Montecito: Insider's guide to the American Riviera

Montecito: Insider's guide to the American Riviera
(CNN) — Just east of the Californian city of Santa Barbara may be the delightful, idyllic village of Montecito. With the majesty of Butterfly Beach on the far side of the 101 freeway, this beach community’s main artery is Coast Village Road.

After the devastation of the Thomas mudslides and Fire, Montecito is again welcoming visitors using its unique mixture of quaint hominess and understated glamor.

Of course, there’s a lot more to the community than one street, but Coast Village Road may be the most walkable, having an selection of fantastic dining, beach-casual clothing and design stores and a seemingly endless blast of top-notch people-watching (Is that Oprah?).

Butterfly Beach is Montecito's natural highlight.

Butterfly Beach is Montecito’s natural highlight.

Photo by Jay Sinclair/Courtesy Visit Santa Barbara

There’s a weekly farmer’s market on Fridays to peruse the bounty of local farms, on Sunday mornings and, locals park their luxury and classic cars on the road to see and become seen. September and in late, the annual Montecito Motor Classic benefit occurs.

It’s also worth noting just how many of the neighborhood restaurants and stores are independently owned, to help you feel great spending your cash supporting smaller businesses. So, hop off the freeway, park your vehicle and spend a couple of hours strolling by way of a little bit of America’s Riviera.

drink and

Food

LUCKY’S: This classic steakhouse is certainly pricey, weekend bar scene (order a martini) includes a hopping, black-and-white photos of old Hollywood stars on the walls plus some of the greatest abalone we’ve ever tasted (a seasonal special). As you’d assume, the steaks are ready perfectly, but make sure you save room because of their delectably oozy molten chocolate cake.
JEANNINE’S: Jeannine’s is just a local hub, operated and family-owned for 30 years. Everyone knows everybody and also unless you know anyone, you’ll immediately feel in the home. Lines for breakfast (both savory and sweet) certainly are a usual sight. The outdoor seating is prime property, with fresh flowers up for grabs, bistro chairs and a white picket fence. Coffee drinkers adore their bowl-sized lattes. You can find two other locations in Santa Barbara, too.
Honor Bar's deck is lively and welcoming.

Honor Bar’s deck is lively and welcoming.

Photo by Jessica Greenfield

HONOR BAR: Area of the Hillstone chain of restaurants, Honor Bar is really a solid choice always. Sit at the bar (needless to say) and order up a good cold beer plus some deviled eggs. Outside seating is lively and light, while inside is lit and convivial — the staff attentive and friendly darkly. The Honor Bar (in addition to Hillstone) is well known for the French dip sandwich, a popular of Momofuku’s David Chang, who told Bon Appetit once,”The French dip. That’s all anyone must know. It haunts me.”
OLIVER’S: This gourmet vegan restaurant creates masterful dishes that could satisfy anyone’s taste. That is southern California in the end, where all of the produce is local so when fresh since it gets. We love their veggie burger, but their inventive assumes non-vegetable classics (Artichoke “crab cakes” and Rawsagna are truly unforgettable).
LOS ARROYOS: Another family-run restaurant, that is Montecito’s Mexican go-to. The vibe is ultra-casual; t-shirts and flip-flops will be the norm. Family recipes mingle with standard Mexican fare, all homemade with the freshest ingredients. The standouts will be the shrimp tacos, the pozole and Tony’s Alambres, the owner’s special recipe. Incidentally, Mr. Arroyo kept his Montecito restaurant open through the peak of the 2017 Thomas Fire to feed first responders.
RORI’S ARTISANAL CREAMERY: This delicious ice cream mini-chain sources its ingredients from Straus Family Creamery in Petaluma, California. The cream and milk result from what they call “happy cows.” So, this farm-to-cone is really as good since it gets. In the Montecito location, you will see kids lapping up ice cream in the courtyard after school, which sprinkles the knowledge with added sweetness. Try the Cinnamon Toast Cereal Crunch or the new Mint Patty, which tastes the like fresh mint you’d find in your garden.

Shopping

ANGEL: If there is a Montecito woman’s uniform, Angel sells it. Designer jeans, flowy white linen everything, straw hats and delicate jewelry are on display combined with the requisite swimwear.
MAISON K: To include just a little European flair to your house or wardrobe, Maison K may be the accepted spot to go. Eclectic consistent yet, this charming boutique stocks elevated, chic clothing, home and accessories décor.
WHISKEY + LEATHER: This dreamy store stocks clothing and accessories for men and women, alongside select home décor items for the younger and whimsical set.
LETTER PERFECT: If you like pen and paper to text on screen, this is actually the shop for afterward you. Old-school organizers and calendars, weighty ink pens, cards and much more will fulfill the obsessed, written-word Luddite.

Hotels

The Monarch may be the Montecito Inn's newest restaurant featuring local bounty.

The Monarch may be the Montecito Inn’s newest restaurant featuring local bounty.

Photo by Jakob N Layman/Courtesy Visit Santa Barbara

MONTECITO INN: Opened by Charlie Chaplin, plus a band of investors, the Montecito Inn dates to 1928. Luxurious, contemporary guest rooms, Mediterranean courtyard and pool and a brand-new dining program from Scratch Restaurants give this historic hideaway a decidedly modern edge. The Monarch just opened with a menu of elegant yet uncomplicated dishes showcasing Santa Barbara County’s local bounty, and the inn’s seafood-focused Frankland’s Crab & Co. serves oysters and lobster rolls and all types of crab dishes.
COAST VILLAGE INN: For an inexpensive, rustic stay, this cozy boutique hotel is more homey than luxe, and contains been sitting on Coast Village Road since 1935. There is absolutely no in-room dining, however the excellent vegan restaurant, Oliver’s, is on site and serves a continental breakfast.