Where: 1118 E Cabrillo Boulevard, 805-965-8805
What: A beachfront grill serving up delicious breakfast as well as burgers into the early evening.
How much? Santa Barbara Omelet ($9.25); Wheat Germ Pancakes ($6.75); Char Burger ($3.95)
The dish: East Beach Grill serves up blueberry wheat germ pancakes to groups of spandex-wearing cyclers after sunrise bike rides and juicy burgers to exhausted East Beach volleyball players and sunbathers. Located in the Cabrillo Bath House, and hidden from street traffic, East Beach Grill is a casual cafe with a walk up counter and plenty of both shaded and sunny ocean front seating. The menu includes standard breakfast options, but the item that is most unique to this spot is the to-die-for, heaping stack of wheat germ pancakes. Order them in combination with eggs and bacon (the 3-2-1 for $7.25), or request blueberry, strawberry, or banana. Add a cup of coffee, the Sunday paper, and some sunrays, and it will become close to impossible not to weave this place into your weekly routine. The breakfast crowd slowly turns into a lunch crowd as burgers, fries, and sodas fly out of the front door in place of omelets, pancakes, and coffee mugs. The panoramic view of the Channel Islands on a clear day is unbeatable, and the traces of sand leading up to the order counter are authentically laid-back Santa Barbara.