Eating Through Los Angeles + Santa Barbara, CA

I recently took my very first trip to California! It's one of those states I'd had in mind for some time, but it's mighty far from home in Toronto. Thanksgiving Break provided the perfect opportunity to visit! Off the boyfriend and I went, me humming "Hopped off the plane at LAX" the whole flight there.

California, especially LA, gets some amazing exposure in pop culture. Everyone knows it's the movie and celebrity capital, and we enjoyed a playlist FULL of songs that mention California when driving from LA to Santa Barbara for a day trip. All the mentions of California in pop culture makes it a place you just must visit at some point in your life.

So, what's all the hype about? What's LA really like?

The people of LA have a love, love, love for food, each thinking they know the best taco truck in the city! Honestly, you can't stop the people of LA from talking about restaurants. But, to be fair, they have reason to talk about food constantly. LA is packed full of amazing restaurants!

I'm walking you through my favourites below, as well as a few from our Santa Barbara day trip!


Must Visit Restaurants: Los Angeles

Mexicali Taco and Co.

$ ↠ Location:  702 N. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

1. To start, the tacos, and other Mexican fare is delish, but the real story here is the owner. The owner and his wife made the rounds of the restaurant, chatting with the regulars, and we're such kind people! If you want to support some truly wonderful business owners, go grab a dish at Mexicali Taco and Co.!

Barneys Beanery

$ ↠ Location: There's 6 to choose from in LA! Take your pick!

The Westwood location we visited, just a quick walk from the UCLA campus, is a hot spot for students post-lecture. Chili lover are you? Barney's Beanery is the place for you! Though, personal suggestion, the Chimichanga is great as well. The restaurant also boasts some of the most unique seating you could hope to find in a restaurant/bar (car seats and benches on posts!)

Bottega Louie

$$$ ↠ Location: 700 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017

Feeling like getting a little fancy and then satisfying your sweet tooth? The Bottega Louie restaurant, pastry shop and cafe's white and gold errything decor politely shouts out, "cake luxury!" There's beautiful Easter coloured boxes perfectly stacked on shiny golden stands, across from a case full of the most beautiful array of little macaroons, tartlets, cakes, and pastries!



$$$ ↠ Location: 21150 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

(Okay, okay, this one is actually in Malibu, not LA, but I couldn't leave it off!) When you go to Duke's, you must, must, MUST order the Lava Flow cocktail! It's a tropical paradise in a fancy glass, topped off with a slice of pineapple. While sipping your Lava Flow, you'll get to enjoy the beachy scenery, and waves splashing up to the dining room windows, as the restaurant is smack dab on the shore line!


Must Visit Restaurants: Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Shell Fish Company

$$ ↠ Location: 230 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

This little fishing shack style restaurant is quite literally ON the Santa Barbara pier! You'll have a unique view of both the ocean and beach from inside. Of course, shrimp, clams, crab, and lobster are staples on the menu. I would go ahead and call this spot the most Instagrammable on the list!


The Andersen Bakery

$$ ↠ Location: 1106 State Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101

This adorable bakery offers full meals, cakes, pastries, and daily High Tea. When in Santa Barbara, this should be your go to for a nice 2 PM High Tea mimosa fix. Be sure to sit at the outdoor patio, complete with sprawling striped umbrellas, looking onto beautiful State Street, lined with shops.


The Chase Lounge

$$ ↠ Location: 1012 State Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101

The Chase Lounge was introduced to me as "the Christmas bar," because they have Christmas lights and garlands hanging from the ceiling year round. As you may know, I do like Christmas... in fact I'm writing this in a room hung with Christmas lights, wearing my LJ Christmas sweater. So, as you could assume, I enjoyed my drink in the festive atmosphere!


That's all from Cali! I'll be headed north for Christmas to the Toronto area shortly, so keep an eye out for lots of Canada posts to come! Which leads me to, my postcard list! I am always so, so appreciative of my readers, and I love getting you involved with my travels! As such, I started the Priority Post Suite, my postcard mailing registry!

Find out more about it, and get on the list, visit this page! Where in the world will your post card come from?!

Where in the world will you be this year for Christmas/your holiday of choice? Leave me a comment below! 

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Cannot miss :: Where to eat in Los Angeles + Santa Barbara, California