Are you looking for the best vegetarian or vegan-friendly restaurants in Santa Barbara? Plant-Based near me? No problem! 

An overhead photo of a vegan salad garnished with edible flowers on a purple plate next to bread and an aperol spritz. Text overlay reads "the best vegan food in Santa Barbara"

Living in a tourist town like Santa Barbara, I often get emails asking for restaurant recommendations, specifically, for vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. I’ve lived in Santa Barbara my entire life and while we’ve always had plenty of beautiful fresh food available, there are more vegan options than ever before. 

Whether you’re a local, tourist, vegetarian or vegan, or omnivore, everyone will love these favorite vegan Santa Barbara restaurants. While there are only a few completely vegetarian or vegan restaurants in Santa Barbara, there are more incredible restaurants with separate vegan menus we love. If you aren’t sure which foods are vegan, check out our vegan grocery list

We’ll start with the Santa Barbara restaurants that exclusively serve vegetarian/vegan dishes, then move onto others that happen to have great vegan menus or a few favorite dishes. 

A plate of Roman artichoke heart halves topped with microgreens and breadcrumbs with a small dish of aioli on the side and peppadew peppers.

Roman Style Artichoke Hearts at Oliver’s Montecito

Completely Vegan or Vegetarian Restaurants in Santa Barbara

A white plate with a zucchini and tomato tower topped with microgreens and filled witth tomato and vegan ricotta sauces.

Heirloom Zucchini & Tomato Tower at Oliver’s

Oliver’s Montecito 

Number one on our list for the best vegan restaurant in Santa Barbara is Oliver’s. This romantic high-end vegan restaurant complete with a beautiful patio and swanky bar is perfect for special occasions and date nights. We have dined here many times and the food and service is always perfect. Oliver’s takes reservations on Opentable. 

  • 100% Vegan 
  • $$$
  • Favorite dishes: Literally everything, but if I had to choose… Roman Style Artichoke Hearts, Heirloom Zucchini & Tomato Tower, Kung Pao Cauliflower, Tofu Banh Mi

A big salad with purple radish slices on a wooden table at Mesa Verde vegan restaurant in Santa Barbara.

Mesa Verde 

This completely plant-based restaurant in Santa Barbara serves up modern, organic, vibrant fare you’ll feel good about. While more casual than Oliver’s, it also makes a lovely date spot. We recommend a walk on Shoreline Drive or beach before stopping here for lunch or dinner. 

  • 100% vegan 
  • $$ 
  • Favorite dishes: 
The "Yoga Pants" salad on a purple plate next to an orange drink and a focaccia.

The Yoga Pants Salad and Cast Iron Kalamata Focaccia with Roasted Garlic Olive Oil at Satellite.

Satellite 

Right on State Street, Satellite is a sweet little spot to sit outside and enjoy a fresh lunch or dinner and try organic wines. The menu is small but made with fresh, local, farmers’ market ingredients. This lively restaurant often has live music playing outside and is a happy place to linger with friends. 

  • 100% Vegetarian (mostly vegan) 
  • Favorite Dishes: Natural wines, yoga pants salad, focaccia with roasted garlic olive oil, Castelvetrano olives 
A falafel sandwich on an outdoor patio table from Falabar, a vegan restaurant in Santa Barbara.

Falabar

Falabar has locations in Los Angeles and in the Santa Barbara Public Market. Serving a completely vegan menu of falafel burgers, sandwiches, salads, and plates, falabar is a great place to stop for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. 

If you’re looking for falafel plates I would recommend Zaytoon or Mezza Thyme (see below) for those, although they are not fully-vegan restaurants. 

  • 100% Vegan 
  • Favorite Dishes: Falafel sandwich 

Rascal’s 

Created by Santa Barbara native Dalan Moreno, Rasca’s began as a pop-up, offering vegan comfort food like Egg McMuffins, Mexican food, vegan burgers, cupcakes, and milkshakes. You can order online for pickup here or delivery using Grubhub. 

  • 100% Vegan 
  • Popular Dishes: 

Green Table 

This small organic, gluten-free, vegetarian restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara is located conveniently just across from Paseo Nuevo. Green Table is completely vegetarian and mostly vegan with plenty of raw vegan items. 

  • 100% Vegetarian 
  • Popular Dishes: Raw Veggie Wrap, Raw Kale Salad, Pesto Avocado Toast

Great Vegan Food from Non-Vegan Santa Barbara Restaurants 

More and more Santa Barbara restaurants are adding vegan items on their menus and some even have separate vegan menus. Here are some of our favorite mainstream restaurants that make eating vegetarian or vegan easy and delicious. 

Natural Cafe 

Natural Cafe has simple, healthy dishes with plenty of plant-based options that I’ve been enjoying even before I stopped eating meat. While nothing is really spectacular here, it’s the type of food I would make at home (soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, stir fry) and is quick, healthy, and easy. Most of the vegetarian dishes can easily be made vegan by omitting dairy. I like to swap the chicken on the salads for sauteed tofu. 

