On my recent trip to Santa Barbara I added a few new places to stop at.
After a Saturday morning stroll through the Santa Barbara’s Farmers Market, I walked down to the end of the block where the newly opened The French Press coffee house is located. The menu covers everything from espressos to loose leaf tea and on my recent visits hot apple cider. There is a wide variety of pastries, including several varieties of croissants, as well as a selection of Twenty-Four Blackbirds artisanal chocolate. All of which I have now sampled abundantly. I know I have mentioned in the past how it would be difficult to obtain the level of service and product that my top all-time favorite coffee shops in the US (Stumptown, Café Grumpy, Joe) consistently provide; however, I am now expanding my list to include French Press. For those interested, the beans are sourced from Verve Coffee Roasters out of Santa Cruz. There are two locations in the area, the first is at the corner of Anacapa and Cota, the second is downtown at 1101 State.
Rori’s Artisanal Creamery
1024 D Coast Village Rd. (next to Vons)
Montecito, CA 93108
Second stop; ice cream. I know, its January. Let’s be honest, even in January a good scoop will never go amiss. Rori’s, located in Montecito is a must. Small but super delicious and inventive combinations. Peanut butter and jelly was a hit among the mini me’s with lemon curd and vanilla bean the favorites with the adults. Small batch milk/cream/eggs are hard to beat.
Last stop, Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beer located in the Paseo Nuevo Shopping Area downtown Santa Barbara. Lots of outdoor seating if the weather is nice and seating at the bar is first come first serve. Menu includes a great selection of regional craft beers and I was surprised by the fairly decent (even if small) selection of wine. Burgers were good, but the standout was the fries. Crisp, well-seasoned, and plenty of them. I only say this to prepare you for the wait times and in hopes you give it a chance; the FOH seems a bit green but in time I think this will be a repeat on my list.