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Certificate of Excellence
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1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609 (Victoria)
+1 805-966-5006
Sun 17:30 - 21:00
Tue - Thu 17:30 - 21:00
Fri - Sat 17:30 - 21:30
More Info
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331 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 324: English reviews
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
153 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We drive up from LA to eat here and always have an amazing meal! This time I had the seafood tasting menu which was out of this world.. The red lentil soup with curry cream is unique and delicious.

1 Thank psychjudy
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you so much! We are glad you enjoyed your Taste of Santa Barbara. We truly appreciate your business...John & Liz More 

Left coast USA
Level Contributor
59 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Downey's has been in the same location for the 25 years we have been returning, and for some years before. It is always top notch - in menu, in quality of food and service, in wine quality, and in its quiet ambiance. It's our 'go-to' dining place of choice for special occasions or when we just want to be treated... More 

1 Thank Tex805
San Jose, CA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2017

We really enjoyed our time at Downey's and felt that everyone there was going out of their way to deliver a wonderful experience. We would highly recommend this restaurant to our friends.

1 Thank 06Mexico_Lover
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you so much for taking time to write this great review. We look forward to serving you again soon. Cheers...John & Liz More 

Santa Barbara
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2016

A perfect evening starting with an excellent staff, great choices on the menu, excellent wines and food prepared to perfection. Be sure to order appetizers; the crab and papaya is amazing. Fresh ingredients prepared with an expertise you rarely find anymore. They were kind enough to prepare some special meals for some in our group that had food allergies. I... More 

1 Thank pamitu
Calabasas, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2016 via mobile

We were lucky enough to share chef Downey's holiday menu. The lobster papaya salad was wonderful. The chestnut soup was served hot just the way we like it. Christmas goose was a special treat. The staff is warm and accommodating. The ambience classy and inviting. Save room for the incredible deserts. We want to go back and explore the rest... More 

2 Thank David K
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you David! We're so glad you enjoyed your Holiday dinner at Downey's. We truly appreciate your taking time to write this wonderful review. Happy New Year from John & Liz More 

Santa Barbara, CA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2016

We just had another wonderful dinner at Downey's tonight. The food, service, overall peaceful ambiance (in spite of the parade right outside their door) was outstanding. And, the special holiday menu John created was fabulous starting with lobster and papaya salad with a pomegranate and hazelnut vinaigrette; next was a wild mushroom soup with brandy cream; then a filet of... More 

2 Thank VickieBHS
Level Contributor
33 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2016

Downey's is our favorite restaurant in Southern California. The food selection. preparation and presentation combine to create outstanding menu choices. Service is professional and attentive. On our most recent visit, I had the best duck I ever ate, and my wife had one of her best steaks. For dessert, we enjoyed Downey's signature white chocolate and raspberry cake.

1 Thank Zafss
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
128 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2016

Downey's is one of Santa Barbara's finest restaurants. Centrally located on upper State Street, Downey's is a small,intimate space where you can dine with friends and actually have a conversation without having to shout. The menu is limited but the dishes are all well prepared and very tasty. The wine list is more than adequate. The service is prompt and... More 

1 Thank Penn69
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2016

A beautiful little restaurant run by a lovely couple. The food was fresh and fabulous and the staff (including one of the owners were very friendly and attentive. This is really a little gem in Santa Barbara, and I would go back time and time again. The Irish wheaten bread is to die for! Having spend two weeks on the... More 

1 Thank Ian R
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2016 via mobile

I have been coming to this restaurant since I was a little girl- this is my family's top and favorite choice for special occasion meals! I always start with the crab appetizer and have duck as my main course. SO GOOD. I definitely recommend this restaurant with no hesitation- it is by far one of the best in Santa Barbara.

1 Thank Rachel W
John D, Manager at Downey's, responded to this review

We are always happy to help you celebrate any occasions, and thanks for sharing your enthusiasm! More 

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$30 - US$60
Contemporary, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly
Restaurant features
Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
Good for
Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Open Hours
17:30 - 21:00
17:30 - 21:00
17:30 - 21:00
17:30 - 21:00
17:30 - 21:30
17:30 - 21:30
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Barbara
  • Phone Number: +1 805-966-5006
Downey's restaurant is the cornerstone of fine casual dining on State Street in the heart of the downtown Santa Barbara theater district. Chef John Downey has been serving "Farm-to-Table" cuisine since 1982. The dining room is comfortably furnished with well-spaced tables allowing for pleasant dinner conversation. Original plein-aire landscapes of local scenes painted by co-owner Liz Downey adorn the walls. Liz also is most often overseeing the smooth running of her dining room where you may expect professional yet friendly service.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Downey's and other visitors
1 question
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santa barbara
over a year ago

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Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?