Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. With sweeping views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains, it’s easy to see why thousands come to visit each year. In addition to all of the beauty surrounding it, Stearns Wharf is also home to many fun tourist attractions and shops to keep the family entertained during their visit. As you plan your day of fun in the sun on the central coast, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you are scoping out the best places to eat. Luckily, Stearns Wharf has some of the best restaurants in town, and not to mention some of the best views. Here is a list of the restaurants on Stearns Wharf for you to put on your list.
Moby Dick Restaurant
A Santa Barbara tradition for more than 40 years, Moby Dick is a great place to kick back, watch the waves, and try some fresh fish or a favorite happy hour snack. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Moby Dick is a great place to take the family at any time of the day on the wharf. From fried calamari, lobster bisque, and Alaskan king crab legs to old fashioned hamburgers, linguini alfredo, and filet mignon, the expansive menu really has something for everyone. Be sure to not miss dessert, where you can’t go wrong with some carrot cake or indulging in a local favorite—McConnell’s ice cream. In addition to great food, the restaurant has an outdoor cocktail patio and the “Sunset Room,” which is the perfect place to take a picture, enjoy a meal, and admire the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Visiting Stearns Wharf after work? Don’t forget to drop by their happy hour from 4-6 (not available on certain dates, some restrictions apply) with specials on their extensive cocktail menu and a variety of happy hour munchies.
Great Pacific Ice Cream Co.
Is there anything more iconic than taking a stroll on the boardwalk with an ice cream cone in hand? Grab a cone at the only ice cream spot on Stearns Wharf, which has resided there for over 30 years. Enjoy one of the many ice cream flavors on one of their fresh waffle cones that are made daily in the shop and go out and enjoy while looking at the incredible views the wharf has to offer.
Mother Stearns Candy Co.
Craving something sweet? Then be sure not to miss Mother Stearns Candy Co., which has everything to satisfy your sweet tooth, from 25 flavors of salt water taffy, truffles, homemade fudge to cotton candy. Mother Stearns Candy Co. also sells ice cold drinks, which are perfect to enjoy out on the beach. Just visiting Santa Barbara? Check out the gift baskets full of goodies to take back home that have an assortment of taffy (or at least enjoy on the plane ride back).
Boasting some of the best views in Santa Barbara, Longboard’s Grill is the perfect place to stop by and enjoy a meal with family and friends after a long day at the beach. Located upstairs from Harbor Restaurant, Longboard’s is a casual eatery that has all of your classic favorites like fish and chips, cheeseburgers, and the classic California menu item, fish tacos. Enjoy one of their many specialty cocktails—from a pina colada to their famous Wipeout drink, which comes with its own signature glass—or maybe one of their fried twinkies or oreos for dessert.
Harbor Restaurant offers fine dining on the wharf with spectacular ocean views. Harbor is the ultimate place to take your spouse on your anniversary or just a great place to celebrate being in Santa Barbara. With decadent items on the menu like potato crusted fresh Atlantic salmon and stuffed chicken breast with fresh mushrooms, brie, and spinach in a mushroom sauce, it’s easy to see that you’re in for an unforgettable night of dining.
Santa Barbara Shellfish Co.
Starting out in 1980 as a market for shellfish and fish and a place to sell crab, Santa Barbara Shellfish Co. is now a full-fledged restaurant near the entrance of the wharf. The restaurant prides itself on offering the very best in seafood and preparing it with old family recipes and advice from the fishermen they’ve encountered on all their travel. When you visit Santa Barbara Shellfish Co., try the New England style clam chowder, the steamed local crab that’s served with coleslaw and onion rings, or the fresh lobster tacos. Be sure to wash all of this food down with a local brew or perhaps a glass of wine from Santa Barbara County.