in California that can match its quality! With croissants, coffee, salads, and croques-madames that’ll make you feel like you’re in Paris, Renaud’s is definitely worth the visit. It’s a few dollars more expensive than some of the other listings here—about $10.50 to $14 per meal—but still worth every penny. Renaud’s two locations are both off State Street, one near Las Positas Road and the other downtown near Sola St.

The Blue Owl

The Blue Owl is an excellent downtown spot for a sandwich that stretches your dollar. Ranging from crabmelts to turkey on focaccia to eggplant sandwiches to peanut butter burgers, all of their exciting menu options cost $9 or less! As a nice bonus, The Blue Owl is open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays—perfect for cheap late-night eats! It’s on State Street and E. Canon Perdido Street.

Perfect Bites in Paradise!

With cheap eats and gorgeous luxury homes, you might think you’re dreaming! But it’s easy to live the good life—just browse our luxury rentals and see how you can enjoy Santa Barbara! Call us at 1-805-275-1851 to book your stay with us!