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Downey's

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

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Showing 332: English reviews
Bountiful, Utah, United States
Level Contributor
50 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

This is a small but wonderful restaurant. The atmosphere is quiet with warm and friendly staff who can tell you exactly how all menu items are prepared. The food is flavorful and beautifully presented. The meal time is laid back and the staff attentive but no overbearing, they let you enjoy the whole dining experience. And that is what Downey's... More 

Helpful?
Thank Trish B
Andover, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
69 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I'm sorry that I didn't take pictures, though people; don't seem to be doing that much anymore, because the food was so genuinely attractive. And the preparations were delicious, also. We both had fish—ahi in one case, sea bass in mine, and they were each excellent. I was filled at the end and decided to forego dessert, until the dessert... More 

Helpful?
Thank AprilLovesToTravel
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Incredible food! The ambiance and interaction with staff make it a dining experience worth doing. Particularly for a special occasion ( anniversary) it was classy.

Helpful?
Thank SSTInc
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you! We are so glad you enjoyed your evening with us. And thank you for taking time to write about us on Trip Advisor....John & Liz Downey More 

New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Superb salads, ok main courses, so so wines by the glass, and an overall B experience. The restaurant is definitely understaffed and those on the floor are anything but experienced or accommodating. I wonder if the restaurant will survive?

Helpful?
Thank OakdaleNewYork
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Hi, it's Liz Downey responding. I am pretty sure that you were overlooked a few nights ago. I am so sorry. I did notice that you seemed to be sitting a long time with your entree plates and I should have asked if you were unhappy since there was still food on your plates. It is a "too little, too... More 

Canton, Ohio
Level Contributor
44 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Wonderful food in a classy yet unpretentious atmosphere. Fresh and well prepared. We both enjoyed seafood, the salmon and sea bass were outstanding. Salads were innovative. Our deserts topped off a great meal. We loved the chocolate hazelnut torte with expresso creme anglais and strawberry rhubarb torte with homemade strawberry ice cream. Diners filled the room by 6 pm, so... More 

Helpful?
Thank Virgodream
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting our restaurant. We are so glad you enjoyed your dinner. We also appreciate you taking time to write this great review for us....John & Liz Downey More 

1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Dinner was amazing and the service was spot on perfect. The wine menu is reasonably priced, which isn't easy to find in a restaurant on this level...

Helpful?
Thank Joe C
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

Thank you! We are so glad you enjoyed your dinner with us. Cheers...John & Liz Downey More 

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Santa Barbara has many excellent restaurants, but this was the best dining experience we had in our one-week stay. Wonderful food; outstanding service. In pricey Santa Barbara, their four-course tasting menu is a bargain.

Helpful?
Thank MikeA0
Milton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We have been spending a few days in Santa Barbara so I had been looking around for good dinner places. I waited a bit late to book for a Saturday evening, but luckily this place had both good reviews and availability at a good time. What a treat...we found that the service is attentive, the maitresse d' very engaging, and... More 

Helpful?
Thank mcg-car
John D, Owner at Downey's, responded to this review

I'm so glad you found us! Thank you for this glowing review. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Santa Barbara...John & Liz Downey More 

Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
157 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2017

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.

Helpful?
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 2 February 2017 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 

Helpful?
1 Thank Tex805

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$ 30 - US$ 60
Cuisine
Contemporary, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly
Meals
Dinner
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
Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Romantic
Open Hours
Sunday
17:30 - 21:00
Tuesday
17:30 - 21:00
Wednesday
17:30 - 21:00
Thursday
17:30 - 21:00
Friday
17:30 - 21:30
Saturday
17:30 - 21:30
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2609
    (Victoria)
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Barbara
  • Phone Number: +1 805-966-5006
Description
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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Questions? Get answers from Downey's staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?