Occhiali gets the nod for best sunglasses in 2019

Sunglasses Selection

Occhiali Fine Eyewear

Two locations; occhialieyewear.com

“Salli and I wish to thank the voters for this honor,” said Irwin Eve, optician and co-owner of Occhiali Fine Eyewear with his wife, Salli Eve. “Occhiali strives to offer a premier experience to our clients. We help them to find the perfect pair, asking questions and truly assisting in the selection process. It makes it a lot easier when you get to know the client with the trust generated in the collaboration. Choosing frames is the fun part. We annually attend shows in New York and the West Coast, and there has been a growth of new independent eyewear designers who are rocking it with beautiful quality and artistry.”
Runner-Up: Sunglass Hut

Barber Shop

Richie’s Barber Shop

1187 Coast Village Rd., Ste. 6; 845-9701; richiesbarbershopsb.com

With a second location recently opened in Isla Vista, Best of Santa Barbara® winner Richie’s Barber Shop is on a roll. “My favorite part of my job is the client interaction! I’m lucky to be able to hang out with my clients, who become friends/family. Dealing with the community firsthand is amazing,” said owner Richie Ramirez. “Being the best means you have to do whatever you can to stay there. What can we do as a barber shop to keep that title? It keeps us on our toes, and it keeps us challenged. Every year, we are more and more honored to receive this award. It feels good to be appreciated. We feel grateful to be serving our community for nine years and going strong. Thank you!”
Runner-Up: The Barber Shop

Hair Salon

The Color Room

3003 State St.; 687-0777; thecolorroomsantabarbara.com

From sophisticated color correction to skilled styling and expert color techniques, the Color Room is Indy readers’ choice for best hair salon. “Thank you so much to all of the people that voted for us for best hair salon in Santa Barbara! Our favorite part about our job is to make people look and feel beautiful inside and out,” said Sean VonHoetzendorff and Pui Ryden, owners of the Color Room. “This award means recognition for our business that we have a wonderful team that works together to create beautiful work.”
Runner-Up: Salon Patine

Tanning Salon


209 W. Canon Perdido St.; 963-8300; ilovehoneys.com

“Santa Barbara is the ideal place to cultivate a small business. Our tight-knit community is the perfect platform for word-of-mouth referrals,” said Christine Starr, owner of Honeys, readers’ top tanning salon. “My favorite part of my job is to instantly transform someone’s look, therefore uplifting their confidence. Being a part of helping someone feel beautiful is the most fulfilling thing,” Starr said. To her, this award means “that my dream of creating a salon where attention to detail and an emphasis on customer service has been received and that people feel that. I manifested Honeys, dreamt it up, and it shines through. That’s a beautiful thing!”
Runner-Up: Sweet Cheeks

Tattoo Shop

805 Ink 1228 State St.; 845-5805; 805ink.com

Santa Barbara’s thriving tattoo culture, and Indy readers, have crowned 805 Ink as the top shop for the second year in a row. CEO JJ Ortiz and his talented team of artists have been providing our town with high-quality tattoos since 2008. In addition to Ortiz, an S.B. native whose tattoo style runs to fine-line black and gray, artists include Ken Knox, who accepts animal bones and tacos as tips; Chad Westmoreland, who deejays in his spare time; Jake Vantiger, who loves putting his own twist on bold American and neo-traditional designs; Danny Meza, whom many know from his work with students to paint murals around the city; Seth Singletary, who started tattooing alongside his father when he was only 15; and Grant Luckett, whose work is inspired by American traditional and Japanese tattoos and folk art.
Runner-Up: Golden Eagle Tattoo

Day Spa

Float Luxury Day Spa

18 E. Canon Perdido St.; 845-7777; floatluxuryspa.com

“Working in a spa is really pretty amazing all around,” said Float Luxury Spa owner Natalie Rowe. “Not only do I get to come to a gorgeous, tranquil environment every day, but I also get to provide a service to guests that is so very appreciated and necessary. The gift of treating oneself is often overlooked but so very important. I get to see people transform over the hour or two or three that they are with us. They leave here feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on their day. The thing we hear most commonly when people are leaving is, ‘I need to do this more often!’”
Runner-Up: Evolutions Medical & Day Spa

Medical Spa

Evolutions Medical & Day Spa

350 Chapala St., Ste. 103; 335-8605; evolutionsmedicalspa.com

“The medical aesthetic industry is always advancing and changing. We look forward to continuing to stay on the leading edge of the industry and bringing new and exciting treatments to our clients,” said Brian Perkins, managing partner of Evolutions Medical & Day Spa, our readers’ pick for top medical spa. “We have a wonderful staff that is not only good at what they do, but they are also interesting and fun people to work with, so it’s a great place to come to work every day.”
Runner-Up: G Spa

Resort Spa

The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

8301 Hollister Ave.; 571-4210; ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/santa-barbara

The lap of luxury is within our grasp at the Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, our readers’ pick for best resort spa. Between the undisputedly killer ocean views and first-class service the Ritz is renowned for, the 42,000-square-foot spa features a full selection of amenities ​— ​starting with the cushiest robe you’ve ever imagined and including an adults-only saline swimming pool, redwood sauna, and eucalyptus steam room. Treatments include the Bacara Signature Massage with hot stones and heated herbal compresses, and the Hollywood Facial with therapeutic LED light therapy. Fireside lounges and a rooftop terrace offer more places to relax, restore, and enjoy the view.
Runner-Up: The Spa at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore

