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.
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Sama Sama Kitchen
Sama Sama is a modern Indonesian spot in Santa Barbara, different from anything else you'll find in town.
Sopes are the thing to order at Cuernavaca, an order-at-the-counter Mexican joint in Santa Barbara.
Olio-Plex is our term for Olio Pizzeria, Olio Crudo Bar, and Olio e Lemone, and you can't go wrong with any of these Santa Barbara Italian spots.
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Paco’s Tacos in Del Rey is a neighborhood staple that serves very classic Mexican in very huge portions.
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