Disclosure: I was hosted by Zaytoon restaurant, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Zaytoon – The Best Restaurant in Santa Barbara
Recently, I took a weekend trip with my family to Santa Barbara, CA (You can read about it here). The last time I visited this wonderful, peaceful, beach-side Southern California city was three years ago with my mom and grandma. Zaytoon was one of the restaurants we ate at, and even though I had only eaten there once before I remembered it very well! I am a vegetarian, and often there aren’t many unique menu options for me at restaurants. When I spend money to go out and eat, I don’t want a typical green salad or veggie burger, I want a foodie experience!
Once my husband and I planned our trip to Santa Barbara this year, I knew we had to stop at Zaytoon! This time, it was my husband, my two-year-old, and myself who went to the restaurant. Zaytoon is not too far from State Street, so is easy to walk to from the main part of Santa Barbara. Once you’re there, it really feels like an escape. The restaurant is surrounded by vine-covered walls and twinkle lights. Perfect for relaxing and going on a date night or spending quality time with friends and family. There is a fountain in the center of the courtyard, with tables that include built-in stone fire pits. First up, we ordered some cocktails. Zaytoon is a Lebanese restaurant, and they put a bit of a Lebanese flair to all their dishes and drinks. My husband ordered a Ginger Mule and I ordered a Hibiscus, which is Rye Whiskey, cucumber, watermelon, and hibiscus.
My drink (pictured on the right) was made complete with a piece of watermelon in the shape of a star! Their presentation of food and drinks matches the amazing atmosphere and impeccable customer service.
To eat, we ordered the Vegetarian Feast, which included: Hummus and pita bread, baba ghannouj, falafael, cheese sambosik, labneh, and tabbouli. We also ordered a side of the Batata Harra (spicy potatoes sauteed in fresh garlic, lemon, olive oil, and cilantro). The Vegetarian Feast was enough for the three of us to split, and made for great variety. Let me tell you, I was in a vegetarian’s paradise!
There was a little bit of everything: Veggies, cheese, bread, protein. Definitely for a vegetarian foodie. And best of all, it tasted fresh, light, and healthy. Not only is Zaytoon is a great restaurant choice for vegetarians, but they are very accommodating to many diets. Their menu has special labels including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and Halal. I love a restaurant that provides flavorful variety for many dietary needs! Even my toddler loved the food!
The dessert menu is equally as delightful as the main courses! Offering baklava, chocolate cake, and Santa Barbara-based McConnell’s Ice Cream. They also have a selection of dessert coffees, cognacs, and malt whiskeys to choose from. We ordered the Turkish coffee, which came with a dollop of whipped cream. The strong coffee taste in a dessert was the perfect cap to our feast!
The manager, waiters, and hostesses were all very kind, hospitable, and represented everything you would expect in what I feel is the best restaurant in Santa Barbara!
You can learn more about Zaytoon by visiting their website, or by calling at (805) 963- 1293