Clothing Boutique

Lovebird Boutique and Jewelry

7 E. De la Guerra St.; lovebirdsb.com

There are loads of browse-worthy boutiques in town, but the range of products at Lovebird makes it truly unique. With an aim toward providing a fun and affordable shopping experience for mothers, daughters, and grandmothers, owner Jennifer Scarbrough’s shop just off State Street has long thrived with a selection of women’s clothing, accessories, intimates, jewelry, shoes, and gifts for women ages 18-80. Choose from fashions by Cino, XCVI, ADA Collection, BED | STU, Free People, and more, with handcrafted jewelry by Scarbrough herself, among others, as well as a nice array of accessories and gift items from our readers’ choice for best clothing boutique.
Runner-Up: Crossroads Trading Company

Vintage Store

[See Housing: Antique Store]

Consignment Store

Crossroads Trading Company

1025 State St.; 892-5700; crossroadstrading.com/location/santa-barbara-state-st

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our Santa Barbara location,” said Christie Cook Cherensky, district manager for Crossroads Trading Company. “We have the best customers in the world who are just as obsessed with fashion as we are. Santa Barbara is a good place to have our business because we offer a way to shop sustainably and recycle your wardrobe, which is very in line with Santa Barbara’s values. The S.B. community is creative but has a consciousness when it comes to the environment. We fulfill thev desire for fashion but do it in a way that is in line with the community’s core values of sustainability and less waste.”
Runner-Up: The Closet Trading Co.

Dry Cleaner

Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners & Launderers

14 W. Gutierrez St.; 963-6677; ablitts.com

Not only does Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners & Launderers go the extra mile to show your clothes great care and respect, but owner Sasha Ablitt went the extra mile to have many of the staff answer our questions! The best part of the job: “Meeting all our friendly customers and hearing their amazing stories” (Jon Hernandez); “Learning about how business works and coming up with ideas to make things happen” (Alfonso Antunez); “Hanging out with my coworkers and feeling the positive Ablitt’s vibe” (Mercy Juarez); “Talking with my customers and petting their dogs” (John Fenner). When asked to share funny moments, Ablitt said, “We have discovered that Santa Barbara is not a shy community. We have multiple stories about customers walking outside their homes without clothes, or undressing on the spot and handing their clothes over to be cleaned. Literally giving Ablitt’s the clothes off their back!”
Runner-Up: Eco Friendly Cleaners

Skin Deep facial


Lee’s Tailoring

4141 State St., Ste. E-4; 910-1065; leestailoringca.com

Lee Thompson’s Lee’s Tailoring has been measuring up the best on the Best of Santa Barbara® chart since he opened his Santa Barbara shop in 1991. The shop specializes in bridesmaids’ dresses, and the employees are experts in the art of zipper repair. The wide range of alteration services includes dress resizing and dress design modification, mending worn-out clothes, and restoring old outfits to almost mint condition. They also repair leather jackets as well as worn-out jeans and pants, giving your favorite clothes a new lease on life.
Runner-Up: Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners & Launderers

Eyewear Selection

[See Driving: Place to Get Tires]



Paseo Nuevo, 17 W. Canon Perdido St.; 564-8770; nordstrom.com

The shoe game at Nordstrom is strong indeed. With brands on display from Adidas to Zanzara and everything in between, it can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, the sales staff is top notch, and the annual sales are even better, if you can brave the eager crowds. If the selection of shoes feels like too much, take a seat at the Nordstrom Café upstairs, relax, and breathe in the rarified air of the bygone-era ladies who lunch. The cilantro lime shrimp salad is a thing of beauty, and the Bistro Club, a comfort-food classic, will soon put you in the mood to shoe shop ’til you drop!
Runner-Up: Walking Company

Jewelry Store

Bryant & Sons

Two locations; bryantandsons.com

Diamonds really are forever at the venerable Bryant & Sons, which opened its flagship State Street location in 1965 and added a Montecito store in 2001. “Thank you, Santa Barbara, for voting us best again! We have been in business 55 years and intend to be around for many more,” said Mike Bryant, who’s run the day-to-day operations of the family business since 1981 and is the son of founder Bob Bryant. “Thanks for your business. The Independent award means a lot to us, and I appreciate the support and recognition.”
Runner-Up: 33 Jewels

Thrift Store

Alpha Thrift Stores

Multiple locations; 964-1123; alphasb.org

A great place to search for Halloween costumes and bargains on everything from shoes, clothes, and jewelry to electronics, tools, books, and housewares, Alpha Thrift Stores’ two locations not only keep discards out of the landfill but also help support community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities. You never know what kind of treasures you might find at our readers’ choice for best thrift store, but for those who love the mystery and the thrill of the hunt, the joy is in the quest itself.
Runner-Up: Crossroads Trading Company

Nail Salon

Ocean Nails & Spa

5768 Calle Real, Goleta; 683-3490

Offering just about all types of nail spa service you can imagine (manicures, pedicures, acrylics, French tips, gels, nail art, paraffin wax, silk wraps, and more), Goleta’s Ocean Nails & Spa is this year’s Best Of winner. “My favorite part of my job is to see the smiles from my customers after their services,” said owner Kathy Bui. “Thank you for your support and referrals. Our team achieved this award by
working together.”
Runner-Up: Modern Nails