  • Many Vegetarian & Vegan Options 
  • $
  • Favorite Dishes: Salads with tahini dressing, enchiladas, stir fry 
Ceramic bowls filled with vegetarian Indian dishes. Clockwise, aloo gobi, basmati rice, chana masala, mint chutney, chapati, and saag.

Flavor of India

This midtown Santa Barbara Indian restaurant has been a local family-owned business for 20 years. Indian food is always a great choice there are many naturally vegetarian dishes, and this one is a go-to for takeout.

This restaurant has a large all-vegan menu in addition to plenty of vegetarian options. Other options for great Indian food (with designated vegan dishes) in town are Apana Indian Kitchen and Bibi Ji

  • Separate Vegan Menu 
  • $$
  • Favorite Dishes: Chana Masala, Aloo Gobhi, Baingan Bharta, Saag  
A blue vegan menu titled "Vegan Owl" posted in the window of the Blue Owl in Santa Barbara.

Blue Owl

With a dedicated vegan menu, finding something delicious and completely vegan is easy at the Blue Owl in downtown Santa Barbara. Right next to Paseo Nuevo, it makes a great lunch stop after shopping.  

  • Separate Vegan Menu 
  • Popular Dishes: Nam Toc Burrito, Banh-Mi with Tofu or Eggplant 
A white plate with a vegan mushroom sushi roll in a restaurant.

The “Magic Mushroom” shushi roll at Arigato

Arigato

Arigato has been a favorite Santa Barbara sushi restaurant for date nights. We were pleased to see the bottom of the menu include “Garden” and “Sushi of Garden” sections filled with plenty of delicious plant-based options that go way beyond the typical avocado roll.

There are over 20 easy-to-find plant-based items on the Arigato menu from tofu steak to portobello nigiri and more. 

  • Vegan Section on Menu 
  • $$$ 
  • Favorite Dishes: Magic Mushroom Roll  

A vegan portobello mushroom sandwich with lettuce, avocado, and tomato on a blue and white plate on a wooden table.

Savoy Cafe

Savoy Cafe in downtown Santa Barbara is a happy little cafe for breakfast and lunch with two outdoor patios and very friendly staff. 

  • Many vegan options 
  • Favorite Dishes: Salad bar, sandwiches, burrito, coffee drinks, wine, vegan pastries 

Zaytoon

This Middle Eastern restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara is so much fun! Reserve a fire pit table in the courtyard to enjoy great food and cocktails. The best (in my opinion) dishes are naturally vegan and marked as such on the menu. The hummus is the creamiest you’ll ever have and delicious with a side of cucumber spears. 

  • Many vegetarian and vegan options 
  • $$ 
  • Favorite Dishes: Hummus, baba ghannouj, falafel, tabbouli

Meza Thyme 

Sister restaurant to Zaytoon, Meza Thyme is a great option for vegetarian or vegan delivery or take-out in Santa Barbara. 

  • Many vegetarian and vegan options 
  • $
  • Favorite Dishes: Eggplant Falafel Platter – Family Special 

Mesa Burger 

Any of the gourmet burgers at Mesa Burger can be made with locally owned Hungry Planet vegan beef or chicken patties. One of my favorite veggie burgers in town. 

  • Vegan options with a veggie patty and bun swap 
  • $
  • Favorite: Mesa Burger with Hungry Planet Patty 

A colorful salad with Romaine lettuce, blood oranges, strawberries, radish slices and a grilled avocado on a wooden table.

Convivo

Located in the Santa Barbara Inn, Convivo has very few vegetarian and vegan dishes but has made this list because the ones they do have are worth trying. The menu changes frequently with the seasons and ingredients are fresh and high quality. 

Reserve an outdoor table to watch the sunset over the beach. 

  • A few vegetarian and vegan options 
  • $$$ 
  • Favorite Dishes: Charcoal Avocado Salad, Carrots with baba ganoush, saffron cauliflower, dukka, golden raisins, Pizza 

South Coast Deli

This local sandwich shop now has four vegan sandwiches and several more vegetarian options. Grab a fried eggplant sandwich and head to the beach for a picnic. 

Grab-And-Go Santa Barbara Vegan Food 

The interior of Juice Ranch in Santa Barbara: a wooden bar in the foreground and a glass case filled with colorful juices in the background.

Juice Ranch 

My favorite juice bar in Santa Barbara, Juice Ranch makes refreshing 100% organic cold-pressed juices served in glass bottles. They also have smoothies, kombucha, salads, bagels, cookies, and plant-based cream cheese.  You can find Juice Ranch downtown and in Montecito. 

If you like healthy juices, check out my top Juicing Recipes

Backyard Bowls

If you love acai bowls and healthy smoothies, stop by one three Backyard Bowls locations. 

Oat Bakery 

With many gluten-free and vegan bread, this charming local bakery is a favorite stop, especially on Tuesday afternoons during the State Street farmer’s market. I love the vegan cream cheese with bagels or the beet hummus with fresh bread. 

Lazy Acres 

A favorite natural grocery store on the Mesa, Lazy Acres has a fabulous juice bar, salad bar, and hot bar. We also love the avocado sushi.