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10 Sweet Spots to Start Your Day

By: Santa Barbara Hotel Group / 11 May 2022
10 sweet spots to start your day

How you spend the morning can set the tone of your whole day. So, when guests come to us for advice on the best breakfast spots, coffee shops and bakeries, we take that recommendation responsibility very seriously! Whether you're looking for a hearty breakfast burrito, a pastry fresh out of the oven, classic eggs, a savory quiche or plain and simple pancakes, these 10 breakfast options are local favorites for good reason. They are so good, you might just need an extra day to make room for an extra meal! And it's never a bad idea to get some extra pastries to-go for a beach or post-hike snack.

Renaud's Patisserie & Bistro – Renaud's is renowned for their croissants and authentic French pastries that might just transport you to Paris. They also offer a made-to-order menu with heartier temptations such as Renaud's signature omelet, fried egg sandwiches and quiche. You have three locations to choose from—Arlington Plaza downtown, Loreto Plaza uptown and Coast Village Plaza in Montecito.

Handlebar Coffee – Coffee connoisseurs beeline to Handlebar, who have two locations—one on De La Vina Street (not far from Best Western Plus Santa Barbara) and the other on Canon Perdido across from the Presidio. You can't go wrong with a drip coffee or espresso drinks here. When it comes to food, they have a nice selection of pastries, croissant sandwiches, savory scones and avocado toast.

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Exterior of Handlebar Coffee Roasters on De La Vina St.|Photo by Shannon Brooks

Live Oak Café – Live Oak Café is a gem of a restaurant at the Best Western Plus Santa Barbara. Not your ordinary hotel café, this collaboration between Chef Mark Dela Cruz and owner Molly Holveck is a true labor of local love. And their breakfast game is as strong as the coffee! Fan favorites include the Lemon Brioche French Toast, Pacific Rim Bacon Fried Rice and Harvest Breakfast Bowl.

Alessia Patisserie – Alessia Patisserie might be newer on the scene, but pastry chef Alessia Guehr has deep roots in the community—her parents were respected local restaurateurs. Here, the pastry cases are filled with creations that look almost too beautiful to eat. But don't let that stop you! The made-to-order breakfast menu features a Croque Monsieur, French Omelette and Blue Crab Crepes, alongside sinfully sweet concoctions like Gone Bananas.

Jeannine's – Jeannine's is a Santa Barbara staple going back 30 years. Today, the breakfast and lunch café has four local locations, including the newest At The Shore, which is in walking and biking distance from our West Beach hotels. The benedicts, Huevos Rancheros and American Breakfast are always solid choices, as are the Breakfast Quesadilla and Chilaquiles.

On the Alley – We love sending our West Beach hotel guests to On the Alley, a quality fast casual spot at the Harbor. Order a Breakfast Burrito, Ty's Muffin or Waffle Sticks and watch the fishermen bring in their catch. Then walk it off with a stroll along the breakwater, breathing in that fresh sea air.

D'Angelo Bakery – D'Angelo Bakery is tucked off State Street on Gutierrez Street—when you smell the bread baking, you'll know you're on the right track. Their hot breakfasts featuring freshly baked breads are the way to go. The ever-popular Eggs "Rose" features poached eggs atop kalamata toast, while their tasty spins on a variety of benedicts are served on sourdough and baguettes.

Scarlett Begonia – Located in the historic theatre district, Scarlett Begonia puts a distinctly southern spin on breakfast. Think Shrimp & Grits, Steak & Eggs and—of course—biscuits. The Green Rancheros and Soft Scrambled Eggs are equally addictive. Kids options include Egg-in-the-Hole, French Toast and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

Farmer Boy – Dating back to 1958, Farmer Boy is an updated uptown classic. You'll get authentic, old school diner vibes with elevated breakfast fare made with quality ingredients. You surely won't be disappointed if you go for the Santa Barbara Local Omelet (add the tri-tip!), Chicken Fried Steak, Pancake Combo, Carnitas Chilaquiles or Breakfast Burger.

Helena Avenue Bakery – Last but not least, Helena Avenue Bakery is our go-to breakfast joint the Funk Zone. For simple perfection, try the Wildflower Honey Ricotta on Sourdough Toast or a Buttermilk Biscuit with Salted Butter and Jam. If you crave more substance, the Farmer's Market Bowl makes delicious use of local bounty while the Green Eggs and Ham on brioche will certainly fuel you for the day's adventures ahead.