UCSB is a big part of Santa Barbara’s identity, but it’s important to note that it’s not actually in Santa Barbara. It’s in Isla Vista, a tiny enclave 15 minutes down the highway. And Freebirds is its most iconic eating spot. The 30-year-old burrito joint is a full-blown national chain these days, but we simply don’t care, and neither does the mob of stoned college kids waiting in line. The original Isla Vista location is required eating.
Where we've featured it
More spots in Santa BarbaraSee more
The Blue Owl
The Blue Owl is one of the few late-night spots in downtown Santa Barbara, but this Thai-fusion restaurant is great no matter your level of sobriety.
Corazon Cocina is a fantastic seafood-heavy Mexican food counter in the Santa Barbara Public Market.
Loquita is a tapas restaurant with a great patio in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, and a very good upscale dinner option.
More Tex-Mex spotsSee more
Crazy Coyote Tacos
Stopping at Mexican spot Crazy Coyote in Banning for their giant tacos is mandatory on any drive to or from Palm Springs.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more