Cold Spring Tavern

A Review of The Former Stagecoach Stop That Serves Wild Game in a Cozy Shack

Where: 5995 Stagecoach Road (off Highway 154), 805-967-0066,

What: A former stagecoach stop on the backside of the mountains with gourmet game and quaint coziness

How much? Breakfast $2.50-$8.50 Sat. and Sun. only; lunch $9.25-$12.75 daily; dinner $17.50-$28.50 for entrees after 5 p.m.; famous chili $3.75-$7.95

The dish: Romance runs rustic at the historic Cold Spring Tavern, an antique-laden, fireplace-heated restaurant in the oak-studded mountains behind Santa Barbara. The former 1860s stagecoach stop has been serving California comfort food - the tavern claims to have invented ranch dressing - and exotic meats like rabbit, boar, and venison to the masses since 1941. Weekend breakfast might mean wild game black bean chili omelette; lunch could be the biker friendly bar-b-q tri-tip sandwich; and dinner should be sauteed rabbit medallions, New Zealand lamb, or the latest fresh kill that they’re offering. With animal heads adorning the wooden walls and lanterns lighting your table, the place packs unbeatable charm, so it’s no wonder little has changed in more than 60 years. That reliability makes it perfect for couples, who come to reminisce over the years as their relationships grow.

Cold Spring Tavern

5995 Stagecoach Rd., Santa Barbara, CA
805-967-0066. More Info

View our complete restaurant guide here.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Valuables in Cars a Target for Thieves

Theft is up at Santa Barbara parks.

Section 8 Applications Reopened for First Time in Four Years

The city's Housing Authority is providing new incentives to landlords.

Transgender People’s Military Service Upheld Again

The administration tried to dissolve the court's injunction against its ban, but California's ruling was upheld.

Police Suspend Public Sleeping Laws

The non-enforcement comes in response to a new court ruling.

Dyer Returns as Interim Fire Chief

When Eric Peterson steps down, Mike Dyer will fill in for County Fire.